Genetics - and OR
The Genome - Another Odinist
partially intended to offer a critique of the previously published article in
Odinic Rite Briefing (ORB) by Bill Favill on the future of genetics, and of us
all. I offer apologies in advance for any misinterpretation on my part of what
was written previously, especially since I must condense what I take to be the
main thrust of the argument. I am also going to omit discussion of the
technical problems and dangers of altering the Human genome. I have no doubt
that mistakes are going to be made and horrible misuses occur, but that does
not alter my thesis. Such is common to all powerful technologies, and I should
not need to point out that we sacrifice thousands of lives every year just for
the convenience of avoiding public transport.
The major concern appears to centre on the use of the
technology to create a new race suitable for a One World State in which freedom
and diversity are extinguished. This would arise due to an elite who controls
the expensive technology for their own exclusive use. Now, I feel very strongly
that this is not only an overly pessimistic view, but that history has shown it
to be a most unlikely outcome.
Basically, I have heard this argument before, previously
concerning computer technology. The above fears were a staple of the Left
during the 1960s and 1970s. Computers cost millions of dollars (back when that
was a lot of money!) and only rich Capitalists could afford them in order to
implement the perfect Fascist State and crush the Working Class under a
perpetual tyranny. So, what went wrong with the evil plan?
The answer is the technology itself. I am
writing on a machine that, twenty-five years ago would have cost some ten
million dollars, the cost of the super computer the Cray 1, whose power is now
under my personal control. In order to produce a technology that could achieve
the ends of the purported Capitalist conspiracy the technology had to be
advanced to the point that at which it now exists. The problem is such
technological research and development costs trillions and requires decades -
how was it to be financed? The answer is simple. It was financed by selling it
to anyone who wanted it, and competition ensured that prices fell to the point
where we can all own a computer. Of course, by now such technology is no longer
the monopoly of an evil elite bent on dominating the world (Bill Gates
excluded!). The objectives of Capitalism were better served by selling than by
restricting the technology to the elite. It also had a strange side effect - it
destroyed the Communist (and other) tyrannies that could not tolerate the
freedom of information flow that was ultimately required by the computers for
maximising their efficient use. The Internet is the most striking incarnation
of that new freedom. The same thing is going to happen with Human genetic
engineering. Vast zombie armies are not going to spring into being tomorrow, or
next year, or next decade.
fruits of genetic engineering are going to go the way of the computer industry.
To give one example - There have recently been successful experiments to
genetically re-engineer old muscle tissue in order to regenerate it. This
means, I hope, that by the time old age starts to significantly affect my
muscular strength in about ten to fifteen years time I will be able to use such
a treatment to rejuvenate me. The question is, will the manufacturers be
selling such technologies to the rich at one million dollars a shot, or all of
us at (say) one hundred? I think that the size of the market indicates the
latter. Naturally, the first in line are going to pay high prices, just like
anyone who wants brand new technology, but within a few years I expect it to be
a standard anti-ageing treatment on the NHS. I don't see why genetic
engineering is going to follow any different a model than computers or
pharmaceuticals. The key concept is that the technology is going to evolve, and
generally it is going to be a mass-market product.
Which brings us to 'real' Human engineering
and the ultimate market force. When it is possible to introduce new or extreme
abilities into our genome (read children) what parent is going to condemn their
child to sub-normality in a population centred around excellence, health and
longevity? Particularly once the 'biggies' are cracked - IQ and Ageing.
Even now parents of naturally short
children are willing to pay for growth hormone treatment, and that is purely
cosmetic. That is in the West - in the Third World infanticide is often
practiced because they do not get what they want. What about when skin/eye/hair
colour become available, or (probably sooner) athletic prowess whether it be
extra strength, aerobic capacity, explosive strength, endurance,
? the list is endless. Consider the availability and commercial
success of minority treatments such as IVF.
So, let us assume that in fifty years time all this and more
will be available to anyone who can now afford a car or computer. What does
this have to do with us? It is obvious
Faith, Folk, Family
Human genetic engineering is going to cut right to the heart of
that which concerns us most. I predict that it is going to be the single most
explosive and divisive force of this new century, both politically and from a
religious point of view. [Closely followed, I suspect, by Artificial
Intelligence.] When the genome alters, and our children are no longer our
direct genetic descendants, what is the meaning of Folk, and Family?
The easy one first - family and the
notion of kin in a world of genetic engineering. The engineering of a child
will begin with the fertilised egg, the heritage of the mother and father. At
that point, there will be additions and subtractions, some cosmetic and some
deeper. I may decide I should not burden a son with that bald spot I currently
sport, or an excessively white skin that means I sunburn within minutes in
summer. I would like him to be smarter than I am, and free of any hereditary
more able to relate to others perhaps, but the genes for this tendency are
unlikely to be well defined to make it a certainty. Is he still my son?
Undoubtedly, even if the bulk of his genome is not related to mine. At the
least he would be as much a son as if he were adopted.
However he would be far more kin to me
than that, being the child of my mind, rather than my body. It is not something
I consider being an inferior familial heritage.
Folk and Faith
In order to try and answer the question
as related to the Folk I need to step back and explain my understanding of the
Gods. Briefly, on one hand I view them as dynamic Archetypes somewhat akin to
the entities one encounters when 'playing' Ouija. That is, they are the
blending of the facets of the many psyches involved. In our case, the Gods are
a distillation of the psyche of the North European peoples over several
millennia. This is by no means meant to imply that they do not exist, or are
some kind of fairy story. They have a life of their own, they interact with us
both collectively and individually, and have a hand in shaping us as we shape
them. They are our kin on a different and wider plane of being, an analogy
being that we are the cells in their body. Additionally, they are the context
through which that we as a culture encounter and interpret transcendent
spiritual reality - that which cannot be put into words, but which can only be
On the other
hand, they also represent the forces of the Natural World - Nature, most
explicitly in our recognition of entities such as Wights, and the presence in
the mythology of the Ice Giants, Serpent, Wolf, World Tree etc.
So, to put it crudely, I consider the
Folk simply to be those who manifest the Gods in conjunction with Nature. As we
all know, however, some manifest more strongly than others within our Folk, and
in general other Peoples manifest different entities entirely, though they tend
in many ways to be similar. We are, after all, Human.
The relationship with genetics is subtle.
Unlike many less complex or less self-aware animals, genetics does not dominate
our behaviour. Rather, in individuals it manifests as tendencies towards
certain types of behaviour or characteristics. The exact outcome is dependent
on many environmental factors and only shows en-masse statistically. There is a
fine interplay between genetics, culture, Nature and the Gods
I think it
very likely that different cultures and different Pantheons are manifestations
of different gene distributions in populations coupling with the natural
environment. One does not even have to look at the 'big picture' - race, to see
how this might arise.
group of interacting people creates a 'tribal culture', and the more detailed
that culture is, the more selective it tends to become. The selectivity
operates on personality types, and to a lesser extent on physical appearance -
both of which are related to genetics, although the latter more so. It is quite
apparent in the business world that certain companies and occupations attract
certain types of people and that there must be a gene selectivity going on,
albeit on a small scale. The 'culture' is selecting genes and the genes are
reinforcing culture. Ditto with larger tribes and natural nations.
In Bill Favill's article there was an air
of spiritual conspiracy. I do not consider this paranoid or out of place. We
name the entities with which we interact, and know their personalities. We also
know of others that are indifferent, friendly or inimical to us and the Aesir
and Vanir (YHWH for example). However, other such forces in the world have no
'spiritual' names, yet are equally as powerful or more so. 'We' are in the
process of setting up a global money machine whose Archetype appears to be
anti-Life, and it is this that I think Bill fears. As do I. However, that is
another topic for another day.
Now, cultures are creatures of the mind - they change
generation by generation whilst the gene distribution usually does not. In that
sense, although the cultures that now exists in our native Homelands are very
different to those that exists two thousand years ago, they are still
essentially constrained within the same continuum of personalities and
personality types. They evolve within the genetic parameters of the Folk (and
immigrants over that time). So too, the Gods must evolve in the same way,
within the same framework.
conception of the Gods is far more sophisticated than it was in (say) Viking
times. When we hear thunder and look skywards, we may think of Thor, but we do
not literally believe that the noise is due to chariot wheels. We know it is
electrical - we talk of metaphors where our ancestors would not. We have a
greater knowledge of the way the physical world works and this forces us look
deeper into the Gods than our antecedents did, or could. This in turn literally
gives our Gods the new depths we see in them. And it is a mutual undertaking -
So, what happens
when we start meddling with our gene pool? The short answer is that the whole
nature of the Folk could change. The Gods could die, could be strengthened, or
could evolve once again. Ragnarok. It depends entirely on our genetic
contribution to the manifestation of the Gods. This is not likely to be a large
portion of the genome, since the overwhelmingly vast portion of it is common
throughout Humanity. If you ask me what genes are likely to be involved I have
to say that I do not know, but that I know how we can find out.
One of the major research efforts over
the next couple of decades will commence when individuals can be fully
sequenced cheaply. All those psychology PhD wannabes are going to start
cross-referencing personality types with gene sequences. And we must do the
same. Is there a statistically significant correlation between people with a
religious/spiritual outlook? Between people drawn to specific codes of conduct?
Between members of specific religions
At the same time we should be collecting genome mappings of
individuals of the Folk to use as an engineering base and for research
purposes. In fact, this has already started in Iceland. There is also a
proposal to do the same for all the extreme examples of racial and tribal
genetic diversity on the planet, before it disappears. Then, when we know what
effect this will have on the Gods, we make our choices. We choose our Children
to manifest the Gods, to love, respect and protect Nature, and to exemplify the
characteristics we most admire in our Folk.
Bill Favill lamented a quotation that enthused how we would be
unrecognisable to this New Race. I think this too is overly pessimistic - they
will still be our Children and while we now may not recognise them, they will
know us. If we do our part we will not be ashamed of each other.
"Now to our Children's children
and their children, we send our words as messengers, the way we shall not pass
along: Kinsfolk! Unseen, unborn, unknown! Since we cannot see your face or
clasp your hand, we send our spirits through time and space in Odin's name to
" Diversity "Self Determination - To define ourselves, name
ourselves, create for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for or
spoken for, by others. If we defend our Right to self-determination in this;
then we defend the Right of others also, to their own self-determination.
Quoted from Bill's
Another thread running through Bill's article was an assumed loss of diversity
in Humanity and an expansion of the contempt for Nature we see about us now,
largely as a result of our succumbing as a people to malignant spiritual
Nothing could be
further from the truth if we use the new tools in all their power. Genetic
engineering is the only thing that is going to maintain diversity in Humanity
and Nature given the mass population mixing coupled with the mass extinctions
taking place at present.
the beginning it may start to look that way if the options on offer are
restricted by the technology. No doubt there will be trends and fashions as in
everything, but eventually we can expect to see what amounts to a speciation
within Humanity. People adapted for living in space, who do not experience
calcium loss in zero G or are low pressure tolerant. People optimised for
aquatic environments (with or without gills).
In the shorter term 'Race' will become a designer choice.
The general principle we
should strive to see enforced is a ban on any engineering that is of detriment
to bio-diversity either directly or indirectly.
The current faltering first steps of genetic
engineering on plants are as nothing compared to what we might accomplish. For
example, photosynthesis is already more efficient at converting sunlight to
energy than any commercial solar cell. Maybe one day our power stations will be
forests and we will grow our homes with integrated energy generation, waste
disposal and subsistence food production.
The general principle that we should strive to see enforced is
a ban on any engineering that is of detriment to the animal or species
In the Animal
Kingdom many creatures could returned from extinction, or near extinction and
new creatures emerge. By this, I do not mean the abominations that are
currently being produced such as hairless, cancer-ridden mice; or pigs whose
genome has been debased so their organs can be transplanted into people too
frightened to face their own mortality. I mean that I expect to live to see the
first of the once-mythical animals walk the Earth - the Unicorn, followed by
Tolkeins Middle Earth, with its Hobbits, Giants, Elvenfolk and Men is not so
much a mythical past as a real future with such a transcendence that it has
sent echoes back thousands of years. That such a blossoming will not be smooth
sailing might also be deduced, given the darker side of those tales, including
our own Ragnarok. The technology of genetic engineering is powerful beyond our
imagination - a power for good and a power for evil. It is coming, and it is
unstoppable, but we can hopefully influence the direction of the wave.
The world is alive with Entities that
lust after the power for their own ends, and seek control. We need the
technology to be largely 'out of control'. This point in history is
mathematically chaotic. The tiniest influence will be magnified over the
decades to come. Ten years ago we were locked into the seeming unbreakable
half-century stasis of the Cold War. Now the world is fluid, and anything can
happen. One question that has been asked concerns the future of our Faith - I
suggest that the future of our Faith literally lies in the Future. Let us look
seriously where few now do, to a tomorrow that can still be changed by those
with a coherent vision that can illuminate a Way.