You are currently browsing the archives for the genetics category.
The Origin of Faith
The source of all human behaviour lies in our genes. It is our genetic material that induces us to laugh, cry, sing, love, hate and fight. Here too, is the birthplace of belief—in witchcraft, astrology, economics and aliens; in Tarot cards and tea-leaves; in gods, angels and devils; in luck, voodoo, and things that go… Continue reading
Evolution’s Gamblers – diagnostic profile
FAMILY NAME: …… Hominidae AGE: ……………….. about 2.5 million years old PROFESSION: …… gambling MAIN BET: ………… that they have ‘dual existence’ ODDS AGAINST: …. 20 million to one (minimum). When modern members of this family bet on racehorses they tend to recoil from bets that involve odds that are much greater than 50 to… Continue reading
HYDROGEN: Life’s Maker and Breaker
The Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky proposed life as a dynamic extension of the Earth’s crust and a by-product of the chaotic gradient that mediates between the energy-rich body of the planet and the void of galactic space. Since hydrogen is the basic energy courier of the cosmos, this proposition supports the contention that life too,… Continue reading
Free will? … It’s a genetic Illusion.
Human behaviour is widely believed to be founded on conscious rational thought, an asset that allows us to choose and modify our behaviour on a continual basis. It’s a unique characteristic that supposedly separates our species from all other animals. Yet if you switch off the language sound track and observe human behaviour in total silence, it’s… Continue reading
EVOLUTION on a Geological Timescale
Evolution timescale A diagram of the geological and biological time scale showing the major milestones in the 4.6 billion-year life of our planet. Download Evolution timescale the full diagram
Tree of biological evolution
Evolution is the process by which organisms diversify. It enables them to harvest energy from sources that lie beyond the reach of their competitors. “Evolution is not progress, It’s just middle-age spread!” Download the full diagram.
Epigenetics – DNA’s mastercode
DNA is subject to an overriding mastercode in the form of hydrogen-loaded carbon tags that are attached at various points along the side rails of the double helix. These carbon tags (CH3) determine whether or not particular genes or groups of genes are available for transcription. Their pattern of attachment is known as methylation and… Continue reading
Despite intensive research the collapse of US bee populations remains largely unexplained. Two species of mite have been implicated in some of this carnage, but about a quarter of the cu rrent decline seems unrelated to any specific cause. A variety of agencies have been suggested, but t he multiplicity of potential villains suggests t… Continue reading
Music of the Spheres
Many years ago I went to Sydneys magnificent Opera House to hear the citys symphony orchestra and massed choir perform Beethovens Ninth. As the house-lights dimmed and the orchestra launched into the first movement I became aware that I was listening, not just to human beings, but to a congregation of very talented chimpanzees. With… Continue reading
The Diary of ‘YOU’ – “Four billion years of human evolution”
As a by-product of genetic evolution, the birth of our species is inextricably linked to the evolution of the planets biosphere and its dazzling biota. The Diary of You unfolds this sequence of biological mile-stones as a uniquely personal narrative. The 4.6 billion-year life of the planet has also been matched here against a one-year… Continue reading
Plague Species – The Spirit in the Gene
“Our timebomb is mysticism. Its delivery system is language. And its hiding place? The unfathomable coils of our DNA.” (The Spirit in the Gene, 1999) With the aid of photographs, diagrams and graphs Reg Morrison summarises the massive impact that humans have had on our planet and explores the evolutionary and genetic origins of the behaviour… Continue reading