Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design
What People Are Saying:
(Biologists, Physicists, Mathematicians, Theologians, Scholars and Teenagers)
In writing Evolution 2.0, my friend Perry Marshall has chosen the path of maximum risk, but with it the chance of a pioneering new horizons in the origin and evolution of life.
This book straddles the border between conventional evolutionary theory and creationism. Perry has deliberately parachuted into hostile territory.
Standing on the knife-edge of this intersection, this book will inflame both dogmatic Darwinists and Creationists. It’s irritating to both because it’s friendly to the idea of evolution itself, and because it judges Darwinism too close-minded and reductive.
Has blind dogma migrated from the religious camp to the science camp in only four centuries? The zealots in this debate are both sectarian. Did not religious dogma condemn Galileo, one of the most famous scientists of all time?
My friend Jacques Benveniste suffered similar persecution at the hands of scientific fundamentalists in the 1990s when he showed water has memory, supporting homeopathy.
To bridge this gap demands rare qualities: A maverick approach, a thirst for challenge, personal freedom to explore, and the will to slaughter sacred cows.
Perry dares to bring new disciplines to the debate, namely computer science and electrical engineering. These fields bring light and innovative problem-solving to biology. When I wrote my 2010 paper on the Golden Ratio in DNA, Perry suggested that I had unearthed a genetic “checksum” – cells use the same technology to detect copying errors as modern computers. He was absolutely right!
While most scientists submit to self-censorship and dare not question cherished assumptions, the boldest scientists like Albert Einstein, Francis Crick and Stephen Hawking never feared such taboos. Whether agnostics, atheists or believers, they never shrank back from big questions or unconventional solutions.
Picture a Mobius strip. On each side at the same speed and direction, crawl two ants: One ant is science, the other is Religion. But the Mobius strip closes in on itself, so in fact has a single face! Each ant secretes pheromones, each perceives the other… yet the two ants never meet!
No longer can we consider the intersection between Religion and Science an empty space. In our disorienting world of science and technology, the temptation is for the believer to use scientific evidence as a crutch. Conversely, too many scientists think they are “God” and shun crucial ethical oversight.
Allow me to suggest an analogy, inspired by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: The question of God vs. Science is really like particle vs. wave: Science is something humans do; God is something we experience. Evolution and design, similarly, are not either-or, but both-and.”
Author, Codex Biogenesis
Retired former IBM Biomathematics and Artificial Intelligence Interdisciplinary Researcher
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“In Evolution 2.0, Mr. Marshall has made a gallant attempt to bridge the gap between conventional evolutionary theory and creationism by applying his vast knowledge in computer science and electrical engineering to biology. In presenting possible mechanisms for evolution, Mr. Marshall has introduced the concept of a “Swiss Army knife” with five blades, representing transposition, horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics, symbiogenesis, and gene duplication.
It is amazing that this “non-biologist” author has analyzed life phenomena at the cellular and molecular levels to such a depth and width by applying a wide range of available information gained by cutting-edge methodologies in life sciences! I have pre-ordered a few copies of Evolution 2.0 for our grandchildren.
Mr. Marshall sees a parallel between cellular DNA and the computer code and considers all other codes similar to DNA to have been designed. He sees no way of explaining the origin of the DNA code other than by design.
Being a cell/molecular biologist and a Christian, I have often been asked about my views on Christian faith and evolution by my students and colleagues. I have responded by saying that I do not see any conflict between one’s personal belief in creation and scientific search for the mechanism of evolution.
This is because I believe the recognition of God as the creator and sustainer of life does not have to be in opposition to the concept of evolution, more complex organisms arising from simpler ones. However, I recognize that the conflict between the atheistic view of human origin as a result of mechanistic evolution, and that of human creation in God’s image, might remain unresolvable.
The book is well written, often witty, and is extremely thought provoking. The author has amassed a wealth of information gathered from 409 cited sources in various fields, ranging from biology to theology. Thus, the book is most informative to both life scientists and those in other disciplines.
I do not know if the book will be able to change the minds of those who hold strong opposing views on the evolution debate, but Mr. Marshall’s fresh approach will force them to look into the validity of their positions.
Mr. Marshall is making an invaluable contribution toward more open and honest discussion on the subject of evolution versus creation.
Mr. Marshall issues a challenge for a technology prize to anyone finding “an example of information that does not come from a designer.” The prize money alone would be an incentive to read the book, especially for those who deny the existence of a designer.”
Dr. Kwang Jeon
Editor, International Review of Cell and Molecular biology
Department of Biochemistry
University of Tennessee
“Evolution 2.0 is equally shocking to both atheists and Christians, a genuine eye-opener in a category of its own.
Having written an authoritative text on Ethernet, he is ideally suited to discuss the characteristics of code and digital language, demonstrating correspondence between DNA and computer code.
He has a dogged focus in the finest tradition of science’s founders. He is fair and honest with facts that few assess calmly. And as author of the world’s leading Google AdWords book, he has first-hand experience with technologies which mimic genetic behaviors like Transposition and Natural Selection. Thus he explains complex evolutionary systems using clear and understandable illustrations.
He has superbly crafted an engaging and persuasive narrative. Evolution 2.0 weaves seemingly dry, technical, even incomprehensible topics into a tight, fascinating story around his own scientific and spiritual journey—revealing empirically valid and truly astonishing facts about DNA.
These facts turn mainstream evolution on its head. He demonstrates beyond doubt that the development of new attributes and species is staggeringly sophisticated, directly comparable with computer code and languages…only far more advanced.
All of this is extensively referenced for readers who want to verify his claims, or just discover amazing capabilities of DNA that have been proven (but not publicized) in the past 50 years.
The picture he paints of DNA is of a genetic programming language so advanced that its systems can communicate with others and upgrade themselves repeatedly, even writing entirely new programs—all without crashing, without losing data, and fitting their code into a space 30,000 times smaller than our best hard drives. Our greatest computer technologists of today can barely fathom how to imitate these features.
Perry’s focus on scientific data does not come at the expense of other critical issues. He ably canvasses key issues like the hard problem of consciousness, the philosophical underpinnings of science, the curiosity-killing presuppositions of neo-Darwinism, and science’s history with faith. He is commendably straightforward, and presents the central ideas clearly—even to people with no prior knowledge.
He may or may not convince you of common ancestry or the age of the earth. But you will find his overall presentation absolutely compelling. Any person of faith who cares about how creation reveals God—and how evolution is actually a devastating arsenal of evidence against atheism—should add Evolution 2.0 to the extreme tippy-top of their reading list.
Waikato, New Zealand
“Perry Marshall’s Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design combines critical scrutiny of Neo-Darwinism with creative and timely consideration of information theory as applied to the genetic code. The result is no less than astonishing. With considerable wit and amazing insight, Marshall delivers a compelling and forceful synthesis that sets a new standard for discussions about the relationship between science and faith.”
Professor of Geology
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
“A very readable book and a devastating attack on the neo-Darwinist orthodoxy that evolution is nothing but natural selection acting on random variation.”
Co-Director, Institute of Science in Society
Emeritus professor of Applied Mathematics,
“Perry has done an outstanding job of explaining both information science (his area of expertise) and the under-publicized mechanisms of evolution like transposition and symbiogenesis. Most importantly he explores the relationship between Information and design.
At the heart of his argument is the paradox of the origin of the information found in life and its (apparent) spontaneous emergence from matter and energy. Perry argues persuasively that all other codes similar to DNA have been designed, and that while it is possible that a naturalistic explanation may yet be found to explain the code in DNA, there is no proof of this; thus the Evolution 2.0 Prize.
He also shows that there are processes in the cell which suggest that the cell itself is sufficiently smart to rearrange its genome and direct its own evolution. Perry argues that at some level there may be a relationship between naturalistic processes and design reminiscent of the paradox of particle / wave duality in physics.
The book is wonderfully thought provoking as Perry brings a fresh perspective to the increasingly arid (and acrimonious) debate between Intelligent Design and methodological naturalism.”
MS Biochemistry, Oxford University
Former department head, Marconi Optical
“A remarkable and useful resume of the state-of-the-art of this great problem of science.”
Author, Lifecode and On The Origin of Form
Co-Founder, New York Academy of Art
New York, NY
“This book is groundbreaking in synthesizing the latest science. No other single book brings it all together so well.
Evolution 2.0 Breaking the Deadlock between Darwin and Design is a must read to those interested in the current state of the supposed conflict between faith and reason. It shows that where they intersect they are not in opposition.
Evolution 2.0 is the future. Beautifully written and engaging it is useful for the person who is eager to learn more and take the journey with Perry. It will especially appeal to engineers who design everyday and recognize it in the language of DNA and the sophistication of life. The Grand Design of life is fully appreciated on page after page.
Faith and properly reasoned science cannot be opposed. This book shows it well.”
Buffalo, New York
“I am committed to Young Earth Creationism, and thus cannot agree with some of Perry’s conclusions. However, I would highly recommend this book to any skeptic who is committed to a purely materialistic paradigm. I believe the science presented here – from both the latest research to the most engaging minds on this subject – make this the one book you should read.”
Ray Glinski, MS Biochemistry
Grace Church of DuPage
“I grew up in the Upper Midwest in a fairly strong conservative community. For most of the people in my church, the Bible was inspired Word of God, divine, inerrant, immutable, and decidedly NOT metaphorical. People took stringent views of those who thought otherwise. But I always had more questions than answers. If the earth really was just 6,000 years old, why was virtually no scientist talking about it? Was there really a gigantic atheist conspiracy going on to cover up the truth?
When I read Perry’s book, my world tilted. Long-held, preconceived notions about science, life, and the Bible were shattered. Here was a guy who was offering answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. Things that bugged me for so long suddenly made sense. Perry’s book changed my life forever. Not only did I learn stuff nobody’s talking about, I realized my God was way bigger than I ever gave Him credit for. Perry taught me never to fear the truth, and for that I’ll always be grateful.”
Jethro Frank, age 19
East Chain, Minnesota
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“Evolution 2.0 is a modern philosophical marvel unlike anything I have read in my years of study. It allowed me to put down my guard. The author was not compelling me to believe in an ideology, but rather taking me alongside his journey of self-discovery.
I came into this book hesitant. As a staunch creationist I found myself trying to fight with Marshall early on, but his arguments and presentation were flawless and compelling. It was refreshing to see someone examine both sides honestly.
While reading his provocative and thorough discourse, I was not offended with the manner in which he dealt with a sensitive topic. Marshall was raw and candid, but curious. He was never hasty to draw conclusions, but he also didn’t drag the reader through an endless chamber of mind maps. Marshall’s approach was logical, while retaining a human element. He takes us through his journey, and in turn, we enter our own voyage of discovery. Iron sharpens iron.
Evolution 2.0 treats both science and theology with respect that is merged with a healthy skepticism. Given the complexity of the topic, coupled with Marshall’s expertise in the area, this logical process is necessary.
Evolution 2.0 caters to a scientific mind, but can be appreciated by all. It is well-written and orderly. This book explores a very complex and heavy matter; but at the same time, the author interjects a very personal tone all while maintaining empirical integrity.”
Comparative Religion Scholar, Carthage College
Lake Geneva, WI
“As one maverick critiquing another, I admire Evolution 2.0 by Perry Marshall.
Armed with computer science and electrical engineering, Perry fights an uphill battle to unite the space between those who believe evolution is random and those who believe species are designed by God, who in some cases deny evolution itself.
I’m rooting for the underdog. Especially since the genome is without question a fractal design. This one fact should settle the question. But of course it remains to be seen whether Perry will level the field, since people believe what they want to believe.
Some will never yield their “God-given right to be atheists.” For them, Perry’s fluid reasoning, his vivid, readable explanations, his easy style and enjoyable storytelling may be deemed “unreasonable” or “argued to death”.
Unless, of course, someone wins the technology prize! Should that happen, nobody will argue with success. Until then, people will be debating this book for years.
Why? Because any reasonable person has to agree the genome is a code. Though Perry doesn’t fully articulate all that the genetic code is, he definitively proves what it is not: It is not random!
Those familiar with FractoGene will resonate with the idea that “Fractal DNA grows fractal organisms.” This implies that growth cycles are directed by an algorithm. By its fractal nature, the genome generates subsequent stages of its own development. It evolves!
This is compatible with belief that a supreme being created the fractal code of life, a code far superior to Cantor’s or Mandelbrot’s fractal codes. It’s also compatible with the idea that the circumference or surface area of a circle are algorithms that do not necessarily imply a supreme being. So where do we draw the line where an algorithm is utterly simple, vs. so complex that we’ve seen the face of God?
I say “Complexity is in the eye of the bewildered.” Kronecker famously said, “God created the integers. All else is the work of man.” Indeed, great scientists practice their trade with religious fervor. But why judge them by whether they believe in God or not, when their work can speak for itself?
Judge this book by the science within its pages – and enjoy the story.”
Andras Pellionisz, Biophysicist
Ph.D., Computer Technology
U.S. Patent #8,280,641
Silicon Valley, California
“I hope Evolution 2.0 will usher in a new era of an intelligent and civilized dialogue between science and religion in the coming decades.”
Author, Molecular Theory of the Living Cell
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Piscataway, New Jersey
“Sometimes the only way a puzzle get solved is when someone looks at it with fresh eyes. Perry Marshall is an engineer who started to investigate biology. His book could signal the start of a paradigm shift in the battle between Darwinian evolution and creation/ID. Maybe the war is over. Respond, criticise and debate it… just don’t dismiss it.”
Host of the Unbelievable radio program & podcast