From the Editor’s Perch


Life in the Multiverse

by Johnjoe McFadden

My Dog Noodle is Reading This Book with Me

After all this gossipy chit-chat, you might be wondering ‘how in the world did life evolve?’  Maybe, even ‘Why?’
Well, luckily for us all there is this wonderful new book I happened onto while reading a paperback bestseller ‘thriller’ by James Rollins called, “Black Order”.  Rollins, who is apparently also a PhD certified Verterinarian, finds inspiration for his creations in current scientific thought.  And so, he includes a bibliography in the back of his books.  This is how I found Johnjoe McFadden; searched him out on Google; and purchased the book through
On first look at the book, I worried I’d been had.  The cover is ugly, and the interior is over 300 pages of some pretty small print.  And I thought, ‘Oh, dear.  This is going to be as dry as a sacramental cracker.’  But, not to fear! Dear Reader.  This is not the case.
This book is an extremely well-written, interesting walk through the history of contemporary evolutionary theory.  It examines a couple glaring problems with the ‘natural selection’ based engine of Darwinian thought: that is, that 1) evolution appears via the fossilized record to occur in “jumps”, rather than as a smooth transition, and 2)that whereas we can fairly credibly explain the creation of a complex organ such as the human eye via steps found in the lower animals – no credible example of this has been found to account for the creation of fundamental biochemical pathways.  Also, he points out that it appears that when the conditions of life are approximated – that it appears that it is far more probable for life to appear than it is not.  These are all startling statements to make.  And makes me think that this book-review is not that far an associational reach from the Seattle Celebrity News! controversy just reported.  Whereas scientific experimentation seems certainly an excellent way of determining what is true and what is not – scientists are just as jealous of their pet theories and personal appearance as any of the rest of us.  So we must always keep an ear out for what is not being said, what is not being reported, etc.
Anyway, I’m only to page 136.  And like anythink worth doing, I’ve gotten to the point in the book where is it taking a bit of intellectual elbow-grease to continue.  But I’m finding it worth the effort, and I think you would too.  What better endorsement, but from someone who can’t keep from talking about this book, before he’s even finished?  Stay-tuned. 
And if you purchase the book, I hope you find it as interesting a read as I am.

Photo by Carl Nelson

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5 Responses to “From the Editor’s Perch”

  1. dangblog Says:

    I’ve only read your review of 136 pages, and already I take issue with his alleged “glaring problems with the ‘natural selection’ based engine of Darwinian thought.” A little Googling produced considerable research proposing answers to both of these “problems.” I don’t think they are as glaring as he wants them to be.

    When he gets to the “quantum” part of the book, I hope he gets some actual physicists to describe how quantum processes can influence DNA. I look forward to your future posts on this.

    • schn00dles Says:

      Thanks for your feedback! I suppose ‘glaring’ is in eye of the beholder. (blink) We shall see what he has to say. Currently I am in the chapter describing Quatum Physics. I have to say, the “this AND that”/ particle AND wave” aspect of quantum reality finds a resonance with the poet side of me. He not only cites but discusses and critique a large number of seemingly credible scientific references himself, so we could probably comb the literature until we became experts ourselves and still find dissagrement. But I’m avidly following his train of thought, so far.

  2. schn00dles Says:

    Am now up to page 191, following a rough slog through Quantum Theory. However, I now know how to perform my very own Quantum manipulation in my own home! Favorite recent quote is: “The fundamental units of our existence are not atoms, electron or photons but ‘phenomena’.” Ooogeee Booogeee! Life is not looking so quotidian…

  3. Yacman Says:

    Actually, I’m not at all surprised that evolution occurs in “jumps.” This is a well studied, evolutionary field known as punctuated equilibrium. The actual origin of life is a complete mystery, although there has been much speculation and experimentation about how it might have happened. But, alas, no one was there to see it. Actually, one of the most powerful arguments in favor of evolution is the remarkable similarity in “fundamental biochemical pathways,” as you progress through the evolutionary “tree.”. The fact of evolution (there is really too much accumulated evidence to call it just a “theory” any more) is the product of a remarkable convergence of fossil data, anatomical data, ecological data, genetics, geology, radiological dating methods and other physical and chemical data. It would be very hard to explain all these observations in the absence of evolution. If someone wants to read a powerful treatise that demonstrates the almost unimpeachable evidence of evolution I recommend “The Greatest Show On Earth,” by Richard Dawkins.

  4. schn00dles Says:

    Thanks for your comment. I may have left the impression that this book is anti-evolution in its arguement. Definately not. Just adds a little quantum oogee-boogie. I am now up to page 220 and the sub-chapter, “Quantum Measurement and the Origin of Life”. Ooooh… ooooh..!!

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