Charles Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species” in 1859. The book revolutionised how we see ourselves and evolutionary biologists still rely on Darwin’s work today. Remarkably, when he wrote the book, Darwin did not know about DNA. It had not been discovered. We now know DNA is fundamental to understanding life on Earth. What would Darwin have said differently if he had had this information? How would he have put forward his theories? Similarly, over 150 years later, The Human Genome Project and other groundbreaking studies of our DNA have concluded that we still only understand the role of %1 of our genome. We have a lot more to learn. What impact will future discoveries have on how we understand what we think we know now?
In order to come to grips with the unknown and how we might incorporate it into our latest models, I explore the possibility of infusing DNA into “The Origin of Species”, Sequencing unknown and known components of Darwin’s view of the world and constructing a graphical representation of the genome of all things unknown. The drawings refer to scientific conventions commonly employed to obtain and visualise genetic data, analyse genetic data and communicate scientific methodologies in scientific publications.