Thursday, July 7, 2011
Are you who you think you are?
As one scientist in the Stan Lee series said, every human averages about three mutations but they aren't all consequential. Say you were supposed to be born with brown eyes, but they're blue instead. That's a mutation but you'd never know it (paraphrased) because who cares.
What captivated me most was that many of the huge mutations are things that would never be discovered if it weren't for the life the individuals currently lead. For example, the guy who can deep sea dive well over six minutes without a tank, does it competitively. The fact that his body is genetically altered to actually accept the crushing weight of force that would make his lungs the size of an orange without any adverse affects, the fact that when he gets to four minutes of breath holding his body does the impossible, it functions anaerobically, is otherwise humanly impossible. Basically, when the oxygen level in his blood drops to about 80, which is dangerous for mere mortals, his body STOPS USING OXYGEN and holds steady.
There's another guy who is a wrestler. He uses his head for the knockout punches. It's part of his livelihood. He breaks concrete blocks and hammers nails with his forehead, all without concussing. This is also humanly impossible. But he discovered his ability when he chased his brother through the house, tripped and hit a solid oak door. He busted the door off its hinges without a single moment of stun. On a brain scan, there were no internal injuries, but his skull is more than twice as thick as a normal person's. Mutation!
Another guy was a child when his mother died. He was so depressed that he decided to commit suicide by climbing a power tower and holding on to the electrodes. Nothing happened, not even a tingle. And that's how he discovered that his body is wired differently. He CONDUCTS electricity and his body reroutes the energy away from his heart and brain. When the current in his body is over three times the strength to kill a normal man, he goes blind as his body reroutes the power. His sight returns once the current stops.
These were all tested and proven. There were tons of things like this. The guy that can withstand twelve G-forces (1 G being Earth's gravity, and 6 forces being where most fighter pilots pass out), is a stunt pilot for airshows.
Do you see the pattern? Is it chance that brings these people into their professions because of their mutations? Is there some kind of body awareness going on that bring these people to know that this is the profession they need to be in? Almost all of them said, in one form or another, that when they were doing the thing that made them amazing, it just felt "right".
If it feels "right" to do what they seem adapted to do, then what happens to the rest of us with our average of three mutations that aren't noticeable? Are they effecting the decisions we make? Is it free will or kismet directing us to make the choices we make? Do writers write because there's a mutation in them that help them "see" a story and explain it to others? Do readers read because there's a mutation that makes them crave something in the process of story telling?
There's a guy who loves math and his mutation is that his math center isn't where the normal human math center is, but instead was formed in the middle of his small motor skill center. He's the human calculator, calculating numbers the way your body calculates small variations in movement. There's a musical genius who remembers everything he hears the first time around. There's a world champion memory competitor who can remember everyone's name because his memory accesses the visual part of his temporal lobe and it takes a picture of the person. He says he then "files" the face and name together in a mental filing cabinet. He has total recall. Again, they are driven to do the thing they're good at BEFORE they were ever tested to know that they were different.
Did you know that there's a mutation in a percentage of humans that make the taste buds detect "soap" when they eat cilantro? That's why not everyone likes it. Some people taste the tangy green, some people taste soap. Obviously, those who taste soap don't like it and don't eat it. THEY didn't know they were genetically mutated. They just don't gravitate to things that they find unpleasant.
So what about your choices? What about where you live, the climate, the location? What about the subjects you find intolerable? What about your profession? Are any of them dictated by your mutations? And if they aren't things that are readily testable, how will we ever know?
It's food for thought. Pass the cilantro.