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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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