Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Mysterious Epigenome

 
Tom Woodward is the founder of the C.S. Lewis Society and the apologetics.org website. He has written a books (with James Gills) called The Mysterious Epigenome: What Lies Beyond DNA. You can tell from the title that this is another "evolution revolution" book capitalizing on the re-invention of a new word that means everything—and nothing.

Woodward kindly posted an article on apologetics.org that helps us decide whether this is a book worth reading.
The Avalanche


God’s love—a vast oceanic expanse? An aggressive love, “lavished” on mankind? Coming at us like an avalanche?

These ideas came to Dr. James Gills and me as we were working on our book The Mysterious Epigenome: What Lies Beyond DNA. As we tweaked the final manuscript, we were haunted over and over by a powerful, pivotal thought. As scientists continue pulling back curtain after curtain that had previously shrouded the chemical master-codes that control our DNA system (that is, the multiple integrated layers of our epigenetic “computer codes”), they were also revealing something in the realm of spirit. They had opened up a new kind of vista on the greatness of the Creator’s overwhelming intelligence—his boundless genius--which is placed on display in this bizarre biochemical landscape. The more we thought about and discussed the latest discoveries of the genome and epigenome, the more we were confronted with this sense of the cosmic architect’s “unlimited, off-the-chart wisdom” in creating and sustaining the micro-cosmos of life. At the same time, seeing the Creator’s engineering intelligence in this new light also made us ponder the striking parallel with other “overwhelming/incalculable/infinite” qualities that the Bible attributes to the Creator, such as his power, knowledge and love.
That's pretty much all you need to know but if you are a sucker for punishment anxious to know more you can read some excerpts on Tom Woodward's The Mysterious Epigenome: Effectively Popularizing Richard Sternberg's Revolutionary Thesis.

I was going to say that creationists like Woodward give the epigenome a bad name but then I realized that it isn't true. Epigenomics and epigenetics had bad names long before the creationists got wind of them.

UPDATE: Several readers noted that the DNA on the cover of the book is a left-handed helix. This doesn't inspire confidence, does it?

In case you thought that Disney World had the only fantasyland in Florida, check this out.




10 comments :

  1. OT but I'm sure that Prof. Moran will find the article in the attached link amusing.

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-national-library-uploads-trove-of-newton-s-theological-tracts-1.411811

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    1. SLC

      The link you posted above is not only amusing, but very interesting. Thank you.

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  2. Oh, no! Not the mysterious left-handed DNA again.

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    1. "Several readers noted that the DNA on the cover of the book is a left-handed helix. This doesn't inspire confidence, does it?"

      Can't believe you missed this. Southpaw DNA is speculated to be involved with transcription, which is definitely related to epigenetics. The authors were making a point, a point that is completely unintentional and lost on them, obviously.

      Distributions of Z-DNA and nuclear factor I in human chromosome 22: a model for coupled transcriptional regulation
      http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/content/32/22/6501

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  3. "The Avalanche" sounded so much like a dopey Christian love-in it made my head hurt. If what follows is another avalanche of idiocy, I'll pass.

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  4. "Chemical master-codes that control our DNA system (that is, the multiple integrated layers of our epigenetic “computer codes”)"

    Not this crap again... Why do they always use pseudotechnical buzzwords when publishing this kind of sensationalistic books?

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  5. There's nothing wrong with the term "epigenetics" as long as you understand its proper meaning: the study of the physical processes of development. But it does seem to have been coopted as the latest vitalist buzzword.

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  6. I see that Behe and Sternberg are looking for a new gravy train. They've chosen well. Pseudo-medicine is a hot commodity, even more than ID pseudoscience.

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  7. The following website gives pages from 'The Mysterious Epigenome' and Sternberg:
    http://books.google.nl/books?id=Bbs25nqoAhsC&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=richard+sternberg+epigenome&source=bl&ots=0DKJwpmbVc&sig=QodCSOczNV6l0SK1_lE6Fr2AJlo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6ig1T6SKIc-r-gaW0sGiAg&ved=0CEMQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=richard%20sternberg%20epigenome&f=false

    Highly interesting are the 'Discussion Questions' at what seems to be the end of a chapter. 'Discussion'?

    Peter

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