Alan Kapuler was kind enough to send me this previously unpublished article which I really love. Be sure to pass it around my friends and be sure to check out Alan Kapulers Peace Seeds for some great genetic gardening material!
Evolution is learning by AMK 5-2-07
(A new paradigm from Jonathan Weiner that appears in his book Time, Love and Memory, a story about perhaps the greatest geneticist among humans that we know about who lived on this planet.)
What a strange thing, evolution; poorly understood,
highly criticized; mainly by folk who are afraid,
afraid of what, learning?
And so it goes, new discoveries, uncovering unities hidden in the manifolds of disunderstanding.
The life we all get comes with childhood and youth, the times and our genes and the issues that conjunct over bigger time spans than our lives and perspectives allow.
Every once in a while an integration occurs.
The discussion of evolution, from Darwin and his allies, detractors and commentarians to the folk who know little and care less but have strong opinions about life, god and country, would improve were the nature of genetics, genomes and genes better understood.
This is a genome friendly era. We know the complete genomes of hundreds of the microbial bacteria, archaea and their viruses. Many dozens of eukaryotes from fungi to animals to plants have their gene sequences on chromosomes known with most areas assigned to functions, activities and locations. The human genome is well mapped and increasingly explored.
This gives us unprecedented ability to compare what has happened in the journey from intelligent macromolecules to cells, from cells to micro-organisms, from tiny creatures of a single cells to ones like us with more than 60,000,000,000,000 cells.
And this experiential record of life, written in the genes from time before time, and carried within each one of us, this immense multigenerational saga about survival and adaptation, about memory and love, about selection and direction, this process of evolution is what we have learned that stuck with us to give us this life at this time.
We call it evolution and it stands for learning.