"It's amazing how much 'mature wisdom' resembles being too tired." --Robert Heinlein

The Church of Reality




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Insights from Lost & Found

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genes and the possessive pronoun

I saw a blog entry in which a person despaired at his inability thus far to pass along his genes via reproduction.

Being a gay fella who has not yet reproduced, I am familiar with this line of thought.

But recently I've stopped thinking of the DNA inhabiting my body as "my" genes. I think it would be more accurate to say that I am the DNA's human.

I didn't do any work to create this DNA. I didn't purchase this DNA. I've done nothing that would grant me a property interest in this DNA. No, it's the other way around. This DNA created me. This DNA is responsible for me, this DNA owns me.

If I don't reproduce, that's not my fault, it's the DNA's fault for not creating a human who manages to reproduce.

Quite a liberating idea, I think. I get to live a fulfilling life, thanks to this superbly evolved DNA. But whether I reproduce or not is not. my. problem.


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