FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, August 30, 2001, By:Timothy W. Shire


It is important to recognise where this line of thought began as this will, to a certain extent, explain why these conclusions have evolved. The most important medical issue in North America today is not cancer or any of the major and potentially horrific illnesses that seem to be catching our awareness, the main problem is obesity. Obesity is a visible and recognisable conditions that seems to be responsible for hypertension, heart disease, type two diabetes and reduced mobility that leads to a wide range of illnesses and conditions. While at the same time, being obesity and the fear of it, is a major contributor to emotional stress, lack of self esteem and depression. On the whole, obesity is reducing the life span of the population and sadly diminishing the quality of life of millions and millions of North Americans.



bad stuff

To make matters substantially worse there is the overwhelming evidence that the conventional medical profession, medical research and health care support workers of all kinds, are unable to provide relief and adequate care for all but a few of those afflicted and as is always the case, the marginal cases have the greatest potential for complications and are left to the individual to seek solutions on their own. The public is well aware of this situation and spends amazing amounts of money on programmes of all kinds, devices, diets, special foods and quacks as they attempt to deal with what almost everyone knows is bad stuff.



body form

Awareness of an issue is manifest in the things we talk about, the things we entertain ourselves with and the things that we consider diversions. So it is that as an alien to this planet you would most certainly be able to identify the obsession humans have with fitness and having healthy lean and trim bodies, our popular cultures of magazines, television and motion pictures are distinguished with the ideals we hold out before ourselves as idols and we all strive unsuccessfully to head toward that body form.




To deal with this problem and establish some perspective on what we are in general we need to draw back from the current models which are not serving us very well. Conventional medical science views the human body as a biological entity convinced that the structure and function are cellular based as directed by the almost infinitely complex algorithms of DNA. Geneticists have moved to the forefront in medical science as we have moved from disease suppression and treatment to the underlying causative factors that influence health.




This is a positive move and will no doubt pay off with a substantial return as more and more treatments involve genetic tests and compounds using this newly developing knowledge to improve medical conditions.




It is here that we need to step back and look much harder at what constitutes human, and for that matter, all biological life. Analysis of the biological material reveals that life on this planet relies almost completely on carbon. The beauty of carbon as an element is that is easily combined with other compounds, its combinations with hydrogen and oxygen seem practically infinite and with these materials readily available, life exists in a huge and varied pattern of both animal and vegetable life. When you take a really close look, almost all life at the molecular and cellular level is remarkable similar, be that a cell from an insect, a flower, or a human being. The difference from one form of life to another seems to lie in the combinations of compounds that scientists describe as DNA, genes is the stuff of which life is made.




So often when we look at things the outward appearance or general structure hide from us the real and fundamental constructs of an entity. Using the background of medical science doctors and researchers deal with what they know about, cells, systems and operational organic behaviours of tissue and organs. Microbiologist see life as a complex molecular soup, compounds interacting and functioning chemically and electrochemically.




Fortunately, my background is as an educator, psychologist and computer consultant, and I am free of the knowledge that involves biology and biochemistry. I can instead ask some question and isolate some realities based on how things work without having to deal with the details. What I am saying is that it just may be that ignorance might be an advantage in understanding how things work. Ultimately, I will show you that life, human life is based on the “spirit”.




First and foremost it is important to distinguish the function of DNA. Genetic material is not life it is “code”. The basic biological compounds in all life are pretty much the same from one form of life to another, the distinguishing characteristic that makes a gopher not a magnolia is the way that basic stuff is configured. The genetic material is a biologically, chemically based program not unlike the operating system in a computer, but far more condensed and containing the format for not only the programs that run, but for the computer itself.




Through time and the process of successful modification leading to superior functionality, most of what we are, is explainable for us as a species, and for the other life forms on the planet. But we would be gravely mistaken if we thought that the biological entities were life, rather than the result of the operational programs we are now distinguishing as genomes.




It appears as though each individual is created based on the combination of DNA it is given. In the case of most life forms the variations though important are insignificant in the big picture as we are each far more like one another than we are different from one another. The variations within a species are extremely small compared to the whole organism.



blue print

The DNA blue print for each individual is composed of equal genetic material from each parent and that formula for that individual is replicated in every cell. Once established as a life the program kicks in, directing the formation of the subtle individual characteristics. But ultimately, that program moves from blue print stage to complete organised systems.




It is at this level that science has been treacherously mislead. Accepting the individual entity as the formatted product is a mistake. The individual human is what his DNA directed him to be, but with the wear and tear of life and existence, most parts of the body are continuously upgraded and replaced throughout the life of the being. Therefore, constant reference to the genetic blue print is required and damage to it will alter that individual during its life.




How then does all this relate to understanding obesity? The functional operational programs that run in the human nervous system are the person, not the hardware. The multiple processor system that we describe as the nervous system is in reality a very good computer running on electricity, powered by the consumption of oxygen and regulated by chemical additives. The neurological components are hardware that wears out, is replaced, and designed for redundancy. But the hardware, though important, is not what makes a person a person. The spark is the operational programs that this neurological hardware system runs and herein lies the key to success.




It appears that there are a significant variety of the operational programs in the system. Directed and determined at conception are a series of programs that are essential ROM based (read only memory). These programs come with the basic system and though most think of them as hardwired they are not, they are unmodifiable operational programs that trigger automated processes, among those are facial recognition, emotional responses such as smiling and fear. These ROM based programs are in place and remain there from birth to death.




A second series of programs are based on basic ROM code but are moved to RAM (random access memory) where they can be modified and form the basis for learning. Experiences of all kinds contribute to and expand, these routines continuously giving the individual the ability to adapt and modify behaviours to suit the needs of the environment.




A third form of applications are what in computer programs are considered as “extensions”. These routines are subordinate repeated programs that act as helpers, or assistants, to the other programs running and can be learned, and though it is difficult, they can also be unlearned. These extensions account for habitual behaviour, obsessions, phobias, addictions and defense systems such as multiple personalities that involve complex memory barrier routines.




Though I have identified three distinct forms of programming there are many many more that involve such things as memory organisation, logic functions, image and auditory processing to name a few, which are all substantially hardware based, that is, they are localised to specific parts of the brain.




So to sum this up, the essence of an individual are these programs, they are the real person, compound complex and sometimes fluid entities that move along through the life of the person constantly adapting, constantly learning, while a portion remains a constant, always the same and always responsible for automatic functions.




With this in mind, let us consider the power plant aspect of human life. We are omnivores, able to convert vegetable and animal material into its basic components and use the energy therein to produce electricity, heat, and fuel muscular movement as our body consumes oxygen and hydrocarbons. The system relies upon a set of sensors that measure demand and command the release of chemicals to trigger release of sugars into the blood stream and regulate heart and lung functions to maintain life support. The controlling program, the operational system that handles and regulates this process at the basic core of the brain and is one of those built in ROM programs with a few extensions to deal with local adaptations. Once you realise this, then you can see why most diets fail. There are many who want you to think that food intake and utilisation is a “learned” (RAM) kind of activity and though there is evidence that minor preferences may be learned experiences, the plausible explanation is that we all tend to make excuses based on what we think we learned, or that medical people refer to as “eating habits”. The real process is unaffected fundamentally by experience but is inherently part of the basic programming package that is the individual.




Does this mean that people inherit their obesity, that would be reasonable to assume because we see ample examples of obesity running in a family and we also see unrelated mates who after marriage begin to assume similar body shapes adding to those who suggest that eating and consumption are learned activities. Closer examination of this problem leads to quite a different explanation.




If we accept the existence of operational programs, than we have to accept the fact that routines are susceptible to damage. In the case of things we learn (RAM based experiences) errors can creep in and from time to time an individual will run a self diagnostic and reconfigure his or her behaviour based on awareness. But damage to the ROM based routines is also possible and since they are established and not modifiable this presents a serious problem. The problem is self correcting because those ROM based routines must be based on genetic code and are automatically updated and self corrected routinely to maintain proper function. Where things go off the rails is when the damage is to the genetic material.




Simple microbes, bacteria and virus infections are routine experiences to human beings and they have an elaborate system of combating these infections. However, a wide variety of these bugs only cause a minor problem and are dealt with by the body successfully. A direct result of infection is the production of chemicals, some of which are amazingly dangerous. The relatively common E-coli bacteria that hammered the Ontario town of Walkerton was itself not that dangerous, it was the chemicals it produced that were devastating to internal organs maiming and killing children and senior citizens.



the DNA

A relatively insignificant bug caused an illness in sheep depositing a nondestructive compound, a prion in the sheep’s brain tissue. That prion infected the nervous systems of cows that were fed material containing sheep’s brains producing what became known as “Mad Cow” disease and in turn was passed on to humans, all of whom die from the contaminating chemical. These stories are told to explain to you that chemical agents can easily invade a human’s system and do damage to the cells of the individual including damaging the DNA.




It is my suggestion here that we concentrate our research on finding the genetic code that writes the basic ROM code for human metabolism. Damage to this code could conceivably produce the poor regulation of food consumption and utilisation in the body. Not only would this explain families who suffer from obesity as they might have genes that are particularly susceptible to damage and hence malfunctioning code, but it also would explain married partners, or even whole communities all exposed to similar mild infections, that upset the ROM code producing genetic material and produce outbreaks of diabetes as found in Northern Canadian aboriginal communities.




The software package that develops in a person is them, the long standing belief that each individual has a “spirit” is entirely based on fact, as far as I am concerned, but alas when that person terminates, that set of memories, functional and operational systems vanishes from that individual and only the ROM code passed on from him or her in their offspring and the basic format for the learned software remains in their offspring, this is their immortality.




But the lesson to be learned here is that we need to pay attention to the programming and that will solve most of the medical problems we face, problems that reduce the quality of life and problems that reduce the length of time an individual is able to maintain life support.



half way

There is likely a specific limitation to a human life span, but we are less than half way to realising its potential, because we have failed to recognise the importance of the “spirit.”

Timothy W. Shire