mutation biological and otherwise

Here’s another lesson from biology. Again it’s not a biology lesson but a cursory, semi-informed look at scientific research that, I for one find, inspiring or possessing (non-scientific) existential value for further meditations.

In this fascinating, real-life experiment it’s discovered that a life-enhancing mutation was made possible by a seemingly meaningless mutation thousands of generations earlier.

cobra mutant


Maybe I should present it in a fictional style — perhaps something along the lines of
Zelazny’s Bridge of Ashes. Not that I disagree with the critics who said it wasn’t Zelazny’s best and seemed to agree about its flaws.

Here’s the science story.
It’s one I find especially intriguing. Not so much for the implications it has for biologists (not being one myself), or because it may help settle a widely disputed detail in the theory of evolution. For me, it is fascinating as some kind of metaphor, or allegory, or trope — even though I’m not sure what it’s an analogy for. Nonetheless, it strikes me as something very cool and I suspect very important in realms far outside of the field of evolutionary biology.

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Inheriting the consequences


Here’s a lesson from biology. It’s not a biology lesson but a cursory, semi-informed look at scientific research that, I for one find, inspiring or possessing (non-scientific) existential value for further meditations.

There’s lots of lessons to learn, because there are lots of questions that are looking for answers.

Am I afraid of spiders, or snakes because people around me, inadvertently perhaps, taught me as an infant to fear them? Recent headlines suggested that scientists have discovered that my fears may be based on memories inherited from an ancient (perhaps prehuman) ancestor. Could that be true?

cobra-hd


Is it nature or nurture? It’s an old debate. What conditions us more, our biological inheritance or our social conditioning? Are intelligence, sensitivity, creativity, tolerance, kindness, mental health, etc a result of our genes or our up bringing. “Both” is a legitimate answer but leaves pending the question of which is the deciding factor. Can one of them override the other?


well…

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