The Journey to Natural Virus Evolution
In 2019 I hired publicist Kelly Sullivan to fire up interest in my $10 Million Origin of Life Prize.
Then nine months later, we all know what happened.
So, two weeks into lockdown, Kelly says, “Perry, the media doesn’t want to see anything unless it’s about viruses. Surely, you must have something you can say about that?”
I said, “Um, no. But I’ll make you a promise: I will devote one entire day to this. I will dig in every direction and see if I can come up with something virus related. Maybe there is an Evolution 2.0 angel on viruses.”
So I started by watching YouTube videos about how Covid works. I grew tired of that pretty fast. Then I started emailing people and didn’t get much response.
But then I had a realization. I started looking at the diagrams that show what different viruses ( SARS, MERS, COVID) look like. On April 7, 2020 I found this:
What you’re looking at here is COVID at the top, SARS virus of 2002 fame in the middle, and MERS from 2012. Notice how similar these are. But also notice how modular they are. Mers has “4a” “4b” and “5” but COVID and SARS do not. SARS has “3B.” COVID has “8” while the other viruses have “8b.”
I took one look at that and said, “Those regions are not random. Viruses don’t have the machinery to make changes like that. The host has to be making those changes.”
Comparison: In my $10 million prize presentation at the Royal Society in 2019 I showed the slide below, illustrating how similar Ethernet packets are to segments of DNA.
Ethernet packets also look a lot like Barbara McClintock’s corn plant cells purposely moving stuff around. She called them “transposons” and “transposable elements.” Transposons for decades have been considered to be ‘virus-like’ elements of the genome, known to jump around perform weird tasks and exhibit selfish, purposeful behaviors.
The second diagram illustrates the epiphany I had in 2004 – “I’ve seen all this before, it’s digital communication.” It felt like deja vu. Viruses evolve the same way bacteria, corn and humans evolve… except for one thing: Bacteria, corn and viruses possess DNA editing machinery. Viruses don’t.
So… who’s editing the viruses?
Stay tuned for Part 4
PerryDownload The First 3 Chapters of Evolution 2.0 For Free, Here – https://evo2.org/evolution/
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