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Philosophical Leanings

Patrick O'Neil patrick at corona
Tue Apr 18 22:57:36 EST 1995

On Tue, 18 Apr 1995, David P. Frazier wrote:

> > 
> > Ain't no philosophy to it; life is simply the phenomenon accompanying 
> > the propensity of nucleic acids to make more of themselves.
> > 
>    Characterizations which equate humankind and its activities with the
> replication of viral nucleic acid may be glib, but they are also patently
> false.  Furthermore, such glib characterizations of the ³will² of nucleic
> acid do little to increase the understanding of molecular biology by the
> general public or undergraduates.  The primary flaw in this argument is
> that it fails to stand up to either top-down or bottom-up analysis.  First
> this question.  Should all human enterprise be viewed as simply an effort
> to spread genetic material?  Of course not.  Such a viewpoint fails to

The bottom line is that we are here by grace of polymerized nucleic acids 
and that, ultimately, reproduction, the STRONGEST force in any of our 
lives, is for no other purpose than to pass on DNA/RNA (pick your 
organism and its information storage system).  No DNA, no us.  No DNA, no 
sex.  No DNA (or RNA), no life.  We truly are an elaborate packaging 
system for the transport and replication of nucleic acids...and it requires no 
consciousness on the part of the nucleic acid either.  We are as we are 
ONLY because evolutionary selective pressures, acting on DNA which is 
EXPRESSED through bodies or brains or fingers or etc,  chose the DNA 
pattern that we carry.  Nothing else.   Evolution and the universe 
doesn't give a squat for any art or emotion or creativity and whatnot 
that our DNA allows us.  All that matters is that this collection of DNA 
had a differential reproductive advantage over some other collection.


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