X-Message-Number: 5948
From: Peter Merel <>
Subject: Church of Man
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 01:08:34 +1000 (EST)

Dwight Jones continues to assert that his identity is contained in his
genes, and not within their expression as a phenotype. When pressed, he
explains that all the information in the phenotype is parameterised
by the information in the genotype, and therefore a particular  phenotype 
is unimportant.

Very well then, it follows that a particular genotype, which is nothing
more than an expression of variations in the four amino bases of DNA, is
parameterised by those bases, and so by Dwight's logic equally unimportant.
It would therefore be sufficient for the purposes of the Church of Man
to store copies of the four genetic bases, so that some future technology
could use them to recapitulate DNA, and all its variations, including
Dwight's genotype, and all the variations of his phenotype that it 

But to continue this redaction we can observe that the four bases of DNA
are simple arrangements of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen; these
elements certainly parameterise organic molecules, DNA being one of many
interesting variations on them. In lab experiments these elements have
actually demonstrated their abilities to spontaneously construct
themselves into the enzymatic building blocks of DNA. So the Church of
Man need only store vials of these "essences of identity", and some
future technology, or maybe just the natural course of events, will
spontaneously assemble them into DNA, a variation of which will
recapitulate Dwight's genotype, a variation of which will recapitulate
his phenotype.

And yet, no doubt by a process of profound Zen intuition, we can arrive
at the conclusion that such seemingly fundamental essences are
themselves inexorably parameterised by the peculiarities of physics in our
universe.  Thus, happily, adherents of the Church of Man will be able to
preserve their essences by doing nothing at all, as these peculiarities
are sufficiently common that they can hardly help but recapitulate carbon,
hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen from time to time. 

So we poor deluded fools on Cryonet can wave Dwight and his fellow
Immortal Sages a fond au revoir as they continue to wend their essential
way through eternity. 

Qui vult decipi, decipiatur ...

Peter Merel.

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