Trope-a-Day: Genetic Memory

Genetic Memory: Exists naturally in a few places, of course. That terrestrial biology, et. al., happens to use different storage mechanisms for genetic and memetic information is purely a local quirk, not a law of nature.

But better known is that those wacky bioengineers, the esseli (remember them?) have invented ways of encoding memory information into plasmids, and organs to produce and read them.  So, have those built in or, um, retrofitted, and you too can pass your genetic memories around – and, indeed, to your offspring if you think to have them equipped with the same organs.

But they haven’t made it naturally heritable, yet.

Trope-a-Day: Evilutionary Biologist

Evilutionary Biologist: It might seem, at first, that there a whole lot of these (and, indeed, that the esseli are an entire species of Evilutionary Biologists).  Unfortunately for those who fancy this sort of thing, the average bioengineer is of the opinion that evolution is a hopelessly inefficient optimization process that, while it often throws up interesting traits, very often does not optimize for what the customer wants.  As such, in a world of sophont beings who can, with a little prompting, put some decent parameters around what they want, a competent designer can beat evolution quite substantially more than nine times out of ten.

Now, the bioengineers may have the attitude and some of the more scientifically valid methods down pat, but while they may not match 21st-century Earth notions of bioethics – and the Monument to the Martyrs of Science is quite large – local ethical standards are firmly in place.  (See the relevant sections of Blue and Orange Morality.)