Dangers of Genetic Modified food are illuminated by ancient myths seen as history

Genetically Modified food is dangerous to the genetic language of DNA

David Pinnegar studied genetic engineering, then called biophysics at Imperial College London in the early 1980s. He has since been working on the restoration and interpretation of a historic house.

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Let's start with the fuzzy, then the rational logic.

One might hypothesise that the pig could have been genetically modified in a programme of genetic engineering in Atlantis.

Apparently pig tastes like human, according to aircrash survivors. In our turn we find that pigs are close enough to us to be able to use pigs to grow human spare parts. Perhaps human genes were put into the pig - and for reasons connected with Plato's description of the reasons for the sinking of the lost continent. After the flood in which Atlantis sank, Noah's descendants remembered that the pig was a left over of a distasteful era and so was unclean.

There's the fuzzy thought that our current cycle of history might have happened before.

Here's the rational logic.

The human body digests food. Food is made up of living matter. Living matter is chemical computer code. Computer code relies on subroutines. Our bodies may depend on subroutines we don't know about yet but which get Genetically Modifed - changed. We'll know about the subroutine when the body fails. OUCH!

Genetic modification of these subroutines is dangerous in two ways. They are pieces of software which are used as hardware building blocks. The hardware is the product of an infinite evolution of software.

On the micro scale, these function within us. On the macro scale, each organism has a function, is a subroutine, within the mechanics of the whole ecology.


Bill Gates keeps on making "genetic mutations" to the building blocks of the Windows program. Bits and pieces of upgrade (Service pack 95 for instance) are bolted on. Ever loaded Office to then find one's machine behaves differently? Got a scanner that uses Textbridge which works brilliantly in Word 97 which is then not recognised in Office 97? Some of my customers do - they buy Office 97 and then I have to install an old Office 95 version instead. We find it impossible to keep track of the upgrades.

So Wheat gets GMed (genetically modified) now. In 100 years time that gets GMed. - We'll have forgotten what the original code was by then and we won't be able to keep track of the upgrades. How often does your computer crash for no explicable reason? OUCH!


Anyone remember FORTRAN? We got programs to operate cyclically until certain criteria were met. These cyclical subroutines were called "DO" loops. Then BASIC emerged as a simplified derivative and was easier to use. The "DO" statement turned into "FOR NEXT" loops. Anyone tried to run an old Basic program on BASICA or QBASIC? The syntax of the statements is marginally different. The language has changed, subtly, but enough to stop the thing working.

According to the myth of Hephaestus who sowed his seed on the ground, mixed it with the dust of this mother earth and from which he created life, us, the first human being made in his image - we were genetically modified products of evolutionary life on this planet.

The life which has evolved here is the unique set of DNA solutions to the equation of reproducing life. These DNA solutions are both the software and the soft-hardware - the set of subroutine building block programs. Only these may exist because all other solutions to the equation/problem fail. Changing the language of genetic subroutines therefore changes the evolved language into a wrong language, the solutions to which can only be wild disorders.

This complication applies not only to the vegetable and more complex lifeforms but also to the bacteria, fungi and viruses which are symbiotically related. Much Genetic Modification is in a vain attempt to make life resistant to diseases. These bacteria, fungi and bugs will react, adapt, evolve to the new forms and generate a secondary level of new disorders. We are only now discovering the folly of the same methodology applied to antibiotics where, in creating drugs to fight bugs, we have merely created superbugs.

Not only will we create disorder in the programming of our own food chain - which means that the food/our consumption cycle will falter - but we will release a new generation of all the ills of the world.

Pandora was given a box when she was wedded to Epimetheus. In this box were all of the ills of the world, safely contained and boxed up. She was told not to open it. She was curious and thirsted after knowledge of what what was within. She opened the box and shut it again quickly - but in doing so she had let out all the ills of the world, leaving behind in her box only hope.

Perhaps Genesis deals with the future rather than the past. We are in the Garden of Eden. We have climbed the tree of knowledge. We have tasted the fruit. Now we have climbed the Tree of Life and are about to taste the fruit. In that taste we will be thrown out of our Garden of Eden and will have to till the fields among the new thistles and new thorns and worse. No longer will our Mother Earth be the Eden of paradise . . .

David Pinnegar BSc ARCS

June 1998