THE FIRST GENE, THE LAST WORD ?
Dr. David L. Abel is without a doubt one of the greatest scientific thinkers of our day. An experienced researcher in the fields of Molecular Biology and Information Systems and Management, he is the father of the scientific disciplines of ProtoBioCybernetics and ProtoBioSemiotics and the director of the worldwide Gene Emergence Project. Indeed, he is an extraordinary life-origin specialist.
This book makes it clear why he is established as a champion of true science thought and a nightmare to those who would pollute real science thinking with naturalistic agendas.
The introduction alone will no doubt send chills down the spines those who for many years have striven to separate and ignore the relationship between the question of origin and the story telling upon which some so called "science" is based. In the introduction he makes this gripping statement:
"Why would a prebiotic environment have "cared" whether anything functioned? How could inanimate nature have recognized, valued, pursued or worked to preserve the "usefulness" of certain molecules? Undirected evolution has no goal. Natural selection favors only the fittest already-programmed, already-living organisms. Evolution cannot program at the genetic level.
"Survival of the fittest" does not explain the generation of the very first organism, fit or unfit.
Even bacteria depend upon highly integrated circuits and metabolic schemes regulated by DNA instructions and RNA controllers. Genomic prescriptive information is now known to be multidimensional. How did thousands of molecular machines, biochemical pathways and cycles get integrated into such a sustained, cooperative, goaloriented, holistic metabolism? Can physico-chemical propensities and/or mutations program logic gates and integrate circuits? How could chance and/or necessity (the fixed laws of physics) have computed the formal algorithms needed to organize life?
While some scientists might wish to sweep these questions under the rug for being too "metaphysical," they are as foundational to the science of biology as mathematics is to physics. Addressing such questions is the only path to understanding the emergence of the first genetic instructions, metabolic regulation, and life itself."
If the introduction does not sufficiently grip those guilty of polluting science with pseudo-science and out right deception, while at the same time giving hope to those sincere science advocates who have been discouraged by the prominence of just so stories being pushed as science, then Dr. Abel's dedication should serve as both a potent warning of what is to follow as well as a word of encouragement:
"This anthology is dedicated to all those challengers of Kuhnian Paradigm Ruts who risk their careers and reputations raising an eyebrow of skepticism over theories that are pontificated to be fact by a thoroughly entrenched hierarchy and majority, but which are in fact unfalsifiable, completely unsubstantiated empirically, lacking a single prediction fulfillment, and not even logically defensible."
This powerful statement is promptly followed by a Table of Contents that would convince the hostile scientist who does not want to be convinced to read no further and just claim ignorance of the book's existence, while inspiring the true seeker of origins understanding to set aside some quality time to take this journey.
The chapter titles are:
1. What is ProtoBioCybernetics?
2. The Three Fundamental Categories of Reality
3. The Cybernetic Cut and Configurable Switch (CS) Bridge
4. What utility does order, pattern or complexity prescribe?
5. Sequence Complexity in Biopolymers
6. Linear Digital Material Symbol Systems (MSS)
7. The Genetic Selection (GS) Principle
8. The Birth of Protocells
9. Examining specific life-origin models for plausibility
10. What might be a protocell's minimal "genome"?
However, the chapter titles do not give the best hint of what the reader will be exposed to; it is the five to seventeen subtitles in each chapter that really tells the reader how extensive this examination will be. Some of the subtitles are: "Chance Contingency", "Constraints vs. Controls", "Laws vs. Rules", "Exploring the birth of Control", "What is Complexity?", "Pattern vs. Noise", "Structure vs. Chaos", "What about Neural nets?", "Functional Sequence Complexity", "Is the hypothesis of self-organized emergence falsifiable?", "Emergence of spontaneous controls", "What is the Cybernetic Cut?", "Can spontaneous combinatorial complexity generate organization?", "Genetics is a linear digital Material Symbol System", "Can a computer analogy be applied to life?", "Physical Science Limitations" and "Is Physicality chaotic or organized?".
Having given fair warning to the reader, Dr. Abel and his colleagues, (Dr. Donald E. Johnson, Chapter 10, Dr. Kirk K. Durston & Dr. David K.Y. Chiu, Chapter 5), embarks on an amazing exploration and examination of the question of origins with an insight and frankness that is both refreshing and gratifying and which offers a level of edification far too rarely seen in this field of science.
In the introduction he states:
"Evolution theory is quick to offer an explanatory model for how existing Prescriptive Information (PI) in genomes could have been progressively modified:
Extremely rare beneficial genetic mutations can occur and be preserved through differential survival and reproduction of the fittest phenotypic organisms.
Painfully lacking within evolution theory, however, is an explanation for how any Prescriptive Information (PI) got written or programmed into the genome in the first place. The origin of initial genetic/genomic instructions and epigenomic regulation is typically side-stepped by life-origin science. The whole point of The Origin of Life PrizeTM was to stimulate research specifically into this neglected area. After over a decade of submissions to the Origin of Life PrizeTM, no submission has made it past the first tier of naturalistic scientists screening the submissions and judging their relevance.
The origin of control and regulation in nature is the subject of this anthology. It is also the focus of a new scientific discipline known as
ProtoBioCybernetics. "Cybernetics" is the study of various means of steering and organizing controls, not just the effects of mere physicodynamic constraints....
A closely related new field is ProtoBioSemiotics. Controlling messages would have had to be sent, received and understood at their destination in any early protocellular metabolic scheme or system. Constructive controlling messages are meaningful and functional. Such messages steer events toward computational success or algorithmic optimization; they are not just meaningless, redundant, extremely low-informational signals such as pulsars give off.
How did a prebiotic natural environment of mere mass/energy interactions generate meaningful, functional messages? How did chance and necessity prescribe the ability of the receiver to follow arbitrary rules required for decoding? How could the laws of physics and chemistry have enabled molecules to understand linguistic-like symbol systems, and act on such messages within the first protocells? This is the subject of ProtoBioSemiotics.
This anthology specifically addresses questions that for all too long have been swept under the rug of honest scientific investigation. The result has been prolonged entrapment in the greatest Kuhnia paradigm rut in the history of science."
As demonstrated above Dr. Abel seems unafraid to boldly address issues that have been rendered taboo by many in the scientific community. This lack of intimidation is further evident in statements as this on page 28:
"Chance and necessity are completely inadequate to describe the most important elements of what we repeatedly observe in intra-cellular life, especially. Science must acknowledge the reality and validity not only of a very indirect, post facto natural selection, but of purposeful selection for potential function as a fundamental category of reality. To disallow purposeful selection renders the practice of mathematics and science impossible."
This is an amazing acknowledgement coming from a prominent (in my opinion) member of the science community.
On page 33 we fine another example of Dr. Abel's bold frankness and piercing insight as he states:
"Choice Contingent Causation (CCC) can generate extraordinary degrees of unique functionality that has never been observed to arise from randomness or necessity. Highly pragmatic choice contingency is consistently associated with purposeful steering toward potential utility.
The kind of contingency associated with sophisticated cybernetic function is invariably associated with what philosophers of science call "agency." The hallmark of agency is the ability to voluntarily pursue and choose for potential function. Potential means "not yet existent." If anything is repeatedly observable in science, it is abundant evidence of agency's unique ability to exercise formal CCC in generating potential formal functionality.
The only exception to human agency's unique ability to do this is life itself, which is of course what produces agency. Life itself is utterly dependent upon cybernetic programming--a phenomenon never observed independent of agency. Thus we are confronted with still another chicken-and-egg dilemma of life-origin science. Whatever the resolution of this riddle, one thing is for certain. We are forced to consider two kinds of contingency, 1) Chance contingency and
2) Choice contingency as fundamental categories of reality along with law-like necessity."
On page 307, the end of chapter 8 where Dr. Abel's masterfully examines "The Birth of Protocells", he asks this question:
"By what supposedly "natural" process did inanimate nature generate phenomena like
1) A genetic representational sign/symbol/token system?
2) Bona fide decision nodes and logic gates (as opposed to just random "bifurcation points")?
3) Physicodynamically-indeterminate (dynamically inert, incoherent) configurable switch-settings that instantiate functional "choices" into physicality?
4) formal operating system and the hardware on which to run suchsoftware?
5) an abstract encoding/decoding system jointly intelligible to both source and destination?
6) many-to-one Hamming "block codes" (triplet-nucleotide codons prescribing each single amino acid) used to reduce the noise pollution in the Shannon channel of genetic messages?
7) the ability to achieve functional computational success in the form of homeostatic metabolism?
"All of these attributes of life are nonphysical and formal, not physical and natural. They cannot have a materialistic, naturalistic explanation."
While the book, (529 pages), is a fascinating read, it is clearly not for everyone. In fact only scientists and science educators or the true lovers of science will even bother to work their way through it.
Although the book contains a helpful glossary that defines and expounds on many of the technical terms used, it may still be quite difficult for someone unfamiliar with the language to get through with any real comprehension without reading each paragraph several times, (With the glossary nearby).
Be that as it may, what Dr. David L. Abel and his colleagues have accomplished by producing a book like "The First Gene" is opened the wound of evolution ever wider and more completely exposed the infectious cancer of the science community. While it may take time for the benefit of this work to trickle down to the layman and the general public, it will surely cause massive reactions within the science community (if they bother to review and discuss it), not only enlightening many scientists who are still hypnotized by the rhetoric of evolution in the science magazines, documentaries and textbooks, but also challenging those who are the gatekeepers of the "Kuhnian Paradigm Ruts".
Pure science research and analysis reporting by competent, reputable scientists has always been the greatest nightmare and the most potent enemy of falsely named science and those who knowingly propagate it.
Dr. David Abel and company has done the science community a great service with this brilliant work. I can only imagine the outcry and praise that is sure to follow.
Will it be the last word on the origins issue? Definitely not, but you can be sure that its conclusions will not be scientifically refuted. Given the complexity and other extensive aspects of what constitutes life, scientists will work in vain to come up with a better explanation for life than GOD.
The First Gene: The Birth of Programming, Messaging and Formal Control (Paperback)
(LongView Press TM-Academic Biological Research Division New York, N.Y.)