My New Years Resolution for 2018

I have a New Years Resolution for 2018, inspired by a recent blog comment.

Yesterday, a reader of this blog indicated that he was not interested in reading Evolution 2.0. Then he posted six very long blog comments that contained 20, maybe 40 questions.

I responded: “Most of your questions are answered in Evolution 2.0.

“Read it. Invest the money and the time. If you won’t, I won’t engage with you.

“Ten years ago I engaged with all comers, regardless. I did respond to any halfway civil person with any halfway reasonable question.

“I replied to tens of thousands of emails – literally any reasonable person who replied to me from an email list of 275,000 people.

“And then, for the last 5+ years, to people on this blog. I have answered nearly every imaginable question from every kind of person you can imagine, from teenagers to molecular biologists, from flaming atheists to Hasidic Jews.

“I have also invested eight years writing a book and organizing a prize, which are endorsed by some of the most eminent evolutionary scientists in the world from Oxford, Harvard, MIT, UCLA, King’s College, including editors of three peer-reviewed biology journals.

“I don’t have time to re-state here what I have already said here and elsewhere. If you desire my time and attention, if you wish to learn, and if your questions are sincere, you will be willing to invest the money and the time to read what I have written. 

“You can also find the answers to most of your questions on this site in the articles and comments.

“Your questions must demonstrate familiarity. Do your homework. Skin in the game. 

“I am extremely busy; I am a highly sought after person, being one of the highest paid business consultants in the country. I have made notable contributions to four professions: process control engineering (wrote an Ethernet book), online advertising, business strategy, and evolutionary biology. Including the largest Origin of Life prize in history.

“Numerous investors have committed millions of dollars to the Evolution 2.0 Prize. The science and logic behind the prize have been carefully refined since 2005. Almost all of that history is on this blog for all to see, which has over 10,000 comments.

“The opportunity cost to write Evolution 2.0 was great. I could have made far more money doing something else. This is not about book royalties. It’s about informed conversation. Any serious person anywhere in the world who wants to know something can lay their hands on a book and read it.

“From this point forward I will generously engage only those who generously engage with my work and demonstrate their knowledge through informed conversation. I have earned the right to say that.

“Put some skin in the game. Evolution 2.0 is well worth your time. Read the book from cover to cover (including the appendices) and then come back with your questions. I will similarly engage with people who have read books from the following list:

Dance to the Tune of Life: Biological Relativity by Denis Noble


Evolution: A View from the 21st Century by James Shapiro

Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life by Hubert Yockey

Purpose and Desire by J. Scott Turner

Acquiring Genomes by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan

Symbiogenesis: A New Theory of Evolution by Boris Kozo-Polyanski, Lynn Margulis and Victor Fet

The Music of Life by Denis Noble

Recordings and proceedings from the 2016 Royal Society Evolution Meeting

“…All authored by eminent scientists from top institutions who have published volumes of peer reviewed work.”

That is my New Years Resolution for 2018 and it applies to everyone.

Perry Marshall

P.S.: Somebody’s going to complain, “Awwww, you just want to sell books.”

Answer: I want people to read books. Mine or others, either way. Source one from your local library if you are tight on funds. Or buy it. I don’t care. But you have to pick up the book and read it.

It’s time to elevate the conversation.

5 Responses

  1. John Lyster says:

    Glad to be of assistance there Perry, lol

  2. Tom Godfrey says:

    Perry, your new year’s resolution convinced me that I should read your book. I could not get it through any local library, so I broke down and bought my own copy of it on Amazon. It took me nearly two months to read through it, cover to cover, while taking many pages of notes. As you can imagine, reading your book was not my full-time job. Anyway, thanks for encouraging me to read it. I submitted a review of it last night. It’s probably too long, but just in case you are interested, here is a link to it.

  3. Tom Godfrey says:


    You are welcome. You did help me understand various approaches better for sure. Thanks. Believe it or not, I had more ideas for increasing thoroughness than for decreasing it. The real challenge I faced was not to elaborate more but to condense my notes down to a reasonable length.

    I had nothing to say about chapter 17, for example. Frankly, in a sense, no one can tell the whole story. You and I are no exception to this rule. Nevertheless, in my review, I could have agreed with you that creationists have had relatively little to say about modern advances in biology, the “blades” of what you call the Swiss Army Knife. It would have been nice to comment on the following paragraph from that chapter to illustrate the importance of distinguishing science from history:

    “Meyer and his pro-Darwin opponents are making identical, equal, and yet opposite mistakes. Both move evolutionary steps out of the realm of scientific discovery and into ineffable mystery, so round and round it goes. Thus the deadlock between Darwin and Design. Both sides have missed the biggest story in the history of science.” (p. 150)

    In my notes, the rest of this comment is all I had on chapter 17:

    “The decisions organisms make as they apply the Swiss Army Knife create genetic information.” (p. 150)

    One may quibble over definitions and the question of whether decisions really can create information, but a much more important point should not be missed. Whatever can be demonstrated in a modern lab really has no bearing on what actually happened in the past except to provide ideas for guesses, which may or may not be correct, depending crucially on the validity of the assumptions involved.

    • Tom,

      We’ll have to agree to disagree on the last paragraph but that is nothing new. Along the lines of what you say, I believe creationists will get a lot more traction with secular people by focusing more on the teleological behavior of organisms. I think teleology is the real issue of contention between secular and sacred, more so than the details of the history. Religious people see the world as purposeful, secular see it as purposeless, and what you and I can both certainly agree on is that every aspect of living things, every system at every level, including even small genetic adaptations like astronaut DNA changing after a trip to space, are all demonstrably purposeful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *