At Gene Expression, Razib Khan considers the rise of epigenetics. Using Google Scholar, he searched to see how often the term was searched for between 1999 and 2009, as compared to "sexual selection" and "genetic drift," all concepts that he has considered to be "scientific deus ex machina." In addition, Khan searched for those terms in Google Blog Search, though he notes that there was a concurrent rise in the number of blogs during those years. Epigenetics has indeed had an increase in popularity, but sexual selection is still popular as well. "Articles about sexual selection offer up the opportunity for nice visuals. In contrast epigenetics gives you the chance to illustrate a methyl group," Khan notes. He adds that the science on epigenetic is just taking off but that he'd "bet that epigenetics doesn't overturn everything we know, rather, it will modulate on the margins."
Ooh, a Methyl Group
Oct 06, 2010