I’m going to delve deep into theoretical things here, but it’s something that always sort of fascinated me. Since the completion of the human genome project and the advent of more accessible DNA testing for us “normal” people, there have been amazing things coming out of that area of science and genealogy.
Besides the standard health information and deep ancestry testing, I’ve always been curious about the possibility of our ancestors leaving traces of their memories in their DNA as it gets passed down. This idea has been used in some movies, like the 1980 movie Altered States, or in video games, like the Assassin’s Creed series.
While I doubt that their specific experiences are burned into our DNA, but possibly certain memories related to their experiences. For example, an article that talks about this idea contains this:
Let’s say you have always had a significant fear of bears since you were a child. Even Smokey the Bear and other friendly Hollywood bears could not convince you to regard bears with anything but anxiety and fearful feelings.
Maybe it is possible that deep, deep within your DNA memory banks, your great-great-great-great-grandmother or great-great-great-great-grandfather had a very bad experience with a bear two hundred years ago. Maybe they saw someone be killed by a bear. Maybe they had to climb a tree to save themselves from being eaten by a bear.
Would a life-changing experience like this, resulting in knowledge very useful for survival, possibly be encoded in the DNA and passed on to future generations and you?
Who knows? I find that to be a fascinating idea. Though, I would find it even more fascinating if we could tap into these memories. Maybe then I can finally figure out my great-great-grandfather’s parent’s names.