Human DNA Tweaks and the Prime Directive

As you can probably tell by now, I’m big on digging up the obscure context (read: facts) to find the angles that others ignore or don’t even see. However, that tendency does NOT preclude me from entertaining a wide range of speculation in the more esoteric realms. Case in point: My article from February 2021, called “The Hidden & Mystical Power of Cats.”

With this in mind, I point you to a July 16, 2021 article in Science News called, “Only a tiny fraction of our DNA is uniquely human.” In that piece, Tina Hesman Saey (Senior Writer, Molecular Biology for Science News) reports: 

Only 1.5 percent to 7 percent of the collective human genetic instruction book, or genome, contains uniquely human DNA, researchers report in Science Advances. That humans-only DNA, scattered throughout the genome, tends to contain genes involved in brain development and function, hinting that brain evolution was important in making humans human. But the researchers don’t yet know exactly what the genes do and how the exclusively human tweaks to DNA near those genes may have affected brain evolution.” Saey adds that “Neanderthals and Denisovans, both extinct human cousins, may have thought much like humans do.

Join me, if you will, on a flight of fancy in the name of pondering what caused these so-called “human tweaks.” There was a point in human history when our species took an inexplicable exponential leap in cognitive powers — even if it only required 1.5 percent to 7 percent of their DNA. How and why? What changed? What happened? Was it magic mushrooms? Theories abound but since none can be proven or disproven, we’re free to speculate… aren’t we?

Mickey Z. is the creator of a podcast called Post-Woke. You can subscribe here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on New York City streets. Spread the word. Read other articles by Mickey.