In a recent commentary published in Cell, UK biologist Adrian Bird compared epigenetics with Lamarckian evolution. He also presented extensive discussion on why epigenetics is bad science and the claims are hyped up.
The same sentiment has been echoed by respected biologists including Eric Davidson, Mark Ptashne and numerous others. I posted a comment here along the same line, but another biostar member said it was "a minority opinion".
Ptashne, Hobart, Davidson: Questions over the scientific basis of epigenome project
Ptashne: Epigenetics: Core misconcept
i) Epigenetics is junk science pretending as real biology and so is intelligent design. Yet when I search for epigenetics in Biostar, I find 76 hits, but no real hit for intelligent design. Where is the line drawn?
ii) Given that three persons up-voted other member's comment ('minority opinion') against only one for mine in the previous discussion, does that suggest that Davidson, Ptashne and Bird are wrong and should be ignored? Why do journals still continue to publish their commentaries, if they are wrong?
I see the rise of ominous trend like Lysenkoism through popularity of this nuevo-fad of epigenetics.
Edit. The discussion we have below is known as Socratic method of questioning. We tried to answer a question and hopefully learned about epigenetics in the process.
The Socratic method (also known as method of elenchus, elenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas.
So, yes, Socrates was very much in my mind (like a commenter mentioned), because Biostars only allows Q-A format. Thank you all for participating.
One hallmark of Socratic questioning is that typically there is more than one "correct" answer, and more often, no clear answer at all.
The biggest problem with 'epigenetics', as we found through the course of discussion is that the 'term' means many things to many people. With so many definitions, everyone will find a few good and bad papers on the topic.