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Chemical Bond

I am an extremely passionate, right-brained guy living in the left-brained world of medicine and technology. I often find paradoxes between what I think and how I feel and spend a good deal of energy trying to reconcile the two, usually without much success.

Isaac Asimov once wrote an essay entitled "The Trouble With Science" in which he warns that the greatest threat to the science-fiction writer is the scientist. The science-fiction writer will conjure up some fantastical scheme that is beyond the realm of human possibility. Then the scientist will come along and invent it or create it or discover it, leaving one less mystery for the science-fiction writer to muse about.

The best example of this concept I can think of is from the 19th century, when Jules Verne wrote From the Earth to the Moon. In his story, three men were shot out of a cannon off a platform in Florida on December 1st 186- (he never reveals the exact year) to the moon. They orbit the moon and then, in his sequel Round the Moon, return to the earth and land in the water.

One hundred years later - on December 21st, 1968 - three men - Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders - were launched - not using a cannon, but a very big Saturn V rocket - from Cape Canaveral, Florida to the moon. They orbited the moon ten times on Christmas Eve, then returned to earth and landed in the water.

The only mystery that seems to be left any more is love. But even in this mystery of mysteries, the scientists are closing in.

Along those lines, I recently overheard an argument my left brain was having with my right brain about love. This is the transcript...

Got this funny feeling coming over me
Feel a little woozy, sorta weak in the knee
It's got me wond'ring – is this love that I'm feeling?

The Science Man says – you got it all wrong
It isn't love that's making your heart beat so strong
It's a genetic condition, a predisposition

When that woman walks over your way
Your response is determined by your DNA
Evolution will decide if she turns you on
It's as predictable as counting the toes on your feet
It's a statistical certainty your heart skips a beat
It isn't love that you're feeling – it's really just a chemical bond

Those ruby red lips – looking so fine
They're just a marker, an external sign
Of a healthy condition, of adequate nutrition

And the curves of your body driving me wild
Are telling me you're capable of having my child
To enhance propagation of the human population
And your wry sense of humor that's blowing my mind
Means your intellect'll get us out of a bind
Escape a fire or a saber-toothed tiger

Can this be love – this way that I feel?
Conditioning makes the emotion so real
But now I understand – the mystery's gone
The chain reaction when our eyes meet
It's a synaptic connection – the circuit's complete
It isn't love that we’re feeling – it's really just a chemical bond

Love is just genetic with a copasetic girl like you

– 1999 Ross D. Martin, MD, MHA

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