Evolution 2.0 at Penn State University November 12, 2018

Where Did Life Come From?

#1 Question in the History of the Universe

Engineer offers $5 Million Prize

Perry Marshall at Penn State University’s Department of Electrical Engineering

Monday November 12, Room 233AB Hub Building, 1PM

What does Electrical Engineering tell us about life’s origin? A lot! On Monday November 12, Entrepreneur, Author and EE Perry Marshall presents: DNA and the Genetic Code through the eyes of a communication engineer.

Perry grew up in a conservative Christian community; he was taught Young Earth Creationism in church. But when a crisis forced him to question everything, he applied Electrical Engineering to the problem.

This revealed a world of discoveries he couldn’t have imagined… and engineering served him well. Cells employ digital code, error correction, information processing and control systems.

These parallel and supersede human-engineered systems. One blade of grass is 10,000 years ahead of human technology.

This led him to organize a $5 million technology prize for Origin of Life and Artificial Intelligence, with judges from Harvard, Oxford and MIT. The prize was featured in IEEE Spectrum and is based on the discoveries of Claude Shannon, the legendary EE from Bell Labs who pioneered Information Theory.

Perry’s bestseller Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design brings fresh eyes to the 150-year old evolution debate. Bill Gates and the founders of Google revolutionized software and the web through their status as outsiders; similarly, Perry harnesses a communication engineer’s outsider’s point of view to reveal a century of unrecognized research and discoveries.

At Penn State, Perry will explore new frontiers of science research. He raises new questions that confront us in Artificial Intelligence and Genetic Engineering today.

Where did life come from? What happens if we crack the code? Find out at Penn State November 12.

Penn State University

Department of Electrical Engineering

Monday November 12, 1PM

Room 233AB Hub Building

The Evolution 2.0 Manifesto

1 All forms of evolution (technology, business, music, culture and biology) harness identical principles. Good science is good engineering. Any theory of evolution can be tested by applying it to technology. You do not understand any system until you’ve built it and it works.

The central question in biology is: “What does a cell know about itself?” Barbara McClintock asked this in her 1983 Nobel Prize speech. Life directs its own evolution.


There are three levels of causation:

  1. Chemicals = Universal laws of physics
  2. Codes = Local rules of language & logic
  3. Consciousness = Agency

Codes come from consciousness, not chemistry. Consciousness generates codes which control chemistry. Codes are evidence of free will.


Living things are conscious agents. A cell is not merely a machine, it is an agent: a being with a capacity to act. The central axiom of life is consciousness. Definition: “In practice, if a subject repeatedly behaves in a purposeful, non-routine manner that involves the brief retention of information, she, he or it is assumed to be conscious.” -Christof Koch, from Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist.


Darwinian evolution reversed cause and effect three ways:

  1. Darwinism denied purpose, then indulged in endless contradictions to evade the obvious truth: Everything about life is purposeful.
  2. “Evolution by Natural Selection” is backwards. Evolution must always occur first. Otherwise there is nothing new to select.
  3. Darwinism said evolution is random events. This too is backwards. Evolution is purposeful response to random events.

These errors perpetuated the biggest mistake in the history of science.


The Evolution 2.0 Prize seeks to answer the most fundamental question in science that can be precisely defined: How do you get from chemicals to code? Origin of life, evolution, consciousness, free will and AI all converge in this single question.


Computers are not going to ‘wake up’ – and we’re not going to upload ourselves into ‘the cloud.’ Strong Artificial Intelligence does not exist. Strong AI cannot be achieved using traditional computer architecture. Strong AI will exist when someone solves the Evolution 2.0 Prize.


Evolution itself is proof of what religions have always asserted: Life is purposeful and special. A dead bird is no better than a rock; only live birds can fly. Life has agency. Agency invokes meaning and morality, questions science cannot address. There is no conflict between science and religion. Science asks how; religion asks why. We need both – especially now.

9 If the failures of Darwinism are imported into genetic engineering, the result will be worse than the atomic bomb. Darwinism dumbed down and trivialized nature. Some say we’re smarter than nature, proclaiming that evolution can now be guided for the first time. The truth: Nature is smarter than us. We can heal and repair life… and we must. But attempts to re-invent life will backfire.

Every breakthrough Silicon Valley seeks is found in the cell. If Microsoft knew what one bacterium knows, they would be the most valuable company in the world. One blade of grass is 10,000 years ahead of human technology.

A Letter (And Question) from Martin Rag Concerning Unchanged Organisms and Evolutionary Creation

Below is an email I just received from a reader of Evolution 2.0. I loved the insights in his email and at the end of it, he asked a great question about unchanged organisms and Evolutionary Creation.

So instead of responding privately, I thought I’d make this a public conversation for the rest of the community to enjoy.

Here’s the Letter:

Read more »

It’s Time to Tighten the Definition of “Random”

S. Joshua Swamidass is an associate professor in the Laboratory and Genomic Medicine Division at Washington University in St Louis. His research uses computational methods solve problems at the intersection of medicine, chemistry and biology.

Joshua and I have met at several conferences and had long discussions. He, like myself, is very interested in ending the war Read more »

Did Charles Darwin Believe in Design? The answer may surprise you.

Steve Huffey is a residential real estate investor, specializing in multi-units. His interest in the ‘crossroad of science and faith’ has led him to focus on philology of the era during which transition from Egyptian hieroglyphs to Proto-Sinaitic script and associated Paleo-Hebrew took place. Better clarity of this era and scripts give added meaning to Biblical creation texts.

Guest Post by Steve Huffey

The last sentence of “On the Origin of Species ….” reveals a struggle.

In his book, “On the Origin of Species ….”, Darwin wrote “Creator” nine times, “God” once, and quoted a statement including “God”; all put in a positive light. But in the topic and public debate of evolution, the design of God has suffered loss. Design was honored by Darwin, but dishonored by Read more »

Evolution 2.0 Author’s Main Goal Is NOT To Prove God Exists, It’s To Stop The War…


Today Perry reveals his true intentions with the Evolution 2.0 initiative. He tells us that his goal is NOT to prove God exists. Rather it’s to heal the rift between science and religion. To create a “Demilitarized Zone” where people from “both sides” lay their weapons down and work together to find the truth about the origins of life.


As you’ll discover in this video and previous installments, science and religion ARE NOT at odds with each other. In fact, they’re symbiotic. Unable to be separated.


You don’t want to miss a second of this, as towards the end of the video, Perry reveals how he reads and interprets Genesis and the creation of our universe. So dive in and get ready to feel a range of emotions.


Click here to listen to the audio only:


Click here to download this episode’s transcription

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