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23 July 2006 @ 10:51 pm
genetic memory vs how we learn  
I admittedly have a weird mind. I like to consider science fictional issues in the light of our current reality or as compared to my life. Lately I've been pondering Stargate's fictional species known as "Goa'uld" (along with their estranged branch, the "Tok'ra."

These creatures possess genetic memory, a concept I had previously encountered in science fiction. As a child I read about another fictional race, the Nipe, who possessed genetic memory and therefore had trouble understanding humans when they did not behave properly according to Nipe societal norms. (Naturally the humans did not understand the Nipe either, at first.)

So I've always been intrigued by the concept as well as the assumption that such species would be so weighed down by their genetic memory preserved through the ages that innovation and risk would be difficult for them. The Goa'uld were presented as imitators and technology adopters rather than creators and innovators. On one of the boards we got into a discussion about whether any of the Goa'uld could change their lifestyle now that their power over the galactic order has been broken. They live by taking over the bodies of humans and relegating them to the background of their own lives, mere observers. (The Tok'ra take willing hosts and live a completely symbiotic relationship, both physically and psychologically.) Could the Goa'uld change? We saw an episode in sixth season where a Goa'uld became influenced by her love for a human and respect for the SG team and risked her life for the group, ultimately sacrificing it to save her host. That seemed to indicate there was some hope.

As I pondered the Goa'uld and their thousands of years worth of genetic memories of domination, enslavement and conquest, I began to think about what weighs humans down. What limits our thinking?

Naturally we are influenced by our childhoods, the people we know, the people who raise us, our school experiences and the events around us, and the culture we grow up in. I imagined trying to quantify what I learned growing up and how it affects me now.

I will explore that in a future entry. I'm wondering what my friends' list would have to say about what you each learned growing up and how that affects, limits or inspires you now?

Meanwhile this weekend I have been visiting with my daughter and grandsons, of course inspiring me to think of family--where ours has been and where it's going with this new generation of inquisitive and spirited boys.

And my Goddess, when will this heat wave end? I have no air conditioning so I've been quite cranky. Though my daughter and I did have fun splashing water while we cleaned my Miata. (Bless her, she also cleaned part of my apartment.) If you live somewhere near Downey in the L.A. area and need your house cleaned, I can hook you up!