Smart Like Mommy, No Bananas!
Asked on Quora:
"Can education be viewed as an epigenetic mechanism?"
Answered by Tamra Coveau
Yes. If environmental factors such as what we eat and drink, think and absorb can influence chemical tags or epigenetic changes, so too can education. “Epigenetic mechanisms are a process and include anything that alters gene activity without changing the DNA sequence, and leads to modifications that can be transmitted to daughter cells.”
What is education? It is a process and includes anything that alters our perceptions by building on our knowledge, adds to learning, engages our mental facilities and it is teaching that ultimately changes our behavior. Education happens in stages, corresponds with our genetic development and affects our very psychology and physiology. Education also directly affects our health.
It is now believed that epigenetics are the missing link in Darwinian theory of Natural Selection and while we should not go out and cut off mice tails, we should accept that research has identified ways that genetic expression is altered generationally.
My mom hated bananas. I do, too, yuck! Maybe it is a coincidence. Maybe a learned trait or epigenetics? Education continues to be not only the basis for a truly democratic society, it may be more closely linked with our physical evolution than we realized. Three cheers for free speech, education, science and apples.