Garry P. Nolan represents the return of objectivity to 21st century science. He holds the Rachford and Carlota A. Harris Professor Endowed Chair in the Department of Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
When asked what advice he would give to a young person pursuing a scientific career, Garry Nolan says to go after the anomalous observations, the points that are “off the graph.”
Regarding the way older scientists have advised younger ones to avoid unorthodox interpretations and taboo fields of investigation, Dr. Nolan’s says he “reverse-shames” these incurious people…
“You’re wanting to take something off the table that might be an explanation. How is that the scientific method?” Garry Nolan, PhD — 1:37:37 on the video below.
In the beginning of the interview, Lex Fridman askes Dr. Nolan,
“What is the most beautiful or fascinating aspect of human biology at the level of the cell…?”
Dr. Nolan, a PhD in genetics, answers, “The micro-machines and nano-machines that proteins make and become. That to me is the most interesting. The fact that you have this basically dynamic computer within every cell that’s constantly processing everything in its environment, and at the heart of it is DNA which is a dynamic machine, a dynamic computation process. People think of DNA as a linear code. It’s codes within codes within codes. It is, in fact, the epigenetic state that’s doing this amazing process. If you ever wanted to believe in God, just look inside the cell.“
Subliminal message: read Stephen Meyer, PhD, Signature in the Cell.
A few moments later, Dr. Nolan assures the “scientific” materialists who control the funding of science, that he himself doesn’t particularly side with the God hypothesis. He does, however, see the origin of life as hinging upon the origin of the Universe…
“It’s [the universe is] computing towards something. It was created in some ways, if you believe in God, and I don’t know that I do, but if you want to believe in something, the universe was created or at least enabled to allow for life to form.”
I think he’s referring to the fine-tuning of the universal physical constants of nature, each a specific number (or magnitude), that must be one specific value (out of infinite possibilities) for life to exist and for the Universe as we know it to be here.
Spiritual scientists might say that God or a Supreme Consciousness fine-tuned physics. Mainstream science might says that God is unscientific and all consciousness, even our own, is a non-material illusion, so a “multiverse” manufacturing process must exist to explain the fine-tuning. This falls within their rigid, dogmatic paradigm of randomness as the highest controlling agency in and beyond the Universe(s). They might say that each new universe popped into existence spontaneously out of nothingness until our Universe emerged from nothingness having been randomly self-selected from among a nearly infinite variety of other possible (and/or real) universes that could not support life as we know it.
To me, any variant of the Consciousness hypothesis seems more scientific than the “multiverse” idea, because we know that consciousness exists, but we can’t detect the multiverse mechanism or observe any of its proposed “multiverses” besides our own. And if someday we are able to directly observe this multiverse creator, could we prove that it wasn’t a conscious, intelligent and therefore a spiritual Entity? I doubt it.
In the human experience, conscious intelligence produces the complex computer codes that run, for instance, robotic automobile manufacturing plants. Science usually uses the known to help explain the unknown because trying to explain the unknown with another unknown is usually less enlightening. It’s like explaining the black plague as a visit from the grim reaper.
Conscious intelligence is a known. We scientists should use it as such. The random, mindless, “multiverse” machine is entirely undetectable and unlike anything familiar. Perhaps we should not use it as a tool for canceling honest scientific inquiry into conscious, intelligent, and therefore arguably spiritual explanations of scientific enigmas. It’s not a matter of, “God did it, so I’m no longer interested in natural laws and phenomena.” It’s more like, “An Intelligent Consciousness seems to have left a signature in nature. That makes me more curious about natural laws and phenomena.”
As you may remember from Dr. Meyer’s book, impossible odds also face those who ascribe the coded information in DNA to random mutations, genetic drift, and natural selection.
The Universe would have to be infinitely old or infinitely large for the information coded within DNA to have come into existence by random forces. Of course, it’s possible that science will someday find unconscious computer-like processes carried out by the Universe herself, as Dr. Nolen implies. But if that discovery comes, we will be left wondering if perhaps an Intelligent Consciousness designed and built the computer-like aspects of the Universe.
Whatever the future holds for human spiritual evolution, the good news of Dr. Nolan’s bold career is that modern science’s avoidance of taboo fields of study and academia’s traditional censorship of unpopular explanations are finally crumbling. Today the most brilliant scientists in the world realize that censorship and anti-spiritual bias are anti-scientific. They’re putting their money, time, energy and public reputations behind objective science, taking seriously ALL data and ALL interpretations, rather than just the random, mindless, rigidly materialistic data and hypotheses.
This is the worldview breakthrough that humanity has been searching for since the early to mid 1800’s when the worldview pendulum of science swung from one bad extreme (the unscientific assumption of the “obviousness” of God as the final explanation to the exclusion of randomness) to the opposite bad extreme (the unscientific assumption of the “obviousness” of mindless randomness in a purely physical universe as the final explanation to the exclusion of a Higher Intelligence, a.k.a. “scientific” materialism or physicalism).
Until recently, Intelligent Design has been promoted mainly by a few Christian Creationist scientists while mainstream science ridiculed their ideas and openly destroyed their careers.
But now, with Garry Nolan explaining that belief in God is reasonable if you understand DNA and the nano-factories of the cell, even though he doesn’t believe in God himself, science appears to be progressing to a new level of objectivity and away from the past emotional worldview biases with their pre-conceived dogmas: “everything must be ultimately random” or “everything must be ultimately controlled by God.” To the scientists steeped in a fading worldview dogma of one sort or the other, Dr. Nolan says,
“You’re wanting to take something off the table that might be an explanation. How is that the scientific method?” Garry Nolan, PhD — 1:37:37 on the video.
Not only has Dr. Nolan given breathing room to scientists with spiritual awareness like myself who pray to an intelligent, personal God, Nolan has given scientific credibility to the field of Ufology.
But before we get into that, I need to say that I feel as if my “friendship” with God is entirely real and almost qualifies me as belonging to an unrecognized subclass of “experiencer.” The term “experiencer” typically includes (but is not limited to) near-death experiencers, UFO experiencers, alien being experiencers, alien abductee experiencers, science-download experiencers (like Nicola Tesla), and perhaps a few famous science fiction writers who seem to have accurately predicted future events and inventions.
Dr. Nolan has made a scientific observation that might connect various types of “experiencers” with what Kit Green has called “higher functioning individuals or savants.” Only one person in 200-300 individuals has this anomaly, it seems. It’s an “enriched patch of neurons” in the basal ganglia of which we each have two, one in each cerebral hemisphere, each having two-pieces, the caudate and the putamen. Recent studies tells us that the basal ganglia are a goal-processing system serving executive functions of the higher cerebral cortices. The basal ganglia involve intuition and planning. When I was in med school, the basal ganglia were thought to be limited to the control of muscles. Now they’re sometimes called, “the brain within the brain.“
(at 17:50 in the video below):
Lex: You’ve looked at the brains of… people who have had UFO encounters. What’s common about the brain of people who have encountered UFOs?
A cohort of unusual fMRI studies were brought to Dr. Nolan. He examined them and found that most of them were suffering from “Havana syndrome,” a strange and debilitating illness that was first found in diplomats and CIA officers at the US Embassy in Havana in 2016. Dr. Nolan apparently lost interest in these individuals, but went on to study others with the same fMRI anomaly. Quoting now…
Dr. Garry Nolan: “What we found there was not something that allows some people to communicate with UFOs. I think the UFO community took a step too far. What I think we found is a form of higher functioning processing. Then… we looked at the families of those … index-case individuals and we found that it was actually in families. … We’ve now looked at about 200 random cases and we don’t see this area of higher connectivity. We only find it in individuals that Kit Green has called higher-functioning individuals… He called them savants… It turns out my family has it [the fMRI anomaly]… The reason why it seems to be [present] in so-called experiencers… if intuition is the ability to see something that other people don’t, I don’t mean that in a paranormal sense, but being able to see something that’s in front of you that other people might just dismiss, well, maybe that’s a function of a kind of higher intelligence….”
This is another Nolan Milestone for humanity, a physical commonality among UFO experiencers with neuro-physiologic relevance. This takes Ufology another step out of the unrealistic categorization as a “pseudoscience” and into the 21st Century of scientific objectivity.
And just to highlight Dr. Nolan’s objectivity, we see that he also goes with the data when it opposes the UFO community’s expectations…
At the top of this article is an X-ray image of the Atacama skeleton that Dr. Greer brought to many people’s attention, thinking that it is physical evidence of non-human intelligent life on Earth from the not-so-distant past. Dr. Nolan, God bless his objectivity and open-minded soul, studied it in his lab, consulted with experts, and describes the process at 47:40 on the video. Bottom line: Dr. Nolan considers the skeleton to be fully human but with a large number of bone-structure mutations in its DNA.
I applaud him for that, but things are never that simple for me…
After reviewing the paper, this quote jumps out of the Discussion section at me:
“Further, deep sequencing of the genome might reveal other phenotype-associated structural variations that are limited in the current analyses due to low coverage of the genome.”
What does this mean? Just how low is their “low coverage of the genome” in this paper?
If chimpanzee and human DNA are about 95% the same, would their “low coverage of the genome” be able to differentiate a human from a chimp? I’d like to know. Perhaps this paper’s conclusion, “it’s definitely human,” could have been strengthened or avoided altogether if they had used (as a non-human blinded control) the DNA of a Chimpanzee obtained from a 40-years-deceased, unpreserved Chimpanzee specimen. Controls are standard in science. If your conclusion is “this is definitely human DNA” then you need a non-human control to show whether or not Chimp DNA also appears to be “definitely human” when examined blindly in the same “low-coverage of the genome” laboratory circumstances.
I still admire Dr. Nolan immensely, and I’ll bet he could answer this question easily.
Quoting again from the paper’s Discussion:
“Taken together, it is entirely plausible that the chance combination of multiple known mutations and novel SNVs [single nucleotide variants as opposed to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)] identified here may explain Ata’s small stature, inappropriate rib count [ten], abnormal cranial features, and perceived advanced bone age. Given the size of the specimen and the severity of the mutations described above, it seems likely the specimen was a preterm birth.”
A couple of other questions come to mind:
- What local sources of mutation-inducing radiation or other influences could the gonads of this creature’s viable parents have been exposed to that produced such a huge number of novel mutations (outside of the SNP zones), known lethal mutations and devastating bone altering mutations? The paper suggests the answer is “nitrite mining” in the area and references this paper that doesn’t seem to back the claim. Instead, the paper says (in the abstract section): “The results showed that the frequency of structural chromosomal aberrations was not significantly higher in the drug-treated group than the control….” Hmm. If nitrite is a powerful enough mutagen to cause many rare and novel mutations in the Atacama skeleton’s chromosomes, you might think that patients who inhale nitrite as a medicine today would show significant chromosomal aberrations when compared to the normal controls. But no. The nuclei looked a little funny, but no chromosomal aberrations. It’s probably just my ignorance exposing itself again, right?
- Are the mutations located randomly throughout Ata’s chromosomes? I doubt this question can be answered with conditions that limit researchers to “low coverage of the genome.” But it would certainly be important to find out if truly random and powerful mutational forces were at work in South America just 40 years ago when this “fetus” with bones fused like a 6 or 7 year-old human child is said to have died in “preterm birth.” If not random mutational forces, then we’re back into a discussion of the Intelligent Design of DNA, not necessarily by a Supreme Being, but perhaps by whomever designs, builds and pilots the Navy’s well documented UFOs.
To me, Intelligent Design needs to be taken more seriously by the UFO community for obvious reasons, and taken entirely more seriously by secular materialist science because an advanced technology has now been undeniably documented on Earth, and if you deny all possibility that the intelligences behind UAPs are tampering with Earth’s DNA, well then…
“You’re wanting to take something off the table that might be an explanation. How is that the scientific method?” Garry Nolan, PhD
Spiritual Experiencer Love,
Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD