The Myopics of Darwinism, Dawkinsism and Blind Faith – Enter Evolution 2.0

The Myopics of Darwinism, Dawkinsism and Blind Faith - Enter Evolution 2.0

Introduction

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…

Evolution Reloaded

  1. 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 [1]:

“Natural selection:

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.

Random:

Proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: “the random selection of numbers”.

Mutation:

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…

The Myopics of Darwinism, Dawkinsism and Blind Faith - 1

“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…”[1]

  1. 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 [1]:

“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.”

  1. 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” [1].

The amazing work of Nobel Prize award Barbara McClintock is being discussed.

The Myopics of Darwinism, Dawkinsism and Blind Faith - 2

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.” [1].

  1. 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.

The Myopics of Darwinism, Dawkinsism and Blind Faith - 3

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.) [1].

Marshall goes on into explaining Horizontal Gene Transfer in layman terms using the example of germs acquiring antibiotic resistance.

  1. Cells communicate with each other and edit their own genomes with incredibly sophisticated language.
  1. 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.

  1. Cells merge and cooperate (Symbiogenesis).

Symbiogenesis (endosymbiont theory) argues how modern cells (eukaryotes) evolved from the more archaic prokaryotes [1]:

“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.

  1. 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.

  1. #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).

  1. Adaptive Mutation + Natural Selection + Time = Evolution 2.0

This is Marshall’s upgraded definition/explanation of evolution – supported by science facts.

  1. 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.

  1. Where do codes and linguistic rules of DNA come from? Evolution 2.0 prize.
  1. 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…

Conclusion

  1. 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 [1]:

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).

Resources

  1. Perry Marshall (2015) – Evolution 2.0 – Breaking the Deadlock between Darwin and Design
  1. Charles Darwin (1859) – The Origins of Species
  1. More about Theodosius Dobzhansky
  1. More about Transposable Elements
  1. More about Barbara McClintock
  1. More about Horizontal Gene Transfer
  1. More about Epigenetics
  1. More about CRISPR/Cas9
  1. More about Geocentrism
  1. More about Symbiogenesis
  1. More about Hybridization
  1. More about The Origin of Information Prize
  1. More about System’s Thinking

Images: here and here.

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12 Responses to The Myopics of Darwinism, Dawkinsism and Blind Faith – Enter Evolution 2.0

  1. George Burroughs says:

    Awesome! Thank you, Chris, for taking the time to read the book and write this review/summary. Very interesting and thought provoking.

  2. Flemming Rasmussen says:

    For other thoughts about evolution I would recommend ‘The Chemistry of Evolution – The Development of our Ecosystem’ as well as ‘The biological chemistry of the elements- The inorganic chemistry of life’ both written by R.J.P. Williams and J.J.R. Frausto da Silva. The books along with two others by the same authors take our possible/probable evolution, including thoughts on the formation of our DNA, from the chemical soup of our oceans and atmosphere to where we are today. Heavy reading, but for those inclined well worth the effort.

  3. Claudio says:

    Good read Cristi. What I also found interesting after clicking your amazon link to Perry Marshall’s book is the other books that he has written on internet marketing. That’s quite the diverse range of topics from the origin of dna to how to market on facebook. I’m intrigued now!

  4. Ben Hollings says:

    Hi Chris, just had time to skim, but it makes sense with other things I’ve heard, as a Christian. I hope you are too!
    BH

  5. My 2012 Templeton Grant Proposal:

    Nutrient chemicals are required to sustain life and for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of biological populations. This fact is exemplified in the honeybee model organism and other model organisms. The nutrient chemicals cause receptor-mediated events. The receptor-mediated events allow nutrient chemicals to enter though the cell wall. Electrostatic changes then alter intracellular signaling as nutrient chemicals are metabolized to species-specific chemicals called pheromones.

    The metabolism of nutrient chemicals to pheromones exemplifies the apparent design of biology. Bottom-up (genetically predisposed organization) and top-down reciprocity via sensory activation is what allows nutrient chemicals and pheromones to control survival of the species. The nutrient chemicals support individual fitness and the pheromones control reproduction. From the bottom up, their ability to control species survival is enabled by their epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals that cause stochastic gene expression. Similarly, from the top down, pheromones epigenetically effect stochastic gene expression (in cells of organisms from microbes to man).

    All extant organisms show a clear pattern of genetic predispositions that enable nutrient chemical-dependent and pheromone-dependent adaptive evolution via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction. Adaptive evolution is facilitated via the expression of new genes, including those that are important to the development of language abilities and human brain development.

    The ability of cells containing genes to produce de novo genes does not seem to have developed via random mutations. Although gene expression is stochastic, organisms that choose the wrong nutrient chemicals are less reproductively fit and doomed to suffer and die. One organisms choice also may determine downstream down-stream epigenetic effects on other organisms that selfishly compete for life-sustaining nutrient chemicals in same ecological niche. Only when some level of cooperation is achieved can individuals or species survive in the same ecological niche, and species-specific pheromones ensure that two species do not share the same social niche.

    Ecological and social niche construction collectively enabled evolved nutrient-dependent and pheromone-dependent neurogenic niche construction, which is exemplified in vertebrates by conservation of the GnRH molecule, and diversification of its receptor across 400 million years of adaptive evolution that first required nutrient-dependent and pheromone-dependent sexual reproduction in unicellular and multicellular organisms, with molecular origins as the alpha-mating pheromone in brewer’s/baker’s yeast.

    The ecological and social niches constructed by one species that eats another exemplify how that advent of multicellularity and cooperation in different species enabled the cascade of diversity that is readily evidenced across Creation, as it always has been. When viewed from a model of complexity, Creation of the diversity of life does not appear to involve random events, but instead involves the common molecular biology of receptor-mediated events is species from microbes to man.

    The concept that is extended is the epigenetic tweaking of immense gene networks in ‘superorganisms’ that ‘solve problems through the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of signals. It is now clearer how an environmental drive probably evolved from that of food ingestion in unicellular organisms to that of socialization in insects. It is also clear that, in mammals, food odors and pheromones cause changes in hormones that have developmental affects on sexual behavior in nutrient-dependent, reproductively fit individuals across species of vertebrates.

    Thus, simply put: “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans.” And there is nothing random about that!

    • John R Wallis says:

      I have just had another look at the original critique, and find these lines;

      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).

      So I ask, what does an intelligent, rational, logical, man make of this bible verse, how do you read it, and what does it mean to us today?

      John R Wallis

  6. Peter Zwag says:

    Hi John, you have asked a very intelligent and reasonable question.

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).

    “So I ask, what does an intelligent, rational, logical, man make of this bible verse, how do you read it, and what does it mean to us today?”

    I like to think of myself as a intelligent, rational, logical, man.
    To prove this I will tell one of my favorite stories.
    A airplane is going to crash. There are 3 passengers + the pilot, and there are only 3 parachutes. The pilot says I’m the pilot – the most important person on the plane, so should get first parachute, then jumps off. The next passenger says, I’m a university lecturer, have got lots to contribute to society. I should go next. Now there is just a backpacker and an ordinary passenger. The ordinary passenger says, who should get the last parachute.
    The back packer says, don’t worry about that. I gave the university professor my back pack, and he jumped off the plane with it thinking it was a parachute.
    The point is that brilliant people in one field, falsely can believe they are brilliant in other fields they know nothing about.
    In example if this is a famous still living Atheist who said you cant possible be a scientist and a christian.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christians_in_science_and_technology
    My point is that all of us have blind spots, and could learn lots from others who have very different perspectives.
    I further show my intelligence in that I know the difference between a back pack and a parachute. I also show my intelligence by admitting my limitations, as there a vast topics I know nothing about.

    The weakness of naturalism (where there is no supernatural) is
    that it might just be wrong, and it rises or falls on assumptions that might just be wrong too. (Hence the example of the university professor)

    As for John 1 :1
    Regardless if you believe there is a God / designer / intelligent being, if you sincerely pray, God if your real – reveal your self to me, Ive seen amazing things happen.

    The passage below will make more sense if you understand that Jesus is the Word, and the light.
    “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

    6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

    9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

    Books could be written on this passage.
    It means God & Jesus existing before the beginning of time, and created the world. Scientist more recently have found that there was a point before time existed. Well here its stated nearly 2000 years ago.
    Being created is life changing for me. It affect’s my identity, values, gives me peace joy and love as I am a created being, adopted by God as a son.

    You could also look at
    http://www.eternaltruthministry.com/2011/05/did-jesus-exist-in-the-beginning-with-god/
    Peter Zwag

  7. What a shame that you still seem to cling desperately to the millions and billions of years concepts!

    Laurie Appleton.

  8. Everything known to serious scientists about energy-dependent biophysically constrained RNA-mediated cell type differentiation is missing from Perry Marshall’s disappointing errant intellectually under-powered view.

    Everything known to serious scientists about virus-driven energy theft and genomic entropy is missing from “How Can Physics Underlie the Mind? Top-Down Causation in the Human Context” by George FR Ellis. https://www.amazon.com/review/R1PO4GK29KZN8H/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01GEWDHWK&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=133140011&store=digital-text

    Taken together what is known to serious scientists about how physics and chemistry must link energy-dependent changes from angstroms to ecosystems via molecular epigenetics was expressed as what population geneticists don’t know in “A radical revision of human genetics” http://www.nature.com/news/a-radical-revision-of-human-genetics-1.20779

    Excerpt: “…geneticists don’t have an accurate understanding of how mutations behave in people who are not obviously sick. “This is a fascinating flashpoint in the field right now,” says Robert Green, a geneticist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. “Many people are deeply concerned that widespread screening of ostensibly healthy people could actually lead to harm.”

    Simply put, theorists know nothing at all. They refuse to differentiate between a mutation and an energy-dependent amino acid substitution. Perry Marshall and George Ellis are among those who do not seem to know anything about biologically-based cause and effect in the context of biophysically constrained mutations or nutrient energy-dependent constraints on the physiology of reproduction in all living genera.

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