The learning gene
In this article I would like to introduce you a new hypothesis about our aging processes over the past 150 years. To make you understand the development of our human race I need to give you some examples.
Around 150 years our ancestors were involved in a constant war for power and resources. In fact this has not changed at all. Our world is still at war but the name tags has been changed. In the past we called the opponents enemies, now we call them terrorists. But wars have been the source to develop new technologies. Most of the new communication we have is developed thanks to the military work. Another thing we thank to the military is the conservation of food. Solders had to have good food on the battle field. In the past many soldiers died of starvation until we found ways to keep food in a good shape for a long period of time. Transportation is also important to us. During war time transportation is vital for an army so lots of different ways to transport troupes have been developed. So much for the mass developments.
On the individual level the developments were more spectacular. Our minds and bodies have been changed in a never seen speed in human history. Our lifespan is increased from yet 40 to an expected 80 years. In many cases we become 2x older than 150 years ago. The elderly amongst us have seen the first phone develop into an android phone and saw a slow moving car change into a speed monster. Food we bought at the local market was only from our neighborhood but now we buy in supermarkets food from all over the world.
Our mind has gone through tremendous developments. Generations have seen the changes coming and change again, there was no and will be no stop to that. These changes needed adaption of our lifestyle. For example in the past we went to the public toilet and washroom in our living area. It was normal to share with others the place we did wash our clothing. These places were for common meeting sharing of news, mainly amongst women. Men went to a local bar or tea house to chat and spend time together in a social network. Currently we cannot even imagine to share the bathroom with another family or share our washing facilities. Our children will surely refuse to do so, for them it is crossing a line, an invasion of privacy, even in our current Chinese society. The children start to stop sharing and caring, the me is important ideology has become the prime behavior.
Are these changes only from behavior or the learned factor or are these changes embedded in our body or soul ? In the past we believed that we are born with genes on our chromosomes fixed with information that would not change during our whole life. But currently we know that all our genes are able to learn, to change and adapt to a new environment. A sample will explain this. People from around 35 years can go around well with the mobile phone and computer. Children of around 10 do go around with a mobile phone much faster than these 35-ers. How is it possible they understand even the most complicated technology so much easier than the 35-ers do ? The hypothesis is that their parents did learn their genes the information and they pass these through to their children without knowing this. With other words they thought their genes and these genes opened up in their children. These “pre-learned” genes give the advantage to the children.
We seem also to teach our genes the lifestyle we live. Do we live unhealthy, are we smoking, using drugs or special medicines, how much we drink and how often all these and so much more are registered in the database of our genes. Some selected information is burned into the genes others stay environmental and nurtured. Addiction is something that is burned into the genes practically always. One of our major disasters is alcoholism . Most children are born with a need and desire of alcohol but we dare to call it “tradition” . Smoking is something that is proven to damage DNA on our genes and due to that it is believed that cancer got a serious root to go from generation to generation. Our health will influence that of our (future) children and surely their brain capacity.
We all want to stay young, healthy, clever and attractive but our genes are the source of this. If our parents where poor , in bad health, not clever and not good looking we have the chance to suffer the same faith. BUT as the genes are learning over the borders of time it is possible that when the parents changed their lifestyle for the better during your youth they are able to reprogram the information in you so the next generation can be more healthy but your life will suffer the consequences of your parents. This is not as dramatic as it sounds, you do have a lot of influence on your own health and environment when you really make a job of that.
You probably ever heard the phrase “mind over matter”. Actually it is exactly like that. You are able to reprogram your genes by the power of your mind. By implementing a new lifestyle, creating new regular habits , change the current environment or adjust all to a certain level you influence the chemical programming of your own DNA / genes.
Arnaud van der Veere