Frequently Asked Questions about the Genity Society
What does the word Genity mean? Genity is the conceptual fusion of Genome with Identity. It maintains that the ‘self’ is sufficiently captured with a DNA sample, supplemented by a genome sequencing, to be regenerated as a structural simulacrum (enhanced clone) that verifiably is ‘you’.
Why add the provision of a digital genome? Some rationalization with epigenetics accruing from your lifetime may be desirable. DNA identity is based on a physical sample of DNA, from blood or mucous cells, etc. and when derived from sequencing, it becomes a digital model of that DNA, so these together form your genity.
I see, so it’s not all a physical entity, there’s a chemical structure specification goes with it? Exactly, it’s a sample combined with a description of your genome in very precise detail, that in theory could be used to reconstruct your DNA. The DNA sample is retained for molecular continuity (therein may lie the ‘self’) – expressly for generating a phenotype via epigenesis if required. This is a core belief of the Society.
You want to rebuild someone’s DNA in full? No, the Genity Society exists only to preserve that genomic structure and your native DNA specimen, with your instructions on its disposition over time. Lots of time. However, eventual cloning by some agency is obviously implicit in this project. The Genity Society is essentially a trust and repository toward your reintroduction into subsequent lives, as a “later twin” of yourself.
So you won’t do cloning? No. The Society’s only purpose is for its members to mutually safeguard their genities – their DNA, genomes and identities – over time, forever. As a trust and as distributed repositories, with their instructions.
Forever?? Yes. The way the Jesuits looked after the Catholic church for 400 years, that kind of devotion to duty and faith in one project. Keeping Life’s window open – no more, but no less either.
Is this a religion then? Absolutely not – it’s a clear-eyed engineering project to carry our genome across time and the Universe, with our own kind at our side. Playing our cards as dealt.
Sounds semi-religious at least. That may because it’s based on inclusive Humanism (see a sister site at www.humanism.ws) which is the legacy credo of the human species, brought down to us via Confucianism in the East (family, responsibility, education) and Renaissance Humanism in the West (science, reason, citizenship). These view humanity as a brotherhood (and sisterhood) in essence.
It’s worth noting that traditional Humanism regards religion as private and personal, and has nothing to do with atheism. Please – nota bene, this is not for the BHA or fundamentalist opponents indulging in religious acrimony. This is straight-up classical Humanism.
OK, so a Humanist project to get our DNA to the stars. Yes, and perhaps to then seed the stars. But first we need to stabilize for 1000 summers here on Earth, to harmonize ourselves with it, or the project is not viable. Humanism is here defined as a “sensibility for our species, planet and lives”. The word Humanism is best capitalized as a sign of respect. The word “lives” is plural.
How does our personal ‘genity’ fit with that? Thoreau said “Men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Humanists might say that if we understand that we are in each other’s keeping, and that there is a mature plan in place – then yes, we will settle down as a species and live more amicably. This is the same promise that drove the imaginations of our ancestors – a destiny in the sky.
How does Genity orchestrate all this?
Only for its own participants – there is no great value in overwhelming numbers. The Society is a non-profit, democratic organization in Vancouver, Canada which safeguards the DNA samples and/or sequenced genomes of its members in a secure repository. It also offers programs and takes instructions as its membership collectively decides. Essentially it is a Trust and Repository for your genetic identity, and if you support the Society during this lifetime, it will oversee the security of your genity thereafter.
Sounds rather noble, but can it work?
One direction for the website is to involve the membership (which is by application) in assessing the opportunity we now have with DNA, and especially our digital genomes. In truth, we may be indestructible, in whole or in part, once we are sequenced and distributed securely. None of this is particularly expensive anymore, and we hope to offer any member of our young species free access to basic DNA stewardship.
How can I apply?
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see what we can do together.Dwight Gilbert Jones Moderator