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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

3. On Cladistics

"...man - with the rest of creation - ascended from hades rather than stepping down from the Garden of Eden. Genetics has drawn a new map of hell, with mankind firmly placed in the suburbs." Steven Jones Language of the Genes p387

So this would be a double page spread in the 33 book. An illustration putting mankind in his place in the biological hierarchy of things. Maybe quoting something from the Classics about someone who got his comeuppance from an act of hubris...Icarus no doubt.

"Now a radical new logic has emerged. The DNA reveals that plants and animals lie close together. Mushrooms deserve a branch of their own, closer to animals than to plants. Most of the tree belongs not to the lords of creation, or even to mushrooms, but to the bacteria and their previously unrecognised relatives. They put humankind in its place, near bananas." p337

It has now been discovered that the human genome only comprises of around 30,000 genes. Even less than ...'the number of parts needed to build a modest executive jet' as Steve Jones put it. Now scientists are reassured by the complexity of recent discoveries by scientists like Marcus Pembury regarding epigenetics. Phew! Us humans are a bit more complex than our genome suggests.

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