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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Who are You? Mark 2

For those who haven’t read it, Richard Dawkins‘ book, The Selfish Gene, suggested that the flesh and blood persons that you and I are, do not necessarily represent primary life forms. This honour goes to our genes. They ride our bodies through countless lives, reproducing and refining themselves as they transfer from host life to host life, for some survival purpose that seems beyond our conjecture. Curiously, we are at a point in this invisible journeying within us, where we can intercede and block our genes’ implacable progress. Not only can we choose to be childless (a kind of ya-booh response to discovering we have been duped!) but we can modify our genes and, thereby, remodel ourselves as hosts (the ultimate cosmetic surgery). Is this a point that the genes are programmed to reach – the point where mastery of the future is transferred to us as hosts such that we can mutate as we wish, to meet whatever faces us? Or will we be, as history suggests, merely the victims of a consummate evolutionary double bluff?

Next time we watch a Family Tree programme on TV, imagine that in some mysterious way our genes are also aware of it, amused at our ignorance of their latest ‘spin’ in underwriting our misplaced self-importance or, more correctly, self-impotence.

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