When an electrical engineer decides to study the evidence for human evolution…
Being unsatisfied with the explanations from Christianity (his religion) and from the followers of Darwin’s theory on the origins of species, he feels that there’s much more to it than the information spoon-fed to the public…
In the era of genomic testing and ubiquitous availability of information, the only requirement that you need when seeking answers is time. The Internet provides access to the latest/historic research studies on any topic. However, you may need to train yourself to develop a critical mind to be able to appropriately interpret the data you gather.
What better way to view things than from an outsider’s perspective?!
Having a background in engineering, Perry Marshall was not only able to view the evidence with different eyes, but he was also able to integrate concepts from engineering and information technology when interpreting his findings.
I first saw his book Evolution 2.0 at the science branch of New York Public Library. I did a quick search on the author and, to be honest, I was somewhat skeptic to start reading it because I saw the author had no formal training in the field.
There are so many books on my reading list that I cannot waste time with low-grade ones.
No formal training, but self-training, as in Perry’s case is, contrary to popular belief, an advantage…
And I’m glad that I opened the book and read the first few pages before putting it back on the shelf and forgetting about it. That’s how I got absorbed.
300+ pages devoured in less than 3 days. A delight, to say the least. Evolution 2.0 has, by all means, cemented my faith in divinity.
Here I share a few take-away messages from Perry.
The level of depth of Perry’s self-education is nothing short of extraordinary. You do need to have some background/familiarity in/with the field of genomics (+ computer science, engineering, and evolutionary biology) to get a good grasp of this book.
What I’m about to share is only glimpse of what the book has to offer…
- Neo-Darwinism says: Random Mutation + Natural Selection + Time = Evolution
The initial theory of Charles Darwin, the author of The Origins of Species, was something like:
Gradual Variation + Natural Selection + Time = Evolution
As Marshall points out, Darwin never said that gradual variation means random mutation. However, this was assumed and dogmatically accepted by his followers, the neo-darwinists.
Their theory proposes that random mutations occur in DNA over time and that natural selection would allow for the perpetuation of those mutations that provide an advantageous adaptation – thus, survival of the fittest. This theory is unfounded, by all means.
Darwin should not be blamed for anything. He used what evidence and technology was available to his times. He did not have access to under-the-microscope DNA analysis. However, his future followers and the most contemporary neo-darwinists cannot be spared because of their ignorance.
Random DNA mutations, as Marshall beautifully explains, never (never-ever-ever) lead to the evolution of an organism. One of the justifications provided by Marshall is the life-time research of Theodosius Dobzhansky of fruit flies.
Marshall’s starts with the dictionary definitions for :
A natural process that results in the survival and reproductive success of individuals or groups best adjusted to their environment and that leads to the perpetuation of genetic qualities best suited to that particular environment.
Proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: “the random selection of numbers”.
A sudden departure from the parent type in one or more heritable characteristics caused by a change in a gene or a chromosome.”
Dobzhansky, a 20th century geneticist and evolutionary biologist, conducted research in fruit flies. He radiated these creatures to induce mutations in their DNA and observe how they respond or adapt. In his 30 years of research he did not see a single mutation (random) that would provide some sort of beneficial adaptation or advantage…
“After decades of effort, these experiments produced every kind of defect you can imagine, including mutant fruit flies with legs growing out of their heads where antennae belong (118). A few of Dobzhansky’s irradiated populations did reproduce faster than the regular ones. But no new organs or adaptive systems let alone anything resembling a new species were generated. Zero progress after 30 years…”
- Random Mutation is noise. Noise destroys.
This is where Marshall’s engineer-mind kicks in. He dispels the myth of random mutation by using concepts from telecommunication (signal transmission), information theory, and thermodynamics :
“Every communication system battles noise. Noise is a random change of a signal – in other words, noise is a mutation of the original message…”
“Random mutation is noise and noise destroys.
Random mutations = damaged DNA. We saw that in the fruit fly experiments.”
- Cells rearrange DNA according to precise rules (Transposition).
This is where the rationale for intelligent driven evolution (not to be confounded with Intelligent Design (ID) – a creationist-made theory – also myopic) is being provided.
Marshall discusses his five blades (strong – research driven – arguments) for Evolution 2.0. Each of them is attributed an entire chapter.
The whole purpose of the book is not to increase the gap between blind evolution and blind faith (creationism), but to bridge a connection between them. More elegantly put, the author wants to understand divinity’s existence through science facts.
The first blade is transposition (transposable elements), the process by which cells re-arrange their chromosomes, “pair them in new combinations and insert them into another part of the cells” .
The amazing work of Nobel Prize award Barbara McClintock is being discussed.
With this type of evidence at hand only an ignorant/naive/nearsighted person would see evolution as a random-mutation-driven process.
Similarly, creationists cannot/do not want to see the scientific evidence for the Earth being more than 6,000 years old, even though multiple disciplines provide facts for that: geology, paleontology, evolutionary biology, and astronomy are to name a few.
“Creationism rejects modern dating methods and large portions of geology, paleontology, and astronomy with the belief that the entire universe was made by god in six literal 24-hour days.” .
- Cells exchange DNA with other cells (Horizontal Gene Transfer).
Horizontal Gene Transfer is the process through which organisms transfer genes between one another in a way which is different from traditional reproduction (sex). More here.
“In Horizontal Gene Transfer, cells exchange DNA. A bacterium can download and execute new DNA instructions from another cell in as little as 20 minutes. (The adaptation would never happen at all if it depended on Darwinian random mutations.) .
Marshall goes on into explaining Horizontal Gene Transfer in layman terms using the example of germs acquiring antibiotic resistance.
- Cells communicate with each other and edit their own genomes with incredibly sophisticated language.
- Cells switch code on and off for themselves and their progeny (Epigenetics).
This is a very recent scientific branch.
Epigenetics refers to the influence of the environment on gene expression. It is the field of science that investigates how external stimuli impact the expression of your genes. Let me give you an example.
The food you eat can/will influence the way your DNA is being expressed. As I explained in a previous entry:
You have a genetic code – your genome. It’s inside the nucleus of every cell of your body. It consists of DNA, which is basically the blueprint of creating YOU.
Human DNA consists of roughly 3 billion nucleotide base pairs (A- Adenine, C – Cytosine, G – Guanine, T – Thymine) packed into genes (long stretches of DNA – nucleotide sequences) and chromosomes – very roughly speaking.
This is a satellite view of genomics. Genetic-related terminology is much more complex and I’m trying to keep things fairly simple here.
Based on context, necessity, and different stimuli DNA (and more specifically, genes) is translated into proteins. This is how gene expression occurs.
Consider DNA as a list of ingredients. Translating DNA into proteins would be like preparing a meal with the ingredients you have. You could prepare different meals by leaving out or putting in certain ingredients. Similarly, different genes are expressed and/or remain silent based on a specific context – environmental stimuli.
One good example of epigenetics is how people living in colder climates are more adapted to those environments. They became adapted over time. Similarly, people living in tropical climates have darker skins. We adapt to the environment. Stimuli from the environment (and not only) dictate how our genes are expressed.
Food is also a stimulus for gene expression.
That is, food can alter the way in which your genes are expressed.
So, you’d better be making healthy choices. Even though your DNA is a fixed code/language (this is arguable by most recent genome editing tools – CRISPR/CAS9), the way it is being expressed is dependent on the lifestyle/dietary choices you make everyday.
There are many examples of people carrying genetic mutations that put them at high risk to developing different diseases (diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular problems, etc). Yet, they do not get sick because of they make good lifestyle decisions.
Darwinists, neo-darwinists, and creationist cannot argue (provide solid counter-arguments) with the emerging research in Epigenetics.
Evolution by random mutation and a 6,000-year-young planet Earth are unsubstantiated concepts in today’s world. Technology cannot tolerate such ignorance.
These concepts should remain relevant for their historic fingerprint. They should be regarded as innocent as the Ptolemaic Geocentric model where Earth was at the center of the Universe.
- Cells merge and cooperate (Symbiogenesis).
Symbiogenesis (endosymbiont theory) argues how modern cells (eukaryotes) evolved from the more archaic prokaryotes :
“Mitochondria, plastids (for example chloroplasts), and possibly other organelles representing formerly free-living bacteria (prokaryotes) were taken inside another cell as an endosymbiont around 1.5 billion years ago. Molecular and biochemical evidence suggest that mitochondria developed from proteobacteria (in particular, Rickettsiales, the SAR11 clade, or close relatives) and chloroplasts from cyanobacteria (in particular, nitrogen-fixing filamentous cyanobacteria).”
Follow the line of references here.
- Species 1 + Species 2 = New Species (Hybridization). We know organisms rapidly adapt because scientists produce new species in the lab everyday.
This is already too technical. If you want to understand hybridization, start with Marshall’s book or read the evidence with a critical eye. Draw information and base your conclusions from multiple sources.
- #Evolution in 140 characters or less: Genes switch on, switch off, rearrange, and exchange. Hybrids double; viruses hijack; cells merge; winners emerge.
# Evolution 2.0: Genes switch on, switch off, rearrange, and exchange. Hybrids double; viruses hijack; cells merge; winners emerge.
Tweet about it (by highlighting it with your cursor – mouse – touchpad).
- Adaptive Mutation + Natural Selection + Time = Evolution 2.0
This is Marshall’s upgraded definition/explanation of evolution – supported by science facts.
- DNA is code. All codes whose origins we know are designed.
Shifting focus from the things we know (proved by science), Marshall opens the door for the things we don’t know (yet). This is where he (and I) thinks Darwinists underestimate nature and, most importantly, creationists underestimate God (divinity).
Since DNA is a code and, more specifically, a language for creating life, it must have been started somewhere; it must have been created; it must have been emerged.
Perry Marshall himself will pay $100,000 to the person who discovers how the natural code emerged.
If the explanation/solution is patentable, the winner will receive up to $10 million as Marshall has created a fund for this purpose.
This is like an Xprize for the origin of information.
Learn more about the prize here.
- Where do codes and linguistic rules of DNA come from? Evolution 2.0 prize.
- Answering this question will produce billion-dollar medical and technological breakthroughs.
It would literally open up the roads to…I don’t even want to let my mind wander…
- Darwinists underestimate nature. Creationists underestimate God.
Various parts of my neocortex have been super-glued with this line.
Often times we try to simply things way too much. And this is dangerous. Einstein, thanks for the reminder.
Charles Darwin lived ahead of his times. Sadly he was forced to the technology of those days, which was limited from a today’s point of view.
Modern technology allows for a more in-depth analysis of living beings and also for a more accurate and insightful historical perspectives on the evolution of life. Still, the followers of darwinism, dawkinsism and neo-darwinism stubbornly ignore it.
Similarly, many creationists still think of a 6,000-year-young Earth created by an old guy with white beard in merely 6 days.
I think both views are outdated, unfounded and myopic. And I end by leaving you with this :
Man yearns to escape Darwinism and embrace equality and human rights. Those are spiritual values, not scientific principles. That’s why it’s time to end the war between science and religion.
If you’re bold enough and want to put a dent in the Universe, please consider overclocking your brain and using it’s raw power to solve the origin of information and win The Evolution 2.0 Prize.
I see Perry Marshall as a system’s thinker, someone applying/integrating concepts from different fields (electrical engineering, computer science, genomics, evolutionary biology, etc) to obtain a more accurate picture of a desired solution. Moreover, he used hundreds of documented references in his work. You can find them at the end of the book.
There are very (very very) few people who can/do this and I’m glad that I’ve overwritten a stereotypically-driven thinking when I was prospecting about reading his book. And I really end with this (sublime):
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).
- Perry Marshall (2015) – Evolution 2.0 – Breaking the Deadlock between Darwin and Design
- Charles Darwin (1859) – The Origins of Species
- More about Theodosius Dobzhansky
- More about Transposable Elements
- More about Barbara McClintock
- More about Horizontal Gene Transfer
- More about Epigenetics
- More about CRISPR/Cas9
- More about Geocentrism
- More about Symbiogenesis
- More about Hybridization
- More about The Origin of Information Prize
- More about System’s Thinking
Images: here and here.