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Microbiome Reflection

A Poem

William Luther White

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Some of my ancestors, I’m told,
were fish.
I have no pictures,
no other details.
That was a very long time ago.

And now, I’ve heard,
An enormous community of microbes
has taken up residence within.
Ten thousand different types!
A hundred trillion creatures.
It appears that I need these travel companions,
And they need me.

Cogito ergo sum.
Oh yes. But isn’t there something more?
The boundaries of thought shift yet again:
“God,” / “life,” / “me.”

 

 

 


For an extensive discussion, see The Human Microbiome: Ethical, Legal and Social Concerns edited by Rosamond Rhodes, Nada Gligorov, Abraham Paul Schwab.


Dr. William Luther White (1931-2015) is the author of The Image of Man in C. S. Lewis as well as many articles relating to religion and culture. He served thirty-three years as chaplain at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Photo: NIAID

An electron scanning microscope image of a Vero cell exposing the contents of a vacuole where Coxiella burnetii are busy growing.
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