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Embracing Viral DNA and getting a placenta 🩸

3things adam lazarus biological metaphors construct-aware ethics jordan myska allen personal growth relatefulness transclude virus Jun 06, 2024


Speaking of viruses, at Relateful Camp I learned from entomologist Adam Lazarus that a parasitic virus in early mammals eventually got fully accepted and became the genes that form the placenta. 🤯

Sure it took millions of years, but here are a couple of my takeaways from this fascinating bit of evolutionary history:

- We have no idea what anything is for. What we currently perceive as negative or parasitic in our lives might have a crucial role we can't yet understand.
- We have no idea what's good or bad on non-human time horizons. This is often evident looking back at unwanted events even in our own lifetimes, and being able to appreciate what they gave us. Knowing this, we can often find more determination and peace going through hard times in the present.
- We are far more interconnected in a literal sense than even I normally realize, and I'm thinking about it all the time—we wouldn't be mammals without having transcluded some viruses.
- That doesn't mean surrender to whatever comes; I'm sure there are billions of viruses that didn't get included in our DNA.
- Endosymbiosis as an ethic is helpful as a survival strategy even as early in evolution as viruses.
- Looking for the good that benefits me and the larger wholes I'm a part of is an ancient and naturally good orientation.


With love, Jordan


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