Saturday, October 18, 2014


“Science has discovered that, like any work of literature, the human genome is a text in need of commentary; for what Eliot said of poetry is also true of DNA: All meanings depend on the key of interpretation. What makes us human, and what makes each of us his or her own human, is not simply the genes that we have buried into our base pairs, but how our cells, in dialogue with our environment, feed back to our DNA, changing the way we read ourselves. Life is a dialectic.” – Jonah Lehrer, borrowed from Whiskey River

In the middle of reading a book written by an English Anglican Professor of Divinity, the author’s identity in such terms plus his choice of titles “God: A Guide for the Perplexed” being enough to discourage most Pentecostals from any exploration of it content, I stumbled upon the above quote elsewhere yesterday. Such statement, that the components of our basic physical structure actually communicate with each other, stirred the mental part of me into the deep, the creation, in any form, as much of a mystery as the Creator, all of it, in my opinion, just as worthy as Scripture in so far as divine revelation. Both come from Him and, if merged together through a relationship with the Holy Ghost, the anchor-line keeps us from drifting into outer space. “Dialectic”, I discovered, my ignorance of such term confessed, means “a process of reasoning based on the clash of one idea with its opposite, leading to a resolution of these ideas in the form of a truer or more comprehensive concept”. Jonah Lehrer, himself, that makes him really no one to quote; but it does turn out what he says here has truth to it. Not so much to the extent that this old man’s immediate translation of things imagined possible intelligence at such sublevels of humanity, another world existing within life as we perceive it to be; but most certainly enough “science non-fiction” to give wonder about it all. When I read of a process referred to as “metastasis”, tumor cells and normal cells engaging in conversation with each other, transmitting not merely individual words, but complete sentences, paragraphs, in fact, instruction on how to accomplish cancers deadly mission, it does not take me to some primordial soup, Adam no more than a microscopic amoeba crawling out of a swamp to eventually grow ribs and give birth to woman. It speaks to me only in the sense of reinforcement of that which He has already confirmed in other ways. Searching out the mystery is part of what and who we are, our head trying to determine truth, to better accomplish dominion over that which has been given us; but peace in the midst of it all, assurance that this is not all that there is, remains a “belly” connection, a whole “other’ ocean in which to swim……


  1. Truly amazing this stuff of genomes and cells. If I entertain the thought of retraining for any kind of medical career, research would be my choice.

    I'm reminded of that game called "Telephone" where the first person whispers a message in the ear of the second and then the second whispers into the ear of the third and so on. At the end of the line, the message has unintentionally been completely transformed.

    A direct line would be best.

    1. You have me thinking of reading this morning in "God: A Guide to the Perplexed", a book recently purchased. The author begins to share philosophies of Aristotle, Plato, and Augustine, and I noted in the sidelines how their words are meant to convince, but come across after awhile like Schultz's Peanuts image of the teacher talking to Charlie Brown: "Whaaah. whaaah, whaaah".

      Here's my link to Whiskey River. It's worked for more than a decade:

      Great mixture of quotes, one a day, but a continual evolving list that almost always stirs my thoughts in some manner...

  2. Btw, I've tried to add Whiskey River to my blog roll but it never seems to want to show up. Did you do anything fancy to get it to show on yours?