• Biology

    Why the Genome Incompletely Describes the Body

    Genetic determinism—or the idea that we are fully determined by our genes taken from our parents—is now a thing of the past. Empirical evidence now shows that genes may exist but may not be expressed. The expression is controlled by some ‘epigenetic’ factors (which are also molecules) but enabled and disabled by the environment. OK, says the geneticist, let’s add the epigenetic stuff into the overall picture, and we can maintain the overall (materialistic) idea that living beings are molecular soups. However, the issue isn’t as straightforward, because there are potentially many things in the genes and the environment which can potentially create different outcomes. How do we select which…