The Science of Existence (116) Genetics


Genetics is about how information is stored and transmitted between generations. ~ English geneticist John Maynard Smith

Genetics is much more than an inheritance or evolution mechanism. It is instead about architectural plans for every cell and organism, and of keeping track of both ancient history and current events. (As an empirical study, genetics is confined to physical artifacts. These nuclei acids and other molecules have no ipso facto import. Of significance are the energetics behind genetics (egenes), which show in organism traits and behaviors.) Genes provide both an encyclopedia of organismal knowledge and a ledger of current events, actively employed during a cell’s life to survive, and to chart the future.

As the presumed porter of heredity, genes were long assumed to control cellular replication and organism reproduction on a trait-by-trait basis. This proved both an exuberant exaggeration and a gross simplification.

Science becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal. ~ Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw

The intertwining of genetic elements – chemically, geometrically, mechanically, contextually, and temporally – is so intricate that the paradigms and terms used in this discipline are largely obsolete, even as they remain in place.

The discontinuity between terminology and actuality makes genetics an especially difficult subject to impart. The sophistic constructs espoused within the discipline are so askew as to spell obfuscation rather than cogency. What nevertheless comes through is a miraculously sophisticated molecular information storage and processing system to adaptively sustain and propagate life. What remains unexplained, as it proceeds unseen, is the coherence guiding the genetics gyre: the intelligent energetic force behind the atomic manipulations.

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Recipes for biosynthetic products, such as proteins, are stored as polynucleotides and chemically coded in DNA.

DNA is a history inside us – and yet one that is our master as well. We are indeed trapped in this particular vehicle of history as it is trapped in us. ~ Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink