Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Jin Within

Blame it on DNA or Sociobiology

A miniature god within

“Go on propagating me by replications” commands the genes inside, from virus to whale obey as if they are mere slaves, slaves of the master code that lies within –the genes. You are worth your genes all others mere farce, Robert Trivers had told it. There are hundreds of established scientists who support this. All animals including human beings live only to obey the command, “replicating and protecting and spreading their genome”(The specific genetic code to each being)

Genes and the DNA

Ever heard of these genes or the DNA? The author had only a vague idea of it, once heard in the biology classes. This article is not intended to go deep in to the scientific details of the genes. It is some sort of acid, as the full form denotes De-Oxi ribo nucleic acid the genetic code responsible for the shape and texture of each being. But the enigma by name DNA is much smarter than what we have thought or what we studied in the college.

The original corporation

It is like a corporate giant of the present age like Microsoft or Toyota but far smarter and older. The common factor present in all corporate bodies is the urge to grow, spread its wings still wider and capture all the markets in the world. Their competitors are there to be eliminated! People behind a corporation come and go but, it remains and goes on growing. The gene that is present in a being utilize the animal to replicate itself, protect itself and to spread itself far and wide. When its purpose is over it discards the host being as a spent power.

Mere puppets

Let us take one Thomas, whose genetic code is “T”. This T gene wants to replicate and spread making the most popular gene in the world, poor Thomas does not know what his gene is up to, he is only a puppet in the hands of the “T” genes. Like Thomas like Mathew he is for the spread of “M’ genes! They pull and push poor “carriers” like Thomas and Mathew to realize their ultimate aim –replicating and spreading respective genes.

Thankless children

Parents who love their children are inadvertently nurturing their replica of genes! A child loving its parents expect parents’ love so that its gene is nurtured, when it grows and ignore the parents mean that parents have no further role in “this gene nurture process”, A boy loving a girl wants his genes to be replicated! One stand for the defense of his brother (brotherhood we call) because brother’s genes are close to ours and it should be defended!

The sociobiology

Sociobiology is a mixture of psychology, biology and some hypotheses that seeks to establish that the social behavior of animals is based on genetic coding (structure of the genes) or otherwise genes are so programmed like a computer. And the sole purpose of living is to propagate the DNA –the master code one is endowed with. Virus can be cited as an example it has a sole duty enter in to a host’s body and make the host to replicate the virus’s DNA! Xenophobia (hatred towards people of other locality or tribe) by these rules is the tendency of genes to eliminate other genome (a la GM v/s Toyota affair).

Some relief to man

The socio biologists however are kind enough to give some respite to human beings where the genetic influence is not so binding as human social behaviors are mostly controlled by facultative genes. Facultative genes are influenced by environment -they say to our great relief, the role of education arises here. What would have been the case if human beings were un educatable! They also attribute the role these facultative genes play in some of the extraordinary behaviors of human beings (found in great men and notorious criminals).

In the eye of a storm

As expected theologians and philosophers of that time were very much upset by these hypotheses which (they called it pseudo science) had many scientists and scientific explanations for its back support.

Fortunately these theories did not get much popularity among ordinary people. It was Edward Wilson the Harvard zoologist who made the “sociobiology” so popular and set the storm that raged for some time through his well known work ‘Sociobiology; The new synthesis”.

Because the genes were so programmed

Edward Wilson has narrated the reaction one man who got award for saving a person from drowning. That man in a letter addressed to Mr. Wilson, expressed his dismay in in the ideas as his action could be explained as merely a work of the genes (he did it because his genes were so programmed –was too much for the poor man to bear).

It makes no less great

As per Wilson that man found it difficult to grasp the idea that his noble and selfless action –saving other man’s life risking his own was something preordained through his genes. Wilson’s suggestion to that person was that impulse behind his rational choice, though genetically determined, in no way detracted from the rationality and value of his altruistic act, (the great ness of his action in no way is diminished even if it was the result of being a genetic setup).

Education in various hues

Several Millenniums were required for apes to get transformed in to human beings, the present shape and present psyche and everything, while animals were asleep man was wide awake and he went on changing all through the time. It was a sort of education that was imparted in to the passing generations that changed the equations, the wild genes got a “faculty” for its education (faculty gene). Robert Trivers called it faculty genes, Pavlov called reflexes, whatever that be, the differences between man and animals persist and it is this difference that is the some total of all the civilization man has acquired so far.

The arguments put forward by the socio biologists stay relevant as far as parents are left unattended by their own siblings after their role in the genetic nurturing is over and when much blood is shed in the name of “tribal wars” and “ethnic strife”. Perhaps the “faculty genes” they have may be in need of some instant coaching in spirituality.

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