Genes are an odd, potent figure. They’re primal yet with an intelligence that exceeds us, as if divine or advanced super alien. The body, we imagine, is stupid, always needing to be told what to do by our “selves” (there are of course proponents of body knowledge but those are the minority). Well, genes are even higher up the chain than these selves! They’re extra extra super duper special real smart commanding thingies. And very secretive–hence the need to “decode” them rather than, say, interpret them? Read them? Look at them? No, genes are so special that they don’t speak a normal language; they speak in alien code.
Hundreds of billions of dollars have gone into decoding the human genome. The idea is that these things we call genes are special messages that hold our fates; if we can decode them, we will finally know our fates. We’ll be face to face with the words of our maker! Of course, the same people who proffer such promises are precisely the ones who scoff at proponents of the Bible. The word of God! Ha! How silly! But these genes, well, they’re real!
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not discounting genes; I’m just trying to understand how we understand them–and really how I understand them as both a parent and the spawn of a father I never knew, now dead.
Posted by KWB wandering among the borderlands of the Ether.
- Home Machine Does Gene Copy (socyberty.com)
- Shutting Down the Extra Chromosome in Down’s Syndrome Cells (richarddawkins.net)
- Genetically Modified Humans and the Consequence of Exploiting Nature (wakingtimes.com)