Who Am I? Who Are You? First, We Have To Count Our Cells & Circuits

This week there has been another spate of crackling new articles in the national media about a relatively crackling new theme: Our everyday lives as part of the grand biology of our planet.

Consider: “We’re All X-Men As Far As Genetics Goes,” “Testosterone & Self-Employment,”

“More Progress With Anti-Aging Frontiers,” all in current scientific journals; and “The Ends Of Science” [Wall Street Journal}, “The Biology Of Risk” [New York Times}, and my own personal favorite “Following The Beat of Your DNA Into Happy Marriages” [the Guardian].

Here’s what my DNA tells me about this burgeoning biology frontier. After Newton, the West thought of the planet in mechanical terms, now after Darwin in organic terms. As you and I fit into the great evolving organism known a Planet Earth, we are each a dynamic of neurobiologic forces that help explain [determine?] why we grow, eat, mate, vote, kill, create, believe and die as we do.

Whereas we once turned heavenward and asked the clergy to explain us to us [Medievalism], by the 21st C we have turned more earthward to ask our neurobiologists to explain us to us [Scientism]. So far they have come up with a remarkably impressive doctrine of answers [AKA, What’s your problem? Lets check your evolving cells, circuits and chemicals to find out!].

Two ways to read this media outpouring: (1) research like this opens the door to better understand ourselves and needed cures, or (2) research like this opens the door to the next logical steps toward a society of people where genetic engineering, bionics, and artificial intelligence can gradually re-create us in the image-and-likeness of advanced science.

Truth be told, there’s no reason to say the first result will inevitably lead to the next. Although, once you open the door to the first, how can or should you shut the door to the second….?

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