This article was published in New Dawn 169 Author and biologist Rupert Sheldrake has courted considerable controversy during his long career. Perhaps best known for his hypothesis of morphic resonance (that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits subject to change – see ‘What is Morphic Resonance’ in this issue of New Dawn), his tussles with the scientific establishment reveal a great deal about the dogmatism of mainstream science. Like anomalien.com on Facebook To stay in touch & get our latest news Beginning with A New Science of Life – published in 1981 – his many books about…
Ways to Go Beyond and Why They Work by Rupert Sheldrake
Sheldrake: If the information were carried only in the genes, then all the cells of the body would be programmed identically, because they contain the same genes. The cells of your arms and legs are genetically identical to those of your bones, cartilage, and tissues. If the genes are the same, then the development of some cells into arms and others into legs must depend on nongenetic influences. In my work I describe a “nested hierarchy” of morphogenetic units that coordinate the fields of limbs, muscles, and so forth.
There’s a lot about us that genetics can’t explain. In studies, identical twins separated at birth show remarkable similarities. Perhaps both develop a strong interest in stock-car racing and art. There are no “stock-car- and art-loving” genes.
The researchers who launched the Human Genome Project expected to find that we have a hundred thousand genes, but the final tally is more like twenty-three thousand. A fruit fly has seventeen thousand genes. A sea urchin has twenty-six thousand. Rice has thirty-eight thousand genes! Humans are more mechanically complicated than rice, so why don’t we have more genes?
Scientists have identified about fifty human genes associated with height, but research shows that together those fifty genes account for only about 5 percent of a person’s height. Most of the heritability is missing, and that’s a big problem for genetic theories of how the body works. My theories offer a better solution to the “missing heritability” problem. Geneticists say, “Give us another ten years, and we’ll have it all figured out. We just need more computing power and gene sequencing. That’s all.” I have a wager with developmental biologist Lewis Wolpert: if by May 1, 2029, he can’t predict all the details of an organism based on the genome of a fertilized egg, he loses.
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Source: The Sun Magazine | Wrong Turn