Sunday Whirl – Gene Machines – March 18, 2015


“We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment.” Richard Dawkins


dry rustling leaves
upon a deck in spring
the whole season’s ’bout to bloom
ah – life is in blossom again …

don’t be plagued dear friend
that you were born because of genes
don’t think of it as blasphemy
that monkeys are our kin

why worry if you’re a gene machine
that keeps life’s genes afloat
(I found it more disquieting
to think I was a cell of god)

Richard Dawkins is so eloquent
when he talks of dawning life
but I like his scientific work far more
then his philosophic fluff

I’ll just look at our world and sigh
at the sweet beauty that is life
enjoying this opportunity
to breath in this morning sun

dry rustling leaves turning
pages of scientific books
I’ll not shed a tear
worrying about what is life.
Living is enough!

© ‘15

My husband was reading ‘The Selfish Gene’ recently and at one point he says that Richard Dawkins more or less states that since the first gene appeared it has been promoting itself making the process of evolution possible.  Of course the gene has no project or plan … just a constant urge towards survival and because the genes who can reproduce themselves best survive, they organize themselves into various complex organisms which has insured their existence and their reproduction throughout the billions of years since life began on earth – therefore all life is just a complex vehicle for the propagation of said genes. This idea rather sobered the man … “it’s not I who reproduces, but genes!” The sensation I got was that he felt rather used by said genes … but if they’re mindless et al … “Hey!” I said, “in the end, what’s really changed?  We’ve always been gene machines … so what?”

In the final analysis my point of view is … so what?

Whether we are a mass of atoms, molecules, proteins or genes etc. that in no way changes the me that is me.  I was born in the 50s and when I went to school I was introduced to the idea of genes, atoms and the primordial broth that somehow, without rhyme or reason, generated life.  Not having a religious background, I never worried that god wasn’t part of the scheme and I’ve never considered humanity as anything more than a part of the whole thing we call life.   I’ve always been curious though; how did that first spark, that spark that became known as the Big Bang, come about.   I’m not worried about the origin of organic life also because in the end, whether one agrees with this or that theory, we just don’t know how it all began and really, so what, why the flap?

 The Sunday Whirl Wordle Words are: rustling, tear, blasphemy, sweet deck plague, born, dry , monkeys, whole, keep


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