The Jaina Doctrine of Karma And The Science Of Genetics ► [7.3] Preventive and Social Measures ► Comparison - Saṁkramaṇa Of Karma And Genetic Engineering

Posted: 06.10.2009

Gene pool 100 years ago, or 1000 years ago, we are the same people genetically; what is changed is the way we live and govern our behaviour. Crime is not an individual problem, but a social problem. The way to predict which individuals are going to be violent today cannot be done by testing their blood in Lab. The best way to predict who is going to be violent is to see where and how they live. Today's criminal violence is not about brain chemicals about poverty, the gulf between rich and poor, racial polarization, urban squalor, a lack of person responsibility, family breakdown and the deterioration of civil society.

However social and environmental factors alone are not enough to explain violence and crime. If that simple minded view were true, then everybody born in the ghetto (hardship) would be a criminal, and everybody born in plenty would be a model citizen. The truth is more complex. All the research show that anger and hostility are their visible outcomes such as crime and violence - are caused neither solely by the environment nor by biology. Genes do not make criminals - neither does "gangsta" rap. The mix is what is deadly; the combination of genes and environment, temperament and character. There are individuals who are violent because of what is going on in their heads, and there are societies in which violence flourishes. In no other domain of human behaviour are nature and nurture so thoroughly intertwined.[56]

Men are proof that DNA is not necessarily destiny and that character traits can override genetic predisposition. In the case of Daniel, his strong character worked to overcome what could have been a genetic problem. Even though Russell did not have a disadvantage at birth, he still was miserable. Just as a person can be tall and not play basketball. You can have happy genes and feel terrible. If you feel your own level of harm avoidance is too high, there are plenty of ways to improve your outlook on life, such as working on a positive attitude, changing jobs, losing a few ponds, taking a vacation, exercising or even indulging in an occasional hot fudge sunday.[57]

The pattern of brain waves fits with what is known about the role of the right and left frontal areas in the control of emotional expression. The right side seems to be more involved in controlling negative emotions, where as left side plays more of a role in positive emotions. The anxiety felt by valerie may be because the more dominant side of her brain, which is the right side, is sending out more negative controlling signals then the left side, which send out the positive controlling signals.[58]

Violence and aggression also have genetic roots. Some people are born with shorter fuses and are more likely to lash out at others. Numerous studies show that altering the levels of a single brain chemical can completely change an animal's level of aggression. A simple manipulation of a single gene can turn a meek and mild rat into a crazer killer. The same brain chemicals are found in humans, and certain people are driven to violence by a force with in them. Their life long struggle will be to consciously override what they are programmed to do.

How we think is also a product of genes. The evidence that IQ is largely inherited is over whelming. Some genes determine how quickly the brain can process information. Others may control particular circuits, such as those for mathematical calculation or perfect pitch. What we have always called "God given talents" are known in laboratories as genetically endowed traits. The encouraging news is that genes do not always play their strongest role until adulthood.[59]

The news are shocking to Maria and her parents. Who never suspected she was anything but a healthy young woman. Further test revealed she had a rare condition. Present in about 1 out of 20,000 (XY) births called androgen intensivity syndrome. There was a crippling mutation in the gene for the androgen receptor - the protein that senses the presence of male sex hormones. Maria was born with a normal Y chromosome and TDF gene. Her development train should have been directed in the male direction. But because there was no receptor to sense the androgen, it was a circular track. No external male features were formed, and the train was routed back to the female track. That is why her external genitalia and secondary sex characteristic were those of woman. The only difference between Maria and any other woman was that Maria had internal tests and an incompletely developed Vagina, which would seem irrelevant to her ability to leap over hurdles.

Maria is an example of how a little knowledge of genetics can be dangerous. The officials thought that XY must mean male, but in fact many other genes, most of them on other chromosomes, are necessary to distinguish a man from woman. And since Maria was a woman under any definition except in the vocabulary of their particular gene, other genes must play a role in the behaviour that we consider to be female or male.[60]

I think therefore I am (Rene Decarts). Native talents and native intelligence, Innate, Inborn. Derived from the constitution of mind, as seem to being derived from experience all due to Genes.[61]

As individuals there is no doubt we want to live longer, or at least look younger, we have a strong instinct to survive jointly with an acute sense of morality, which has pushed us to improve living conditions that prolong life. Not to mention the power of human vanity. We still fantasize about discovery a "fountain of youth" but now search for longevity has turned inward to look at our genetic code. By discovering the genes that control aging, perhaps we will be able to prevent or at least slow the process. More likely we will be able to prevent or at least slow the process. More likely, we will be able to prevent some of the diseases, disability and discomfort that acompany aging. Perhaps the most important result of discovering the genetics of aging will be to understand what can be changed. These are some aspects of mental and physical decline that cannot be avoided, but enjoyment of our final years certainly can be increased through medical advances, healthy living and positive thinking.[62]

By the first decade of the twenty five century we will know the entire sequence of the human genome. Ever one of more than three billion nucleotides that make up the 1,00,000 genes that constitute our genetic patrimony. Deciphering the meaning and function of those genes will be slower but success is inevitable. Already an entire new field has emerged called "Functional genomic" dedicated to figuring out what genes do. At the same time new technologies are emerging to exploit this information with drugs and by manipulating the genetic information itself. So far the manipulations are being performed only on animals, Dolly the sheep being the first well known example, but humans are just a few steps away.[63]

Supporters of international Human genome Project argue convincingly that mapping the entire genome will help produce new drugs, reduce birth defects and allow us to live longer and healthier lives. The focus of attention so far has been on discoveries of genes for cancer and other physical illness.[64]

Families sought to marry their offspring with people of high rank and stature. People from particular religions or races sought their own kind. The highest social classes, the blue bloods, sought to preserve the purity of their lines.

The difference is that in the near future science will give us the power to do it more quickly, more accurately and more decisively, we will select mates not because of some superficial trait like a prominent family: we will be able to read their DNA as easily as an x-ray. Nor will we settle for the randomness of sexual blending of sperm and egg. With all its billions of possible combination when we can build desired combination to the letter.[65]

In future a person who complains of depression or anxiety could have a DNA test to check the serotonin genes. People with compulsive behaviour such as gambling, drinking, drugs or promiscuous sex, would be checked for dopamine genes. Eating disorder or obesity? Look at the genes for leptin, the leptin receptor, and its largest. A new technology called DNA chips, already under development by a biotech firm called afymatrix, will make an entire DNA blueprint as easy to read as supermarket bar code.

Doctors will not be the only ones to read this information, insurance companies, which profit by charging based on risk factors such as smoking would be very interested in genetic predispositions toward addiction or mental disorders. The military, which today rejects people who took medication as teenagers to control attention deficit disorder, might want to know about genes for rebellious temperament. Employers might be interested in genes for loyalty. Religious orders would be wise to discourage high novelty seekers, while the maker of sport cars would want to forget them with ads. Dating services should have revealing new ways to match people, imagine how excited certain school administrator would be to track students who are bright, troubled or aggressive.

We will all have new ways to understand people and label them, discriminate against them or help them. The technology is coming, how to use it is upto us.[66]

Rather problems with this kind of "gene therapy" on brain cells would arise because it usually would be used to clean up damage rather than prevent it, and it is good for only one generation. The best way to fix a gene before it is passed on to the next generation is to go into the germ cells in the sperms and eggs, on approach to this germline therapy has already been developed, at least in mice. Now DNA is introduced into the cells that are grown in a culture, then mixed together with natural cells from a early embryo. Some of the resulting babies will have the engineered genes in their germ cells and can pass them on to the next generation.[67]

Andrew married a woman he met in college, and they had two beautiful children. Andrew and his wife were thoroughly modern and dutiful parents, reading to their babies and playing classical music in the nursery. Before the children were conceived, Andrew and his wife had gone to their geneticist for routine counseling. The doctor has offered to run their DNA through the scanner and discuss any modification they might want to consider. Andrew, of course was opposed to Genetic Engineering, but they were a little concerned Andrew's wife had a brother who was paranoid schizophernic, a condition with strong genetic roots. The doctor assured them that routine screening would weed out such obvious flaws in the DNA. Several mental conditions, obesity, extreme hyper activity, socially limiting shyness (SLS) and criminal aggression all had been virtually had been virtually eliminated through routine genetic screening before conception. People no longer aborted babies with obvious problems: such babies were no longer conceived.[68]

An example of this experimental switching of genders was shown with two rats, known as Morks and Mindy and recorded on video. Mindy was genetically female and dosed with deprived of testosterone and injected with female hormones. The X rated video of their first encounter, made of UCLA researcher Roger Gorski has a simple and decidedly unromantic plot: Mindi meets Mork, Mindi mounts Monk, Mindi leaves Mork.[69]

Adaption studies suggest that in these cases most of the similarity between relative is due to genes rather than specific family environments. For example, the correlation between a biological parents and child is about 15% compared to less than 1% for an adoptive parents and child, websters defines personality as the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional and social characteristics of an individual. Since the 1920's hundreds of family, twin and adoptee studies of IQ have been reported in the scientific literature. The main conclusion is that roughly half of the variation in IQ scores is caused by genetic differences.[70]

It is now technically feasible to take a gene from one species and make it part of the genome (genetic 'blue print') of another species. A toxin producing gene from a bacterium can be added to come to make it pest-resistant. The gene that makes a firefly glow at night can be added to a plant's DNA to make the leaves light up when the crop is ripe. A cow can be engineered to produce a drug in its milk. Human genes can be added to a pig's genome so that it grows organs for transplantation to mass without being rejected by the patients [71]

The advances in genetic science raise multiple legal issues that emphasize the need to educate and train legal minds to comprehend and cope up with the challenging task that would arise in the legal field. Acquiring knowledge of genetic science in context of law and law enforcement should be tempered with concern for social and cultural effects of the New Genetics, so that a human being doesn't come to be viewed as a bundle of mere gene cells. The genetic science instantly brings into sharp focus that in a human body, besides the human cells that compose its totality, there lies a separate and independent entity, which cannot be seen or analyzed in terms of cells and that entity will alone be concerned with scientific, legal and ethical norms which should be deviced to regulate and control the progress of genetic science for the betterment of all human beings and the vast biodiversity that surrounds it. If there be detected genetic component to various traits relating to individual's behaviour, personality including intelligence, anger, aggressiveness and social conduct, anxiety and addiction, let there be deviced a gene therapy that prompts the mankind towards world peace and economic prosperity. The term trait is meant, in its brodest sense, to include physical attributes, mental or physical abilities, dispositions and capabilities. Most discussed enhancement technology is one in which a person's genome is altered. [72]

Jaina karma theory helps us to understand the complexities of personality traits of human beings. Jainian approach for modifying human behaviour through the practice of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct is also psychological in nature. Compared modern psychological approach through the application of principles of repression, inhibition, redirection and sublimation. Jainian approach is rather an attempt to overhaul the wholeness of an individual. It involves only psychological approach, a short of non drug theory. [73]

Jaina karma theory seems to be so sophisticated that it appears to have shown the seed of modern Genetic Engineering. Jaina principle of "saṁkarmaṇa" - Ingression propounds the theory that karma paramāṇa can be modified through some variation by following principles of Jaina karma theory. This clearly indicates towards the possibility of changes in the genes in modern times. Jaina karma theory had thus paved the way for such transformation in human beings, the ideas of which have led to the development of modern Genetic Engineering. [74]

A lady doctor from America, Louise L. hay - You can heal your life - hay house, 3029 Wilshire Blud, Santa Monika, A 90404 U.S.A., p. 12-13) The original English version of the quotation is as follows: "Resentment that is long held can eat away at the body and become the disease we call cancer. Criticism as a permanent habit can often lead to arthritis in the body. Guilt always looks for punishment and punishment creates pain. When a client comes to me with a lot of pain - "I know they are holding a lot of quilt, fear and tension it produces, can create things like boldness, ulcer and even sore feet". I have found that forgiving and releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer, while this may sound simplistic, I have seen and experienced its working.

An excerpt from Ven Dire will be significant in this regard. "The Cancer Conquerors" quoting Grey Anderson. "He discovered how powerful fear, anger and distress are in affecting the immune system. He discovered also that unconditional love, inner peace, giving away love, reducing expectation of others and turning into the powerful effect of meditation and visualization where the seeds for defeating the cancer that was raging in his body.........I recommended that you read this wonderful book and share it with anyone you know who is diagnosed with cancer".

Every worldly soul happens to be confined (not free). The imprisonment is due to bondage of karma (bandha). Inflow of karma is due to āsṛava, the stoppage of inflow is due to saṁvara and the eradication of karma is due to Nirjarā. Jīva can shed the karmas and purify his soul with the help of austerities. The six types of Saṁvara-samiti, gupti, yatidharma, bhāvanās, parīṣaha and cāritra will be helpful in eradicating karma only if they are carried out with a firm faith in the commands of Jīna. The special efforts to destroy karma is done through Tapas or austerities. Austerity means restraint, which is done willingly by giving away some of the bodily comforts to discipline our mind from passions and pleasures. Austerities are performed at various occasions and in various different ways. All austerities have their own uniqueness.

To achieve mokṣa we need the right knowledge, high faith and right conduct known as three jewels of Jainism. Regarding right conduct we must achieve control over our inner desires and reach a single stage where there is no attachment or hatred. Although different people take different vows and despite the outer difference in the observance of these vows, the goal of all is to attain right conduct. As we find in the scriptures there are different vows for monks and nuns and for male and female house holders.

Genetic Engineering is the heritable, directed alteration of an organism. Altering DNA or adding new DNA allow us to change the characteristic of a cell or cells. Genetics Engineering is the method of transfer a gene from the DNA of one species to the DNA of another species. Change of positive characteristic of a cell means to Saṁkramaṇa of karmas accumulated with karma sarīra available in whole gross body.

A DNA molecule is like a string of letters, using a four letter alphabets, easily copied when living cells produce. The sequence of letters make sentences, which we call genes. One kind of gene gives a cell the necessary instructions for making one of the various kinds of protein, used for structures, enzymes, signals and basic mechanisms of life. The other kind of sequence is used as a control mechanism so that a cell can tell when to make which protein and when to do something else. Altering of protein is the process of Saṁkramaṇa of karma. Scientists learned the language of protein-making gene sequences. The language is the same for all forms of lives. If the gene for purple hair were introduced into the parental germline cells, then the children could carry the purple hair gene.

Every cell of a multi cellular organism contains same blue print of organism but in different type of cells i.e. skin cell, nerve cell, bone merrow cell genes operate in different way according to body requirement. These genes are directed by the rising karmas to operate according to body requirement. Those genes are directed by the rising karmas to operate according to nature, duration, intensity and quantity of karmas in rise. With the following processes of genetic Engineering we can switch on and off the desired working of genes. These can also be said karma Saṁkramaṇa processes.

Regulation of gene expression, DNA finger printing, DNA repair and DNA proof reading, control of enzyme activities, control of cell growth and reproduction, Recombinant DNA Technology, cloning process, Gene therapy. Karmas can be Saṁkramaṇa by health and promotional measures of genes - like eugenics, euthenics, Genetic counseling, change in marriage pattern, specific protein, prenatal diagnosis, screening of new born infants, transplantation organs and tissues and the genetics of antibody formation.

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