Will Neo-Darwinism earn the respect of Extra-Cosmmic Scientists?

DNA

You and I are old friends from beyond space-time. We stumble into this Universe from Reality where the laws of physics are different, eight dimensional with the occasional ninth after zealous celebrations. We’ve done our share.

Like everyone in Reality, we’re scientists with a few standards of objectivity.

We stumble upon Earth and her many species, the odd geologic strata with its “Cambrian Explosion” of life forms, and the wildly stressed crust showing extinction scars from cosmic impacts and solar micronovas.

Your face lights up with inspiration.

“What?” I ask.

“All this DNA code came from ‘random mutation, genetic drift, and natural selection’. I just know it!”

“Fair enough,” I say. “We’ll call it, ‘Neo-Darwinism’.”

You smirk.

Your idea seems brilliant, but it lacks the rigors of standard science. “Actually,” I confess, “I’ve got a feeling someone designed this whole space-time thing.”

Your thick neocortex dominates your limbic system, unlike the creatures of Earth, so you enjoy my challenge and invite me to set up a standard quadruple-blinded, controlled, randomized, prospective, reproducible experiment.

“Here’s our design,” I say and print out a hard copy for you. “Even the FDA would approve.”

1. We randomly select a significant number of planets in this Universe containing DNA-based life forms. A few hundred thousand should do.

2. Unbiased robots document the current DNA code of every species on every test planet while we’re not looking.

3. We set up cameras to document the physical changes of the species and any survival advantages the new forms convey.

4. Unbiased robots decode all the DNA genomes and follow their changes over time so we can later see what each gene adaptation did to each life form as it either evolved constructively or devolved in the face of mutation and environmental stressors.

5. Grad students search for intelligent DNA code writers such as humans and exclude any planets from the study with DNA altering technology because such beings would contaminate the data. We’ll have the grad students confine all intelligent species to their home planet(s).

6. Robots find a few hundred thousand control planets in which the DNA-based life forms do NOT compete for survival. We set up an identical experiment in these worlds for a look at random mutation without natural selection.

7. We wait 13.8 billion years, the possible age of this Universe, before robots collect and analyze the DNA mutation data along with the videos of physical and behavioral changes in the test-planet species and the controls.

8. If the DNA changes correlate with the physical changes of the species and these changes provide survival advantages that are not merely epigenetic over the 13.8 billion years of data, and if the control planets don’t throw a wrench into the theory, then we will publish our findings and strongly suggest a causal relationship between random mutation with natural selection and new complex DNA sequences that code for entirely new morphologic life forms. Our paper will call for replication of our work by other scientists.

9. If other scientists come to this Universe and duplicate our results several times, then we will have come as close as scientifically possible to “proving” that neo-Darwinism is correct in this space-time realm, that unguided random DNA mutations plus, genetic drift and “the survival of the fittest” can truly create new complex DNA code that appears intelligently designed.

“But first let’s send some grad students to hunt for someone who could design a Universe that writes its own DNA codes,” I suggest.

We pop back into Reality, send out the grad students and find a busy old fellow leaning into an uncharted Universe. We walk up to question him when a booming voice startles us, “Let There Be Light.”

Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD

See also my post: “Love, Lies and Opposable Thumbs.”


Love, Lies and Opposable Thumbs

I wrote this in a comment:

“Love is impossible without trust. Trust has been undermined by the popular notion that honesty is optional. Honesty is impossible in a paradigm where there is no right and wrong, only amoral species competing for survival with no advantage attributed to honesty. We need to figure out who we are and why our survival depends on honesty, trust and love.”

What I meant was…

We’ve been sold snake-oil science: The notion that we’re nothing but animals with big brains living in a mindless, meaningless Universe.

This belief is death to a species capable of destroying worlds, because it will promote dishonesty which leads to distrust which leads to hatred and ultimately to self-annihilation via H-bombs, predatory genetic engineering or destruction of our own ecosystem through carelessness and toxic waste.

Everything we read is baptized in the “scientific” dogma that a mindless thing called “random DNA mutation” under the influence of “natural selection” or “survival of the fittest” literally writes our hypercomplex DNA codes, the complexity of which we’re only now beginning to catch a mind-boggling glimpse of.

Evolution is taught equally to children and doctors as “infallible” truth, rather than what it is: an uncontrolled, unblinded, non-randomized and speculative interpretation of weak retrospective data that hasn’t been given a thorough statistical analysis because it’s impossible to do so on retrospective, quasi-historic “data.” This is the very sort of weak study design that medical journals would reject as dangerous – if anyone were so naive as to submit such a study to a medical journal, which I can’t possibly imagine nowadays. Maybe in the 1950’s when a political committee voted the “food pyramid” into the scientific arena where it’s done nothing but damage to American health.

Almost everyone believes the evolutionary speculative tale unless they’re part of a fundamentalist religious group with other beliefs.

But either way, our species is heading for extinction because we have made it “normal” to lie to each other.

In commercials, only the sales stats matter, not the truth.

In our courts, the act of winning trumps integrity by virtue of the foundational assumption that there’s a difference between “legal justice” and “moral justice,” and the law, like “settled science” has no moral responsibility.

In politics, winning means infinitely more than honesty because the other side is so clearly evil, dumb and dangerous, no matter which side you’re on. Both sides are saving the world, so the end seems to justify the means, and lying appear to be a useful skill rather than the destructive force that logic would call it if we listened.

In our personal lives our circle of empathy narrows, justifying lies to those outside of it.

In the back of our minds we allow lies because we’re told from kindergarten that we’re just animals with big brains trying to survive. Animals tell lies with their body language and built in camouflage. We lie with our tongues. Other than that, we’re the same, right down to the DNA that was mindlessly coded for us.

And since we lie, we forget how to trust and how to remain steadfastly trustworthy come what may.

When we lose the capacity for trust, we lose the capacity for love. You can’t really love people you distrust. You can’t even know who they are, deep down.

With love off the table, we expand our acceptance of hatred, grudge holding and revenge. We thirst for personal victimhood and someone to blame, while ironically, predators become our heroes.

If we didn’t have opposable thumbs and weren’t able to blow humanity into tiny bits with a small fraction of our nuclear arsenal, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. We could blend with the deceitful but balanced ecosystems of animal behavior that dominate this planet. Camo is in their DNA. Sneaking, hiding and devouring prey are on page one of Earth’s user manual.

That’s what’s so confusing to us.

If we were only ten orders of magnitude stupider, we could survive, living as the hairless apes of soft science’s favorite fairytale.

But we’re too clever with the technology of killing. So the fading of honesty, trust and love are preparing us to push the button on ourselves. Look at Russia. This is not religious talk. This is secular logic that refuses to swallow neo-Darwinism and materialism without chewing.

In order to survive, our species needs to push all cultures toward honesty. Big brains self-destruct without it.

Honesty will resurrect trust and trustworthiness, setting the stage for love, logic and reason… and a rational treatment of sociopathic predators who need enlightened mental health care rather than election to congress.

Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD

Next time you’re writing emails, if you think of it, please tell a cherished friend about my blog (www.storiform.com). Thanks! I appreciate your thoughtfulness and help. Someday I’m going to put those little buttons in here to help poor Mr. Zuckerberg make some money.