Today’s Financial Times (page 5) reports that the “full genetic sequence of rice…has been decoded for the first time…by research teams from Syngenta, the Swiss based biotechnology company, and the Beijing Genomics Institute.” The decoding was published in the journal Science.
Of peculiar interest in the story is that the rice genome may be far more complex than previously thought and that the rice genome contains between 42,000 and 63,000 genes whereas the human genome is estimated to contain between a mere 30,000 to 40,000 genes.
Since we frequently measure how advanced and superior a species by its complexity and, implicitly, by the size of its genome, does this new research indicate that rice is a more advanced, and perhaps even a superior, species than humanity?
Or is it simply the case that superiority is not a matter of complexity nor of the relative size of the species’ genome?
Here is a link to the actual*** Financial Times*** story.