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home : opinions : opinions November 26, 2015

3/18/2013 8:36:00 PM
Letter: Winners and losers not written in DNA


I wonder when it all began, and whether it always be so, that there are "winners" and "losers" in the human "race to the top?"

I suppose there are some who will say it began in a mythical past when two young men vied for the favor of a parent. Others may say it began when our ancestors, whoever they may have been, stepped from the garden of innocence and discovered the frightful reality of our creaturely insecurity on this tiny plot of land in the universe called the "earth."

Whenever, wherever, or however it might have begun, I wonder if it will always be so in our common human family? Is it part of our human DNA to have winners and losers among us as human beings?

Take, for example, our seemingly unquenchable thirst for, and chase after, that finite and ultimately worthless "thing" called money. Will there always be winners (the wealthy) and losers (the poor) among us as an inevitable way of life? Or, as another example, will there always be war among us to decide who the winners and losers are in our broader humanity?

The cynical among us, of course, may say yes, that it is inevitable. In the words of another man, however, I have chosen to become a "tamed cynic."

I have chosen to live in a way that says the code of winners and losers is not written in our human DNA. The way I have chosen is, rather, the way of caring for each other as human beings, made in the image of our Creator. Whether we always "like" each other and our diverse "beliefs" and "systems" is not the question. The question is, are we truly human enough to respect and treat each other, friend and foe alike, as part of our common human family?

This being the case, I then wonder what it would be like in the political life of our country, if we could give up the way that says there will always be winners and losers? Can there, in other words, truly be "Peace on Earth?"

Bob Fiske


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013
Article comment by: John Citizen

Only the strong survive, in both the human and animal world.

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013
Article comment by: Little Faith

Oh, you men of little faith.......

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013
Article comment by: Cain OR Abel

Oh, you men of little faith....

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Article comment by: Attentive Listener

@Transhumanist- How exactly does one "transcend biology"? Yours may be a different brand, but you sound just as full of faith-based nonsense as the Bible thumpers.

No offense, but the only way to think that technology would allow us to transcend biology would be know almost nothing about either one.

@Mr Fiske- You should know that there is no such thing as DNA, you liberal you. God created people out of toast and marmalade.

Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Article comment by: Transhumanist .

Get real.
Through bionics, cybernetics, neural engineering, neuroscience, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and the coming technological singularity the human race as you know it WILL transcend biology and disappear and that is a very good thing.

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: Peter, Yavapai County

I'd like to say that I am not anti Christian. I respect greatly the teachings of Jesus and Buddha, especially their emphasis on peace, and ending suffering. With all the differing Christian belief systems it now impossible to equate them on many basic ideas - they disagree publicly with each other.

But the Bible is clear on the message of the Genesis story: DO NOT EAT THE FRUIT OF KNOWLEDGE! and,

Fortunately, many modern Christians have evolved from this strict interpretation, and understand knowledge, and logic to be gifts God has given to his children who He endowed with pretty large, inquisitive brains.

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: > Victor Holm

Why are you defending peter yavapai? His statement is aggressively anti-Christian. His implication is rather clear Christians are dolts who live in a la-la land where empirical evidence is ignored in favor of dogma. I'm sure you can find several of these ostrich's, but the vast majority of Christians are clearly entrenched in today's technology and like myself, highly value scientific learning.

BTW - Your snarky, pontificating comments to Mr. Fisk are ironically framed by your run-on sentences and lack of punctuation.

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: Babu Ranganathan

HOW DO EGG YOLKS BECOME CHICKENS? (Internet Article) When you divide a cake, the parts are smaller than the original cake and the cake never gets bigger. When we were a single cell and that cell divided, the new cells were the same size as the original cell and we got bigger. New material had to come from somewhere. That new material came from food. The sequence in our DNA directed our mother's food, we received in the womb, to become new cells forming all the tissues and organs of our body. Understand how DNA works. Read my Internet article: HOW DO EGG YOLKS BECOME CHICKENS? Just google the title to access the article.

This article explains how DNA and cloning work.

Babu G. Ranganathan
(B.A. Bible/Biology)


Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: Victor Holm

@@ Peter YAV
Maybe Peter should have said science instead of knowledge. While most Christians accept science as the explanation of the how the world formed a minority of Christians reject any modern view of creation.

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Bowden

Anybody that states money is worthless has stopped thinking serioulsy about the issue. It is many things, but worthless is not one of them.
Try having none at all Bob, and then get back to us on how worthless it is.

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: @ peter yav

You said =Those who subscribe to the biblical story feel that knowledge is somehow evil and will alway shy away from it and from those who posses and use it."

You, sir are delusional! I do not know a single bible reading Christian that "feel that knowledge is evil." I think you have your religions mixed up! Muslims despise higher education and rid their societies of scholars.

Perhaps you could contact one of the thousands of excellent Christian colleges to acquire some knowledge!

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: Peter, Yavapai County

Where did it all begin? That depends on one basic, human question: Are you a Creationist or do you believe in Darwinian evolution.

In the Creationist view, Eve screwed up by disobeying Adam who had attempted convey God’s command to avoid knowledge. Those who subscribe to the biblical story feel that knowledge is somehow evil and will alway shy away from it and from those who posses and use it. The result of this belief system is that anyone who uses knowledge to create change is no longer doing God’s work. For these folks, knowledge is flawed and deceiving while blind belief is pure and holy. In this system the winners are the most righteous, who never doubt their faith. The losers are those who ask childlike questions like, “Why?” or “What if I don’t agree with the dogma?”

In the Darwinian view, the Theory of Evolution proposes that DNA changes over time due to constant mutation, thus providing a mechanism for the evolution of one life form into another over a period thousands of generations.

This theory was a result of the scientific method first proposed by Decartes, who is famous for saying, “I think, therefore I am.”

He also said, "I entirely abandoned the study of letters. Resolving to seek no knowledge other than that of which could be found in myself or else in the great book of the world, I spent the rest of my youth traveling, visiting courts and armies, mixing with people of diverse temperaments and ranks, gathering various experiences, testing myself in the situations which fortune offered me, and at all times reflecting upon whatever came my way so as to derive some profit from it." (Descartes, Discourse on the Method).

Good advice! (Sounds like a Mormon mission.)

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

I have a one panel cartoon of Dennis the Menace that shows Dennis, Joey and the dog walking and the caption is "My dad says we are all born equal then it's up to us." The modern view of the progressive - Marxist is an equal outcome which must be forced by government. And that, is definitely the wrong path.

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: An American

Are you asking about peace, equal opportunity, or equal stuff?

The government has been trying to make us equal in possessions for quite awhile now, and I find that goes against morality as well as nature. We are born equal, but that is where it ends.

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: Victor Holm

Mr. Fisk if you intend write philosophy you need to study the subject. I suggest a little Aristotle, a dose of Augustine and strong elixir of Darwin.
Nature strives for the strongest to carry the genes to the next generation. In many mammalian species including primates one dominant male sires all the offspring for the family. He only losses this position when a younger stronger male takes his place. This is determined by their DNA. We are also animals and our behavior is in part controlled by our DNA. Humans however have something no other animal has, a conscious rational mind. This allows us to rise above our DNA and strive to become another type of animal.
There is a line in the musical South Pacific where a character says “we have to be carefully taught to hate.” It is actually the complete opposite hate is in our DNA but we can rise above that and have compassion for people who are different from us because we are human. Often our first reaction to a new situation is fear and anger, that is our DNA speaking but we can calm down and rationalize that the situation is an opportunity that we can gain from, that is our human nature speaking to us.
Some would say this human nature is an immortal soul given us by god, other would answer that it is something we learned from having to live in groups whatever it is it is certainly not DNA.
We can’t change our DNA, if you are asking us to follow our animal instincts we have little hope of improving as a species. If we chose to use our rational minds then we can change and find the “peace on earth” you seek.

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: The Rev

I wish such a thing were possible. It is not - yet.

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