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Reflections on My 65-year-old Concept of the Human Soul

(blogmaster note: please excuse my momentary digression from fashion for an ego trip)

Reflections on My 65-year-old Concept of the Human Soul

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Newly discovered mimivirus could be a forth ‘domain’ of life!! Read on…..

When I was a 16 year old college freshman in 1949, studying bio-physics, I marveled at the amazing similarities between atoms and galaxies like our own Milky Way.

Atoms are composed of a nucleus which has a loyal group of particles spinning around it, just as our star, the sun, has planets spinning around it, as do many of the other stars in all galaxies. And all of the ‘glue’ holding these solid forms of matter together is a mysterious energy force known as GRAVITY (Energy, as in Einstein’s famous formula  )

The atom bomb showed 2 years earlier what incredible energy was contained in holding these simple atoms together.

Then I learned that all atoms that exist today were born during the Big Bang of creation and they cannot and do not die. They merely morph between the three known states of Matter: solid, liquid, and gas.

Finally, learning the fact that our physical bodies are constructed entirely of these immortal atoms caused me to dismiss the few shreds of religion I had left from my childhood Sunday school teachings and I was tempted to shout EUREKA!

My college roommate, an old friend from high school, and I stayed awake many night trying to make some sense about these scientific facts until finally I came up with a postulation of what happens to the atoms and all of their unspent energy when we die.  Here is my theory of death and the hereafter:

  • The Soul is Our Glue. It is the energy which our atoms use and re-use as we age to contain this energy.
  • Death is caused when our atoms give up their Glue (soul) and release all this energy to replenish the Dark Matter in our galaxy, from whence it came.
  • We are the GODS of all our atoms and our/their death causes their solid matter to morph into a gaseous state awaiting a new form that will populate the fertilized ovum that becomes a baby’s atoms when their X&Y chromosomes split and merge in the womb.

All of this sophomoric musing has stuck with me over the past 65 years, and so far, science has done nothing to convince me that my theory is wrong. In fact, the recent discovery that ALL galaxies we have seen contain in their centers a Black Hole (which aggressively swallows all nearby energy and matter) has only convinced me that I was on to the truth these many years ago.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Newly discovered mimivirus could be a forth ‘domain’ of life!! Read on…..

UPDATEimages

Biology’s ‘dark matter’ hints at fourth domain of life

Step far enough back from the tree of life and it begins to look quite simple. At its heart are just three stout branches, representing the three domains of life: bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. But that’s too simple, according to a band of biologists who believe we may be on the verge of discovering the fourth domain of life.

The bold statement is the result of an analysis of water samples collected from the world’s seas. Jonathan Eisen at the University of California, Davis, Genome Center has identified gene sequences hidden within these samples that are so unusual they seem to have come from organisms that are only distantly related to cellular life as we know it. So distantly related, in fact, that they may belong to an organism that sits in an entirely new domain.

Most species on the planet look like tiny single cells, and to work out where they fit on the tree of life biologists need to be able to grow them in the lab. Colonies like this give them enough DNA to run their genetic analyses. The problem is, the vast majority of these species – 99 per cent of them is a reasonable bet – refuse to be cultured in this way. “They really are the dark matter of the biological universe,” says Eisen.

Life’s dark matter

To probe life’s dark matter, Eisen, Craig Venter of the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and their colleagues have resorted to a relatively new technique called metagenomics. This can “sequence the crap out of any DNA samples”, whether they are collected from the environment or come from lab cultures, says Eisen.

“The question is, what are they from?” says Eisen. Because the team has no idea what organism the genes belong to, the question remains unanswered. There are two possibilities, he says. “They could represent an unusual virus, which is interesting enough. More interestingly still, they could represent a totally new branch in the tree of life.”When Eisen and Venter used the technique on samples collected from the Global Ocean Sampling Expedition, they found that some sequences belonging to two superfamilies of genes – recA and rpoB – were unlike any seen before.

The exciting but controversial idea has met with mixed reactions. “It’s a very good piece of careful work,” saysEugene Koonin at the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland.

Younger than they look?

But Koonin and others think any talk of a fourth domain of cellular life is premature. Radhey Gupta at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, calls the finding “very exciting”, but cautions that there are other explanations.

For instance, the sequences could be from cellular organisms living in unique habitats that caused their genes to undergo rapid evolution. That would give the false impression that the “new” life forms diverged from all others a very long time ago.

“There is still debate [over] how to clearly distinguish the three proposed domains of life, and how they are interrelated,” Gupta says. “The suggestion [of] a fourth domain will only add to the confusion.”

Eric Bapteste at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France, is far more receptive. “The facts are that there is lots of genetic diversity, and unquestionably most of it is unknown to us,” he says. “It’s legitimate to consider that there’s genuinely new stuff out there.”

Further analysis of the samples could determine whether the two gene families studied have evolved unusually rapidly or are from a cellular organism with a universally bizarre genome, he says.

Parent organism

Looking at the actual samples could also help pin down exactly which organism the strange genetic sequences belong to, says Eisen.

If Eisen’s gene sequences did turn out to belong to a new domain of life, it wouldn’t be the first time the tree of life has had to be redrawn. Until the 1990s, it had just two branches: one for eukaryotes – animals, plants, fungi and some other strange forms, including the slime moulds – and one for everything else. Then, gene analysis revealed that the “everything else” branch could be divided into two domains: bacteria and archaea.

mimivirus: despite being recognized as a virus, it contains many genes found only in cellular organisms. “People have suggested they might be a fourth branch themselves,” says Eisen. “If you think of those mimiviruses as a fourth branch, maybe our sequences represent a fifth branch – we just don’t know yet.”

 

 

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