Where Did Life Come From? Perry Marshall’s Evolution 2.0 at Penn State University

Perry Marshall 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 in this video…

10 Responses

  1. Mark Chenoweth says:

    It was nice to hear the interview with Wynand! And I’ll keep an eye out for the Lynn Margulis documentary.

    Also, it would be nice to see someone associated with the Third Way or EES review Behe’s new book. I’ll send Sy a message too, I wonder if he would want to take a hack at it.

  2. hello mr interested says:

    HI, I have a question. How can you conclude that a mind is behind dna if dna is a language? when plants who doesn’t have a mind have language. PLants does indeed have a language.

  3. Joe Earwood says:

    Just finding out about this web sight. Seems like there’s and honest questions and answer evolution and creation.

  4. Francis Miller says:

    As I was reading Evolution 2.0 last night, the ideas of Christopher Alexander came to mind.

    I am taking the liberty of pasting in some quotes from him below because a) you may well not have come across him and b) he is an accomplished outsider who takes a very unconventional approach to the field of evolution and other scientific issues.

    I don’t want to spam your blog so do feel free to delete if this is of no interest.

    Alexander studied mathematics as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, the college to which Isaac Newton belonged.

    He then turned to architecture and became a professor at Berkeley.

    His greatest impact has been on software development where he was the key influence behind the development of software design patterns. Ward Cunningham, the inventor of the first wiki, which led on to Wikipedia, also acknowledges Alexander’s influence. See //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Alexander

    At the core of his thinking is a concept that there are 15 properties of life and that transformations which strengthen these properties lead to greater wholeness and more coherent systems.

    Here are some quotes from his paper on New Concepts in Complexity Theory – //www.katarxis3.com/SCIENTIFIC%20INTRODUCTION.pdf

    “How can a complex system find its way to the good configurations? In a theoretical sense, we may say that the system walks through configuration space, taking this turn and that, and always arriving at a well-adapted configuration.

    The huge question, of course, is How this walk is controlled: what are the rules of the walk, that make it lead to good adaptation? Although a few, very preliminary answers have been given to this question, no good ones have yet been given. This is, perhaps, THE scientific question of our present era…..

    All in all, to wrap up, this might be said: The beauty of naturally occurring patterns and forms has rarely been discussed by scientists as a practical matter, as something needing to be explained. and as part of science itself. Yet the fifteen transformations, if indeed they provide a primary thrust in the engine of evolution, and in the many engines of pattern formation, give us a way of understanding how beauty – aesthetics – plays a concrete role, not an incidental role, in the formation of the universe.

    I believe the fifteen transformations I have discovered will turn out to be naturally occurring, and necessarily occurring in all complex systems. The laws leading to their existence, will turn out, I think, to be inevitable or necessary results of the unfolding of wholeness, under the right conditions. And I believe, too, that our 20th-century notion that mechanical effects, without the guiding influence of these fifteen transformations, can create the beautiful structures we encounter in the universe, is simply wrong. In other words, it is the action of wave motion, mitigated by the fifteen transformations, that creates the beauty of the breaking wave: it is the operation of natural selection, mitigated by the action of these fifteen transformations, which generates discernible and coherent forms in the play of genetics and evolution; I believe it is the operation and unfolding of the most ordinary flower or stem of grass, mitigated by the operation of the same fifteen transformations, which generates the beauty of the flower. I believe that it is the same fifteen transformations which mitigate and channel the crumbling and heaving and bending of the geologic strata which generated the beauty of the Himalaya; and these fifteen transformations, too, which mitigate the action and swirling of the vortices on Jupiter, or the rippled piebald configurations we call a mackerel sky……

    Why do the creationists keep on making their fuss about evolution? I do not think it is only because of religion, but rather because some of them are aware that this problem of emergent beauty is not really solved. Why does Dawkins engage in such intense hand-to-hand combat with the creationists – something one would think hardly worth the ink? Is it not because of his own failure to acknowledge, more frankly, that the larger question of emergence of new, and beautiful configurations in evolution is not yet solved – at least not in the sense that computer simulations, using the algorithms of selection as currently understood, could yet arrive at truly beautiful new configurations and thus demonstrate the truth of the ideas of evolution as we currently understand them? ……

    The successful evolution of new biological forms is, in my view, undoubtedly modified by transformations able to move toward structures that are inherently – that is to say, geometrically – coherent. I believe this process accompanies natural selection, and is the crucial missing part of current explanations: a vital component in the gamut of selective pressures. We need more frankly to acknowledge such a possibility, and in my view scientists who aspire to realistic explanations, like Dawkins, should stop dueling with creationists (which is far too easy), and instead try to focus on this geometrical problem at its root (which is much harder). I believe the fifteen transformations I have described go some distance to laying a path toward the solution of these difficulties.

    Most scientists, and most lay people, share intuitions (not always acknowledged) which ascribe something great to the action of the universe. Roughly expressed, these intuitions rest on intuitive assessments that some deeper coherent, and more whole-oriented transformations, coupled with the action of the ordinary mechanisms we understand, and strengthening and reinforcing the wholeness which exists, can give birth to new and beautiful configurations from the wholeness which exists.”

    You might also be interested in a paper by Alexander on Harmony Seeking Computations: A Science of Non-Classical Dynamics based on the Progressive Evolution of the Large Whole – //www.livingneighborhoods.org/library/harmony-seeking-computations.pdf

    It gives a good introduction to the 15 properties of life, from p.6 onwards.

  5. Hello, I am a 15 year old in 9th grade and I am not sure if this helps or not but I have come up with a rough but in-depth concept on how to go about reading mRNA and converting it to Binary as well as a VERY rough (and probably incorrect way) of writing to mRNA as well as practical uses. These methods may not be available until we advance more in technology, but it may be a decent starting point. Also, I made sure the method of reading would not just read binary but also could be used to read mRNA/DNA in the future for medicinal purposes by making it read 3 Nucleotides at a time. I am no scientist and I won’t pretend to be an expert, but I think this concept could at least inspire someone to move in the right direction. I just came up with it today at school and I came here because I heard you guys were interested in being able to use DNA as a storage device. I overlayed it with my Youtube banner so no one would steal it. You can find it here: //drive.google.com/file/d/1dCHk6lXYlnzjqSxxRCerwrmuDa-QP9iE/view?usp=sharing

    • If it was made, it would be great for AI learning. A big problem people have with deep learning AI (neural nets) is that when they are training the AI they eventually run out of memory on their hard drive and hobbyists would need to get large storage farms to train the AI far. With this, you could POTENTIALLY just plug in a USB thumb stick and train your AI for virtually as long as you want. So, lets estimate there are around 18,000,000,000 cells that can fit in the 3D space (volume) of your finger. That means that, in the space of a larger USB thumb drive, you could potentially store around 13500000 Terabytes of data.

  6. Note to the moderator: Please do not delete this clarifying post. If you do, please remove my post that states “Oh, yes it does”. You can verify that it is me by checking my e-mail that is not posted to the public, or by checking my IP. Please also read my full comment.

    Hi, when I said “Oh, yes it does.” it was a reply to a comment asking about if my internet worked. I responded to myself so that it would not look strange that I was asking the internet if it worked. The reason I posted it was because my comments were not showing up at first and I did not understand why until I saw they were being reviewed. For some reason the first comment was removed making the second comment seem like I was referring to my idea. I am posting this to clarify that, in fact, that quote does not have to do with my comments above and it is not me bragging/hyping up my ideas that I believe are not good enough to be hyped up. I am sorry for the misunderstanding.

  7. George Prins says:

    Dilemna with an old earth: how can the edge of the Universe be 45 B light years away when the Universe is only ~15 B years old

    The Story of Krystal Starr

    A particular George Firma met a smashing young Italian girl named Terra some years ago. They were married and Terra became pregnant. After the appointed time allowed for these situations, she was rushed to the hospital to have her child. George waited patiently across from the Delivery Room and in a short time the obstetrician’s assistant came out and suggested to the new father that he could come within 15 minutes to congratulate his wife and meet their new daughter, Krystal Starr. George was elated!

    He came into the room only to notice that something was terribly wrong. The baby was not there. The obstetrician tried to explain that the baby had been whisked away to another hospital because of breathing problems. There was a concern. The hospital was on the other side of the city, some 45 mins away. Quite suddenly, a nurse received a text message that the baby had arrived at this hospital. George was flabbergasted. The baby, not quite 15 minutes old was now in another hospital 45 mins away! Was there a scam? He was desperate and became angry. A security guard appeared and quickly ushered him out of the room. Mrs Terra Firma, visibly shaken, was comforted by the staff.

    George took the elevator down to the main entrance and asked the receptionist for an answer. After a quick twitter, she explained that his new child was in a hospital not 45 mins away but 45 light minutes away, ie, 809,439,637 km away (about 810 M km or ~ 500 M miles= .5 B miles). There had been a small problem in communicating the data. It all could be explained by a third-party study on the matter. Does this sound ironic?
    George now had the option to distance himself from this sudden change of events.

    If we divide the times to fit the scenario below, the ratio should remain similar.
    14.6 B divided by B =~15 yr divided by x = 15 mins
    45 B light years divided by B = 45 light years divided by x = 45 mins

    Planet Earth was formed some 14.6 B years old and we have been told that the edge of the universe is 45 B light years away. (Absurdly, the Universe is still expanding some 68 km/sec or 250,000 km per hour and still accelerating away.) The articles that I have read on this explain that it does make sense as the universe expanded much faster than the speed of light. However, Einstein ruled that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

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