Why Alien DNA May Make you Smarter
In the city you never see the stars the way they really are. When my son Anthony and I went to see Dad a few years ago, we spent the week at his fishing cabin near the Canadian boundary waters. During the day we fished and watched the eagles. In the early morning hours I wrote three stories. At night I introduced Anthony to the Universe he lives in. Standing on the dock, the loons making their insane laughing call, we looked up at the clear night sky far from any city lights. Anthony had never seen so many stars or even known so many were possible. There in the north woods you can see the zodiacal band that arcs from horizon to horizon, a sparkling band of creamy light, like self illuminated clouds. “Do you see that band crossing the sky?” I said to him. “When they call it the Milky Way Galaxy, that’s what they’re talking about. Our sun is in a spiral wing of the galaxy, just like the one you;re looking at up there.” I pointed up. “You’re looking at the edge of the galaxy you live in. Try to imagine that.”
If you imagine it just right, you’ll get dizzy. You’ll feel like you’re standing on the edge of an infinitely tall building, that if you lifted your arms as in a dream, or if you even stumbled, you’d fall skyward forever and ever. Look down at your feet and you’re standing on a ball of boiling molten iron, the thin egg shell crust frozen by the cold of outer space, warmed by the sun and internal fires like a Catholic Hell, and a thin skin of fragile atmosphere. Life appears to be a rare thing in the cosmos so far. Intelligent life even rarer. Me and my kid, looking at the stars, we wonder if there are people like us up there wondering about us. Who is the seer? Who is the doer? Here is the planet – alive. Here is the human being, conjuring the stars. Did the soul choose this place, or did it choose him? Where did he come from before? What does it mean to be alive?
The woods are full of ghosts, Chippewa indians who traveled in canoes and fished here. Tribal families dressed in animal skins around fires late at night, smoking, talking, loafing, listening to wolves and loons looking at the same star’s cold fire. Many of the stars themselves are ghosts whose death hasn’t reached us yet.
Panspermia is an idea not much discussed by scientists, because they find it intellectually gross. Science has its orthodoxy and dogma, as much as religion. The dogma of life’s origins on earth is that it began in a primordial soup a few billions of years after the formation of the earth. Panspermia proposes that life was shipped in from outside our world. It began somewhere else altogether. Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, proposes that an intelligent civilization manufactured tiny spacecraft and launched them randomly into the cosmos. These craft, unmanned, but containing preserved microbial life, could have landed over time on potentially fertile planets and seeded the beginnings of primitive life there.
Sir Fred Hoyle thinks the spaceship element is too elaborate. Microbes are tough little bastards. They’ve been discovered thriving in the most unlikely of places, including active nuclear reactors, manmade instruments recovered from the moon, the Antarctic and the extreme bottom of the sea. Hoyle proposes that microbial life is scattered in vast amounts through the Universe, and that much of what is being interpreted as dust in space is dormant microbial DNA packaged in carbon casing. In fact the infrared flux from the center of the galaxy almost exactly matches that of E. Coli bacteria.
There is even the recent discovery that meteorites have arrived routinely on the earth from Mars, fragments blasted into space from impact events. If Mars had life before the Earth did, and some scientists think this is possible since Mars at one time had a thicker atmosphere and free running water, it’s possible that we are all Martians.
Hoyle takes this a step farther.
Extraterrestrial DNA is not just a past phenomenon. If Hoyle is right, no doubt extraterrestrial DNA in the forms of dormant microbes are lightly drifting down through the high atmosphere at this very moment and may be landing on your skin as you read this. This could have some interesting implications about human beings.
Species evolve in jumps, “punctuated” evolution in modern theory. What causes these jumps? Left to themselves, species should evolve by small insignificant steps, changing no more than is necessary and then stopping. Two of the earliest forms of life, cockroaches and silverfish, both survivors of the great Permian extinction, have changed virtually not at all in hundreds of millions of years. Instead, with few exceptions, there is constant innovation among species, much of it superfluous, and much of it causing a species (panda bears) to adapt in ways that actually cause its extinction rather than survival. Why?
Hoyle proposes that extraterrestrial DNA survives the fall to earth and infects living organisms, mostly vegetation, mundanely every day, causing various mutations. A benign mutation may cause no change at all (recumbent DNA chains abound in all organisms), because the DNA can only take root with a compatible host. A malignant DNA can emerge as a virus (a virus is an inanimate string of RNA code that takes over a cell and reproduces its code in the cell. No one knows for sure where viruses come from). Is it a coincidence that flu and plague epidemics often occur after the earth passes through a comet debris trail, asks Hoyle. It may be that evolutionary jumps, including man’s, occur when a string of extraterrestrial, microbial DNA infects a primate, usually through the vegetable food chain, and takes hold causing a benevolent mutation up the intelligence scale. If this is true, homo sapiens is at least partly the result of eating food in which extraterrestrial microbial DNA has been incorporated and then passed into human genetics. The stuff that doesn’t work, gets set aside (recumbent DNA) the stuff that does could fire radical evolutionary change in ANY direction. Given this possibility, it begs the question of what guides the choice of what DNA is kept and what is thrown away, when more than one DNA string is compatible enough to be accepted by an organism?
Alongside evolution and Intelligent Design a new theory is being knocked around, something sort of inbetween. The theory is that life itself, on a very deep sub atomic level of basic matter and energy may have intelligence. This has always been the bedrock principle of mysticism in all its forms since ancient times.
Now dig this – what if:
A species, maybe Homo Sapiens, in the course of its evolution transcends dualistic ego and creates a vast, associative intelligence, the grand pooling of all the virtue, wisdom, and knowledge gained from the suffering and experience of the entire collective organism into a limitless and disembodied intelligence?
What if :
The Universe could be “saved” and preserved eternally by a vast and controlling intelligence - if it were large enough? If somehow intelligence and energy were being constantly added to it, increasing its power and influence? What if it became powerful enough to decide the fate of the Universe?
Maybe this is not possible, but what might be more realistic is if this intelligence could preserve itself and find means to survive the death of its native Universe and continue its existence in the newly born Universe it consciously engineered to its own preference. What if this intelligence, pure consciousness, is indwelling in our physical universe, subservient to its laws, but wise enough to manipulate those laws and matter so as to make a cosmos friendly to carbon based life forms such as ourselves? What if this intelligence, with mastery over time and its laws, could influence the past to conform to a future that fits a benevolent agenda?
This has already happened?
(You can read an interview with Fred Hoyle here: http://www.panspermia.com/hoylintv.htm )
Fiction By C. Sanchez-Garcia