Describe the structure of dna essay - essays on citizenship









describe the structure of dna essay

describe the structure of dna essayDescribe the structure of dna essay -What if it were true that nature speaks in signs and that the secret to understanding its language consists in noticing similarities in shape or in form? I liked this idea and decided to read the anthropological texts on shamanism, paying attention not only to their content but to their style.How could cosmic serpents from Australia possibly help my analysis of the uses of hallucinogens in Western Amazonia?The two key words that cropped up over and over in conversations were prctica and tctica, "practice" and "tactics" - no doubt because they are requirements for living in the rainforest.As I browsed over the writings of authorities on mythology, I discovered with surprise that the theme of twin creator beings of celestial origin was extremely common in South America, and indeed throughout the world.However, a few pages on, Harner notes that "dragon" and "serpent" are synonymous.Three, paradoxically, the part of humanity that cut itself off from the serpent managed to discover its material existence in a laboratory some three thousand years later.The story that the Ashaninca tell about Avreri and his sister, who created life by transformation, was just one among hundreds of variants on the theme of the "divine twins." Another example is the Aztecs' plumed serpent, , who symbolizes the "sacred energy of life," and his twin brother Tezcatlipoca, both of whom are children of the cosmic serpent Coatlicue.In other words, they are made of their own language, like DNA."I jotted this down, and it was later in reviewing my notes on the relationship between the hallucinatory spirits made of language and DNA that I remembered the first verse of the first chapter of the Gospel according to John: My investigation had led me to formulate the following working hypothesis: In their visions, shamans take their consciousness down to the molecular level and gain access to information related to DNA, which they call "animate essences" or "spirits." This is where they see double helixes, twisted ladders, and chromosome shapes.I tried answering my own question: One, Western culture has cut itself off from the serpent/life principle, in other words DNA, since it adopted an exclusively rational point of view.He saw that his visions emanated from "giant reptilian creatures" resting at the lowest depths of his brain.My point of view was materialist and political, rather than mystical - yet I found myself quite impressed with the pragmatism of the Quirishari.I had not come to Quirishari to study this issue, which for me relates to indigenous mythology.Nevertheless, I started thinking that I had perhaps found with DNA the scientific concept on which to focus one eye, while focusing the other on the shamanism of Amazonian ayahuasqueros.This is how they learn to combine brain hormones with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or how they discover 40 different sources of muscle paralyzers, whereas science has only been able to imitate their molecules.In brief, they represent a concept of binary opposition which has to be overcome in order to achieve individual awareness and integration.This is a people who teach by example, rather than by explanation.At the "Earth Summit," as it was known, everybody was talking about the ecological knowledge of indigenous people, but certainly no one was talking about the hallucinatory origin of some of it, as claimed by the indigenous people themselves.Jeremy Narby, Ph D, grew up in Canada and Switzerland, studied history at the University of Canterbury, and received his doctorate in anthropology from Stanford University.I quickly took him through the correspondences I had found during the day: the twins, the cosmic serpents, Eliade's ladders.About this time, as I continued looking out for new connections between shamanism and DNA, I received a letter from a friend who suggested that shamanism was perhaps, I understood what he meant, and I was trying to see precisely if DNA, without being exactly equivalent, might be the concept that would best translate what ayahuasqueros were talking about.describe the structure of dna essayOn the other hand, I was finding it increasingly easy to suspend disbelief and consider the indigenous point of view as potentially correct.I could not see how this idea would work in practice, but I liked it because it reconciled two points of view that were apparently order to hide within the multitudinous forms and thus disguise their presence.In this study by Jean-Pierre Chaumeil (to my mind, one of the most rigorous on the subject), I found a "celestial serpent" in a drawing of the universe by a Yagua shaman.It is by means of a rope or a ladder (as, too, by a vine, a bridge, a chain of arnyaw, etc.) that the gods descend to earth and men go up to the sky." According to Eliade, the shamanic ladder is the earliest version of the idea of an axis of the world, which connects the different levels of the cosmos, and is found in numerous creation myths in the form of a tree.The spirits one sees in hallucinations are three-dimensional, sound-emitting images, and they speak a language made of three-dimensional, sound-emitting images.I rushed back to my office and plunged into Mircea Eliade's book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy and discovered that there were "countless examples" of shamanic ladders on all five continents, here a "spiral ladder," there a "stairway" or "braided ropes." "the symbolism of the rope, like that of the ladder, necessarily implies communication between sky and earth.Therefore, I reasoned, the enigma of hallucinatory knowledge could be reduced to one question: On the one hand, the similarity between the molecular profiles of the natural hallucinogens and of serotonin seemed well and truly to indicate that these substances work like keys fitting into the same lock inside the brain.I reviewed the correspondences that I had found so far.I taped a note on the wall of my office: One thing became clear as I thought back to my stay in Quirishari., which also seems to be secreted by the human brain; but this hallucinogen has no effect when swallowed, because a stomach enzyme called monoamine oxidase blocks it.I was trying to keep one eye on DNA and the other on shamanism to discover the common ground between the two.I left with the strange feeling that the problem had more to do with my incapacity to understand what people had said, rather than the inadequacy of their explanations. In June 1992, I went to Rio to attend the world conference on development and environment.It seemed to me that the establishment of a serious dialogue with indigenous people on ecology and botany required that this question be addressed."There is a last correlation that is slightly less clear than the others.There was indeed DNA inside the human brain, as well as in the outside world of plants, given that the molecule of life containing genetic information is the same for all species.Harner accepted, not without fear, because the people had warned him that the experience was terrifying.The snakes are imagined as spiraling rhythmically in a swaying motion from one side to another."I was astonished by the similarities between Harner's account, based on his hallucinogenic experience with the Conibo Indians in the Peruvian Amazon, and the shamanic and mythological concepts of an ayahuasca-using people living a thousand miles away in the Colombian Amazon.The phrase "leave Daddy alone because he's working" is unknown. When an idea seems really bad, they will say dismissively, "Es pura teora" ("That's pure theory").I had myself ingested ayahuasca in Quirishari, an experience that brought me face to face with an irrational and subjective territory that was terrifying, yet filled with information. describe the structure of dna essay Chaumeil adds that the Yagua consider that all living beings were created by twins, who are "the two central characters in Yagua cosmogonic thought." These correspondences seemed very strange, and I did not know what to make of them.This made me think that the double helix of DNA resembled, in its form, two entwined serpents.The following evening, under the strict supervision of his indigenous friends, he drank the equivalent of a third of a bottle.The connections that I was beginning to perceive were blowing away the scope of my investigation.For science, the human brain is the source of hallucinations, which psychoactive plants merely trigger by way of the hallucinogenic molecules they contain.The brew is a necessary combination of two plants, which must be boiled together for hours.We were in the forest squatting next to a bush whose leaves, he claimed, could cure the bite of a deadly snake. It was early 1985, in the community of Quirishari in the Peruvian Amazon's Pichis Valley.Their empirical knowledge was undeniable, but their explanations concerning the origin of their knowledge were unbelievable to me. On the one hand, I wanted to understand what they thought - for instance, about the reality of "spirits" - but on the other, I couldn't take seriously what they said because I did not believe it.Before me, the magnificence of plant and animal creation and speciation - hundreds of millions of years of activity - took place on a scale and with a vividness impossible to describe.I plunged back into Harner's book, but found no further mention of DNA.In both cases there were reptiles in the brain and serpent-shaped boats of cosmic origin that were vessels of life at the beginning of time. To find out, I picked up a book about a third ayahuasca-using people, entitled (in French) Vision, Knowledge, Power: Shamanism Among the Yagua in the North-East of Peru.Amazonian shamans have been preparing ayahuasca for millennia."First they showed me the planet Earth as it was eons ago, before there was any life on it.When I understood that the enigma of plant communication was a blind spot for science, I felt the call to conduct an in-depth investigation of the subject.When I read the following passage from Claude Lvi-Strauss' latest book, I jumped: I wondered what all these twin beings in the creation myths of indigenous people could possibly mean.Parents encourage their children to accompany them in their work.This is how shamanic cultures have known for millennia that the vital principle is the same for all living beings and is shaped like two entwined serpents (or a vine, a rope, a ladder ... DNA is the source of their astonishing botanical and medicinal knowledge, which can be attained only in defocalized and "nonrational" states of consciousness, though its results are empirically verifiable.The reptilian creatures that Harner had seen in his brain reminded me of something, but I could not say what.People use different techniques in different places to gain access to knowledge of the vital principle.It was in Rio that I realized the extent of the dilemma posed by the hallucinatory knowledge of indigenous people. describe the structure of dna essay My training had led me to expect that people would tell tall stories.In the months afterwards, I thought quite a lot about what my main Ashaninca consultant, Carlos Perez Shuma, had said.I was 25 years old and starting a two-year period of field-work to obtain a doctorate in anthropology from Stanford University.It had become clear to me that ayahuasqueros were somehow gaining access in their visions to verifiable information about plant properties.Or rather, I could see an easy way of interpreting them, but it contradicted my understanding of reality: A Western anthropologist like Harner drinks a strong dose of ayahuasca with one people and gains access, in the middle of the twentieth century, to a world that informs the "mythological" concepts of other peoples and allows them to communicate with life-creating spirits of cosmic origin possibly linked to DNA.However, I failed to see how this could work concretely.Maybe I would find the answer by looking at both perspectives simultaneously, one eye on science and the other on shamanism.He is author of "The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge" told me that he had learned the medicinal properties of plants by drinking a hallucinogenic brew, I thought he was joking.To emphasize the hallucinatory origin of Ashaninca ecological knowledge would have been counterproductive to the main argument underlying my research.After several minutes he found himself falling into a world of true hallucinations.The second plant, however, contains several substances that inactivate this precise stomach enzyme, allowing the hallucinogen to reach the brain.After about a year in Quirishari, I had come to see that my hosts' practical sense was much more reliable in their environment than my academically informed understanding of reality.I even considered the study of mythology to be a useless and "reactionary" pastime.Furthermore, I had been carrying the mystery of plant communication around since my stay with the Ashaninca, and I knew that explorations of contradictions in science often yield fruitful results.Two, the peoples who practice what we call "shamanism" communicate with DNA.The chemical composition of ayahuasca is a case in point.How could it be that Australian Aborigines, separated from the rest of humanity for 40,000 years, tell the same story about the creation of life by a cosmic serpent associated with a quartz crystal as is told by ayahuasca-drinking Amazonians?It no longer seemed unreasonable to me to consider that the information about the molecular content of plants could truly come from the plants themselves, just as ayahuasqueros claimed.Like the axis mundi of shamanic traditions, DNA has the form of a twisted ladder (or a vine ...Suddenly, I was overcome with fear and felt the urge to share these ideas with someone else. describe the structure of dna essay The two key words that cropped up over and over in conversations were prctica and tctica, "practice" and "tactics" - no doubt because they are requirements for living in the rainforest. describe the structure of dna essay

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