Experience Changes Biology

SUBJECT: So we’ve had this
ongoing debate, right, nature versus nurture. And it asks the question are
we pre-written beings, are we pre-determined beings,
do our genetics dictate our fate, right, or are we
made by our environment, are we molded by our experience,
does language structure how we see the world, does
culture dictate who we become, are we molded and shaped
by the unfolding dynamics of interfacing with
our environment? This is sometimes
known as epigenetics, how literally things
that happen to you during your formative
years can transform how your genetic
structure is expressed. Experience can
change biology, OK. But recently this debate
has taken on new heights because some of
the new science– there’s an article called
The Social Life of Genes that talked about this, which said
that the idea of epigenetics actually goes much farther,
and that experience throughout our lives affects
our genetic expression. And the doctor, the researcher
quoted in the piece, actually the best way to describe it. He basically says, that our
cells, compose our bodies, are a technology for turning
experience into biology, that even the cognitive framing
that we give to an experience can change the
physical expression of our cellular biology. So that consciousness itself,
interpretation, storytelling, and framing, how we give
meaning to our lives, can actually have a real
effect at our genetic level, at the way our genetic
software expresses itself. And we’ve always heard
the bumper stickers that talk about the
power of the mind, or the power of
positive thinking, or the fact that we
can shape our reality, but this notion not just
effects genetic expression at one point in your life,
but throughout your life, means that you’re
constantly composing your own biological unfolding. I design, therefore I become. I’ve said it before,
I’ll say it again, but we are as god’s, my friends. And we might as
well get good at it.

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