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The Rebel Gene

96-72I’m expecting any day now to hear or to read of an announcement by scientists working on the Human Genome Project that they’ve finally isolated and identified the Rebel Gene. Being born and bred in the Deep South, I admit that I have a vested interest in this, but I am awaiting confirmation that people with rebellious spirits (including myself) are born the way they are and that it’s not just a choice. I know it’s only a matter of time before this gene is located and I am prepared to suggest where the scientists should focus their attention. In fact, if they will all get together and spend a little time on this, they could probably knock this one out in a weekend or two.

Have you ever heard anyone say, “You are gettin’ on my LAST nerve?” Perhaps, they were referring directly to you when you heard it. Have you every heard something that just “irked” you? Based upon this anecdotal evidence alone, I believe scientists should focus all their energies on nerve cells because that, my friend, is where the Rebel Gene resides. When a politician says something that makes the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up, like when they plan on spending more of my money that I don’t have; it’s my nervous system going into overload that causes the twitching in my left eye. People have described the sensation they feel when somebody “gets up in their face” and their response is to “bow up” in return. Again, the nervous system is in control of the situation and the contracting of the Rebel Gene is what makes the nerve cells tighten and initiates the “fight or flight” response; although it must be noted that the “fight” response is much more likely in someone with high concentrations of the Rebel Gene.

We’ve known for years that the Rebel Gene existed whether we’ve called it that or not. For example, in 1978 when I was old enough to go see ‘Star Wars’ I immediately recognized the explanation of The Force by Obi Wan Kenobi as a full on description of what I’ve come to know as the Rebel Gene. Obi Wan explained the Force this way:

“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”

Re-read Obi Wan’s quote and ask yourself these questions:

  1. What cell in the body transmits energy or electrical signals?
  2. What cell in the body is found everywhere in the body and in all places in the skin surrounding us?
  3. Which cell in the body makes all of the other cells respond and react to the environment?

The answer is nerve cells.

So what is The Force that George Lucas was really trying to describe in Star Wars? I suggest that Mr. Lucas was really describing the Rebel Gene and it’s influence on certain people when he named it “The Force.” Let’s take a closer look at several Star Wars characters and you’ll see what I mean:

darth-vaderDarth Vader – The Force he used was from the Dark Side, but it made him no less a rebel. Darth Vader was perhaps the most formidable rebel ever! He would ‘bow up’ against anyone friend or foe. He only took orders from the Emperor and even that ended when the Emperor tried to kill his own flesh and blood. 


luke-skywalkerLuke Skywalker – Learned to use The Force from Obi Wan Kenobi and was a rebel at heart from birth. He didn’t want to stay on the farm with his uncle; he wanted to fly X-Wing Fighters and join “The Rebellion.” Luke starts with no skills and no future and ends up changing the universe. Classic case of high levels of Rebel Gene. 


princess-leiaPrincess Leia – Luke’s twin sister, again strong with a rebellious spirit from birth. Watch how she stares down Darth Vader in Episode IV and talks to him like the dog that he is. She’s a Southern Belle with her hair in buns. Plus, she’s pretty good with a firearm and ain’t afraid to point and shoot anything that’s in her way. 


han-soloHan Solo – Cowboy Rebel. Extremely high levels of Rebel Gene, but no real plans and flies by the seat of his pants. Han Solo is the type of Rebel that you see from time to time that operates on the game plan: Ready, Fire, Aim, rather than Ready, Aim, Fire. He’s not too worried about the consequences and in case anybody doubts me on this, believe me Han shot first. Period. 


obi-wanObi Wan Kenobi – We didn’t see much evidence of his Rebel Genes in the first movie, but even he was shown to be a real rebel in his early years. Plus, when Darth Vader killed him, he still wouldn’t go away and continued to fight by helping Luke blow up the Death Star.
Classic rebel response.


chewbaccaChewbacca – A different lifeform, sure, but a rebel just the same. He left a planet full of Chewbaccas who could actually understand him and hooked up with Han Solo then spent the entire first trilogy growling and howling so only Han could understand. Great in a fight and he wore a cool ammo belt strapped around his chest. Frankly, I know some folks who can’t talk much better than Chewy and they are all full of Rebel Genes so Chewy definitely makes the list.

It is my hypothesis that George Lucas was actually describing the Rebel Gene, but back in the late seventies, he simply did not have any scientific understanding of the Rebel Gene to rely on. Therefore, it was necessary to frame his story in language that everyone understood. Maybe it’s just me, but I also think he saw ‘Deliverance’ once or twice while writing Star Wars but I’ll save that discussion for another day.

“So what?” I hear you say incredulously, “How does this affect me?” Well, I’ll tell you. Technology has come a long way in the last 30 years and we know a lot more about this genetic component and it’s affect on people’s lives. Just because scientists haven’t located the Rebel Gene, doesn’t mean that we can’t see it’s affects or identify specific traits associated with the presence of this illusive gene. In fact, there are several dominant and recessive traits that can be observed in humans with high levels of the Rebel Gene present in their DNA:

Dominant Traits:

  • Marked redness of the dermis covering C1-C5 of the vertebrae
  • A tendency toward coarseness including a high likelihood of developing calluses on the hands. Language may also be affected.
  • An increased and intensified desire to “Do It Yourself”
  • A strong attachment capability to the living environment, friends and family
  • A tendency toward stability and an unexplained ability to return to a stable lifestyle following tragedy or disaster. Combining this trait with “Do It Yourself” trait means that survival skills are maintained at unusually high levels of quality.
  • A clear-cut distinction between right and wrong and a willing acceptance of a “Higher Power” in control of all things.

Recessive Traits:

  • Low interest in paying $5.00 for a cup of coffee
  • High distaste for “frou-frou” foods such as French Cuisine and a preference for flame grilled meat and starches. It should be noted at this point that there is no evidence that all French people are without Rebel Genes, but for some reason that is unknown at this point, the Rebel Gene has been almost completely bred out of the French people, which is why they are able to eat things like escargot and drink lots of wine.
  • Marked loss of flight instinct. Scientists have always described the reaction humans have to personal threats as the “Fight or Flight” response. People with high levels of Rebel Genes have almost completely lost the “flight” side of the “Fight or Flight” response. It is their nature to fight even for lost causes and to stand their ground against insurmountable odds especially if a “Double-Dog-Dare” is involved. Some researchers have termed this as “Stubbornness” or “Hard Headedness”  but it is the natural result of the loss of the ability to run away. This loss may also be the reason why people with high levels of the Rebel Gene cannot back down from doing something even if they realize that it could be dangerous to their health. It is often easy to detect this moment whenever you hear someone yell, ‘Hey Ya’ll! Watch This!” just before it all goes wrong.

With all this in mind, it should be obvious that people with high concentrations of the Rebel Gene were simply born the way they are and have little choice about how they react to situations. The genetic code strictly guides and controls these people in ways that is often little understood except by others who have similar levels of the Rebel Gene.

One final note to all Rebel Gene Researchers: Assuming that you find evidence of the Rebel Gene, do not assume that this is a disorder or syndrome. In fact, the people who lack the Rebel Gene are actually the ones with the disorder. And if you start publishing crap like that, me and few other folks are liable to show up on your doorstep and give you a personal demonstration of the effects of the Rebel Gene’s influence.

You got me, jack? Don’t make me bow up on you!

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  1. to get the rebel gene dont you have to get the gene from both parnets? because when they multiply so when you get it only from one parnet you only have two of them but when you get it from both parnets you have 4 of them. so itsnt that more likely for you to have it if both of your parnets have an anger disorder?

  2. Well they have done research on exactly this and have isolated genetic markers that distinguish “rebels” from rule followers. Not only that but they have also identified genetic markers explaining why people tend to be attracted to these types of people.

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