Summary of a Paper by Wallace Yater
One of the most interesting strangers I spoke with at the Boonsboro Green Fest in 2015 was Wallace M. Yater. ‘Wally’ as he is affectionately known, is a brilliant modern philosopher. Wally handed me his theory on the importance of mutations in biodiversity, called ‘Why Such Constant Over-population; or Why Everything In Biology and Life Depends On Very Rare Random Molecular Mistakes’. His paper is a 2015 version, and begins by mentioning how Darwin would be fascinated by our micro-biological discoveries; in relation to evolution and inter-connection between species. Wally is quick to point out human concerns that threaten life on this planet as well. Problems created by population and technology include pollution, poaching, and degradation of ecology.
Human greed seems to have ruled civilization; ever since we did less hunting and gathering, and more agriculture and hoarding. Recent archeology supports his claims, and even has found evidence that gender roles were more equal before patriarchal domination of property in Neanderthal Europe. Politicians have always been bought by ‘big money’, as he reminds us that we already know. Wally also laments that Climate Change is real, and we are doing nothing substantial about it, as fast as we can.
“We are really a very strange bunch of primates, in so many ways…” Wally goes on to say. He goes on to talk about the World History and the psychology of politics. Wally says the “real enigma here, the incomprehensible conundrum, with all this is how could a species with all these conflicting negative traits, have survived…” which also leads into our perception of time, and our own period of existence on this planet. Wally says “there are many answers to this survival question.” Some answers to our survival are beyond our comprehension, some will be repellent, and some will be based on random probability. “Molecules perform flawlessly millions of times, and then a high energy cosmic ray, or a stray contaminant from the environment gets in the way, and a mistake happens.” Some of our rarest mistakes make all the difference for our survival, despite any detriments. “Inspite of all the bad results, these random ‘mistakes’ are so important, life on Earth wouldn’t even be here without them!” Mistakes change DNA, and generate variation, which is how life evolves, survives, but yes also dies.
Wally asks us “Why is sex so important?” What is with all this sexual competition? “Even bacteria trade DNA, which is a form of sex. One answer.” Wally says all the sex is about speeding up evolution for complex organisms “like us”. Wally hints that with thousands of genes chosen randomly, we should not feel bad that most of us will not be famous; because “many famous successful people have many brothers and sisters you never hear about”.
“Virtually everyone you talk to has a ‘gut feeling’ that it is only a matter of time, that this present state of affairs will drastically change in a lot of ways we are not going to like.” “Vast human die offs have always been with us.” “We have always been like rats.” Some vermin usually survive extermination. He goes on to talk about the devolution that ‘dysgenics’ causes; when the ‘less fit’ are allowed to survive and breed. Wally mentions the problem of genetically ‘fixing’ crops, while pests continue to evolve. To compensate for natural blights we drench our food in poison.
“Is genocide a human trait?” Wally thinks it seems so, given our historic patterns of slaughter and suffering. Our pack-mentality favors shared suffering. Like frogs unaware that they are slowly boiling to death in a pot, we may be massively incapable of solving our problems.
“What has been presented here is the result of almost 8 decades of observing neighbors, coupled with a broader over-all view,” of science and history. “If all 7 billion people on this planet read this, it wouldn’t change anything. Only a few would comprehend anything close to the original idea. It wouldn’t get a meaningful number of people to ‘give anything up’.” “As the Bible says, ‘the poor and the meek shall inherit the Earth’. It doesn’t tell us how much they will have to suffer, to do it; and how few of them will end up with the prize.” “…we have very close to no control over any of this.”
Most people are too ignorant and confused by the commercial-industrial system to get what Wally, and other wise elders have been trying to teach us. Even the voices of our ancestors speak to us from the pages of history, and they ask us to slow down, and learn and use the natural world around us, responsibly; because this planet is our home and we are part of a DNA family ecological system. Scientists like Carl Sagan have agreed with many of Wally’s points too, for decades. On behalf of all the rats that get it, thanks Wally!