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What Will You Build?


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Beavers build dams.

Bees build hives.

Ants build hills.

Certain slugs look around for certain shells.

Scientists call this an "extended phenotype."

A genotype is the actual genes.

The phenotype is the thing the genes create.

For example, the genotype for blue eyes is a specific sequence of nucleotides on your DNA.

Then the DNA unravels, turns into RNA, and turns into a mini-protein assembly line.

Individual pieces float down, link into the RNA, then link together and float off into your body.

Those pieces of proteins link together in the final product.

The final product, or the configuration as those proteins are linked together, is the phenotype.

This is how your DNA, safely hidden and tightly wound together in the nucleus of every cell, creates your body.

Your body being the phenotype.

Your genotype (DNA) uses RNA to build your body (phenotype).

What is an "extended phenotype?"

It's kind of cool.

Instead of the DNA building the proteins directly, it builds brains.

Brains that have instincts.

The DNA of a bee, for example, builds the little bee-brain.

Then the bee brain is built to instinctively build the bee-hive.

The DNA builds the brain, the brain builds the hive.

So not only can DNA build bodies of animals, but it can build brains of those animals to build specific things OUTSIDE of the body.

So bees make hives, ants make hills, beavers make dams.

What do humans make?

Human DNA (and the human brains our DNA builds for us) takes it a step further.

Beavers, for example, have been building the same kind of dams since the dawn of time.

Over and over and over and over.

What do humans build?

What is OUR extended phenotype?


More of what?

More of whatever there.

Not just more, but better.

All the brains of the all the animals look out into the world and INSTINCTIVELY build the same stuff over and over.

Humans look out into the world, see what has ALREADY been built (by previous humans) and think:

"Hmm, how could I make this even better?"

To be able to do that, our human brains have some MAGNIFICENT capabilities.


Hallucination, individually and collectively.

We imagine what DOES NOT EXIST, and somehow bring it from the world of hallucinations to the world of reality.

But there's a catch.

Humans also have tons of ancient instincts.

Instincts that PREDATE our super genius brains.

The kind of instincts that make us behave like dumb, non-thinking pack animals.

Which makes most of us NEVER use our genius brains.

This is when we unthinkingly follow the crowd.

Or only believe what the experts on TV say.

Or only do things because the are familiar.

In that regard, we are kind of on the border.

Each one of us.

We can lean forward into the future and use our brains.

Or we can rely on our instincts from the past.

And follow crowds and authority and safety.

One path is safe and boring and common.

One path is an exciting adventure, fraught with danger and peril.

Choose Wisely:


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