God Said Man Said

Epigenetics and More Sins of the Father

The sins of one’s parents being passed down to the third and fourth generation is somewhat disturbing. The idea of being handcuffed to another’s deeds is not new to students of the Scriptures. It began when Adam and Eve sold their progeny, you and me, to sin.
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Epigenetics and More Sins of the Father

Article#: 1399

Romans 14:23:

            ...for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Understanding that unbelief and doubt are Biblical definitions of sin, one should also understand that eliminating unbelief and doubt is central to Godly success.  Full and functioning gospel power to lay hands on the sick, to cast out devils, to speak with new tongues, and to live a victorious life all require childlike faith.  Nothing good happens in the Kingdom of God without faith.  It’s the currency of the Kingdom.  Romans 10:8-11:

8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

This is GodSaidManSaid feature article #635.  Once again, it will prove the full supernatural inerrancy of God’s Holy Bible.  All reasonable doubt has been removed.  Have you been born again as Jesus Christ declares in the gospel of John, chapter 3?  Will you allow the seed of faith that lies within you to spring forth and conquer all your sin and shame, and break the back of Satan’s bondages?  Are you ready to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s only begotten Son and your redeemer?  If you have said yes, then today is your day of salvation.  Click onto “Further With Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  Do it now.  We’ll wait for you here.  Now for today’s subject.

GOD SAID, Exodus 20:5:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

GOD SAID, Exodus 34:7:

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

GOD SAID, Galatians 6:7:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

MAN SAID: The Christian God is irrelevant.  His supposed Bible is irrelevant, and His book has no relevant information.

Now THE RECORD.  It’s amusing to the childlike in Christ when they see that man’s science begins to get a grip on a subject, they find themselves already there.  How did an irrelevant book authored by an irrelevant God beat man’s science to the punch every time?  Thousands of years before man begins to understand, the concept is declared in the Word of God.  This should be proof enough that God is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligenty seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), but to the critics, it simply falls on deaf ears.

Welcome to GodSaidManSaid, where over 600 features shout yes to God’s Word, and where the Bible is confirmed by outside-Biblical sources such as ancient histories, societal records, psychology, biology, anthropology, archaeology, mathematics, etymology, geology, etc., etc.  All of these features are archived on this site for the edification of the saints and as ammunition in the battle for the souls of men.  Every Thursday evening, God willing, they grow by one.  At no charge, you can download every feature to your iPod.  At no charge, you can use the Send-To-A-Friend feature (above) to send a gospel tract to someone you love.  At no charge, you can use the GodSaidManSaid search feature (above) to find answers to your questions.  Just type a keyword to your question in the search bar and hit enter.  The screen will then populate with subjects for you to examine.  Thank you for coming today.  May God’s face shine upon you with Light and Truth.

No matter how skeptics wrangle around, they end up here.  They inadvertently confirm Holy writ.  A beautiful short list of inadvertent confirmations follows:        

  • Yes, science postulates that there was light before the sun.
  • Yes, there was a beginning.
  • Yes, man is made out of dirt.
  • Yes to one common mother of all mankind.
  • Yes to one common father of all mankind.
  • Yes to Adam’s rib.
  • Yes to man and dinosaur living contemporaneously.
  • Yes to giants on the earth.
  • Yes to Noah’s ark and the global flood.
  • Yes to the tower of Babel and the world once speaking a common language.
  • Yes to Abraham.
  • Yes to Sodom and Gommorah.
  • Yes to Joseph the king maker.

And imagine: those are just a few confirmations, and we’re still in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.  When skeptics look deep enough they end up here.

A quick review of the GodSaidManSaid feature, “The Sins of the Father,” which is foundational to today’s subject, follows:

The devastating effects of parental disobedience are far-reaching and just beginning to be seriously studied via the new science of epigenetics.  This new science is turning old science on its head.  Epigenetics is rewriting the rules of disease, heredity, and identity.

The sins of the mother during pregnancy, birth, and onward into the child’s development, are somewhat well-known, such as passing on to her children venereal diseases, as well as the effects of alcohol, smoking, the lack of breast-feeding, etc., etc.  But, the father seems to have escaped the scrutiny of the investigators.  The headline in the March 29, 2008 issue of Science News reads, “Dad’s Hidden Influence.”  The subhead reads, “A father’s legacy to a child’s health may start before conception and last generations.”  The following excerpts are from that feature article:

How a man lives, where he works, or how old he is when his children are conceived doesn’t affect their long-term health, scientists used to think.  But growing evidence suggests that a father’s age and his exposure to chemicals can leave a medical legacy that lasts generations.

Babies of firefighters, painters, woodworkers, janitors, and men exposed to solvents and other chemicals in the workplace are more likely to be miscarried, stillborn, or to develop cancer later in life, according to a review in the February Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology.

Fathers who smoke or are exposed at work to chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons put their children at risk of developing brain tumors.

And, older fathers are more likely to have children with autism, schizophrenia, and Down syndrome and to have daughters who go on to develop breast cancer.

Though some of these observations are decades old, attitudes lag even further behind, says Cynthia Daniels, a political scientist at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey.  Dads aren’t held accountable if something goes wrong during fetal development.

The author goes on to explain why dads haven’t been held accountable:

Since men make new sperm every 74 days, people used to reason, the genetic slate is wiped clean every couple of months.  And even if a man makes defective sperm, the “all-or-nothing” view of reproduction holds that damaged sperm don’t fertilize eggs.  No harm.  No foul.

So no one bothers to remind men to protect themselves against environmental toxins.  There are no images of “crack dads” and “crack babies” in the media like those of women who harm developing fetuses with drug and alcohol use, Daniels said in February at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held in Boston.

When someone does study fathers-to-be, the focus is usually on fertility, not on the consequences for children’s health, she says.

The article continues:

Some animal studies showing paternal effects emerged years ago but were roundly dismissed, says Gladys Friedler, professor emeritus at Boston University.

Four decades ago, Friedler was studying tolerance to narcotics, one of the first steps of addiction.  To find out if a mother rat could pass tolerance on to her offspring along with antibodies and other immune factors, as some scientists theorized, Friedler exposed female rats to morphine before pregnancy.  Babies of exposed mothers were born much smaller than average.  And those babies also went on to give birth to tiny babies, even though the offspring had never encountered the drug.

Friedler also gave male rats morphine before they bred.  “To my total disbelief and bewilderment, paternal exposure also affected progeny,” Friedler said at the AAAS meeting.

Her adviser dismissed the result.  Morphine doesn’t cause mutations, so the idea that males could hand down a trait without passing along a mutation seemed preposterous.

But in recent decades, scientists have discovered that chemical modifications to DNA and proteins can change the way genes are packaged and regulated without changing the genes themselves.  Such modifications are known as epigenetic changes.

Epigenetic modifications act as a molecular scrapbook, preserving memories of events in parents’ lives and handing them down to the next generation and beyond.

“There’s a chromosomal memory,” says Anne Ferguson-Smith, a developmental geneticist at Cambridge University in England.  “The chromosomes remember whether they came from the mother or the father.”

Male mice exposed to cocaine, for example, pass memory problems on to their pups, a 2006 study in Neurotoxicology and Teratology shows.  The male mice inhaled cocaine in long daily sessions akin to crack binges.  When they mated with females never given coke, they had pups that had trouble learning and remembering where to find food in simple mazes.  The problem was especially severe for female offspring.  The researchers couldn’t find any obvious DNA damage in coke-smoking males’ sperm, but did find altered levels of two enzymes involved in the methylation of DNA in sperm-producing tissue in the father mice.  The result suggests that epigenetic changes may be responsible for the offspring’s behavior problems.

He can prove that male rats exposed to a fungicide in the womb can pass tumors and diseases of the prostate and kidney down for at least three generations.  The rats could provide the first model for how prostate disease is inherited, he says.

Male babies born to mothers that had been injected with fungicide had prostate problems that mimic those seen during human aging.  The second-generation rats also had more tumors, kidney defects, and higher rates of abscesses, cysts, and other infections than unexposed control rats.  Germ cells in the testes of exposed rats also died more quickly than those in the control rats.

Subsequent generations of male rats also had the prostate and testes defects, and both male and female offspring developed kidney problems and tumors.

But only male rats could pass along the defects.  The exposed rats bequeathed their fungicide legacy to their sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons even though none of the later generations was exposed to the chemical.  [End of quote]

The April 6, 2013 issue of Science News published a multi-page feature titled, “From Great Grandmother to You,” with the subhead which reads, “Epigenetic changes reach down through the generations.”  A few excerpts follow:

Their very name, epigenetic, literally means “over and above” or “beyond” genetics.

When these changes are inherited, scientists have found, the implications can be staggering.  Part of your risk of disease may be determined by what your great-grandparents ate, not just the genes they passed on.

Investigating how those marks travel to future generations is a new twist in the field of epigenetics.  Originally, epigenetics researchers focused on the developmental processes that allow individual cells to specialize despite the fact that all the cells have the same DNA.  It turned out that chemical tags that get stuck to DNA or to the proteins around which DNA is wound can influence gene activity without altering the genes themselves.

Until fairly recently, scientists have thought that every new generation starts with its own freshly printed genome, devoid of epigenetic embellishments.  That’s because shortly after fertilization, vestiges of epigenetic tags hanging from the DNA of eggs and sperm are wiped away, leaving a clean slate.  New marks are made as the embryo develops, and over the course of a lifetime some can change.  But then scientists began to document cases in which inheritance of a particular trait did not follow the usual rules of genetics, hinting that at least some epigenetic marks may be carried on to new generations.

Michael Skinner was among the first to document that certain chemicals could produce health effects across multiple generations without altering DNA.  Exposing a pregnant rat to chemicals that disrupt the action of sex hormones could produce fertility problems that lasted at least to her great-great-grandchildren’s generation, his group reported in Science in 2005.  Those problems were transmitted through the male line, apparently by way of chemical tags called methyl groups on DNA.  (Many researchers study DNA methylation because it is more easily examined than other epigenetic tags, of which there are many.)

Evidence supporting that idea appeared in Nature in 2010.  Rat fathers that ate a high-fat diet and became obese before mating passed along a propensity to become diabetic to their daughters (but not their sons), researchers in Australia reported.

Something in the dads’ high-fat diet apparently caused a change in methyl tags on DNA in the fathers’ sperm that was then passed on to the daughters.  It was direct evidence that diet or other environmental factors could influence epigenetic marks in sperm, escape the epigenetic reset at fertilization and affect the health of offspring.

Estrogen isn’t the only chemical that can pass its health effects down through generations.  Researchers in Skinner’s lab tested the effects of a variety of chemicals on ovarian health in rats.  The team exposed pregnant rats to doses of chemicals people might encounter in everyday life.  One was vinclozolin, the fungicide that gave de Assis the idea for her experiments.  Among the others were various components of plastics, including bisphenol A; pesticides such as permethrin and the mosquito repellent DEET; dioxin; and jet fuel.

All of the chemicals studied led to an increase in ovary problems, including fewer eggs and more cysts, that lasted at least until the great-granddaughter generation, Skinner’s team reported in May 2012 in PLOS ONE.  The increase in ovarian disease was accompanied by persistent changes in DNA methylation patterns in ovarian tissue.

Some of the treatments led to 100 percent of the great-granddaughters developing ovarian cysts.  “There is no genetic mechanism that will give you that level of disease.  None,” says Skinner.  “Some of our phenomena are so robust we couldn’t explain it with genetics even if we wanted to.”  [End of quote]

The sins of one’s parents being passed down to the third and fourth generation is somewhat disturbing.  The idea of being handcuffed to another’s deeds is not new to students of the Scriptures.  It began when Adam and Eve sold their progeny, you and me, to sin.  Each of us inherited that carnal, sinful nature, but God sent Jesus Christ to break the chain of our bondage.  Jesus called it born again.  Through this process we are literally born a second time, this time of the Spirit, and become sons and daughters of the living God.  All the chains of carnal inheritance, even epigenetic ones, are broken.  Consider the following verses:

II Corinthians 5:17:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Ephesians 2:1-2:

1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:

2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

James 1:17-18:

17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

John 3:3:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

God has the answer to the dark side of epigenetics: His name is Jesus Christ.  Thousands of years before man and his science begins to understand, the children of faith are already there.

GOD SAID, Exodus 20:5:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

GOD SAID, Exodus 34:7:

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

GOD SAID, Galatians 6:7:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

MAN SAID: The Christian God is irrelevant.  His supposed Bible is irrelevant, and His book has no relevant information.

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

GodSaidManSaid, "The Sins of the Father"

Saey, T.H., "From Great Grandma To You," Science News, 4/6/2013, vol. 183, No. 7, pp18-20

 

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