Have you ever wondered what shape happiness takes?
Or why starfish and seahorses have such funny shapes that appeal so much to children? Or what colour fear is? And whether excitement has its own flavour? It is DNA that helps scientists to answer this kind of question and invites us all to reflect on the beauty and complexity of nature and its evolution. It is harder though to understand how our emotional realm functions, to predict our reactions and those of the people around us. We barely know where we come from and while the future can sometimes be predictable, it can also throw us a wild card at any moment. Just like words, which can only express so much when it comes to feelings, science proceeds by trial and error and cannot always resolve the enigmas of our existence.
The DNA of certain animals seems incomplete. We don’t know everything about vital elements, without which an animal might not exist. The hypothesis is that certain genes have mutated so far from their original form that we are unable to reconstruct their origins. The missing piece of the puzzle must be somewhere, out there, in that 25% of the universe that we cannot decipher yet to which we belong.
This is the way it is. We can’t fathom why we were so sure of our feelings yesterday but aren’t so sure today. We wonder what we were thinking that day, why we chose that colour, why we didn’t realise that the material wasn’t right for us. Yet in that moment we were satisfied, it felt right. Then something changed. We changed. What happened? When did we lose the solid bond that tied our actions to our convictions?
The fact is that we don’t entirely know who we are and while science can try and explain it, there are grey areas that we all have to interpret alone, as part of that difficult but exciting journey that makes us who we are. Some parts will continue to evade us and that’s the way it should be. Because the missing variable, the one we cannot predict is something precious that should be protected, so that we remain free to change. Change tastes, change moods, change ideas.