We’ve known for many a year that genetics can explain a lot when it comes to predicting the frequency of brown hair and blue eyes in a population and whether or not you’re born with an appendix. Ever since Mendel carried out his famous experiments cross breeding peas in a monastery in upper Bavaria, our understanding on how huge complex sequences of generic material can affect everything from whether we’re green, have wrinkled or smooth skin and whether we can glow in the dark in the right atmospheric conditions has increased exponentially.
These days we like to determine whether or not our characters can be explained by our generic makeup (‘I blame the parents’ is a common explanation offered by the popular press these days) – and recent experiments and huge statistical studies across the world have demonstrated some startling new insights into how our characters are shaped by our DNA.
The popular press have recently identified the scientists who have themselves identified important genes in our genome: for instance the gene which determines whether or not you are a lying bastard or not. This gene (the ‘lying bastard‘ gene) is located on the Y chromosome in men and consequently explains a lot of many men’s behaviours. It is located we are told next to smaller gene complexes entitled ‘scurrilous’, ‘shifty’ and ‘tosser’. Clearly, depending on whether your genes demonstrate dominant or recessive behaviour, your chromosomes will determine whether or not you are a scurrilous, shifty, lying bastard of a tosser – or just a tosser.
The X chromosome – possessed by both men and women – also has several character traits now clearly attributed to it. These include ‘not good at games’; ‘gets distracted easily’; and ‘rather fancies themselves in front of the mirror‘.
The future potential that character mapping of human DNA provides us with is immense with many economic and cultural implications. Whenever we say for example that something runs in the family, we’ll be able to point to the relevant gene sequence and either feel comforted that we come from good genetic stock (genes such as ‘self satisfied’; ‘holier than thou’ and ‘smug‘ will all help this process); or we could decide to excise them from our genetic lineage in future by sponsoring stem cell technology which replaces undesirable genetic material with more suitable alternatives.
The media will no doubt help us in this desire to help us purge ourselves of undesirable genetic features, exhibiting as they do all the positive qualities of a future genetically engineered population: ‘honesty’, ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’.