Yoga Talk Show – What Darwin Got Wrong

You don’t have to keep your opinions silent if you’re willing to listen to others

The very open-minded Lucas Rockwood graciously invited me onto his Yoga Talk Show to discuss my reasons for investigating the subject that eventually became Evolution 2.0. Listen to the full audio interview here..

EPISODE 271: What Darwin Got Wrong
with Perry Marshall

Prefer to download? Download

Lucas opened the show by saying how he’s learned to keep to himself his opinions on controversial subjects, because he’s not sure that he’s right.

I empathize with his viewpoint, because I got involved in the question I’m discussing today after an evolution vs creation argument with my brother, when I realized I didn’t know the answers.

Why does this question torment so many people?

Why is this something people have struggled with since the dawn of man?

As an engineer I look at the hand at the end of my arm and think, “That is a fabulous design, which cannot possibly happen by accident.” Then I became aware that a lot of biologists see this differently, and I knew that I didn’t know.

What really sent me searching – in addition to all of the personal and spiritual questions that it tends to raise – was also this other question.

You know, they never taught us Darwinian evolution in engineering school. I took classes where we optimized control systems using particular methodologies, and none of them resembled traditional Darwinian evolution.

So I wondered: if engineers knew what biologists knew, would there be a sudden leap forward in engineering? Or do engineers know something that biologists don’t know?

I realized that these two professions need to start talking to each other… and if I pursued this long enough I might get to the bottom of it.

People say, “I don’t believe in Intelligent Design” or “I only believe in Darwin, because I believe in science.” What are they really saying?

We’re pretty sure 80 percent of science is right. But take anything in the last 50 years that we were pretty sure we have right, and I will bet you that 80 percent of it will be wrong in a hundred years. Science is the serpent eating its own tail.

And the second thing is that most people don’t have any idea what science really is. What most people think is science is really marketing.

You have to understand that science can only answer what questions… it can’t answer why questions or should questions or religious questions.

The idea that there is a war between science and religion is a ridiculously oversimplified truncation or amputation of the big questions of humanity.

If you want to say that science is where the answers are, then religion is the number one question, because science ignores the fact that huge amounts of scientific studies can’t be reproduced. And they can’t, because things are constantly changing.

There are tons of questions that it can’t possibly address, because there are orders of magnitude more complex than any scientific experiment.

Second, science cannot tell you whether it’s right or wrong to take care of mentally handicapped people. Even humanity sciences can’t tell you if there should be free health care.

There’s also a very deep confusion about religious traditions. Fundamentalists paint a picture of a white bearded guy in the cloud who created everything in seven days. Most modern people think they’re too smart for Adam and Eve, too smart for Cain and Abel, too smart for Noah’s Ark. Yet when I look at my arm and hand, I’ve never seen accidents be so perfect.

Eventually I arrived at a little rule that has been very productive for me – Ignore no verifiable facts.

You know I talk about 80:20… that 20 percent of things constitute 80 percent of what’s actually important and 80 percent of things aren’t important. So your list of verifiable facts must be small, because a big list isn’t verifiable.

I’m going to look for answers. I’m going to pursue the truth wherever it leads. I believe the truth will set you free. Jesus said that. I think that’s true even if Jesus isn’t for real. I think that’s a good truth.

Any time I find something that as far as I can tell appears true, I’m going to put it on my chalkboard. Even if I can’t figure out how to fit it into my puzzle I’m not going to erase it, and I’m not going to deny it.

This put me in a state of holding for a long time. I came to two seemingly contradictory conclusions in the first two years of my search for this.

A whale museum in Boston has a whale skeleton. Near the back of the whale are tiny bones that are floating inside the whale’s body. They look like a shrunken set of legs or flippers, but they don’t go outside of the body and they don’t look like they do anything. An evolutionary person will say those were legs the whale didn’t need any more. If I were God and I was making a whale I would not put teeny little whale legs inside the whale’s body that don’t do anything. I’m an engineer. You don’t install useless parts.

So I bought all kinds of intelligent design books, creation books and Darwinian evolution books, trying to figure out how genetic mutation would produce evolution… what are genes… and what is the genetic code.

While looking at the information structure of a gene I realized I’d seen it before.

It’s in a book I wrote in 2002 called Industrial Ethernet.

Actually it’s in every electronic message: email, text, talking on your cell phone, and visiting a website. All of those activities use information packets to send and receive messages. Each packet has little sections.

DNA is a code, just like HTML – the code used to display websites – or an Excel spreadsheet has a file format or a Word document has a file format… genes are a file format. Whoa.

And that was my breakthrough moment: I can figure this out, because this is an engineering program. Any theory of evolution is an engineering problem, and creationism is an engineering problem. One says God did it; the other says nature did it.

Here’s what’s interesting about Ethernet packets and codes – they’re all designed by very smart humans, so it wouldn’t be too ridiculous to conclude that genetic code is designed, because it looks designed. But let me go back to the other side for a minute.

Those little whale flippers that are folded up inside its body; you could never get those flippers to fold up by accident. “This used to be a four legged creature and now the legs are all folded up inside because they’re not necessary anymore,” actually makes sense. But it does not make sense that it happened randomly, because I worked in manufacturing.

In a car plant shrinking a fender down to one-tenth its original size and sticking it in the trunk wouldn’t happen by accident. That would require a highly coordinated set of manufacturing operations.

Now I’m really confused. DNA looks like Ethernet packets and codes, which are designed by geniuses in the 1960s and since they’re still in use obviously work well. But it looks like whales and a lot of other things have evolved.

For two years all I could do was apply my imagination and knowledge. If this did evolve there’s something amazing going on here that nobody’s explaining properly. I am not buying the traditional Darwinian explanation, because the way they explain it in the textbooks I’ve read doesn’t make sense.

Then there’s how defensive, snarky and angry the scientists behave toward their critics… if they were confident about their theory they would not be angry and calling those who disagree names.

I started reading scientific papers, because they merely present a case without the anger. Then a guy emailed me a paper…

Listen to the full audio interview here..

EPISODE 271: What Darwin Got Wrong
with Perry Marshall

Prefer to download? Download

You don’t have to keep your opinions silent if you’re willing to listen to others

Tired and put off by the angry snark of the evolutionists, I only read scientific papers, because they merely present a case without the anger. Then a guy emailed me a paper by James Shapiro of University of Chicago.

In 1944 nobody had figured out DNA, although they knew about a strand of stuff in the form of genes and chromosomes. A very sharp geneticist named Barbara McClintock used x-rays to break a chromosome in the corn plant so it could not reproduce.

It’s as if the program crashed because some data was corrupted. So the plant can’t reproduce because the code is broken. It would be like if you tore a page out of a mystery novel and then I said, “Here’s a novel with page 357 ripped out. Look at everything before and after that page to reconstruct what you think is missing so the story makes perfect sense. And you have to do it based on words, phrases and sentences that are already in the book, and you have to copy them from elsewhere in the book.”

The plant started copying stuff from other parts of its DNA and patched it together. It fixed the problem and went on to reproduce. When it grew into corn she could see kernels and figure out what had happened.

She developed a new language for what was going on. She called them controlling elements, transposing elements and jumping genes. She figured out there are genes that control other genes and the genes that control the other genes can move around. When the plant is under stress it starts rearranging the control genes and will literally reprogram its own genetics in real time in order to adapt to the situation. And if you don’t damage too badly it will recover… like Nietzsche said, “anything that doesn’t destroy you will make you stronger.”

Seven years later she got this all sorted out and presented it at a symposium in Cold Spring Harbor, NY. Half of the geneticists and biologists thought she was crazy. The other half were angry. “Woman, plants do not control their genetics; genetics control the plant. We figured this out 40 years ago. It only goes one way. It goes from genetics to plant; it does not go from plant to genetics.”

She said, “Yes it does go from plant to genetics; it goes both ways.” But they didn’t believe her and she couldn’t get them to accept it. For 20 years she went silent… she did her research and sent reports to the people paying the bills, but she stopped publishing.

Then in 1983 she won the Nobel Prize discovering transposition in mobile genetic elements. That’s a major component of biology in adaptation; cells in your body are switching things on and off and rearranging genes and making changes to adapt to your constantly changing environment, so that your body is proactively adapting to what’s going on. It’s not just passively and accidentally copying errors or anything like that.

According to Dr. Shapiro this was a missing piece – you remember I was searching for a missing piece that I knew had something to do with error correction. The Darwinists were saying that errors creep in through natural copying errors, and occasionally they’re better. That never happens in engineering… you never get better code from copying errors.

Shapiro explained that every single cell has a three-step error correction system. When the DNA is copied to make a new cell the first stage has 1 error in 10,000. The next stage has a 1 error in 10 million and the next stage has one error in 10 billion.

Which is exactly like you or NAT (network address translation) routers. It’s exactly like your cell phone. They have that too, or they wouldn’t work.

Barbara McClintock discovered error correction circuitry in cells gets you back to the original many times, and makes an error disappear through redundancy and repair mechanisms.

If it’s damaged beyond repair and doesn’t know what to do, or if the organism is faced with a situation like it’s too hot it’s too cold to solve, the organism will re-engineer itself to make the adaptation.

This suggests the whale organism knew how to shrink those legs down and did so in response to a changing environment. It happens in real time – germs develop resistance to antibiotics in 20 minutes by cutting, splicing, rearranging DNA and trading DNA with other germs.

It’s unbelievable what they do and it does not happen by accident. It’s a very chaotic process, like fixing a business and marketing and entrepreneurship problems, in that you don’t know what’s going to work. You make your very best guess. You go to a mastermind group and brainstorm with other people. Somebody from another industry suggests you try something.

Bacteria have been doing mastermind groups for three billion years. The most successful ones are when they go outside of their colonies. So when I say the whale feet got shrunken down through genetic reprogramming I’m bringing you to the bleeding edge of current science, where we can see some of this happening on a small scale in a short period of time and extrapolate what happened over a long period of time.

You can see how this is not random accumulation of accidents. Therefore, I got an arm, which doesn’t make any sense, any more than a bearded guy in the clouds going, “poof, have an arm.” It’s more impressive than either of those.

I think each side is making a mistake that needs to be corrected. Since I grew up in a Christian environment, let’s start there.

The thing Christians like about the seven day creation story is that it starts with an absolutely perfect world and, at least to the comfort of some people, blames all of the problems on us so we don’t have to blame God – Eve ate the fruit and everything went to hell in a handbasket.

I think the story has been misread and misinterpreted for a thousand years in Christianity. Where does it say that the Garden of Eden was perfect? Now I don’t care if you want to take it literally or figuratively or somewhere in between, because that’s not the issue.

The main issue is what the story is trying to say. The story starts with a tree you’re not supposed to eat from and a serpent who in the Christian tradition is Satan, the most pissed off creature in the history of the universe. Conflict is baked into the story from the very beginning and it’s very clear that these humans are supposed to contend with a very murky, ambiguous world. They’re given a strong suggestion and opportunity to screw up and sort it out.

Now that’s compatible with what is in an evolutionary world… there’s conflict from the beginning, just like entrepreneurship. It’s hard, it’s tricky, it’s murky, and it’s a bitch.

Christians like when I say, “Nature isn’t purposeless, it’s purposeful.” But when I say, “Hey, you know the world’s been in a state of conflict from the very beginning” they don’t like that, because I just took away their perfect little world, which they invented. It’s not in Genesis, and I take these stories very seriously.

(By the way, if you are a non-religious person and you can’t buy the Genesis story as a theological story and you can’t buy the idea of God, look up Jordan Peterson’s channel on YouTube and watch his series of videos on Genesis. He explains in terms of epic ancient stories and dream sequences and evolutionary psychology what these stories are really telling us, because most people have never really dug into these stories to understand what they’re truly about. I think most Christians only half understand what the stories are really about.)

Listen to the full audio interview here..

EPISODE 271: What Darwin Got Wrong
with Perry Marshall

Prefer to download? Download

You don’t have to keep your opinions silent if you’re willing to listen to others

Now let’s go to the atheist side. There’s a huge misconception that the universe is this place of blind pitiless indifference, which is all random, all chaos, all copying errors and simply natural selection. It’s a big pile of BS that does not stand up to any actual scientifically verifiable experimental process.

Cells evolve and everything in the cell is orderly. When you confront a cell or a plant or an animal with an impossible situation that maybe none of its ancestors had ever been presented with, it responds in unique, innovative ways and will do its best to alter its DNA.

That’s just like small businesses. Most of the time the ideas end up being wrong. But some of the time they succeed.

So those little critters are split testing all the time. Planet Earth is a result of three and a half billion years of split testing by trillions of organisms. That’s why you look out the window and you have beautiful trees and beautiful mountains and beautiful grass and an ocean full of life. There is an intentional process that’s been going on for billions of years and humans are the first species to actually start to comprehend it in a self-reflective way. And that self-reflection is what religion and spirituality are about.

Science can’t answer these questions: “Hey, you know there’s all these old people in the old people’s home and they’re just consuming resources and oxygen. Shouldn’t we just kill them?” Well the simplistic scientific answer would be yes, but I think we’re all smart enough not to.

I think artificial intelligence like self-driving cars and augmented reality will force these issues to the forefront. While it sounds like we’re talking about something that’s really ancient, timing is such that these are actually going to be bigger discussions than they have been in the past three decades or so, even though the world perhaps has become more atheist and agnostic.

“Do we hit the child or the deer in our car’s path? Who do we euthanize, if anyone?”

These are questions people have to start asking, because we have to start making these decisions on statewide and nationwide levels.

My prediction for self-driving cars is that the question will be settled not by philosophers, nor by ethicists, nor by our feelings. It will be settled by insurance company actuaries. If you buy that self-driving car and you pay the insurance for whatever it does then you know what will keep you out of jail.

It’s ingenious, because somebody has to pay. If to miss a deer the car swerves onto the sidewalk and kills a girl you know you can’t get the girl back. But somebody has got to pay, so somebody will pay.

This brings us back to the ancient religious practice of sacrificing when you do something evil. Somebody has to sacrifice something… you never get away from that. Even in the newest question it will echo the very oldest stories in the world. Solomon will turn out to be right, that there’s nothing new under the sun. GK Chesterton said news is all things happening to new people. So what? But what?

Whether you’re an atheist or agnostic we all we want to be better people, and we want to build a better world. Well I have a few suggestions.

First, if you think somebody’s religious tradition is silly and ridiculous, it’s because you don’t understand it. From a certain point of view it does make sense and it does answer questions that you currently don’t think are important.

Second, I encourage you to read those stories and consider that the authors were not trained to answer the questions that we think are important now. For instance, I am absolutely certain that the earth is billions of years old. I don’t think there’s any question about it, but frankly whether you think the earth is 6,000 years old or four billion years old doesn’t change the way you live your life.

Regardless of whether you think the world is purposeful or not, religious conflict won’t make any sense to you unless you really understand the Cain and Abel story, because that’s the oldest, most enduring story about religious conflict.

You have to ask why Cain was so pissed at Abel, and what was Cain not willing to take responsibility for? What things in that story are the same in every way today, whether it’s Muslims blowing up bombs in London or anything else? You can’t brush these questions off. They are important. Yet there’s a segment of society that completely dismisses these questions, which is dangerous, because if you ignore important questions someone will circle around and whack you in the head sooner or later.

Now I’ve probably offended just about everybody reading this.

I appreciate you for reading. You know you don’t have to agree with me, but I encourage you, if this piqued your interest at all, to read Evolution 2.0 and decide for yourself, because I wrote that book to make people think. There’s about 11 or 12 years of research that went into that book and it took six years to write. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

It’s generating a lot of discussion, which you can see in the Amazon reviews. I’m debating with the intelligent design team and I’m debating the Darwinists. Both sides have left out huge parts of the story that has to be told. I think it’s the biggest untold story in science.

One Response

  1. Mike = Ekim says:

    Wow reading that made me think your email hit pay dirt. It is like you just sent it to me and trust me without giving you the book on it or me rather you just nailed it. Don’t get me wrong I can get angry but have been working on not feeding that beast or any like them. It’s hard to find a non triggered individual these days especially one capable of controlling others. That one has to be tempered steel with age and intelligence. I apologise for the self flattery it appears prideful and not my attempt. I really like your approach to this (3-D’s) delusional dementia dilemma. I must caution you on somethings; first these people on both sides are being driven by more than just good or evil. They are being manipulated was Pysop or psychological operation tactics, frequencies, stimulants electronic, food artificial additive stimulants, and (not limited to phones, computer, video games, radio, TV etc) phones that are vibrating frequencies mainly low frequencies that are doing what we can only imagine to one mental awareness, mental state and you’d better believe this is taking place. Because if we were just dealing with love and hate a lot of this could be over came and there would be a lot of Middle Ground. Doubt this and I dare you to take a camper out to the middle of a Nevada dry lake bed (away from everything and everyone) and Camp a couple of nights when you’re away from all the signals flying around us for a day just one day you will see a very strange affect, PS prayer while out there. If you can accept some of all of what I am saying it starts to make sense all the battles real or not that are going on around us. All these groups of people being programmed being triggered to make us believe there is going to be a civil war. Antifa is claiming they are going to start a Civil war Nov 4th 2017. I have listened to theses confused kids about what they think is going on and I bet they don’t even know what fascism is. I see BLM is in the same boat about lives. Have you ever seen Christians under such attach? And many churches just say don’t get political if you bring it up. I really am just scratching the surface here and picking on a few beaming examples. Until all of us understand that there is a war where a few at the top are soft killing (foods, media, vaccines, etc) the masses and hard killing them by causing inner strife and great hatred (BLM, Christian vs Satanist, Demons reading topics in library, White privilege etc) where it’s everyone vs everyone vs all vs everything etc. Houston we have a problem… Right? The masses, The “We The People…” have to wake up, have to get WOKE. Good luck my friend for we are out numbered and the odds are many but let’s keep the Lord as our Shepard. Peace

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