Saturday, May 17, 2008
Who are you, who who, who, who…?
The Embryology Bill is to be placed before the House of Commons this week. It is full of the most intractable issues but the one I’d like to ponder on here is the use of animal and human mixed gene experimentation. Being somewhat older in the tooth (but feeling every day younger in the brain), my mind becomes a surrealist’s delight of juxtaposed images culled from all my years of swimming in the black lagoon of culture as I think of this. Looking back there was Beauty and the Beast, the American import horror comics that I bought from my basin-cutting barber in his garden shed in County Durham, bug-eyed monsters in science fantasy magazines, films that preceded and then included the Alien trilogy, Mary Shelley, Franz Kafka and, more recently, the whole zombie-plague genre. (As a footnote to the last, I have, here in the womb of the Pyrenees, a satellite dish which brings in about a hundred free channels and there is a strange one called Open Access which is an unheralded and bizarre mix of poker, God and 1930s and 1940s long-forgotten films. Recently I was mesmerised by one called The Last Man on Earth, which was so badly acted you’d have thought the neighbours had wandered in for a game of charades but the plot prefigured George Romero, Danny Boyle, Cronenberg et al’s later oeuvres, in a remarkably satisfying way. It appealed both to my sense of myth and, at the same time, the sci fi nerd in me!). Meanwhile, leaving behind that digression, the Embryology Bill, I think, suggests that by terminating the mutations at 14 days, enough time will be allowed for scientists to test genetic fusions that may cure some of our worst and most heart-rending diseases.
Probably, like most people other than fundamentalists who believe God created everything, except our free will to play God (oops, another digression – I was amazed to read that the Pope’s Outer Space Spokesman is gestating the idea that God created aliens, too) I am somewhat distanced from any sense of emotion in this part of the embryology debate. We seem to be at a time in our evolution, as I have discussed before, where the species is beginning to refashion itself to meet the exigencies and calamities it and the universe have in store for it. Just as wheat is being genetically modified to handle the worst droughts or diseases, so the human species is modifying itself to handle the worst scenarios that face it, internally and externally, both on our current planet or in readiness for those to which we may have to migrate. One can see that a composite life form, a ‘Terrabeing’ may eventually emerge which is an offspring of everything that lives and breathes in the world today. And it is this extraordinary hybrid mutant that will colonise the near universe.
Imagine a world where there can be no racism, no sexism, no fundamentalism – in fact no isms or consequent wars – because we have all metamorphosed into Oneness!
The One will have inherited the earth!