Thursday, July 31, 2014

Are Dragons in Our DNA?

Painted by Friedrich Johann Justin Bertuch, 1806
by Catherine Giordano

I just finished reading An Instinct for Dragons by David E. Jones. He has a fascinating theory about the origins of dragons.   

Dragons are mythical creatures. They do not exist and they never have existed.  Why then, does every culture in the world have dragon mythology? 

The answer according to Jones lies deep in our DNA, and is based on an instinctive fear of the three main predators who preyed on early mammals, our simian ancestors, and humans. Individuals who instinctively fled these predators had a survival advantage which was passed on through their genes. 

The three predators are the snake, the large birds of prey (raptors, eagles) and the big cats (lions and tigers.) The dragon is a combination of these three animals—the reptilian body of the snake, the wings of the raptor, the jaws of the big cats. 
An Instinct for Dragons
to see the book
If the theory is correct, we have the fear of dragons in our DNA.

The specific depiction of the dragon varies from cultures to culture, but the three elements of snake, raptor, and cat are always present.
Do you see these animals in the picture above?
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I discuss this in more detail
in The Dragon Files: Do Humans Have Dragon DNA?