New Beginnings

. The parthenogenesis of Daphnia, the water flea, (actually a small crustacean), bids to fill the lake when conditions are favourable, meaning plenty of everything. Explosive multiplication: nothing new but myriad clones to crowd out competition, and exploit their plenty while the going is good. It’s a statistical thing, mutually assured survival through mutually assured destruction once provisions run short. Survival for sexual reproduction when more ordinary times return.

What is de novo arises from the unmistakable sympathy of similar beings being together. Conjugations. Additions through propinquity in sentient bustle or dulled slumber.

As a metaphor, as symbol, consider the natural numbers, those abstractions of time passing. Ordinals as cardinals in the godlike mind. Addition, never multiplication, reveals the prime numbers. Each, as their name implies, a new first.

Multiplication, according to Bobby Darin’s lyrics, was the name of the game. In fact, the name of the game of life is novelty, which is to say addition. This includes addition and subtraction simultaneously, which is substitution.

Having meiosis, but not mitosis, in mind, part of the DNA from both parents reaches each single chromosome of the germ line, through translocation and recombination. An intricate dance occurs which includes a completely random shuffle of the genes as far as we know. It looks far from any human mechanism to the microscopically aided eye perhaps because it takes place in a fluid suspension.

*John Conway mathematician, inventor of The Game of Life died 11 th April 2020

Published by davidcookpoet

I am a husband, father and grandfather. I retired from a busy working life as an adult psychiatrist in 2014. My interests are in literature, philosophy, modern jazz and horse racing. I might represent those four fields by Shakespeare, Kant, Charlie Parker and Lester Piggott. Like nearly all of us, I can identify a number of formative experiences, one of which was a psychotic episode in my first year as a psychiatrist. This reinforced an already established interest in mystical experience, and a sense of how little human beings know. My intellectual bugbear is reductive materialism, and I am surprised at the lack of moral imagination of those who promulgate such views. It seems to me they need to consider ,perhaps by exposure, just why totalitarianism is so horrific.

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