There was a boy who lived next to our house in Trichy whom I never saw playing. Forget playing, I hardly saw him in the first place. There were few occasions when I did see him and am pretty sure he had a textbook in his hand. His room was pretty close my room and I have often (read daily) heard his mother barging into his room and talking high about a certain boy called Pravesh who happens to be from the same class as her son. A typical conversation would go like this :
Mom : You haven’t given your daily chemistry test . You know that you are weak in organic chemistry don’t you?
Son: Maaa… Its Sunday ma. Plzzzz
Mom: Did you skip eating because it is Sunday?
Son: Ma plzzz.. don’t start it again.
Mom: I was talking to Pravesh’s mom today morning. He is giving full test every Sunday.
Son: He doesn’t have to study like me. His parents went to IIT, he is a born genius.
Mom: His grandparents were illiterate farmers. Don’t talk like a Know-It-All!!
After a series of thuds there would be a brief silence and a few minutes later I would hear distant guttural mumbling of a hyperventilated mom.
I am pretty sure that many would have experienced or at least come across such drama before, but have you ever wondered whether intelligence can be genetically transferred?
You would have definitely come across many intelligent couples having intelligent offspring or a musical genius having a lineage of sons, daughters, grandchildren who are good at music. This doesn’t necessarily mean that intelligence or music runs in blood AKA genetically transferred.
Ever since Francis Crick and James Watson explained the structure of DNA many have lauded it as the discovery of the book of life which many mainstream scientists still hold on to. However, after 5 decades when the human genome project came into picture, the book of life turned out to be considerably less extensive than had been anticipated. Instead of the expected 100,000 genes, it was proposed that it contains less than 30,000. It is believed that genes, along with environmental conditions, determine morphology and behavior. Often the environmental conditions are disregarded by many and they tend to assume that behavioral and cognitive traits are genetically transferred from parents to offspring and it runs in blood. When it can be true with respect to morphology; Intelligence and behavior and even the so called hereditary genetic illness need not necessarily be so.
Imagine that our genes were merely building blocks, and a greater intelligence is in charge of whether or not we can crack the toughest of the examinations with ease or throw a basketball from the free throw line and every time it’s a shoot, or die very early like your family members due to a genetic predisposition of a hereditary illness.
If you were hoping that am going to talk about god then in a sense YES. The collective consciousness that runs through everyone one of us pretty much meets every standard that qualifies one as god. We often tend to neglect it as a determinant.
Instead of our lives being determined by our genes, they are more likely determined by what science now calls Epigenetics. Our genes grow in a soup of resonant fields created by thoughts and intentions. Rupert Sheldrake, the noted biologist and author of over 80 scientific papers on the subject has been trying for long to break through this dogma. According to him:
Organisms inherit a memory from previous systems like how humans acquire behavioral traits from cultural and traditional conditioning. He calls this system MORPHIC RESONANCE.
“MORPHIC RESONANCE is a process whereby self-organising systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits. The hypothesis of morphic resonance also leads to a radically new interpretation of memory storage in the brain and of biological inheritance. Memory need not be stored in material traces inside brains, which are more like TV receivers than video recorders, tuning into influences from the past. And biological inheritance need not all be coded in the genes, or in epigenetic modifications of the genes; much of it depends on morphic resonance from previous members of the species. Thus each individual inherits a collective memory from past members of the species, and also contributes to the collective memory, affecting other members of the species in the future.”
– Rupert Sheldrake
It got way too technical didn’t it? Let me explain it in a simple way sans all the scientific jargon through the story I started this article with.
Pravesh is not intelligent because his parents were intelligent and they transferred it through their genes to him. He was intelligent because he grew up in a system/field that had intelligent beings (parents) right from his childhood. His brain developed in a highly intelligent environment which was a resonant field created by his parents by virtue of their cognitive and analytic abilities that earned them their places in India’s topmost technical institute.
Dr. Bruce Lipton, a controversial biologist, has pointed out that one set of gene blueprints can result in over 30,000 different possible outcomes. In multiple adoption studies conducted in the 1880s and 1990s it was found that children in the same family have an important causal role in gene expression, regardless of their biological origins.
Researchers found that even children who did not have particular gene combinations that would predispose them to certain types of cancer, but were adopted into families that had attitudes or prevalent emotions that resulted in this health outcome – also often developed the same cancers as their host families did. Social context also played a significant role in whether these adopted children developed a disease. It was surprisingly uncommon for the genes themselves to play out deterministic health scenarios.
Genes are not locked into a specific code. Gene activity, can change on a daily basis, and does. The heretofore accepted scientific paradigm of genetic determinacy is being turned on its head. As Lipton explains in a lecture:
In a study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, “after 8 hours, meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes. This correlates with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.”
There are now over 100 music neuroimaging studies from which it is clear that the brains of musicians and non-musicians differ. These relate to size, morphology, density, connectivity, and function that occur throughout the brain and support a range of cognitive processes that are often improved in musicians.
Now…does becoming a musician cause the brain to change, or do musicians have different brains to begin with? Try putting a pin there 😉
2. New Illuminati Blog
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