3 August 2011

The Demiurge Molecule

The title of this post is borrowed from a song by black metal band Dimmu Borgir. While I've read the lyrics of that piece, I must say I have no idea what it is supposedly about, based on that information alone. However, I quite liked the title, which immediately reminded me of some thoughts of my own; namely, an interpretation of DNA as the 'Demiurge'.

The Demiurge is the creator of the world. Some writings (such as Plato's) represent him as a mostly beneficial being, but in others, particularly many Gnostic traditions, he is not the true God, but merely the creator of the material world, and described (along with the world he created) as fundamentally flawed, foolish, or plain evil.

Now, if we think of the world we live in, we could perhaps make a distinction between the physical cosmos as a whole, and the 'biosphere' of this planet (including the human societies). This latter is of course what we mostly deal with in our daily lives, what we mostly think of as our 'world'. And is there anything that has played a larger role in the development of this world than DNA? Of course it is not solely responsible for our existence or current shape, but in many ways it could be seen as our creator. Yet it is obviously not the creator of the world in its entirety. A parallel could be seen here with the Gnostic relationship of God and Demiurge.

It is interesting that the Gnostic Demiurge was sometimes represented as a serpent (with lion's face). The form of the serpent, of course, evokes the image of coiled strands of DNA. Also interesting is that one of the names associated with this being was Samael, which in this context was translated as the 'blind god'. This seems well suited to the chaotic nature of evolution.

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