First: A little molecular biology. Don’t worry; it won’t last long.
Life on earth at its start was pretty boring. Miraculous, yes, but in a wearisome kind of way. Everything was single-celled organisms. And all these single-celled bad boys did was live and die and produce more single-celled organisms. Family reunions back then had to be confusing because everyone looked alike.
But somewhere along the way, something happened. A cellular fluke. A biological anomaly. Something which one scientific writer described as “dumb luck.” But it was this dumb luck that enabled our repetitive ancestor cells to hook up with each other and create something new. It was this dumb luck that set the evolution ship a-sail. Got us out of the harbor and eventually delivered us humans onto the scene.
Guanylate Kinase Protein Interaction Domain. Try saying that out loud. Try saying it after a couple of stiff ones. Or, just do like clever scientists do and shorten it to GK-PID. This little protein scaffold acts as a kind of molecular carabiner by binding to two different partner molecules, thus creating a new molecule with new cells. Then, them spanking new kinds of cells can continue the process of creating more different cells which organize themselves in brand new multicellular life forms. Like you and me.
It was scientists at the University of Chicago who discovered this GK-PID and published their findings in 2016. Without this “dumb luck” GK-PID, they say, evolution could never have happened. It’s the reason all the millions of different life forms exist today and what gave Charles Darwin something to write about. GK-PID helped our single-celled ancestors to hook up, so to speak, and create something that had never been before.
Evolution may have set sail 800 million years ago, but we humans took awhile to climb aboard. The earliest fossils of what might be called modern humans are only 200,000 years old. We’re the new kids on the block, but during that time, we have continued to evolve. And not just physically.
Along the way, there have been other humans which have acted as GK-PID. These humans have gotten us out of our single-cell-minded way of living, connected us to other parts of life and, in the process, created new ways of living. Lao-Tzu was one of those. As was Marco Polo. Aristotle might be in the group along with Socrates, Gautama Buddha, Hildegard of Bingen, Joan of Arc and many others. Contemporary GK-PID might be Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Consider Jesus as classic GK-PID. The boy was always and forever opening people to new ways of thinking, of living, of worshipping, of moving through this life. And his primary operating source was love. Love for life, love for the earth, love for humans in all arenas of life. Love was the carabiner – the way of connecting and opening the door of infinitely evolving possibility to each and all.
Nearly every story of Jesus that is found in the four gospels is a story of evolution… evolution in thinking and being… evolution in ways of forgiving and compassion… evolution in how we treat others and ourselves… evolution in how we think of wealth and poverty… in how we think of society’s outcasts. Jesus was a mystic and he awakened the mystic in almost every person he met. And maybe that’s why they made a religion out of him. It certainly wasn’t his doing.
GK-PID Jesus taught that single-cell ways of thinking are a dead-end and that with multi-cell evolving love, anything is possible. And the good news is, we’re all in this evolution business together.