Dominique: Is there more interest today in the question of vibrancy in the living world?

Jeremy Narby: It’s kind of funny how biologists have tended to have this reaction that anything to do with electromagnetic waves, they get uneasy. Even though our brain works with different electromagnetic waves and we measure them. You know, I have not understood yet why molecular biologists have been somewhat resistant to looking at the electromagnetic aspects of these biomolecules. I know that some work has been done and continues to be done, but always in the margins, it seems to me. I very rarely see stuff about the electromagnetic aspects of DNA. There is work that’s done, but it’s not considered central. It doesn’t seem to me. It seems that there is something like a… as soon as it turns into non-material, which is what electromagnetic waves are, they feel a little less comfortable. So there’s more research needed.

Dominique: So if we evacuate the question of vibrancy we loose a connection to the biological world? To the sonic dimension of the world?

Jeremy Narby: You know, there are enzymes which are these hyperactive proteins and they can do things like catalyze a reaction, change another molecule 500,000 times in the second. It’s like this extremely vibrating, active thing that does something very specific and very precise. The scientists that I’ve spoken to about this, they can say, oh, well, that’s normal. That’s normal, because when we go that far down the scale of size, because we think in terms of the one and a half meter body, which is who we are, but when you go all the way down to the tiny, tiny size of a protein enzyme, then time changes and it’s a lot easier to do 500,000 precise things a second than if we were at our scale. So it’s the question of size-scale and time-scale. And so voilà, c’est normal. And so the vibrancy of the enzyme is never really a subject. It’s actually fairly interesting that a DNA molecule is more than 100 times narrower than the smallest wavelength of visible light. So you can’t see with visible light a DNA molecule because it’s 100 times smaller than that with which we see. It really is invisible if you’re strict with words, because visible means when a photon bounces off something and then comes into your eye. And that’s how we see colors. And colors correspond to that very precise and narrow electromagnetic bandwidth of visible light. Well, a DNA molecule is more than 100 times smaller than those electromagnetic waves. So there are no colors at the level of proteins or virus or a DNA molecule. Actually making them visible in a sort of a static image that people can understand is always an act of fiction. And one of the things that gets lost as they make that image to make invisible, is the vibration and the movement.