One of the tricks of working at the allegorical level, is not to conuse
it with the anagogical level (ie. see the analogy as a total
explanation), nor to get too oinvolved in detail which tempts one to
treat it as literal.
That said. I think the comparison deserves attention.
Langauge may well be infected by viruses, esp. when they
are artificial, as in print. The linear form of print
certainly tempts the DNA comparison. But that is sterile
language, denuded of feelings and sensory resonances.
From: Ken Armstrong
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 2004-Oct-29 12:49 PM
Subject: Re: A novel?; a reply to Francis ; was , Re: Tarot and Huxley
--On Friday, October 29, 2004 2:31 AM -0700 gavin
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> A lot of complex information for something that isn't really, you know
> a language.
Yes, I do. My university's spam/virus filter, however, was quite fooled,
and your message here landed with 384 others dealing in cialis, viagra,
meds on line, and that wonderful assortment of offers with which we're
daily plagued, "chaotically, many times unsuccessfully. But always with
continuity notwithstanding extinction." 'Til death do us part, it would
I worry a bit about explaining language with biology as that seems to be
the m.o. of the likes of Stephen Pinker and Daniel Dennet, you know,
_Consciousness Explained_, a title (among many!) trumpeting its own
unknowing defeat, and which in the end boils down to old fashioned
materialism, be it simple or complex. So I ask.
And only six basic words. DNA/RNA speak and move within the
> medium of the biosphere--competitively, cooperatively and
> Our DNA rests with reasonable comfort within the organism it has built
> for itself. A virus does not possess such luxury. It has to move
> opportunistically and with reasonable rapidity to perpetuate itself.
> Which seems to be the object of all DNA/RNA paradigms -- continual
> self-replication moving toward some long term biological destiny. The
> viral behavior always telescopes outward and encompasses whatever host
> structure within which it finds itself. Often chaotically, many times
> unsuccessfully. But always with continuity notwithstanding extinction.
> LOCUS HSDJ37C10 309 bp DNA linear PRI
> DEFINITION Human DNA sequence from clone RP1-37C10 on chromosome
> Contains the gene for the ortholog of mouse and rat PDI
> (protein-arginine deiminase (KIAA0994, EC 188.8.131.52,
> peptidylarginine deiminase)), the SDHB gene for succinate
> dehydrogenase complex, subunit B, iron sulfur (Ip) (EC
> SDH1), the gene for a novel ATPase, the MFAP2 gene for
> microfibrillar-associated protein 2
> glycoprotein precursor, MGAP1) and the gene KIAA0445.
> ESTs, STSs, GSSs and four putative CpG islands, complete
> ACCESSION AL049569 REGION: 274..582
> VERSION AL049569.13 GI:5263031
> KEYWORDS HTG; CpG island; KIAA0445; KIAA0994; MFAP2; MGAP1; PDI;
> SOURCE Homo sapiens (human)
> ORGANISM Homo sapiens
> Eukaryota; Metazoa; Chordata; Craniata; Vertebrata;
> Mammalia; Eutheria; Primates; Catarrhini; Hominidae; Homo.
> REFERENCE 1 (bases 1 to 309)
> AUTHORS Heath,P.
> TITLE Direct Submission
> JOURNAL Submitted (13-JAN-2000) Sanger Centre, Hinxton,
> CB10 1SA, UK. E-mail enquiries: [log in to unmask]
> requests: [log in to unmask]
> COMMENT On Jun 29, 1999 this sequence version replaced gi:5262391.
> This sequence has been finished according to sequence map
> as follows. An attempt is made to resolve all sequencing
> such as compressions and repeats, but not necessarily
> annotated human repeat sequence elements (e.g. Alu). Where
> sequence is ambiguous, there is an annotation using the
> feature key.
> This sequence was generated from part of bacterial clone
> contigs of
> human chromosome 1, constructed by the Sanger Centre
> Chromosome 1
> Mapping Group. Further information can be found at
> During sequence assembly data is compared from overlapping
> Where differences are found these are annotated as
> together with a note of the overlapping clone name. Note
> variation annotation may not be found in the sequence
> corresponding to the overlapping clone, as we submit
> sequences with
> only a small overlap as described above.
> The following abbreviations are used to associate primary
> numbers given in the feature table with their source
> Em:, EMBL; Sw:, SWISSPROT; Tr:, TREMBL; Wp:, WORMPEP;
> on the WORMPEP database can be found at
> from the library RPCI-1 constructed at the Roswell Park
> Institute by the group of Pieter de Jong. For further
> VECTOR: pCYPAC2
> IMPORTANT: This sequence is not the entire insert of clone
> RP1-37C10 It may be shorter because we only sequence
> sections once, or longer because we arrange for a small
> between neighbouring submissions.
> FEATURES Location/Qualifiers
> source 1..309
> /organism="Homo sapiens"
> /mol_type="genomic DNA"
> repeat_region 1..309
> /note="AluSc repeat: matches 1..309 of consensus"
> 1 ttttttgttt ttgtttgttt ttgttttttt gaggtggaat cttgctctgt
> 61 gagtgcagtg gtgcaatctc agctcactgc aacctctgcc tcctgggttc
> 121 cctgcctcag cttcccgagt agctggaact acagacatgt gccagcacac
> 181 tttgtatttt tggtagagac ggggtttcac tatgttagcc aggatgacct
> 241 acctcgtgat ccacccacct cagcctccca aagtgctggg attacaggcg
> 301 tgcccagcc
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ken Armstrong
> Thanks, I can see that there is some use and power in the analogy,
> it is an analogy, especially when you get to the commutative part (I
> think of those Eliot poems which feature The Word, speaking, and
> hearing). The verbum infans and virum infans don't, in their grounds,
> much point to each other. Sorry for the fractured Latin.
> Ken A.
> At 01:28 AM 10/28/2004 -0700, Francis Gavin wrote:
> Words are the DNA of language. It's also commutative. A virus is a