How many Genes does it take to make a Person

We humans like to think of ourselves as on the top of the heap compared to all the other living things on our planet. Life has evolved over three billion years from simple one-celled creatures through to multicellular plants and animals coming in all shapes and sizes and abilities. In addition to growing ecological complexity, over the history of life we’ve also seen the evolution of intelligence, complex societies and technological invention, until we arrive today at people flying around the world at 35,000 feet discussing the in-flight movie. It’s natural to think of the history of life as progressing from the simple to the complex, and to expect this to be reflected in increasing gene numbers. We fancy ourselves leading the way with our superior intellect and global domination; the expectation was that since we’re the most complex creature, we’d have the most elaborate set of genes. This presumption seems logical, but the more researchers figure out about various genomes, the more flawed it seems.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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