If you haven't been living under a rock for the last decade, you have probably seen a lot of changes in the world of science. Even if you aren’t keeping up with current advancements, you’ve probably been warned about GMOs in your food or EMP pulses poised to bring on the apocalypse. There is a lot more going on, though. Cloning, genetic modification, advancements in mechanics that make the idea of cyborgs look less and less like something out of Star Trek. Some of them are obvious, the flashy new tricks on the CGI of the latest movies. Others are a bit more subtle, like the attempt to create a human being with DNA from three different donors.
I used to love science as a child. Mostly, that was when we were studying things like biology, geology, and astronomy. I liked to consider myself intelligent, though I was always half-aware that I was lying to myself with that title. Of course, when I hit High school and some genius decided to pollute my science books with math, I picked up a bit of a distaste for the subject that lasted for a long time after that. Even still, there were certain things that really stuck with me.
Animals always fascinated me. In fact, I was a bit obsessed at one time; reading everything by Jean Craighead George that I could get my hands on and keeping journals full of observations during nature walks.
Then there was genetics. There is something incredibly fascinating about DNA. How it is so insanely precise and precarious. Even now, I can imagine the little diagrams in my Science workbook with the XY genes and their recessive or dominant traits. Once I started taking an interest in Christian Apologetics, that enthusiasm skyrocketed. I can't even tell you how many TED talks and documentaries I've watched on the subject.
Let's not forget to add neuroscience to that list. I can’t remember studying much about it in high school but a handful of documentaries and (believe it or not) day care training videos got me very interested in the intricate workings of the brain. The human body is so endlessly complicated, and the brain is just marvelous. I might only have a very basic understanding but with such a complex area of study, even that is enough to leave me in awe.
It is often said: “Write what you know”. I'm not entirely sure that you can take that saying too strictly. If we did, there would be no such thing as fiction. When I started formulating my ideas for my biopunk Sci-Fi trilogy, I found that all the different interests that I had dabbled in now became gold mines. Some of the best parts about the writing process was research. I can't even begin to express the feeling when I begin to speculate about a new technology only to find out that it already exists.
I’m lucky that my interests have collided so beautifully with my goals in life but I am of the belief that there is no such thing as wasted knowledge. There is no such thing as useless information. We collect a lot of knowledge as we go through life. Some of it comes in the forms of expensive educations and overpriced books. Those are all well and good. Some knowledge comes in the form of stories from our grandmothers of “back in the day”. Some from a weathered plaque on a popular walking trail. Some we pick up as we flip through youtube channels. It may seem like these bits of information will only be forgotten, or that there will never be use for it in real life. For most of it, that is a correct assumption. You never know, though, when a tiny fact, picked up along the way, will make your life just a little better. The thirst to learn is one that will never let you down.