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Time for R’evolution
Newton was born in a
manor house in the
village of Woolsthorpe
on Christmas day 1642,
three months after the
death of his father, a
farmer who signed his
name (also Isaac Newton)
with an X. Tiny enough
to fit inside a quart pot,
young Isaac was not ex-
pected to survive.
He did, of course.
from a source I didn’t note.
Egg Donor Needed
Couple seeks egg donor with 1420 SAT (1490 if
test after March ’95) or 33 ACT. 18-31 yrs. old.
5’5”-5’10”, attractive, athletic, and healthy. Grand-
parents Europe and at least one Jewish. Prefer
thick brown wavy hair and brown eyes. Donor
travels for screening and one week for retrieval.
Compensation $25,000 per retrieval. Email photos
and scores to Nancykp9@ AOL.com.
actual ad in Boston Phoenix
Look how far man’s come.
My my, has man evolved.
Does it represent a closure of some kind. . . . completion somehow . . . .
that life has come unto life? For man has reached the point of determining the façade and the formulation of life itself. Man grasps the microscopic mechanism and he touches some aminoic nuance and from the cell interpreted by human being there proliferates the variant of or addend to or deduction from or recombination in the human who results. Appearance. Intellect. Susceptibility. Receptivity. Genomic “gesticulations” now in addition to the grammar of man’s vast communication with his being . . . . . ????
There has been the time throughout many ages that man engaged in enhancements and ameliorations and corrections of his state of self. And so the sciences and medecines and humanities and even the philsophies and religions (the objectivities of the subjective spectrum) were the queries, quandries, statements and discussions, treatises and sermons . . . dogmas . . . .of the human dialogue and interactions with the encompassing dimension . . . . .the total sphere of his existence and of his being.
But now that man can (if you’ll allow) “proactively/creatorly-collaboratively” reconfigure the state of life itself, a different dimension of meaning should be involved in the language of involvement and the subtending awareness of existence. Yes, man can now design life. Genetic engineering. A marvel. More, a miracle almost. As if a sort of replication of a whole through idea enacted . . . we’ve realized the formulation of our beings and now we reformulate the modified being of ourselves through gene splicing or snipping or whatever.
How far man has come?
My, has man evolved . . . .
Does it represent a closure? A completion? A synergy? Exponential state achieved for and by man? For man can now even recreate in toto, we assume. CAN CLONE ! ( . . do we also see a particulate-level process of attempted existential – at least organic—perpetual motion of sorts . . . . ?)
Thus enabled by such existential reach and grasp and machinations, we’ve got the guy who’s announced to the world that he’s going to clone a human no matter what anyone or everyone else says . . . . .and there’s the other guys with their websites of eggs-for-sale-of-gorgeous-broads . . . and there are parents clamoring for designer children and there’s the furor over Einstein’s
enlarged brain part (parietal lobe) that might be selectable as an option for an offspring . . . . and there’s talk of new-car-ethos reproduction wherein body styles and parts can be ordered, specified, customized. And colors can be designated (skin, eyes, hair . . . heaven help us if abstract – worse, cubist – art comes to be conjoined with life designed and engineered.
Does it represent a closure or completion of some kind? That life seems to have become equated with object? New-car? Appliance? Appearance as raison d’etre? No, of course looks aren’t the only concern. For there’s the brain ( . . .”How much more for our baby to have an Einstein lobe?” . . .) and here we’ve come to equate life with a data processing device. So blindly we assess the mind as a mere computer, and restrict and constrict our realization to the mere “cyberneticization” of the neurons’ actually infinite ability to process being aware . . . .even unprogrammed by a single formula . . . . or even as might be characterized as “numerically dyslexic” . . . . . or “intellectually” oblivious
[see enclosed article on Bushmen]
What of the mastery of the manual, even the “menial” levels and pursuits of life? What of the classic value known as pride, the richness and expertise acquired from doing the job with excellence – any job. How narrowly we now perceive that only formal intellect and glamour or income are criteria to shape the paradigms for our genengineered, idealized populace to come or even for an individual kid. And don’t we realize the hierarchies all can fail and fall and cease? As long as there’s the infrastructure of society we’ll survive. It wouldn’t work for long the other way, would it?
Further, so much is the operant (as opposed to genius-creative as in theoretical math or fine art per se) level of the “hierarchy” based on what we’d call the “meme-pool” . . . . .
Richard Dawkins, Professor of Public Understanding of Science at
Oxford University coined the term (and concept) “meme” . . . “discrete
units of knowledge . . . .are to culture what genes are to life . . . (see
Time Magazine, 4/19/99 article for more information . . .quote above
A “meme” is an idea, concept, or belief that “replicates” by
transmission from one person to another. the term is meant to suggest a
“mental gene”, because current theories suggest that such ideas compete
for survival in a way analogous to the natural selection of genetics. Ex-
amples of ideas which have a strong ability to replicate include those
that encourage the holder to prosyletize new believers and those which confer strong social benefits. A good book for those interested in this
new area of science is Thought Contagion: How Belief Spreads Through
Society by Aaron Lynch [above ppg. from a website]
. . . . the “meme-pool” . . .the milieu of society including observation, inspiration, training, education, mentoring, and patterning and even inadvertent, sometimes outright accidental breakthrough and discovery. Accumulation of
and extrapolation from the pool of previous or peer research and ideation is often a primary factor in advance. He who gains the singular fame is often but a “facilitator of a field”, but with personality and publishability and promotability and temporality alligned to proclaim his contribution in a context of THE inventor or discoverer.
Also, what reductionistic elitism it is to absolutely equate position and profession and such with genetics. Across the spectrum of humanity, the intellectual potential of the professor or physician or designer, actor, even author may genetically reside. But there are the influences of parents, schools, the neighborhood and peers, and chance encounters that imprint directions and dimensions of the developing self. There are preferences and divergencies and distributions of roles and goals. There are delineations such as memory that would obviate even erudition from academic or professional application (I know, oh god how well I . . . . what’s the word? What was I going to . . .
oh yes, how well I know) Education, training, determination, diligence, uni-directedness, add these to preferences and influences as significant variables.
To assume that some proportionate or “parallel” genetic stratification subsumes our occupations and positions, even our manifested potentials, is absurd. Think. Prior to recent decades we almost all trace to the indistinct and indistinguished masses in some foreign land. Overwhelmingly man’s heritage and lineage derives from “levels” that we now disparage.
Finally, what about amazement, enthrallment, intrigue, fascination, just observation? Are not these domains of mind at least as precious as states of programmed intellectual data? And to what extent has intellect and expertise itself accreted through the ages due to imagery and inspiration and experimentation often unencumbered by factual stuff and strata? for how constantly the intellect and expertise of an age becomes outdated or discounted or even discredited with the advent of new ideas that reach beyond the data and dogma?
If by the agency of nature’s (granted) imperfect and “unindustrial” processes we’ve come to where we are in human being, to a seeming state of closure and completion (for better or for worse) or greater expansion (again,
take your pick),, evidenced by recognition of and interaction with existence almost in a metaphysical quantum-repositioning of ourselves. . . . . why the hell would anyone think we could accomplish more if we try to engineer and manufacture (genetically) just more of the previous unique components? (Just what would another Einstein do? Rediscover relativity or something? And how
much more science and its application can the earth sustain before man’s operational extrapolations actually shut down their terrestrial power-system?)
And short of cloning the whole, why would anyone think that the “combinance” of some genius or talent with his own genes would convey the exceptionality to the “designed-child”? Where, in the scope of mankind, are the dynasties (really, merely clusters) of artistry or eloquence or scientific formulation or invention? Blood lines (genes) convey the “canvas” of the geno-
and phenotype material, but the artistry of a life depicted, “painted” thereon (from primitive purity through the utmost mastery of form or “school”) derives from other than the matter-state alone, whether nature’s alone, or with man’s designing role as well.
Plato, Sophacles, Newton, Liebnitz, Darwin, Michaelangelo, Land, Wegener, Hawking, Bernstein, Beethoven, Wilde, Kurzweil, Westinghouse,
Gates and on and on and on we could go listing the, essentially, “one-shot” phenomena of exceptionality. “Blue-blood” ( . . to emphasize their noble blood, women of the
court of Luis XIV drew blue veins on their necks and shoulders . . . .Nat’l Geographic 1/2000) is a misnomer.
The lines are of “green-blood” and their corpuscles are monetary. Take away the wealth and position and there is no “higher level” for their beings. They’re just a bunch of related people. There are various of these “nepotistic constellations” (such as the Bach bunch to the Kennedy clan span - and many of the academic, political and other “institutional” concerns where expertise or renown really derive from rather formulaic productivity or positions facilitated by family, not familial, lines (think Harvard or, prior, access-nobility as “alter-
Could it be the only true operant significance of the gene is when there’s something wrong? And otherwise the structuring of our bodies and brains is within a span of “normality” in ability and inventiveness ? Then it could be that the formulation of the mind and of inventiveness and mastery involve something transgenetic, alligning with an almost metaphysical awareness and process . . . especially in the manifestations of creative mastery.
Thus, the gene may not be the chip of life’s program. . . just of life’s
Alone this far?
The furor and the quest involved in our genetics revolution seems based not only on a fallacy and misunderstading, but on the potential for danger. Was Orwell only off the mark datewise? Does engineering applied to the whole-human dimension inevitably translate to eugenics all over again (and remember what happened to an originally pro-
active and purportedly positive premise of U. S. science in the late 19th century . . . when it hit the agenda of the Third Reich . . . and even Tuskegee . . . .
Subtly, so subtly and insidiously . . . with such objectification, if not “appliancification” of life (looks, components, “data-bility”) what have we lost? Forgotten? Become blinded to? Come to commit some kind of heresy in?
Back on a previous page I used the word “meaning”.
How much do we ever think about the meaning of life, the meaning of the ever-changing dynamics of life from the mundane to the vast?
Of course there’s meaning recognizably implicit in the mix I’ve been considering above. As with other aspects of man’s collaborative role with his being (animal breeding and domestification, plant hybridization, chemical and elemental extractions and distillations and compoundings, medical treatments) genetic engineering can correct and enhance life. Inherited diseases may be pre-cured by removal of the mechanisms of inheritance thereof. Imperfections and worse screwups of nature’s profound but sometimes quality-control-challenged processes (such as dwarfism, spina bifida, displacements and distortions and dislodgements and disfigurements) may be cured through prenatal gene-tinkerings or componential remanufacture and/or replacements of organs and/or tissue.
So too, perhaps, paralysis will be passé as genetic science masters the regeneration of nerve cells (or achieves the ability to shut off the apparent inherent systematologies of chemicals that prevent natural regeneration or delimit generation from proliferation beyond a parameter-matrix not inclusive of injury-input adjustments).
Disease could become a mere state of inconvenience necessitating a few trips to the stem-cell clinics. “Replacement Body Parts Store” may be the new name of what used to be the local hospital (all of them soon to have gone bankrupt along with the HMOs and all). “Disease” will have become a term and concept as obsolete as “curse” or “sin” when you’ll simply go have a custom-generated replacement organ slipped in, even from time to time, as needed and the pharmaceudical industries will no doubt be the top corporate level of profit-derivation-chain therefrom.
Simply, genetic involvement should be of immense benefit to man if it’s used to help and heal and cure and even to provide some addend of aesthetic or erotic or longevic experience. We must keep genetic engineering as a tool to use on the parts. Let’s hope we don’t try to use the science as a wand to usurp the place of greater nature as creator of wholes.
Life, in part the essence, the whole if its meaning. should remain a realm above even the highest expertise and intention of man to manipulate and muddle.
My my how man has evolved.
Look how far we’ve come.
But it should be apparent from just these pages . . . . . .to account for life
solely by naturalistic (Darwinian) evolution whereby man could claim to be just a process and product entitled to unrestricted and unlimited enaction and involvement . . . . is simplisitic if not worse if not blind.
For there seems to be more to life, especially man, than the random and the “defacto” of selection without purpose or mind, or even theistic dimension
of being’s meaning.
Now that life has come unto life, are we not mandated to look to deeper meaning (inherent through life’s span) . . . and higher (so that we have some guidance now that we’re diddling with our total state of being?) . . . . . . .