Posts Tagged ‘Lamarck’

Cosmic Inflation Hysteria, Bio Evolutionary Hysteria

May 12, 2017

What If Cosmic Inflation Is Wrong? Where It Is Shown That Scientists Are Prisoners Of What Looks Good:

How plausible is a piece of knowledge? How does one establish the plausibility of a piece of knowledge? This is the sort of meta theory of knowledge (meta-”epistemology”) which the progress of science unceasingly reveals.

Thus, establishing new science is not just a revelation of the world out there, but a revelation of how we think, and, even better, how we could think, if we wanted to be even more clever than we already are.

In particular mass sociological effects control the “data” all too easily, the more subtle the “data” is.

Here we consider evolution and especially the attitude relative to Lamarck, and then the so-called Big Bang, or as it is now fashionable to say among the cognoscenti, in a bout of poetic mystifying jargon, the ΛCDM model. (Much more sophisticated than Big Boom theory!)

In both cases, silly, and thus all the more enthusiastic, herd effects are involved.

***

Nothing Real New In Darwinism, But Lots Of Insufferably Shattering New Ideas In Lamarck:

The debate about biological evolution was exemplary: Greece was making lot of money from having mastered selection of species, both natural and artificial, 25 centuries ago. Anaximander, earlier, informed us we all evolved from fishes. Then came the Christian Jihadists, burning books, libraries and infidels, cutting intellectuals alive with oysters shells until they succumbed. Fast forward 23 centuries, and research professor Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, having ruined his eyes by spending thousands of hours studying mollusk, and other invertebrate fossils behind his microscope, came up with several new insights.

Lamarck thought that evolution was urged along by two other forces. Teaching evolution was outlawed in England, Lyell and Darwin went to learn it in Edinburgh, Scotland. Next Darwin rolled the basic Greek theory out, claiming to have observed it in Galapagos finches as Lamarck had observed it mollusks. Darwin’s basic theory, purged from its Lamarckian elements, became widely accepted.    

There was no proof that the further additions suggested by Lamarck were wrong, though. However, believing that there was anything in evolutionary theory beyond what the Greeks already knew 25 centuries ago, became “unscientific”. Since when is believing that something could be true which we have no proven is not true “unscientific”?

Since science is a church with great bishops?

Nothing was really completely new in Darwinism, but lots was really new, and religiously shocking, in Lamarck. After lots of ridicule, Lamarck took 2 centuries to be proven right.

We know now that Lamarck was right on one of his two suggested mechanism. And I am pretty sure he is true on the other. Underlying both is full bore Quantum Physics.

Thus spoke Zarathrustra.

***

Here comes the Bible, latest version! Perfectly correct, if one supposes their suppositions about their suppositions just as correct…

Inflationistas’ Hysteria:

I am for more mild inflation in matters economical, and also in matters cosmological, but not beyond that.

For decades, cosmologists have screamed from every rooftop that cosmic inflation was right. I was dubious, because they made an hypothesis which was astounding, to explain something rather mundane. (And extremely natural, if one entertains the fancy that the universe is hundreds of billion years old, not just 13.8 billion!)

The short of it is that the universe is huge, at least 45 billion light years across, but looks everywhere the same, as if it originated from just one place (or as if it were immensely old). To explain the discrepancy, some cosmologists, starting in the USSR, assumed the universe expanded at enormously faster than light speed. The speed of light along loops in space is locally limited. The speed of space, though is not limited (a curved manifold of dimension n embeds in one of dimension (2n +1) so that the curvature of the former is a trace of the flat one of the latter).

This was a huge hypothesis to explain a smaller problem. Basically, it looked as if cosmologists had got the temporal dimension of the universe wrong. Or maybe the Big Bang was wrong. Or maybe both, a bit.

Instead, cosmologists assumed a completely new force, Cosmic Inflation, and thus a completely new source of energy. They went for a phantasmagoric “explanation”, instead of modestly admitting that they did not really witness the proverbial “First Three Minutes”, from their position, on the right of God.

If CI existed, why should CI appear just once? Why not here, there, and everywhere, now, yesterday and tomorrow? Could one make universes out of nothing? Yes, yes and yes, screamed hysterical cosmologists from all rooftops.

A rule in thinking is that when one has a problem with a ready class of explanations one should not explain it with supernatural explanations from the get-go, before the more obvious explanations have been proven wrong.

Here conventional theories of the Hot Big Bang may not be not quite correct, so hysterical physicists decided that everything-we-know makes no sense, to start with. It turns out that their arguments amounted to hand waving (OK, a gas cools down when expanding; however a quantum fluctuation is not a gas!) fabulous mathematician cum physicist Roger Penrose claims that obtaining a flat universe classically without any recourse to inflation out of a quantum fluctuation is 10^100 more likely.

A casual look shows that conventional Big bang theory makes a lot of assumptions we have no proof of (for example in astrophysics). Absence of logical contradiction is no proof of experimental existence. Especially when, in the end, the theory one gets (the conventional Hot Big Bang) seems incorrect (because nothing can solve the flatness problem, short of immense age!)  

The philosophical problem became even more acute when an experimental cosmological inflation was discovered, Dark Energy. The conjunction of CI and DE made the universe expand tremendously, brake down, and then re-accelerate. Weird. Both inflations differ by a factor of 10^27 in their energy density.

So why not go with Dark Energy alone? Then the universe maybe hundreds of billions of years old.

Why not? Just to say that can’t possibly be true, because one has seen the universe expands very fast, in a tremendous cosmic inflation, amounts to starting with one’s conclusion.

***

The Common Denial Mechanism About Evolutions Either Biological Or Cosmological; We Know, You Don’t, & What We Know Pleases Authority:

The Big Bang cosmology is in the exact mood of the Bible: nothing really new in that mood. They can say they have numbers, I can see there is a lot of completely circuitous logics, where the end proves the beginning. In any case, if it’s in the Bible, it’s right, and God cares about creating a little universe for us.

What hurt with Lamarck’s insights was the God of the Bible again (and the entire empires resting on it). Lamarck basically said intelligence, animal intelligence and an increasing mysterious complexity organizing force intrinsic to life, organized the universe. In any case, smarts, but not those of the God of the Bible. That was therefore censored from the Anglo-Saxon world, where God is a question of national security, or, at least, manifest destiny, grabbing entire continents… When the forces of obscurantism had to surrender, they embraced an obscure amateur gentleman researcher of good English stock. (Not to demean Darwin, but Lamarck, and even his enemy, competitor, contradictor and colleague Cuvier, did the heavy lift, 60 years prior…)

Insights about what truth could be never comes from herds, especially herds of mandarins, when they are genuinely new.  

Patrice Ayme’

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QUANTUM LIFE FORCE

April 15, 2016

Biological systems use Quantum Mechanics continually, at the smallest scale. That’s what I think, but I think this, because it’s obvious: molecular biology is all about transporting protons and electrons. Those “elementary particles” are not little balls. They are fully Quantum objects, here, there and everywhere. Quantum Physics describe their behavior. I used to find the Quantum weird, because I was taught that it was weird. But no more: it’s Classical Mechanics which I find weird.

For example, Classical Mechanics has edges: objects terminate with a border. But what is the border made of? Quantum Physics says there are no borders, just fuzzy zones of waning influences.

Quantum Entanglement & Coherence Does Not Just Hold DNA Together. It Enables DNA To Communicate With Its Environment, Both Ways.

Quantum Entanglement & Coherence Does Not Just Hold DNA Together. It Enables DNA To Communicate With Its Environment, Both Ways.

This is from a biological paper from Rutgers in 2014, “Improvement of DNA and RNA sugar pucker profiles from semiempirical quantum methods”

That the Quantum is fundamental for biology is proven for chlorophyll. Basically Quantum Non-Locality inside the chlorophyll molecule enables to find the lowest energy outcome for electrons excited by light in a way which is (classically) magical.

From Nature:

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110615/full/474272a.html:

“On the face of it, quantum effects and living organisms seem to occupy utterly different realms. The former are usually observed only on the nanometre scale, surrounded by hard vacuum, ultra-low temperatures and a tightly controlled laboratory environment. The latter inhabit a macroscopic world that is warm, messy and anything but controlled. A quantum phenomenon such as ‘coherence’, in which the wave patterns of every part of a system stay in step, wouldn’t last a microsecond in the tumultuous realm of the cell.

Or so everyone thought. But discoveries in recent years suggest that nature knows a few tricks that physicists don’t: coherent quantum processes may well be ubiquitous in the natural world. Known or suspected examples range from the ability of birds to navigate using Earth’s magnetic field to the inner workings of photosynthesis — the process by which plants and bacteria turn sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into organic matter, and arguably the most important biochemical reaction on Earth.

Biology has a knack for using what works, says Seth Lloyd, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. And if that means “quantum hanky-panky”, he says, “then quantum hanky-panky it is”. Some researchers have even begun to talk of an emerging discipline called quantum biology… laboratory physicists interested in practical technology are paying close attention. “We hope to be able to learn from the quantum proficiency of these biological systems,” says Lloyd. A better understanding of how quantum effects are maintained in living organisms could help researchers to achieve the elusive goal of quantum computation, he says. “Or perhaps we can make better energy-storage devices or better organic solar cells.”

Massimo Pigliucci, a biology PhD paid as a chaired philosopher, and esteemed enough as a philosopher of science to be invited as a speaker to exclusive conferences for top physicists desperately looking for ideas, somewhere, somehow, anywhere, sort of concurred with me:

Massimo: “There clearly is a logic to evolution, albeit not a Newtonian one.”

Indeed. As I said so many times before. And we can see this ever more precisely. Newton anticipated several things, but not the Quantum. The Quantum is at the core of physics (= nature), and thus biology. It is just a matter of time, probably only a few years, before the formal scientific proofs are rolled out that Quantum processes guide evolution itself (several teams are at work).

Not to say that “natural selection” does not play an important role. But the Quantum provides with much more intelligent design. Intelligent design is what the Quantum does, teleologically, even across light years (Einstein Podolski Rosen Thought Experiment, now a real experiment across more than ten kilometers).

The Quantum can influence, at a distance and globally. The Quantum sounds very much like one of these gods of lore our primitive ancestors believed in.

At the core of DNA are hydrogen bonds which are sensitive to the environment of said DNA. My guess (philosophical moment) is that the Quantum will provide that life force, or complexity driving principle, that Lamarck hoped for, and Darwin was taught when he was a student at Edinburgh around 1821 CE.

Synred objected: “Intelligent design is what the Quantum does, teleologically, even across light years (EPR)?”Frankly, that sounds silly to me. Time will tell.

I lay my traps, and mammoths fall into them. Nothing changed much that way, in 50,000 years. I replied this to Synred:

Changing the chemical environment around the double helix affects the hydrogen “bonds”. The word “bond” is misleading: a hydrogen “bond” is actually delocalized and interacts with what is outside of the DNA (this, interacting outside, beyond classical limits, is what the Quantum does). The (Quantum) tunnel effect had already been demonstrated with some enzymes.

It may sound silly to you, as it did to Einstein, 80 years ago, but it has been demonstrated, ad nauseam. Surely if a Quantum influence can cross light years, it can cross a fraction of a nanometer.

The whole mystery of Quantum Physics, the core of the debate, ever since the 1920s, has been teleology. The Quantum acts teleologically.

Teleologia is a word coined by the German philosopher Christian von Wolff in 1740. Greek teleos “entire, perfect, complete,” genitive of telos “end, goal, result, at a distance” (see tele-), + -logia (logic).

The Public Relation failure of philosophy is partly due to the fact that too few philosophers know real recent science (Goethe and Helmholtz used to, and contributed to the advancement of science).

Thus all too many  Twentieth Century philosophers created their own jargon, not anchored in the study of reality (also known as science). Instead of using scientific semantics, and the notions attached to it. The divorce between philosophy and science is only apparent. Top scientists such as  Poincaré and Gödel were also top philosophers, but most philosophers are blissfully unawares of this.

Once in Princeton University, a (then famous) philosopher came, and gave a talk. His main theme was that logic did not progress since the Greeks. Gödel was in the front row. The speaker was unaware of the Gödel incompleteness theorems.

No wonder Gödel became crazy (he starved himself, being at least in part heartbroken from the death of his wife; but the lack of appreciation of the sort exposed above played a role).

So here we are, getting full circle on the theory of evolution. Around 1800 CE, Lamarck demonstrated, with the careful study of mollusks, that biology (a word he coined) evolved. On top of the well-known artificial and natural selections, Lamarck posited two potential forces: a sort of Elan Vital (which Bergson revitalized later), and, or, a force towards greater complexity.

The young Lyell and Darwin were taught Lamarck’s evolution in Scotland, as English universities were in the grip of the Christian Church. Which, naturally enough, hated Lamarck and his evolving life, millions of years old.

That there is a force towards greater complexity is common sense: four billion years ago, life was immensely simple. Now some of the simplest animals around, such as aplysia, the swimming sea mollusk, famed for its memory and 600 neurons, is immensely complex, much more so than any art ever crafted by human beings.

Quantum Physics operate at a distance, it operates by finding (sometimes), at a distance, the lowest energy solution. It computes, mimicking what looks like the most primitive form intelligence could take.

Being teleological, the Quantum is fully capable, given enough time, of helping chance & necessity evolve a little bit of intelligent design. (Nobel Laureate Jacques Monod wrote, in his famous book, that evolution came from chance and necessity. But, central to necessity is the Quantum.)

And of course evolution was bound to stumble on it, and embrace it, all the more as it is the mother nature who gave birth to her.

Patrice Ayme’  

The (Ongoing) Evolution of Evolutionary Theory

November 14, 2014

The last two essays on Biological Evolution, the fruits of decades of meditation, were proximally suggested by an essay from Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher and biologist (PhD genetics) initially from Italy and now, armed with a PhD in Philosophy (PhDPh?) from the USA, a professor at CUNY.

I thought Massimo unfortunately engaged in the usual Anglosphere trick of attributing the scientific establishment of Biological Evolution to Darwin, not Lamarck. This is fraught with numerous pitfalls, and adverse consequences, not the least of which being that Evolution deniers are thick on the ground in the USA.

Indeed reducing the Evolution debate to Darwin and a handful of finches, is all too reductive. Reductive to the point of eschewing most of the debate on evolution, as I tried to explain in the preceding two essays.

Lamarck established the Foundations of Evolution, and demonstrated, first of all, that it happened. And that it happened over eons.

Darwin and other made more explicit Evolution through natural selection (which is implicit in Lamarck, who, obviously considered it self-evident from what he described).

“Do we not therefore perceive that by the action of the laws of organization . . . nature has in favorable times, places, and climates multiplied her first germs of animality, given place to developments of their organizations, . . . and increased and diversified their organs? Then. . . aided by much time and by a slow but constant diversity of circumstances, she has gradually brought about in this respect the state of things which we now observe. How grand is this consideration, and especially how remote is it from all that is generally thought on this subject!”
[Text of a lecture given by Lamarck at the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, May 1803.]

Lamarck was 57 years old when in 1801 he published his book, “The Inheritance Of Acquired Traits.”

This traits would now be called, genes, somas, prions, transposons, alleles, plasmids, and all what we have not discovered yet…

How these inherited traits are “acquired” is not clear to this day.

In recent decades, it became clear that the situation was at least as complicated as Lamarck had described it, and that the so-called “Neo-Darwinist” oversimplification of the 1960s was a grave error (ironically Darwin was on Lamarck’s side, as he tried to prove “pangenesis”! Pangenesis is pretty much a proven fact now!).

I will suggest in further essays of few more paradoxes and perspectives. Or how strict “Darwinism” contained the germ of its own de-selection as not the fittest theory.

Meanwhile, let Massimo describes it as he sees it!
Patrice Ayme’

Scientia Salon

41J0nOguz-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_by Massimo Pigliucci

Nature magazine recently ran a “point-counterpoint” entitled “Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?” [1] Arguing for the “Yes, urgently” side were Kevin Laland, Tobias Uller, Marc Feldman, Kim Sterelny, Gerd B. Müller, Armin Moczek, Eva Jablonka, and John Odling-Smee. Arguing for the “No, all is well” thesis were Gregory A. Wray, Hopi E. Hoekstra, Douglas J. Futuyma, Richard E. Lenski, Trudy F. C. Mackay, Dolph Schluter, and Joan E. Strassmann.

That’s a good number of top notch evolutionary biologists, colleagues that I very much respect, on both sides of the aisle. My own allegiances have been made clear in a number of papers [2] and a co-edited book [3]. I have been arguing for some time now for what I consider the moderate-yes side of the debate: yes, evolutionary theory does need (and is, in fact, getting) an update, but that update is yet another expansion along…

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Evolution Scientifically Established Before Darwin’s Birth

November 13, 2014

English speaking authorities found a master thinker, Darwin, He created evolution. Charles Darwin is the messiah of evolution. Any critique of this miracle, this shattering of ill preconceptions, is labelled “postmodernist”, and no doubt arises noxiously from a gross lack of non-appurtenance to the church of righteous thinking (prestigious, well-paid American academia). Or then is to be attributed to the hysterical nationalism of the French.

This roughly summarize some of the critiques American professors have made of my “Lamarck Discovered Evolution” essay. It is typical.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Scientifically Established Evolution By 1800

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Scientifically Established Evolution By 1800

Paradoxically, this scornful attitude comforts religious creationism.

Why? Making Darwin into what he was not, a snow capped giant towering above a sea of error, is all too close to the terror of the religious mindset. Making Darwin into God, neglects the evolution of ideas, the giant collaborative reasoning that is science. It reintroduce the concept of the prophet: everybody got it all wrong, before, then comes miracle man, Darwin. Miraculously speaking English.

So why not Jesus for miracle man?

Or why not Muhammad? Hey, Muhammad spoke Arabic, which is obviously the language of God.

The scientists who claim Darwin did it all, are lying. Lying because they have not integrated the scientific method, and do not know how truth is established historiographically is the worst possible case.

Most of the ideas demonstrating that there had been “biological evolution” were evolved before Darwin.

The truth is that Darwin was astounded by the audacity of several of his professors who praised ‘Mr. Lamarck” for having shown how life had “evolved” from “simple worms”.

Darwin’s publications came in a full century after evolution started to be established scientifically.

Buffon introduced the idea that migration caused speciation. He illustrated this with pachyderms.

Augier introduced the “Tree of Life”, then much improved by Lamarck. Lamarck’s Tree was much more specific than the general idea that all species came from fishes (Pre-Socratic philosophers).

Lamarck had spent decades looking at life and fossils through a microscope, and he demonstrated that life had evolved over millions of years, by documenting in extreme, microscopic details the evolution of mollusks.

The great geologist Lyell got a copy of one of Lamarck’s books from a friend in 1827. He wrote back:

“I devoured Lamark… his theories delighted me… I am glad that he has been courageous enough and logical enough to admit that his argument, if pushed as far as it must go, if worth anything, would prove that men may have come from the Ourang-Outang. But after all, what changes species may really undergo!… That the Earth is quite as old as he supposes, has long been my creed…”

However, Lyell, a close friend of Darwin and Huxley, rejected evolution when he was a professor at the prestigious King’s College, London.

Lyell explained in a letter to Whewell in 1837:

“If I had stated… the possibility of the introduction or origination of fresh species being a natural, in contradistinction to a miraculous process, I should have raised a host of prejudices against me, which are unfortunately opposed at every step to any philosopher who attempts to address the public on these mysterious subjects”

When finally Lyell endorsed evolution, he endorsed Lamarck. Darwin’s daughter Henrietta (Etty) wrote to her father: “Is it fair that Lyell always calls your theory a modification of Lamarck’s?”

No wonder. Darwin revisited Lamarck’s example of the giraffe, with more details:

“The giraffe, by its lofty stature, much elongated neck, fore-legs, head and tongue, has its whole frame beautifully adapted for browsing on the higher branches of trees. It can thus obtain food beyond the reach of the other Ungulata or hoofed animals inhabiting the same country; and this must be a great advantage to it during dearths…. Those individuals which had some one part or several parts of their bodies rather more elongated than usual, would generally have survived. These will have intercrossed and left offspring, either inheriting the same bodily peculiarities, or with a tendency to vary again in the same manner; whilst the individuals, less favoured in the same respects will have been the most liable to perish…. By this process long-continued, which exactly corresponds with what I have called unconscious selection by man, combined no doubt in a most important manner with the inherited effects of the increased use of parts, it seems to me almost certain that an ordinary hoofed quadruped might be converted into a giraffe.” (Darwin 1872. Sixth edition of his seminal book, Origin of Species.)

In other words, Darwin subscribed to Lamarck’s book of 1801, on inheritability of acquired characteristics. (The whole problem now being what these “acquired characteristics”, now called “genes”, “epigenetics, transposons, prions, soma, whatever…) are and how they arise…)

Darwin had produced a toy model of evolution. Anatomist Gould told him that some varieties of birds he found in the Galapagos were different species. Yet they all belonged to the finch group. Darwin then brandished that as an example of evolution.

Darwin’s dubious birdies no doubt beat the millions of years Lamarck had uncovered. That’s the strength of the Anglo-American empire!

Darwin’s “B” notebook showed that he speculated a species could turn into another by summer 1837. He discarded Lamarck’s independent lineages progressing to higher forms, drawing a tree of life with a single trunk branching out (there too Lamarck proved right: decades behind the microscope, remember?).

On the continent, evolution was solidly established.

Cuvier discovered the “Ptero-Dactyle” (name Latinized later), and Mesosaurus (sea going giant). Cuvier also invented stratigraphy, and demonstrated species came and went.

Cuvier was a Christian fundamentalist, but a very clever one, with an open, and changing mind. He invented most of the “Creationist” Biblical arguments. Yet he explained why he could be proven wrong in the fullness of time, thanks to, say, more discoveries.

Lamarck’s reputation was soiled because Cuvier smeared it all over with “pangenesis”. The original texts make it clear that Lamarck believed in natural selection. In the case of giraffes, to put it in modern terms, he believed that giraffe ethology, and the vegetation being what it was, due to climate, put a selective pressure favoring giraffe’s anatomy, the way it was. (Cuvier later said it was all about “desire”; that’s not in Lamarck).

Darwin tried hard to prove pangenesis. A battle was engaged, still ongoing. Many of the arrogant certainties of the 1960s have been washed away. Elements of heredity are known now to travel among species, and interact with ethology.

To combat religious fanatics, we need the weight of evidence, not inappropriate celebritism. Misrepresenting those who discovered evolution only helps creationists.

Darwin is an important biologist, but evolution had been scientifically established more than a generation before he published anything.

Everything else is pathetic tribalism, and, or, making fun of the scientific process. No way to help the advancement of civilization.

Patrice Ayme’

Evolution: Lamarck’s Discovery

November 12, 2014

LAMARCK, NOT DARWIN!

Abstract: Not attributing Evolution Theory to Lamarck constitutes scientific fraud. Why this fraud is committed is explained below thoroughly (including at the meta level).

***

Science is not just about truth. Science is truth itself. Thus, the history of science is about how one establishes truth. By itself that history constitutes a science, or more exactly a mine of experimental facts (and an important one), for the metascience of veracity (truthfulness; also called the logic of knowledge, epistemology).

First overall theorem? Misattributing a discovery to another place, another time, or another country is generally not happening by accident, but by propaganda.

In 1825, Darwin’s teacher of biology informed his 16-year-old student that Lamarck had discovered “biological evolution. (This has been forgotten, thanks to nefarious propaganda.)

Lamarck Tree Of Life, 1809: “…not only will there continually be found new species, new genera, and new orders, but each species will vary in some part of its structure and form…”

Lamarck Tree Of Life, 1809: “…not only will there continually be found new species, new genera, and new orders, but each species will vary in some part of its structure and form…”

That the discovery of the theory of evolution is not attributed to Lamarck, constitute scientific fraud.

Why? It has to do first with Christian fanaticism, which did its best to lie about what Lamarck discovered. Why now? Because most scientists are too busy to read original texts, and it helps that Darwin was Anglo-American.

It was not the first time the Christian fanatics struck.

An example I am fond of is the misattribution to Copernic and Newton of ideas of Aristarchus and Buridan. The Catholic dictatorship, the obsequious servant of 2,000 years of queens and kings, is the engine of this crime. A very profitable crime, as it helped keep the rabble the exploiters were exploiting, in a state of stunned stupidity. Still is.

The misattribution to Darwin of Lamarck’s discovery, evolution, is more of the same theocracy and its associated aristocracy, anxious to keep We The People in haggard dumbness, as we will see below.

Darwinism is Lamarckism, according to Wallace. Wallace was himself a great biologist, discoverer of the Wallace Line. Wallace was on Darwin’s payroll, and was also Darwin’s coauthor. That evolution was Lamarck’s idea was actually confirmed by Darwin, who let Wallace repeat everywhere that Darwin had contributed little, relatively speaking (to Darwin’s daughter’s dismay).

So what are the facts on evolution?

Evolution by artificial selection was known for millennia, and practiced for tens of millennia (the oldest dog known is Belgian, and around 35,000 year old, it was very different from a wolf, and looked like a modern, enormous war dog, showing breeding of dogs from European wolves is at least 45,000 years old, I guess).

Breeding cattle, horses, camels, evolution by artificial selection, was a well-known art, not to say science, already in the times of Xenophon (that’s what the general-philosopher-economist did when retired).

Fossils were known in Ancient Greece. They caused confusion. To remedy this, Aristotle (PBUH), sent his students to study and report on life forms, thus founding, de facto, biology. (That the universe was not in a steady state was illustrated by the fiery landing of a giant meteorite in northern Greece; it was visited for centuries.)

By 1766, after proposing that the Solar System had been accreted from a cloud of debris, Buffon proposed that animals changed: they evolved. African and Asian elephants had evolved from Siberian mammoths, due to the changing their environment that their migrations had brought, he claimed. The details are unimportant: the evolutionary horse was out of the barn. Buffon’s broad picture of environmental pressure on evolution was also to be scientifically confirmed.

The full blown theory of evolution was proposed by Lamarck. This was a great conceptual breakthrough.

To this Massimo from Scientia Salon replied: “It was also the wrong theory, unfortunately.”

Massimo, do you mean that evolution theory is the wrong theory? Lamarck’s main body of work humbly established “the theory of evolution”, as Darwin’s personal teacher named it.

Lamarck did this, in part, by examining carefully under the microscope the evolution, over millions of years of mollusks species.

Lamarck suggested several evolution mechanisms, jointly operating (his detractors focused on one particular idea Lamarck floated in 1801).

When Copernic, copying Buridan and Aristarchus, proclaimed heliocentrism, nobody asked him for a mechanism. Still, one attributes heliocentrism to Copernic. While Copernic did not discover General Relativity, one still do not attribute heliocentrism to Einstein.

Yet those who claim Lamarck did not provide the most modern mechanism for evolution do just this.

One of Lamarck’s book, “Philosophie Zoologique” was published in 1809. The year Darwin was born. Here are some extracts:

“as new modifications will necessarily continue to operate, however slowly, not only will there continually be found new species, new genera, and new orders, but each species will vary in some part of its structure and form … individuals which from special causes are transported into very different situations from those where the others occur, and then constantly submitted to other influences – the former, I say, assume new forms, and then they constitute a new species…. [Species form] “a branching series, irregularly graduated which has no discontinuity in its parts, or which, at least, if its true that there are some because of lost species, has not always had such. It follows that the species that terminate each branch of the general series are related, at least on one side, to the other neighboring species that shade into them” [Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, 1809.]

Lamarck, employed as one of the world’s first research professors, demonstrated both the immense age of the Earth, and natural evolution, by studying fossilized mollusks.

Lamarck was so towering in biology, that he himself coined and installed the word “biology”. Here it is, in his own words, in the original French, in Lamarck’s “Origine Des Animaux Sans Vertebres” [1815]:

«Tout ce qui est généralement commun aux végétaux et aux animaux, comme toutes les facultés qui sont propres à chacun de ces êtres sans exception, doit constituer l’unique et vaste objet d’une science particulière qui n’est pas encore fondée, qui n’a même pas de nom, et à laquelle je donnerai le nom de biologie

Yes, Lamarck also named and distinguished, “invertebrates”.

Lamarck suggested that the way animals lived could directly affect their genetics. A scientifically confirmed way to get this effect is now called “epigenetics” (“above genetics”). Considering how adaptive life is revealing itself to be, it is likely that more and more “epigenetics” will be uncovered.

It is ironical that Cuvier and his ilk made fun of Lamarck claiming that psychology could leave a trace in the progeny of a creature. Yet, this has been very recently confirmed: Lamarck, a hero for our times.

Lamarck got hated for all this by the forces of Christianity. The idea that a living creature, could, by the way it lived, CREATE its own features was revolting to those who promoted the Christian god.

What Lamarck was saying, philosophically speaking was that the living creature acted as the creator.

No need for a cross, a father, a son, an omnipotent god. Napoleon hated Lamarck. The Church hated Lamarck. British universities, (Oxford, Cambridge, etc.) which, at the time, were bastion of imperial Christianity hated Lamarck.

Really great minds are measured by the disapprobation they entail.

Lamarck proposed that the long necks of giraffes evolved as generations of giraffes had to reach for ever higher leaves.

The Church and Lamarck’s enemies made fun of that (some still do, following the Church!). Lamarck was deliberately mistranslated in English to make readers believe that he suggested the effort of the giraffe somehow directly passed over in its genetics.

In truth, what Lamarck truly said was 100% compatible with 2014 evolution theory: “…s’efforcer continuellement d’y atteindre. Il est résulté de cette habitude, soutenue, depuis longtemps [by giraffes]… que ses jambes de devant sont devenues plus longues…”. By insisting upon reaching higher, girraffes created, with their own wills, a different environment.

Similarly, Lamarck suggested that there are flying squirrels, because squirrels tried to fly for generations (natural selection does not contradict this).

Lamarck did not just propose that evolutionary was driven by behavior. Following Buffon, Lamarck believed life started with spontaneous creation (this is the present view: laboratory studies and the most recent theory show that, in the early Earth’s environment, cellular life would appear spontaneously; fossils show it went fast: chemoautotrophs may have appeared 4 billion years ago).

Lamarck proposed that, insensibly, each baby was more complex than the preceding baby, so evolution would be characterized by an increase in complexity (as it indeed is).

Lamarck suggested birds descended from reptiles.

Lamarck went further than strict “Darwinists” go. He suggested that biology was an increase in complexity that could not be avoided, a sort of anti-Second Law Of Thermodynamics. Lamarck made life into a “force qui va” (to quote Victor Hugo).

This is a piece of philosophy, but one that has probably a great future: the Second Law of Thermodynamics is often quoted against life, but everything indicates that life swims up the stream of the Second Law, as the salmon swims up the river.

After 1815, reaction came over Europe. Jews got discriminated against by the Middle European dictatorship (they could not be doctors, lawyers, etc.). Lamarck, being an enemy of god, was made into an object of scorn.

The bloody dictator Napoleon launched Lamarck bashing: “[this book] … déshonore vos vieux jours… Ce volume je ne le prends que par considération pour vos cheveux blancs.”

The lies about Lamarck were deliberately crafted by a Christian fanatic, the biologist Cuvier. Cuvier, in charge of Lamarck’s eulogy misconstrued monstruously what Lamarck said about giraffes, and ill-intentioned unwitting parrots have been repeating Cuvier’s lies, ever since.

Cuvier totally believed that God had created all the species. Cuvier’s arguments are used by Christian fanatics to this day.

For example, after looking at mummies, and recent remnants, Cuvier pontificated that, as there was no evidence of recent evolution, there could be none. Lamarck retorted that Cuvier’s argument was mathematically stupid. Instead, unwittingly, Cuvier had proved, what Lamarck demonstrated first, that the Earth was very old, many millions of years old.

Lamarck being French, some feel more appropriate to attribute the discovery of evolution to the rich English gentleman Darwin, who, besides, was the heir of a financier, and not a vulgar research professor, as Lamarck was.

If Darwin’s teacher taught Darwin in 1825 that Lamarck had established “evolution”, why should we say now that “evolution” was established by the student of the student? Because, being in the Anglo-Saxon realm, we have to be Anglo nationalists? Is it all about tribalism?

As I mentioned this, EJ Winner objected that: “Patrice suggests that the bias against Lamarck is culturally determined (because he was French). This is simply and only post-modernism, in the least convincing sense. Need we really come to this?”

Well, I am not the one who came that way. Christian fanatics showed the way.

It is not because post-modernism is often wrong, that it is always wrong. Science and mathematics are, first of all, tribal phenomena. Sociologically speaking.

Lamarck was lodged at the Museum d’ Histoire Naturelle until his death at 85. Perhaps from spending too much time looking into microscopes, he was blind in his last decade.

Ideas are hard, especially when revolutionary. Parodying Lamarck’s ideas the way the Church did means that no meta-lesson was learned. Those who introduce the greatest new ideas, like evolution, deserve the greatest respect. Not showing respect for geniuses such as Lamarck is not to show respect for what makes civilization advance. Attributing Lamarck’s evolution to Darwin, just as universal attraction to Newton, belittles both Darwin and Newton, as it boils down to calling them liars. And it allows the real enemy to escape unscathed (religious and tribal fanaticism made into the dominant moods).

Attributing Lamarck’s discovery and affirmation of evolution to someone else, sixty years later, constitute scientific, and philosophical fraud. For want of a nicer way to put it.

That this is used to comfort the general intellectual aura of Anglo-American mental imperialism makes it worse. Ninety-six years ago, the First World War finished with a cease-fire. It had not solved the fundamental problem, namely that German speaking people confused dictatorship and republic. That lack of truth led them to have another go at it, 20 years later.

Ignoring truth is costly. Science, and metascience, can teach truth, and how to get to it. This is nicer in the longer term, as human beings are truth machines. Short term, it is anything but.

Truth does not have to be nice. It just is.

Patrice Ayme’

Speciation Math; Why It’s Crucial

February 16, 2014

Believing in Christianity and its Dog God barking in the sky is a fundamental element of the subjugation of the masses in the USA. In Europe, it’s natural to be an atheist (except if one is a Muslim or a Pole, and even then…). In the USA, atheism is impolite. That’s why the president ends all his homilies with an appeal to Dog God. God the Dog is watching over you, its son, the NSA, also, and bless be the United States of America.

It’s unlikely a honest to goodness American will be prone to revolution, as this would implicitly recognize the primacy of man over the creation of Pluto Dog God. So no wonder creations of man such as science (a form of anti-Plutocratic revolution from excessive usage of the nervous system) are attacked at every turn.

Mammoths were very clever. Science was well started when Neanderthals made mammoth hunting plans on the plains:

Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis: Same Species, Us.

Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis: Same Species, Us.

[The colored eyes of Neanderthals are a proven thing, so are the facial features; the hairline is probably too low… The will to make Neanderthals beastly is obdurate…]

Such were the idle thoughts brought to me by a rant against evolution on so called “Big Think”. The conclusion struck me, with the issues it brought:

…” [Evolution Theory is] also terrible at explaining the speed at which speciation occurs. (Of course, The Origin of Species is entirely silent on the subject of how life arose from abiotic conditions in the first place.) It doesn’t explain the Cambrian Explosion, for example, sudden appearance of intelligence in hominids, or the rapid recovery (and net expansion) of the biosphere in the wake of at least five super-massive extinction events in the most recent 15% of Earth’s existence.”

This is all false or misleading, but still it’s interesting to answer.

OK, I will let pass the fact that Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species was published in 1859, about a century before laboratory experiments enabled to create organic chemistry in the lab from the sort of atmosphere, water and lightning Earth enjoyed for billions of years. 1859: that was two years before Lincoln became president. Slavery was lawful in the USA.

Reducing Evolution to Darwinism is silly: Darwin himself was an enthusiastic Lamarckist. Lamarck established biological (Lamarck’s neologism) evolution by studying the changes in fossilized mollusks over millions of years (the order of mollusks had been scientifically determined by Cuvier, Lamarck’s predecessor) . Lamarck was banned with rage and consummate fury by the very Christian universities that dominated England (Oxbridge, etc.). This explains why neither Wallace, nor Darwin, nor Spencer were university professors. The former two were not just great expositors of the (French) Theory of Evolution, but pushed it further with discoveries, from the Wallace Line, to Patagonia or the Galapagos.

Let’s go back to the stupid quote on top (excellent lemonade can be made from old lemons, though).

One statement is clearly false: Contrarily to that misleading quote, supreme intelligence took millions of years to appear in hominids. Supreme intelligence, as evidenced, more exactly, by brain size, followed the evolution of bipedalism (and, thus, attendant change of in behavior, diet and environment). We know it took at least 5 million years, from bipedalism to the apparition of brainy Homo Erectus.

What this means is that bipedalism opened a new ecological niche. Bipedalism allowed a number of related species of primates, the hominids, to roam around, and literally, dominate the landscape. As they roamed around, the opportunity for even more sophisticated behaviors arose, and caused a sort of evolutionary sucking: nature abhors a vacuum, and biological evolution, like the Quantum (and it’s probably related) tends to occupy all the space it can occupy (this is why the math of the Quantum are represented by Hilbert Spaces spanned by Quantum States; the exact equivalent in evolution are ecological niches… the complication with life is that life itself creates the niches. The same happens with renormalization in QFT!).

Thus the hominids evolved an increasing number of environmentally disruptive and manipulative behaviors, which, in turn, favored mutations favoring them. That evolutionary phenomenon is thus non-linear, a sort of exponential, it can go fast.

A new function, bipedalism, allows to bear arms, using one’s… arms. That in turn, makes bellicose and predatory behavior, let alone good eyesight, more profitable, and so on.

Actually, a similar type of mathematics is at play after mass extinction, explaining that life’s diversity tends to augment with them.

After life got wiped out of billions of ecological niches in a major extinction event, those get reoccupied quickly by maladapted species. Maladapted to said niches, that is. Thus billions of speciations will tend to occur. These speciations cannot happen in steady state, because the environment of the steady state includes a fine balance of the physical environment with the existing, entangled species. If an event wipes those out, the old steady state cannot be recreated, and each niche acts like a throw of the dice.

Thus massive extinction tends to lead to massive speciation. It’s purely mathematical.

A lot of complicated mathematics and physics underlays Evolution Theory. I presented my own to help explain the apparent disappearance of Neanderthals. My theory rests on subtle mathematics, physiological, and environmental considerations. It’s actually not a theory of Neanderthal disappearance, rather than a theory of the disappearance of a Neanderthal appearance. So it would in particular predict that Europeans are much more Neanderthal than one thought.

Why? Neanderthal had evolved into a superior species (hilarious: Nazism is coming back, but instead of being Aryan, it’s Neanderthal… The Thal of Neander is on the Dussel, basically in the Ruhr…). Neanderthal has had to have evolved in a superior species, or she would not have rules the freezing North (a related species, the Denivosan, ruled the North-East, and evolved into Chinese, or, at least Australian bushmen).

If Neanderthal was that superior, he could not be wiped out. So, instead, one needed a more subtle explanation, which I provided: “Mathematics “Extinguished” Neanderthals”. Two very recent (end January 2014) DNA computational studies support my point of view. (See note.)

Oh, by the way, mathematics is not just about equations. It’s first of all, about ideas. Anybody who had Euclidean geometry or Mathematical Logic will confirm this. The phenomenon of occupying the entire space is the essence of Quantum Physics (Me, myself and I say). It’s the math of Hilbert Space. It’s also the math of evolution.

All these mathematics of evolution are no idle pursuit. Right now, the planet is at a fulminant stage of evolution, thanks to us. Understanding what the laws that will command our destiny, are, is the quintessence of humanity.

Patrice Aymé

Note: With up to 30% Neanderthal genome, it is found that some Neanderthal traits survived very well (say about skin), while other disappeared. Take the lack of waist of Neanderthal: an advantage in very cold climate, but not anymore after clothing became good enough; and probably a disadvantage for running and combat.