rationale for mental memories in genes

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shishi
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rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby shishi » 04 Sep 2010 00:20

When gholas were introduced in Dune Messiah, it seems to suggest and explicitly state that somehow a person's memories from his lifetime were somehow stored in the genes of cells of other parts of the body, like skin. These cells are used to grow the ghola, and somehow they are expected to have all this memory inside of them, waiting to be integrated with their naturally evolving brain. Could there be any logical reason this could work, or is this just a supernatural leap of faith? What was the knowledge of DNA when Messiah was written?
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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Sep 2010 01:18

Don't you think the same applies to BG ancestral memory?
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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby shishi » 04 Sep 2010 11:27

For the Bene Gesserit, I always got the impression that memories/information were always passed on, the key being in real life, by the process of Sharing (though how this process itself could work I don't know). This means that memories were transmitted in a way similar to oral story telling and through the ages. The first time I read Dune I got the impression that being inside the womb transmitted these memories to the offspring, so that in a sense people are encapsulated in each other and that is why they can reach back to any ancester with a whim.

However, I do believe that the Bene Gesserit mental strength of being able to change the flow of energy (sorry for the sort of nebulous term) in their body just by thinking about it has some basis in reality. The psychologist mindset of the brain, which to almost everyone is not consciously observable to them in any newly arrived moment, as they can always be shocked by something that is not in their mindset, has many unconscious effects on the actions in the physical body. Also when presented by a framing of a situation by any person, you will inevitably become "brain-washed" in some fashion, and you will think in terms of that framing for at least a while, and bodily processes will change without your will.
Some simple examples of overriding effects: You may be very hungry, but it can be possible for your stomach not to growl based on ongoing thought processes and how you feel. Or to give a less pretty example, you may need to go to the bathroom but if something happens to you that requires your attention, your body will suddenly not need to go at all at the moment. If the mindset is able to be controlled and always observed, as it appears the BG might be able to, it may be possible to interact with the body processes and even receive information from it.
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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Sep 2010 11:52

:?

The BG have two types of "Other Memory"; ancestral and Shared.

The idea IS that memory is stored in your cells and somehow passed on to your descendants or gholas/clones.

There has been much argument here on the subject and the consensus seems to be that given what we know today of biology and genetics, OM (Other Memory)must require suspension of disbelief.
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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby shishi » 04 Sep 2010 12:04

Also, the whole idea of mental memories obtained in a life being stored in any type of DNA anywhere in the body is odd.
DNA can be thought of memory, but from what I have learned about it, it is just a blueprint for the construction of individual cells, and what creates mental memories, or memories obtained in real-life, is the STRUCTURE of the brain cells in the head.
Also a mysterious aspect of this structure how it is chosen to be looked at, and if it is ever possible to determine how any information in it is encoded.
I don't believe that the coding of the DNA found in cells of the body (in any cells, including brain cells) could alter in response to ongoing changes in the structure of the brain cells.

DNA can affect the original creation of the structure and its alterations at different stages of life, and can give what could be called racial memories, which are probably formations of the brain that induce understanding of things such as fear of slithering moment of reptiles, and recognition of human face features, the whole interpretation of facial gestures. Alternatively, racial memories might just be the result of the interaction of the structure of the brain/body with the environment, due to learned positive/negative feedback over time. However, often people being presented with something they have no reason to be adverse to and have never encountered before will induce a negative reaction.
These racial memories can be encoded in DNA, but they have been created largely through evolution and are actually similar to functional processes such as how the brain sees images or locates sound.

However, DNA is a memory storage device, and could technically STORE anything, though it would have to be produced correctly. It is possible that the Bene Tleilax have found ways of altering genes to include mental memories (though I would think it would require an inordinate amount of information) and end up producing a brain that is identical to a human, from which all this information is somehow originally taken. However, it would seem there is no way of ever obtaining that knowledge without some kind of probe. The brain is essentially transcient memory, once a brain decomposes after death the memories in it could never be restored. It also never records its information anywhere else, except through interactions with the environment.
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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby merkin muffley » 04 Sep 2010 13:37

shishi wrote:you may need to go to the bathroom but if something happens to you that requires your attention, your body will suddenly not need to go at all at the moment.


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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Sep 2010 14:02

I don't recall FH saying OM data was encoded in DNA, it could be stored in a universal energy field tuned to your atomic vibrations, who knows. We have to accept it's there for the whole story to work. That and prescience... and the spice...
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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby shishi » 04 Sep 2010 16:27

If Bene Tleilaxu WERE able to improve genes to include mental memories, the ghola process depicted up to God Emperor of Dune could make sense.
There are some passages in Dune Messiah where the Tleilaxu say they have preserved the large majority of the corpse of the Duncan Idaho who died protecting Paul, including nerves, which could mean nerve cells of the brain. They then could have transferred all this information into the new advanced types of genes they may have been able to create. Hayt in Dune Messiah essentially has improved genes, or at least more detailed ones, than anyone else.
After only one complete ghola of a particular individual is produced in this fashion, cells from anywhere on the body of this ghola could be obtained to create new gholas of this individual in the future. But they would not have any memories from their previous ghola existences, as those memories were wiped out on their physical death.
Instead each new ghola produced would be a copy of the original root ghola--in Duncan's case the one that protected Paul when he was a boy.

In the time of God Emperor of Dune, though I am not sure I remember exactly, each of the Thousand Duncans does not have memories of their past existence, instead must only hear about them from other people or investigate them.

However, this makes the "serial-ghola" process of the Duncan in Heretics and onward very strange.
SPOILER****************

In Heretics, Duncan is awakened twice--first by Miles Teg through his similarity to Leto I Atreides,
and later he has a mysterious awakening when bonding with Murbella, who enters his life out of nowhere,
in which he recalls all his past ghola incarnations in a sort of serial chain.
I think FH may have had an interesting idea that would make it possible for Duncan to suddenly become aware of all previous existences like him
In Heretics it is stated that the Tleilaxu entered something new into the genes for the Duncan ghola, which could mean they have been able to improve genes even more
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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby Omphalos » 04 Sep 2010 20:08

merkin muffley wrote:
shishi wrote:you may need to go to the bathroom but if something happens to you that requires your attention, your body will suddenly not need to go at all at the moment.


shi shi


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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby aethereon » 04 Sep 2010 20:29

Its true that DNA is an information storage medium. However, it is not exactly true that DNA is a blueprint. Genes mix and match to forge new "recipes" for organisms. This mix and match process that is at the heart of biological synthesis is precisely what draws me to question DNA "memory" in terms of any sort of uplink to the consciousness of the organism.

It has been proven that multiple clones of the same subject can and will develop differently based on experience/exposure. Two identical lab-rat clones exposed to the same exact doses of saccharin won't necessarily yield tumors in the exact same places on both animals, or even at the same time.

The previous scenario suggests presumable affect on hypothetical hard-coded "memory" as well. The serial memory (assuming such a notion as "real") of a ghola in real-world terms would most likely become fragmented beyond use in short order. Not to mention digital DNA memory conversion to temporal (somewhat analog) conscious brain memory. What happens to an old vinyl LP "memory" over time and certain exposure? The fidelity of the "memory" is irrevocably altered. Copying a very easily mutable form of digital memory to an analog will be a very lossy process, without even yet considering the medium, the reciever, the processing stages, etc.

Simply, to buy DNA "other memory" or "serial memory" requires a greater suspension of disbelief than the original fictitious notions in the first place.

I think the creative spark that FH found was probably our limited understanding of observable "instinct" actions/reactions and allowing this real-world obscure notion to act as a conduit for injecting creative ideas like "other memory" or "shared memory" - I'll give you that, if you want it.

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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby Freakzilla » 05 Sep 2010 04:50

shishi wrote:If Bene Tleilaxu WERE able to improve genes to include mental memories, the ghola process depicted up to God Emperor of Dune could make sense.
There are some passages in Dune Messiah where the Tleilaxu say they have preserved the large majority of the corpse of the Duncan Idaho who died protecting Paul, including nerves, which could mean nerve cells of the brain. They then could have transferred all this information into the new advanced types of genes they may have been able to create. Hayt in Dune Messiah essentially has improved genes, or at least more detailed ones, than anyone else.


Hayt was THE re-animmated cadaver of Duncan Idaho.

"We are pleased to accept your credentials," Paul said. "Explain the gift."
Edric rolled in the tank, bringing his attention to bear on the ghola. "This
is a man called Hayt," he said, spelling the name. "According to our
investigators, he has a most curious history. He was killed here on Arrakis . .
. a grievous head-wound which required many months of regrowth. The body was
sold to the Bene Tleilax as that of a master swordsman, an adept of the Ginaz
School. It came to our attention that this must be Duncan Idaho, the trusted
retainer of your household. We bought him as a gift befitting an Emperor." Edric
peered up at Paul. "Is it not Idaho, Sire?"
After only one complete ghola of a particular individual is produced in this fashion, cells from anywhere on the body of this ghola could be obtained to create new gholas of this individual in the future. But they would not have any memories from their previous ghola existences, as those memories were wiped out on their physical death.
Instead each new ghola produced would be a copy of the original root ghola--in Duncan's case the one that protected Paul when he was a boy.

~DM

In the time of God Emperor of Dune, though I am not sure I remember exactly, each of the Thousand Duncans does not have memories of their past existence, instead must only hear about them from other people or investigate them.


You remember exactly.

However, this makes the "serial-ghola" process of the Duncan in Heretics and onward very strange.


VERY!

SPOILER****************


The only Forum you need worry about spoilers is The Reading Group, in Dune Discussion we can assume everyone's read the series.

In Heretics, Duncan is awakened twice--first by Miles Teg through his similarity to Leto I Atreides,
and later he has a mysterious awakening when bonding with Murbella, who enters his life out of nowhere,
in which he recalls all his past ghola incarnations in a sort of serial chain.
I think FH may have had an interesting idea that would make it possible for Duncan to suddenly become aware of all previous existences like him
In Heretics it is stated that the Tleilaxu entered something new into the genes for the Duncan ghola, which could mean they have been able to improve genes even more


They did at least [four] things with his genes.

  1. Included samples from multiple ghola incarnations
  2. Included the Siona Gene
  3. Conditioned him to enslave his BG Imprinter/HM
  4. Sped up his reflexes
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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby trang » 05 Sep 2010 06:18

Tleilaxu have the cells from every duncan ghola they ever made on tap. (should anyway)
Tleilaxu have probably obtained some/all cells or even body from the Leto killed versions.

For the latest incarnation of Duncan it could have been a melting pot of every cell the
Tleilaxu had of duncans past, plus as many atriedies as they could fit in there.

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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby Freakzilla » 05 Sep 2010 07:04

Yes but he was missing some ghola incarnation cell samples, yet he still regained their memories.
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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby SandRider » 05 Sep 2010 12:03

Your Majesty! You look just like the piss-boy!


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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby Robspierre » 06 Sep 2010 00:08

Omphalos wrote:
merkin muffley wrote:
shishi wrote:you may need to go to the bathroom but if something happens to you that requires your attention, your body will suddenly not need to go at all at the moment.


shi shi


Your Majesty! You look just like the piss-boy!



Count DeMoney!

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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby aethereon » 06 Sep 2010 12:59

Duncan's issues become a sporting hail-mary.

Who knows the odds? Marty and Daniel.

Eff the in between. Understanding them would have settled any concerns.

If we were only able to HONESTLY get to know them. Bygones.

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Re: rationale for mental memories in genes

Postby SandChigger » 07 Sep 2010 17:36

shishi wrote:When gholas were introduced in Dune Messiah, it seems to suggest and explicitly state that somehow a person's memories from his lifetime were somehow stored in the genes of cells of other parts of the body, like skin. These cells are used to grow the ghola, and somehow they are expected to have all this memory inside of them, waiting to be integrated with their naturally evolving brain. Could there be any logical reason this could work, or is this just a supernatural leap of faith? What was the knowledge of DNA when Messiah was written?

You've obviously read a different version of DM than I have. :roll:

(Where is this fuck posting from?)


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