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Author Topic: What Am I?  (Read 36165 times)

Offline Seany

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What Am I?
« on: 11/04/2007 14:02:13 »
I was wondering exactly what I was? We're made up of billions of cells. Am I just a bunch of cells? Or am I SEAN? Or am I DNA's? Exactly what am I?


 

paul.fr

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« Reply #1 on: 11/04/2007 14:06:01 »
i would say you are just DNA, and your purpose is to reproduce more DNA
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #2 on: 11/04/2007 14:19:11 »
Mm ok. But, if we are just bunches of DNA's then who controls who? Because I'm controlling my eyes, my ears and hands etc.. but it feels like one person?
 

paul.fr

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« Reply #3 on: 11/04/2007 14:22:06 »
the DNA gives you some free will, but ultimetly it wants you to get out there and make babies so it can carry on.

you are a parasite...no you are a host for the DNA
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #4 on: 11/04/2007 14:24:46 »
I see.. Very confusing, but makes sense i guess.
 

another_someone

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« Reply #5 on: 11/04/2007 14:25:24 »
i would say you are just DNA, and your purpose is to reproduce more DNA

Nice simple answer - but too simple.

What about identical twins - they share the same DNA.

What about when you have a viral infection - particularly if it is a retrovirus - that changes your DNA, but does it change who you are?
 

paul.fr

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« Reply #6 on: 11/04/2007 14:29:23 »

"I see.. Very confusing, but makes sense i guess."


hold on, that is the first time i have made sense to someone...are you tired or on medication seanahnik?

note to self: stop posting half intelligent posts.
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #7 on: 11/04/2007 14:34:14 »
lol Paul.. I'm a bit tired I guess, but I still think it makes sense.. a bit :P
 

paul.fr

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« Reply #8 on: 11/04/2007 14:35:04 »


sometimes the simple answer is the best! Twins, the DNA has still done its job the mother and father DNA successfully reproduced and as an added bonus created double the DNA. this is a great success for the DNA.

the DNA has no control over the infections, this is the problem the DNA has with the host body. it can not control every aspect but we are the best host that the DNA has found.

the DNA may change with infection but it's purpose is still the same....make more, anyway the change in DNA may be usefull to it! it could be a way to further evolve
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #9 on: 11/04/2007 14:36:31 »
"Further evolve"

This is a point.. But, surely if the DNA's change, it makes.. I mean deforms us? And overtakes our minds? or something..
 

another_someone

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« Reply #10 on: 11/04/2007 14:38:09 »
I would say that asking what is a person is very like asking what is a nation.

A single animal (human or otherwise) is a system.  the DNA may provide the blueprint for how the system functions, but the blueprint is not the system itself.  The system is defined by the relationship of its component parts (even if every atom of your body is changed, and every cell in your body is changed, so long as the new atoms and cells perform the same functions as the old, and retain the same relationship within the system as a whole, then the integrity of the system is maintained).

Probably, even better, would be to look at the overall behaviour of the system.  We define systems by their historic continuity and their behaviour (i.e. if it has your history, and behaves like you, then it is you, no matter how it is constituted).
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #11 on: 11/04/2007 14:42:09 »
Yeah, that makes sense.. But then, what is the point in this "nation" ?
 

paul.fr

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« Reply #12 on: 11/04/2007 14:45:13 »
quote
"Further evolve"

This is a point.. But, surely if the DNA's change, it makes.. I mean deforms us? And overtakes our minds? or something..
quote end

yes but you are the host, if you have already made babies then the DNA is not too bothered about what suffering, pain...the host is gonig through. if you have not yet made babies then this will concern the DNA.
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #13 on: 11/04/2007 14:47:06 »
Ah I see.. So, us as a whole, don't care if we are harmed, or changed.. As long as we carry on to make more?
 

another_someone

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« Reply #14 on: 11/04/2007 15:01:27 »
sometimes the simple answer is the best! Twins, the DNA has still done its job the mother and father DNA successfully reproduced and as an added bonus created double the DNA. this is a great success for the DNA.

Sometimes the simple answer is the best, but that does not mean all simple answers are right.

The point about twins is that if one is defined by one's DNA, then if two people share the same DNA, they are by inference only one person, not two.  By your argument, twins do not have separate identities as separate human beings.

This is a genuine problem, insofar as whether you consider a plant that is taken as a cutting as being part of the parent plant, or do you consider it a separate plant.  More generally yet, animals and plants that reproduce by cloning (vegetative reproduction) - are the daughter organisms really separate organisms or just a distant part of the parent (they do after all share the same DNA).

the DNA has no control over the infections, this is the problem the DNA has with the host body. it can not control every aspect but we are the best host that the DNA has found.

But you are not being consistent here.

You are talking about 'we' as something separate from the DNA - yet if all we are is the DNA, then there is no 'we' that can be regarded as separate from the DNA.  To regard us as hosts for our DNA is totally different from saying we are the DNA.

Again - there is a problem as to what is regarded as an infection.  Past infections with parasites have actually incorporated those parasites into our ancestor genomes, and have helped to make us who we are today; and no doubt that some of today's infections will be incorporated into our descendants and become part of their genome.  At what point does an 'infection' become part of the 'self'?

the DNA may change with infection but it's purpose is still the same....make more, anyway the change in DNA may be usefull to it! it could be a way to further evolve

It is true that the purpose of DNA is to make more of the same - but the point is still what is 'self'.

If today you have one set of DNA, and tomorrow (due to infection) you have a different set of infection, then both your own DNA and the virus are trying replicate, but then the two have become one, and replicate together.  Which then is the 'self'?

What about cancer cells - are they part of you?  What about human cells that are grown in vitro (either from lines of stem cells or lines of cancer cells) - are they still a part of the human being from whose DNA they originated, even though they are physically separate from the person, and have no further part to play in that person's life?
 

paul.fr

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« Reply #15 on: 11/04/2007 15:05:29 »
quote
Ah I see.. So, us as a whole, don't care if we are harmed, or changed.. As long as we carry on to make more?
end quote

well we care, but the DNA does not.



note: i am making this up as i go along, but it does sound rather good and convincing. i am quite pleased with myself and may have to do more thinking which tends to hurt. maybe the DNA does not want me to know the truth.
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #16 on: 11/04/2007 15:05:34 »
Thanks Another Someone. I have a clearer image of what this "body" of ours is now. But atm, it's still so confusing, but I can see where your coming from. Thanks Paul too! =)
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #17 on: 11/04/2007 15:07:03 »
Haha, Paul.. lol. Yup, I admit, what you're saying does sound quite convincing. Yet, so does Another Someone's. =P I really think the DNA's want to keep these secret from us :P
 

another_someone

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« Reply #18 on: 11/04/2007 15:07:13 »
Yeah, that makes sense.. But then, what is the point in this "nation" ?

What is the 'point' of human beings?  We are - nations are - does there need to be a point.  Systems merely exist because the component parts that make up the system function as a whole.

A nation is a structured conglomeration of human beings, just as a human being is a structured conglomeration of cells - and in each case, it is not the component parts that matter but just the structure they form.
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #19 on: 11/04/2007 15:09:03 »
Ok then.. Sidetracking away from this.. What is the point in us being here. In us living? We all know that we are to die. One day. Is it really that we were sent down to look after "God's" creation?
 

another_someone

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« Reply #20 on: 11/04/2007 15:14:06 »
Quote
Ah I see.. So, us as a whole, don't care if we are harmed, or changed.. As long as we carry on to make more?

well we care, but the DNA does not.


But again, you are making a distinction between 'we' and the DNA.

note: i am making this up as i go along, but it does sound rather good and convincing. i am quite pleased with myself and may have to do more thinking which tends to hurt. maybe the DNA does not want me to know the truth.

Isn't that which makes it fun :D
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #21 on: 11/04/2007 15:15:39 »
Why is it that quoting doesn't work for me? It says "The following error or errors occurred while posting this message:"
 

paul.fr

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« Reply #22 on: 11/04/2007 15:16:32 »
quote
Ok then.. Sidetracking away from this.. What is the point in us being here. In us living? We all know that we are to die. One day. Is it really that we were sent down to look after "God's" creation?
end quote

but i answered that, we are just here as a host for the DNA. we will surely die but we are only here as a host for the DNA, once we have done "the business" we have no useful purpose.


George, i will think some more and get back to your questions after a nice bath, i am still formulating my theory.
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #23 on: 11/04/2007 15:19:05 »
Hang on Paul.. a HOST for the Dna? So why does the DNA want to carry on? Again, we are back to square 1. Let's say that we are just ONE Dna? Why does the DNA want to carry on living?
 

another_someone

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« Reply #24 on: 11/04/2007 15:22:49 »
Why is it that quoting doesn't work for me? It says "The following error or errors occurred while posting this message:"

Not only you.

Just recently – within the last hour or less, I have been having the same problem.

I have been getting around it by positing a message that only contains a single dot, and then modifying the message to contain the contents I actually wanted it to contain.

I suspect someone has 'upgraded' the system with a little buggette, and hoped we might not notice.  We may have to let them know that we have noticed it.
 

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« Reply #24 on: 11/04/2007 15:22:49 »

 

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