Epigenetics and Inheritance

The simplified version of genetic inheritance is that we received traits from our parents and their ancestors, but there is much more to it than that. Epigenetics is outside the DNA (the epi is the key part, such as in epidural anesthetic). This molecule is a kind of switch that affects gene expression.

Epigenetics influences the inheritance of traits. This area of biology frequently confounds evolution and supports special creation.
Credit: Morguefile / click (I don't come up with these names)
While our genes are obviously important in traits we inherited from those who have gone before, epigenetics often influence how the genes are expressed. Indeed, parents who have lived through a famine can pass along special traits to their children. While proponents of universal common ancestor evolution ridiculed Lamarck and his version of evolution, he may have been on the right track! In addition, epigenetics can have an influence on speciation — which is friendly to biblical creation science. Our Creator designed organisms to adapt.
You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “You are what you eat.” But did you know that you are also what your mother and grandmother ate? The budding science of epigenetics shows that our physical makeup is about much more than inheriting our mother’s eyes or our father’s smile.

We are accustomed to thinking that the only thing we inherit from our parents is genes—packets of information in DNA that give instructions for proteins. These genes determine our physical traits such as hair and eye color, height, and even susceptibility to disease.

But we also inherit specific “modifications” of our DNA in the form of chemical tags. These influence how the genes express our physical traits. The chemical tags are referred to as “epigenetic” markers because they exist outside of (epi-) the actual sequence of DNA (-genetics).

To read the rest of this article by Dr. Georgia Purdom (PhD in molecular genetics), see "Epigenetics— Inheriting More Than Genes".