This is a bit philosophical but bear with me. What makes us human? Are we really smarter than other animals? What is our purpose in life? These may seem like religious questions but the great Greek Philosophers ponder these often. If we look at our DNA and compare it to other mammals we see that it is very similar. Not enough difference to account for what we have become. It is like a piano with an extra key. What then caused our brains to differ, for us to stand upright, for us to build things and for us to invent technology? I believe it is our epigenetics!
Epigenetics compared to DNA is like music compared to a piano. The piano has limited keys and DNA has limited codes. Music plays these keys in an infinite set of different ways creating all the music we have today. Epigenetics “plays” our DNA in an infinite set of ways that controls our body functions, brain development and personalities. It makes us who we are as a species and an individual.
Where are we going? We have invented marvelous technology that lets us leave the Earth. We still can’t go far but in time we will. Will we meet other intelligent creatures? Will they have similar DNA but different epigenetics? How did epigenetics (programming) come about? Many would say from a very intelligent creature (call it God, nature or an alien race). I don’t believe epigenetics just randomly came about any more than a computer game (which is technically a bunch of ones and zeros) just came about. It was programmed by an intelligent human.
Are we still evolving? What will we look like and be able to do in a thousand years? …a million years? Will we even be around? Something worth pondering….