The latest in the Herasaga trilogy, Priesthood of Science is published by University of Ottawa Press.
Hera and her sisters are now sealed off from the rest of the world in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. Hera is still tormented by her parents’ decision to genetically modify the brains of their twelve daughters—and by her own agreement to allow a similar procedure to be used on a much larger group of human embryos.
In a series of dialogues with a molecular biologist recruited for their private university, Hera and Gaia debate the changing relationship between science and society from the time of Lavoisier in the eighteenth century to the terrible legacy of atomic physics in the twentieth. Two dialogues between Hera and Jacob Hofer, a Hutterite minister, deal with the issue of nihilism in religion and science.
Meanwhile, the group of engineered embryos has become one thousand young people just turning eighteen, and their gender politics are threatening to ruin Hera’s new beginning for human society.
Like priests, scientists are liable to be misled by the purity of their motives into downplaying the risks inherent in their creations.
“It is, of course, quite correct for you to allot the relevant priesthood to Niels Bohr.” (Albert Einstein to Max Born, 7 September 1944)
This is the opening section from the Prologue to The Priesthood of Science, Book Two of The Herasaga, to be published in 2008. These words – “Begotten, not made” – are from the Nicene Creed, one of the fundamental texts of the Christian faith. They are reinterpreted here by Hera in the context of evolutionary biology and the appearance on earth of the Hominina subtribe: gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. See the website for Book One of The Herasaga, entitled Hera, or Empathy: http://www.herasaga.com
Download a copy of the PDF here: Begotten Not Made