Thursday, November 09, 2006


Ever since Darwin wrote his Origin of the Species on Nov. 24, 1859 he has provided people with the fuel to jump start their brains and should probably be called the Father of Science Fiction. His writing was not based on science fiction but on his voyage in 1856 on the HMS Beagle and sparked by Gregor Mendel's work with pea plants. Mendel was a little known Central European monk who experimented with what farmers and herdsman have always known about breeding and cross breeding.

Out of this quest for knowledge begun by Descartes who believed that nothing in nature could not be recreated by Man comes the science fiction watched and read everywhere these days. The roots of the Human Genome Project are deep in this fertile soil which gives fruit to speculation about the evolutionary track Mankind will take. Enter the X-Men and Mutant X and now Heroes.

My subscription to the Sci Fi Channel's newsletter made me curious about the new show, Heroes, and after a brief struggle of several weeks I gave in and downloaded all seven episodes. Now they haunt my dreams. The show is interesting and gives reality to what Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created in 1963 with the X-Men, a comic I avidly devoured in my formative years. Not to take anything away from the movie versions of the X-Men, but Heroes is the embodiment of those ideas and people without the strong, gentle guiding hand of Professor Charles Xavier. However, once again life hangs in the balance as these models of natural selection and genetic mutation figure out what is happening to them and why and what they must do with their powers. The show's narrator says that change is violent and there is certainly violence in what is happening to these ordinary people who are beginning to understand just how extraordinary they really are as they head towards a cataclysmic clash with destiny.

What I want to know is whether or not Mendel and Darwin should be compensated for their work? The heirs of the protohuman who discovered how to make fire certainly didn't get his share of the residuals.

That is all. Disperse.

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