Monday, November 29, 2010

A DNA Mystery in Seeds

I read a blog by John Michael Greer, and last week he wrote about seeds and the incredible amount of information they store in their DNA. 

Mr. Greer said:
"This is why when you tap a seed envelope against your hand and send a single seed rolling out onto your palm, you’re holding two billion years of stored information. That’s how long, according to current paleontology, the process of evolution has been shaping the genetic code of living things related to the ones we encounter today, and every generation across that unimaginable length of time has contributed something to the shaping of the little packet of genetic material, nutrition, and protective layers we call a plant seed."

So, he's saying the information stored in the seed has been collected and perhaps shaped by earlier generations of that seed (and other factors) for a very long time, is in the current seed's DNA. That information certainly affects the characteristic growth of the seed into a plant. The seed contains genetic information to help it grow into roots, stems, stalks, flowers, fruit, leaves...

But think about this: our human DNA also contains all our genetic information. The DNA, genes, or genetic information, in every cell in our body is exactly the same. The DNA, the genetic material, the genetic program is identical in the arms and the legs, and so are the chemicals, the proteins... and are also exactly like those in my skin, or my heart muscle. So, how did the genetic information in my legs and arms know for some of them to take the form of a leg, some to take the form of an arm, and still others to take the various other forms in my body? The morphogentetic fields give the plans of the developing organism.

A plant follows the same biological rules: the genes in the leaves of a plant are the same as the genes in the roots, or in the fruit.

Many of the biologists who study the development of form in plants and animals have the theory that developing organisms are shaped by something they call morphic fields. We all have seen short videos of morphing where one human face morphs or changes into another face, and there are many computer programs designed to let us play with this form of creativity. So, the idea of morphing is not really new to us.

These morphic fields are scientifically described as "self-organizing fields of influence", comparable to other know  fields such as magnetic fields. The problem is that no one really knows (yet) what morphic fields really are or how they work.

Rupert Sheldrake has this to say:

The Hypothesis of Morphic Fields
"All self-organizing systems are wholes made up of parts, which are themselves wholes at a lower level, such as atoms in molecules and molecules in crystals. The same is true of organelles in cells, cells in tissues, tissues in organs, organs in organisms, organisms in social groups. At each level, the morphic field gives each whole its characteristic properties and interconnects and coordinates the constituent parts.

The fields responsible for the development and maintenance of bodily form in plants and animals are called morphogenetic fields. In animals, the organization of behavior and mental activity depends on behavioral and mental fields. The organization of societies and cultures depends on social and cultural fields. All these kinds of organizing fields are morphic fields.

These fields are supposed to be within and around these organisms that they organize. There are hierarchies of fields within fields. So in our bodies there is a liver field, a kidney field, an eye field, and so on. Within those fields are the fields for the tissues and fields of the
cells—nested hierarchies of fields within fields.

Morphogenetic fields have a holistic property that is not present in chunks of matter."

My understanding is Sheldrake says morphogenetic fields impose patterns of organization on organisms, and later in the article he says the patterns become "habitual". That makes sense to me... If we grow a plant that normally has green leaves and one individual plant sports a variegated leaf, we can propagate the variegated plant with a probability that more variegation will happen in subsequent generations. The means by which the activity-pattern (in this case, the variegation) is passed on to subsequent generations (systems) is called morphic resonance.

The science of all this is very complex, and I barely understand the top tip of the iceberg, so to speak. I know that years ago when I read about The Hundreth Monkey effect, it was said to be a myth. Now, science is beginning to prove otherwise by morphic fields and morphic resonance.

Photo is in the Public Domain

Here's one thought I have: If it's true that something unknown outside the genetic imprint affects things like seeds and people, isn't it also a possiblity that there may actually be something to the subtle energies coming at us from outside our lovely blue orb? That the gravitational pull of our moon may indeed have a variable affect on plant growth the same way the moon affects tides? And if the moon, why not Saturn, or another huge chunk of matter out in the Universe, in some way? Rudolph Steiner thought so, and so do many of today's agricultural and biological researchers and scientists.

If those subtle energies affect the organisms we call plants, animals and humans, what effect might they have on carbon (biochar?) or mineral components in our soils? 

The implications are certainly thought-provoking.  

My goal is to grow foods that are brimming with a vital energy no longer evident in most of our foods, and conventional or even organic methods of natural fertilizers and pesticides just don't cut it.  My garden is slowly becoming an experiment with Nature, rather than imposing on Nature.


  1. Interesting indeed! Look for 'The Biology of Belief' on CD and hear what this researcher and medical doctor has to say about how our environment can effect and change us at the cellular level. It's incredible. Enjoy your blog!

  2. I just read the Amazon reviews of the book, Biology of Belief which I assume is the same as the CD? I put it on my wish list, as I doubt my small-town library has it. Hay House has published some very interesting works, Thanks!


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