6.23.2008

Should Your DNA Remain Hidden?
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This is a question that is germane in California. It doesn't impact us because we're not in the test-tube DNA assessment business. But one is reminded of the practices of a high priesthood, such as the devotees of Amun in Egypt who chanted up the essential unknowability of Amun who was nicknamed "he-who-is-hidden" or ironically, the "double-concealed"

From the Hymn to Amun in the Leiden papyrus:

"One who is Amun,
who keeps Himself concealed from them,
who hides Himself from the gods,
no one knowing His nature.
He is more remote than the sky,
He is deeper than the netherworld.

None of the gods knows His true form.
His image is not unfolded in the papyrus rolls.
Nothing certain is testified about Him.

He is too secretive
for His Majesty to be revealed,
He is too great to be enquired after,
too powerful to be known."

The essential mystery of Amun was a strong incentive to support the priests as intermediaries in this cosmic dialog between man and the unknown. Thomas Goetz, in Wired, inquires about the deeper meaning in this modern era where knowledge is being unbundled at an exponential pace. In fact, incredible breakthroughs are happening every day in our ability to access and share what's important and are still under the radar. But, as a question of public policy, shouldn't we be in charge of our own information?

Over the weekend, one of the top stories was "ADHD may have a genetic link." Scientists have discovered (in fact have known for awhile) that certain hunter-gatherers have a higher preponderance of short attention spans related to their genetic configuration...and that this was a positive for the last 99.9% of the human experience because it made these individuals more creative and successful at accessing resources, rather than being satisfied and sedentary, with health and aging implications as well.

Taking it a step further, a creative, but impulsive student might say to the teacher..."Sorry I didn't work on the journal project every day, it was just too long. My genes say I'm a hunter gatherer, and I'm programmed to zip from topic to topic like a sprinter. Here's my genetic report, sorry." Here's a case of genes impacting our environment.

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