Epigenetic effects underlie sexual preferences II

On 12/20/12 Jay Feierman who is moderator of ISHE’s human ethology group posted to the group this subtle misrepresentation of cause and effect:

David P. Barash on Homosexuality (sans epigenetics) — a retitled alteration of  The Evolutionary Mystery of Homosexuality , which was published as an article on 11/19/12 (more than one month ago). During the entirety of the time Feierman has moderated the ISHE group, he has ignored the fact that for nearly 120 years there has been no model for the development of any behavior sans the involvement of epigenetics; there have only been people who have not recognized that involvement. Some did not have the technology to examine cause and effect, but even those who did not have that technology recognized what to this day should have remained obvious.

“Suppose, for instance, that we assert that cold is the actual cause of the winter-sleep of marmots. It is clear that this statement is incorrect, and that not the cold, but the peculiar organization of the marmot causes the reaction of hibernation: cold cannot throw a dog or a bird into a state of slumber for the winter. We are here, therefore, concerned with a special adaptation of the organism to a stimulus — cold — which affects it in such a manner that it escapes from what would otherwise be a destructive influence. We are unable to demonstrate with the microscope the fine ‘molecular’ or histological variations in the nervous and other systems on which the capacity for hibernation may depend ; but some such modifications must exist, and they cannot be regarded as a direct effect of the cold, but must rather be looked upon as arrangements  to counteract its influence. Their origin, moreover, can only be assigned to processes of selection.

A thousand other cases are to be explained in a similar manner.” – Weismann, A. (1894)

I modeled the epigenetic origin of homosexual orientation with a co-author in a 1995 book and with other co-authors in a 1996 published work in the journal Hormones and Behavior. Those who would rather the model was ignored (including Jay Feierman) may continue to promote nonsensical theory as if it was explanatory, but they do so at a time when the molecular epigenetics of cause and effect are perfectly clear to all but a few with their “die-hard” beliefs that something other than the molecular biology common to all species is responsible for similarities in the nutrient chemical-dependent pheromone controlled behavior.

“Parenthetically it is interesting to note even the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has a gene-based equivalent of sexual orientation (i.e., a-factor and alpha-factor physiologies). These differences arise from different epigenetic modifications of an otherwise identical MAT locus…” — Diamond, Binstock & Kohl (1996)

The difference between an accurate portrayal of epigenetic effects and those that make claims  of adaptively evolved behaviors “(sans epigenetics)” is not merely a difference of opinion. It is a difference between clear representations of fact and story-telling that goes back to the origins of the story more than 120 years ago.

See also: A Steroid Receptor-MicroRNA Switch Regulates Life Span in Response to Signals from the Gonad and Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development.

Feierman is a aging MD, Ph.D story-teller who seems to delight in posting ongoing misrepresentations of cause and effect to a discussion group designed for discussion of accurate representations for the development of behavior across species.

Here’s an example of yet another attempt to post accurate representations to that group, which was blocked as “flaming” according to Feierman.


Message not approved: F3 Epigenetic Effect on Behavior in a Bird (Quail)

jrfeier <jay.feierman…>
To: james kohl <jvkohl…>


> Like others here, Sonny seems to be unfamiliar with the concept of nutrient
> chemical-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction in species from microbes to
> man that eliminates all concern for mammalian transgenerational inheritance by
> showing that it occurs either via behavior or the germ line in every species on
> the planet with a germ line. One can only wonder what the critical differences
> are in the reproductive cycles that Williams alludes to. Clearly it is the
> common molecular biology that ensures species survival, whether or not their are
> differences in reproductive cycles. Isn’t it? Sonny would know that, perhaps, if
> he had studied it for 20 years as I have. One year of textbook learning doesn’t
> quite establish anyone as an expert. Does it? See for example of the fact it
> does not: Environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of
> phenotype and disease

Attempted in response to: Re: F3 Epigenetic Effect on Behavior in a Bird (Quail): ” I’ll begin paying attention when we move beyond the numerous speculations on the molecular processes.”

Clearly 120 years of demonstrable epigenetic cause and effect is not enough to convince some people that much more than speculation has been involved. What we now know is involved is neuroscientifically established cause and effect across species and that the cause is nutrient chemical-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction.






Author: James Kohl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.