eureka! i’ve found the genogen!
the question of what drives evolution, which darwin did not quite answer, has at last been answered by humble me – indeed i don’t know why nobody thought of asking me in the first place. without any scientific education to get in my way i have clearly seen what painstakingly educated others have been made unable to see. i have seen the vast yet tiny genogen, that which gives rise to the gene!
but to show it to these scientific others, i must first show them the errors in their assumptions and persuade them to more productive lines of thinking. by their lights they seem to be doing quite well – darwin seems reasonably rational even this far on – but simple facts capable of causing massive paradigm shifts are being taken on board by scientists cheerfully intent upon not letting them so much as flutter the edges of their paradigms. specifically, the gist of the gaia hypothesis is pretty close to undeniable, that our planet is a life-form best regarded as a complex bit of biochemistry, a sort of planet-sized loose molecule, not as a dead stone with scum formed accidentally on its surface like slime on a rock. most people tend to agree in principle but then they keep theorising about the origin of species as if it made no difference.
okay, academics are scared of paradigm shifts, and if you let it, the gaia hypothesis causes something more like a paradigm quake of something quite scary on the richter scale, capable of shipwrecking careers, rendering expensive newish textbooks all but unresellable and requiring costly restructuring of undergraduate courses, and this is of course why nobody is willing to quite let it; but surely it’s unscientific not to examine some of its implications. as an aging hippy with no investment in academic serenity, and sublimely free from the necessity of supporting anything i say with scientific evidence, i’m a lot freer than most to enjoy the occasional cataclysmic paradigm shift, and if you want the truth, it’s what i spend most of my time doing. so let’s do!
if our planet is a living organism, isn’t the differentiation of its internal structures (species) as likely as those of any other living organism, including those within it, to be driven by a predetermined logic arising from its components, like that which orchestrates a human being’s development in the womb: to wit, genes? if darwin had been a single-celled organism with a single cell’s life span, but with human intellect, observing a rapidly dividing human embryo, wouldn’t he have seen the factors that minutely affect the development of that embryo affecting only its most superficial structures, and still never guessed that it was predestined by its genes to become a human being, and no amount of stress and promises of comfort could persuade it to grow into anything else?
darwin was a human being and he was watching the evolution of many, many different species, but because james lovelock had not yet written about gaia, he believed in the difference between ‘living’ things and ‘non-living’ matter, and could not see ‘living’ things as the interacting organs of a greater organism. since lovelock gave us the gaia hypothesis, unless we are unreasonable enough to reject it out of hand, we can no longer regard organisms in any other light. just as our internal organs are formed according to a predetermined pattern, so must be those of the greater organism whose internal organs gaia’s species are (loose analogy, i know, but you know what i mean).
within genetic diversity, the precise forms that our planet’s organisms assume, allowing for the wiggle room for superficial variation that darwin mapped so enchantingly so long ago, must be predetermined when planets are born. dogs may be smooth or hairy, large or small, variously coloured, friendly or fierce, but just as in the human derived from a single cell there will be a liver and feet and ears, so on a planet there will be dogs or recognisable equivalents, and also trees, and apes; and despite variation, all dog-like creatures will have basically the same features which will distinguish them from members of all other species. butterflies will all be distinguishable as butterflies, although environmental factors might affect superficial features such as wing-colour, size and flower preferences. who knows, their may be scads of planets of the same species as gaia, and just as english dogs have more or less the same body plan, the same arrangement of internal organs and external features such as limbs, head and tail as australian dogs, so earth-like planets elsewhere in the cosmos would have recognisable dogs, tree, butterflies and well, why not, even aging hippies, at least during the instar equivalent to the one ours is now in. at every scale, major alterations to genomes and, uh, genomogenomes resulting in new species of planets and within planets etc, would be predetermined, driven just as mechanistically (though the mechanisms be myriad) by genes, just as the differentiation of tissues in the formation of organs in a developing foetus is.
so where are these genogens, these generators of genes? easy! just as the generators of the features of cells are within cells (genes), so the generators of the features of genes are within genes. cells are made of molecules including those that constitute genes. the molecules that genes are made of are made of atoms, so it seems obvious that the genogen that orchestrates genes is within atoms. well it does to me, anyway.
atoms are passionate things, moody in fact, when you think of it. they have traits. calcium on its own is a tranquilizer, emanating tranquility. iron is sad – dyers used it as a mordant to ‘sadden’ (subdue) overly bright colours. tin is giggly. they form dynamic molecules, which actually ‘behave’. some are rapacious, others slow and sly, some predatory, snatching others whenever the conditions are right – you can’t keep a good atom down. the innards of atoms are currently being explored in particle smashers that, clumsy as they still are (it’s a bit like using a sledge-hammer to explore the innards of a mouse), reveal to us something of the inner complexity of atoms, their organism-like inner arrangement etc. surely no one doubts that their internal arrangements are responsible for the forces they exhibit that determine what compounds they can participate in. why then wouldn’t they determine this all the way from the singularity to the flea in my ear about it?
within our planet’s atmosphere, rich as it is in so very much so very busy process, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen can’t help but get together and start making babies, which sooner or later evolve into biologists, and start playing chess and doing cryptic crosswords. the maths required to describe it would be mind-boggling – and maths was never my forte – but that’s no reason to shirk. who would have believed that a tiny non-descript elephant zygote could come up with an elephant, not just one, but every one, if scientists hadn’t seen it with their own technologically assisted eyes. but since it’s true, why believe that the effect of these genogenic forces would not be continuum, determining all the features of all species of planet and star, galaxy and cosmos, from the greatest celestial entity and infinitely ever outward to the internal features of subatomic particles and infinitely ever inward, down to stephen hawking’s little old lady’s last tortoise. darwin can account for shorter or longer trunks among elephants, but not for elephants. my theory of genogens within atoms has the potential to account not only for elephants, but also for planets, stars and galaxies.