THE TRANSHUMANIST SCRAPBOOK: RARE GENETIC VARIATIONS IN HUMANS: IS A ...November 3, 2014
The rather provocative article that I share today was kindly sent to us by Mr. J.K., a regular reader here, and it's in line with some high octane speculation that not only I, but many other researchers in the alternative community have been proposing and asking. It concerns recent genetic studies and the possibility that we are seeing a sharp rise in certain peculiar genetic variations:
The study began, apparently, as a study of rare diseases and genetic predispositions to them:
"This unexpected and terrifying discovery is a result of a study conducted by scientists from Cornell University (USA) and University of California.
"When they examined genes of several thousands of people from around the world, it turned out that mankind has acquired over the past few years new, previously unseen mutations.
"The scientist studied 202 genes in 14,002 people. The human genome contains some 3 billion base pairs; the scientists studied 864,000 of these pairs. While this is only a small part of the genome, the sample size of 14,002 people is one of the largest ever in a sequencing study in humans.
"This project led by John Novembre of the University of California Los Angeles and Vincent Mooser of UK-based drug company GlaxoSmithKline, reports that more than 95% of variants found by sequencing 202 genes in 14,002 people were rare, and that 74% of the variants were carried by only one or two people in the study.
'I knew there would be rare variation but had no idea there would be so much of it' said the senior author of the research, John Novembre, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and of bioinformatics at UCLA.
"In the study, 10,621 people had one of 12 diseases, including coronary artery disease, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease; 3,381 did not have any of the diseases.
“The large sample size allows us to see patterns with more clarity than ever before,” Novembre said.
“'If rare variants are like distant stars, this kind of large sample size is like having the Hubble Telescope; it’s allowing us to see more than before.
"'We see a ton of rare variation, and these rare variants more often make changes to proteins than not. In that way, this study has important implications for the genetic basis of disease in humans. It’s consistent with the idea that many diseases may be partly caused by rare variants.'”
So what's the bottom line? One scientist, as the article notes, sees this as a natural evolutionary response and that a new class of "super-humans" might be in the incipient stages of evolutionary emergence:
"There are scientists who see benefits with mutations. Professor Darren Kessner of Univerist of California has for example suggested that among Earthlings there will soon be a fantastic group of “X-Men.” They beings do not come out of secret laboratories, as in the famous blockbuster movies, but are born naturally.
“'New mutations are the source of inherited variation, some of which can lead to disease and dysfunction, and some of which determine the nature and pace of evolutionary change. These are exciting times.
"We are finally obtaining good reliable estimates of genetic features that are urgently needed to understand who we are genetically,” said Joseph Nadeau, from the Case Western Reserve University in the US.
"Both useful and harmful mutations have always existed as a completely normal phenomenon, but if the number of mutations increases dramatically, one cannot help wondering what implications this development will have for the human race…"
In other words, we might be looking at "transhumanism without the transhumanist's deliberate tinkering." Now, before we get on to our high octane speculation of the day, while I was perusing the above article, I noticed yet another from the same website, and being blue-eyed myself, decided to open it:
Now careful perusal of this article reveals an intriguing discrepancy, one whose significance for today's high octane speculation will be evident in a moment. In one version, blue eyes originated with a mutation that occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago:
"A team of researchers from Copenhagen Universityhave located a single mutation that causes the mysterious phenomenon of blue eyes. And all blue eyed people are genetically related to a person who lived in the Black Sea region sometime between 6 – 10,000 years ago.
"The research was published in the Journal of Human Genetics. A mutation in a gene called OCA2 came into being nearly 8,000 years ago. It can be definitively traced back to an ancestor from the Black Sea.
"Dr. Hans Eiberg claims that before this time, every human being had brown eyes. 'A genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a ‘switch,’ which literally ‘turned off’ the ability to produce brown eyes,' Eiberg said."
This, moreover, appears to be due, according to other scientists, with an interbreeding with Neanderthal man ca. 25,000 years ago(a proposition which, notably, this website disputes):
"When blue-eyed peoples from Jordan, Denmark and Turkey were examined, their genetic difference was traced back to the maternal lineage according to Eiberg’s team.
"The brown melanin pigment is still dominant. However, following the last Ice Age, Europeans developed this rare mutation that differentiated them from the rest of the human race.
"Ninety-five percent of Europeans in Scandinavian countries have blue eyes. They are also found to have a greater range of hair and skin color.
"Comparatively, Europe has a wider variety of hair color and skin pigment than is found in any other continent in the world. These mutations are recent as Europe was colonized only a few thousand years ago, say mainstream scientists.
"Through interbreeding, the brunette with blue eyes was evidenced about 25,000 years ago. Researchers attribute this to ancient interbreeding with Neanderthals."
Hence our discrepancy: blue eyes, depending on the theory, emerged somewhere between 25,000 and 10,000 years ago. And that's an interesting time frame for our high octane speculations purposes, since the lore of North and South American Indians states that the red-haired or blond-haired, blue-eyed god Quetzlcoatl-Kukalkan-Viracocha taught them the "arts of civilization" some time within that precise time frame. In other words, genetics is providing yet another very loose corroboration of some very old stories, within the time frames suggested by those stories.
So why are scientists studying such things? Here comes the high octane speculation, a speculation suggested by that "very loose corroboration", namely, perhaps there is a quiet and covert purpose to such genetic studies, a purpose precisely to test the veracity of those stories, and perhaps even to look for genetic confirmations of their more sensational components, including the suggestion in some ancient lore that humanity itself may have been the deliberately engineered chimerical offspring of "the gods" and some terrestrial hominid. Those stories suggest something else: that the "Gods" had "paranormal" or "psychic" abilities, and these too, may be a part of the covert motivation: do they have a genetic basis or genetic predisposition for their stronger appearance in some people as distinct from other people? Such a covert agenda or purpose would not, in my opinion, be known by every scientist involved in looking for them, but would rather occur at the level of the funding behind such projects, and in the sources of funding for them.
In any case, we're a long way from piecing this story together, not only the story of humanities genetic-historical emergence, but also the (to my mind) more interesting story of what possible covert agendas may be lurking behind such studies.
Keep your (brown, blue, or green) eyes on the lookout.
See you on the flip side....