Thursday, April 10, 2014

Did the ancients somehow know about DNA?

Conventional history tells us that the double-helix structure and base-pairing characteristic of the DNA molecule was not "discovered" until the twentieth century, based upon the work of scientists Rosalind Franklin, Raymond Gosling, James Watson, Francis Crick, and Erwin Chargaff, primarily in the 1950s and 1960s.

Erwin Chargaff (1905-2002) in particular was responsible for the insight that DNA molecules contain roughly equal proportions of adenine and thymine (one of the "base pairs" in the DNA molecule) and of guanine and cytosine (the other "base pair").  Since that time, high school students everywhere have had to memorize the letters A-T and G-C in conjunction with their introduction to the molecular structure of DNA.

It is fascinating to note that the first four signs of the zodiac wheel after the ecliptic "crossing" of the celestial equator at the spring equinox (shown in the diagram above) are Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer (readers who astutely note that the motion of precession has long ago "delayed" the sky and moved the constellation Pisces into the heliacal rising position once occupied by the constellation Aries during the Age of Aries should note that in astrological terms, the "signs" are considered to remain in the positions shown above, for cogent reasons that are beyond the scope of this particular post).

Is it mere "coincidence" that the base pairs of the DNA molecule begin with the same four letters as the first four signs in the zodiac (A, T, G and C), and that they actually "pair" in a manner consistent with the order of the zodiac signs (A with T, and G with C, just as Aries is next to Taurus and Gemini next to Cancer)?

Of course, skeptical readers will note that the names for the DNA nucleobases were generally given by different researchers operating in different decades during the mid- to late-1800s, and that their names almost certainly were not chosen in order to relate in any way to the zodiac signs (adenine, for example, was named after the pancreas, from which the first samples in which adenine was isolated were taken and which organ in Greek is named aden, while guanine is apparently named after the word for bird droppings or guano).  And so it would seem on the surface that the connection between the zodiac and our modern understanding of the DNA molecule and its structure and base pairing is purely coincidental.  

Nevertheless, even if no plausible argument can be made for an actual connection between the letters A-T-G-C in the DNA molecule, and the letters A-T-G-C in the first four constellations of the zodiac cycle, it certainly seems to be a singular example of serendipity, synchronicity, or the collective unconscious working itself out over the course of thousands of years.

Further, while the letters A-T-G-C may not be among the evidence which argues for ancient understanding of the DNA molecule long before the work of Franklin and Gosling, Watson and Crick, and that of Erwin Chargaff, there is in fact other evidence which suggests that the ancients did in fact display flashes of insight which make us wonder whether they might somehow have had inexplicable knowledge of the importance of the DNA molecule, and even the structure of DNA.

One oft-cited example is the fact that the ancient symbol of the caduceus features two intertwined serpents very reminiscent of the double-helix structure of DNA.  Further, some ancient art including the images from ancient Sumer and Babylon depicted on this page (disregard the discussions of "Nibiru," "Planet X," and the "Annunaki" as outside the scope of this particular post as well) clearly seem to be very suggestive of modern understanding of the structure of DNA.

Jeremy Narby, author of Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge has an interview on the web located here in which he discusses a theory which attempts to explain how the mankind may have acquired knowledge of the importance of DNA and its helictical structure long before the advent of "modern science."  He believes that it is very possible -- and that in fact there is evidence to conclude -- that shamanic techniques can give human beings access to knowledge which modern scientific methods only confirmed much later, in recent decades.  In fact, he notes that shamans regularly describe visions involving intertwining serpents, and associate these serpents with something shared by all the multifarious life-forms in our world.  In the interview, he makes the assertion that:
Both shamans and molecular biologists agree that there is a hidden unity under the surface of life's diversity; both associate this unity with the double helix shape (or two entwined serpents, a twisted ladder, a spiral staircase, two vines wrapped around each other); both consider that one must deal with this level of reality in order to heal.  One can fill a book with correspondences between shamanism and molecular biology.
Note that in an image about four-fifths of the way down that long web page, Dr. Narby includes an image from the tradition of western alchemy which he believes has clear resemblance to chromosonal DNA, and which certainly predates the work of Franklin, Gosling, Watson and Crick by centuries.

There is other evidence, particularly from ancient sacred traditions and mythology, which strongly suggest that mankind somehow knew far more about the importance of DNA than we moderns have been led to believe.  This evidence will be addressed in my next book.

This evidence has nothing (directly) to do with the synchronicity involving the letters A-T-G-C and the first four signs of the zodiac, although the ancients clearly taught that mankind reflected the cosmos on a "microcosmic" level, a concept discussed in previous posts such as "The extra-zodiacal decans in macrocosm and microcosm," "More on macrocosm and microcosm," "Human internal organs connected to solar system planets?" "Okeanos," "The judgement of Paris," and "Giordano Bruno, 1548-1600."  

If each strand of our DNA is composed of base pairs whose initials reflect the initials of those first four zodiac signs (each of which is considered the "leader" of a grouping of three other signs, categorized as the Earth, Air, Fire, and Water signs of the zodiac), then we can truly say that -- however the serendipitous confluence came about, the naming of the DNA base pairs symbolizes on a profound level the fact that each of us embodies a tiny cosmos.

Much more could be said on this subject.  Even better than saying it, however, might be to contemplate it in respectful silence.