Monday, January 1, 2018

DNA testing and a lesson in sex.

Spit they want. Spit they shall have!
With the looming shadow of 2018 upon the Gregorian Calendar's doorstep I decided to take a break from throwing bones, reading tea leaves, and lithomacy to take a quick look back upon my sexual history.

Okay, not mine exactly but the long history of those known and unknown couplings my ancestors made time for between finding food, not getting killed/eaten, and not dying of disease. Kind of takes the sin out of it, doesn't it? No fun looking at sex as something that might happen IF YOU LIVE LONG ENOUGH. But, that's life for you. Real Life. Remember, it wasn't that long ago that things like, oh I don't know, the H1N1 flu virus killed between 3%-5% of the entire human race in roughly two years. Perhaps you've heard of the misnamed "Spanish Flu" of 1918 to 1920(ish)? We have it very easy today, my friends. Don't think we don't.

Anyway. Back to sex. There's a "special hug" between a Mommy and a Daddy, who historically speaking, are fortunate enough to have disease resilient/well-functioning genes and a safe food/water supply to even allow attempting the "special hug". (Don't even get me going on female selection strategies and competition dynamics.) This "special hug" usually produces offspring who hopefully also have the same or better resulting genes and who hopefully are taught to create or recognize the safe food/water sources. And thus, Life Makes Life. That, gentle reader, is the story of you and I and most other lifeforms back through the Corridors of Time. You, in fact, are highly unlikely to even exist given all the variables and means of Death in the world. Let me put it this way...

Shall I put it another way? Break it down to brass tacks? Fine. The ponderous and I dare say miraculous molecular machine comprising the self you identify as "you" thanks to an odd tension somewhere behind or between your eyes, the undefinable "you" as the Zen masters would try to say, is a unique creation never before attempted by Universe (in the Buckminster Fuller's appellation sense) and to our knowledge never to be tried again on this planet. Lots and Lots went into making you, gentle reader. Generations and generations of struggle. 

Settle down, Patsy. That's not what I'm doing.
Back to all the sex in my family tree. I want to know where my ancestors roamed, lived, found mates, and where the children lived to repeat the cycle. In all likelihood I will repeat this DNA test with other companies for comparison sake. Scientifically speaking, that's the best plan. Look, Life is the only true minority in the Universe as far as I as can tell. So why not study my small part in this great play, right? I hope to find surprises. I hope my understanding of my family is vastly incomplete. I hope to look at a map of the Earth and ponder the vast multitude I might call kin. 

What a great way to start a New Year.

Be seeing you,

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