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March 5, 2000


Does plant genome contains foreign DNA?


Regarding foreign DNA, have any of you read, "The Cosmic Serpent, DNA and the
Origins of Knowledge." by Jeremy Narby ? It is a great fun read, for
starters. It makes a lucid case linking DNA with hallugenogenic shamanism in
the Amazon, and the utterly foreign nature of DNA itself. The idea was held
in some fashion by Francis Crick, and Narby shows the original cover
illutsration for Crick's "Life Itself: It's Origin and Nature" which depicts
some sort of circling energy 'landing' on earth.
I'm sure this is not the typical or worthy contribution to this listerv
and apologize for that. I am a producer who has the good fortune to work with
some great scientists, and look to cultural and mythological underpinnings of
various societies as one way of understanding the psychological components of
the "biotech debate."
The time for art to serve in bringing some equilibrium to the issue is
come, I believe. Find some artists, commission them to do something around
the issue of biotech. Art can hold more than one idea at once; it's private
in experience, public in demonstration; it brings together the unlikely, its
stimulates thought ; it requires reserved judgement.
A good friend Robynne Gravenshorst is a mutli-media performance artist of
great creativity and skill. Her upcoming production is about molecular
biology and physics , connected by focusing on the act of splitting the
nucleus - atomic or genetic. I fail to describe her work justly. She is quite
brilliant. She is working with University of Chicgao molcular biologist, Doug
Wood, and a physicist from PennState. It will be performed in April on campus
and attended by all the biology students, and many many others from very
different worlds.
Excuse my interrupting your otherwise rational listserve.
Joseph Houseal
Parnassus Productions