|Newsletter Archive Online|
The San Francisco Tesla Society
presents a free presentation featuring
Roulette Wm. Smith, Ph.D.
"Evolution & Long-Term Memories in Living Systems
Sunday, February 12, 2006 1 - 5 p.m. at
It is extremely rare that seminal scientific discoveries lead to profound changes in established and well-heeled beliefs. In the life sciences, and particularly molecular biology, Barbara McClintocks discovery of transposons possibly qualifies as such a seminal event because her work demonstrated unanticipated dynamicity in DNA. Susumu Tonegawas discovery of rearrangements in immunoglobulin genes refuted the "one-gene one protein" hypothesis. It also provided the first clues to interdependently evolving systems because rearranged genes were not communicated to the germ-line. Two February 2001 reports (i.e., that two independent Human Genome Projects [HGPs] found that the human "proteome" constitutes as little as 1.2% of the human genome and it contains as few as 20,000 genes) now presage a major revolution in scholarly inquiry in the life sciences (and especially genetics), logic and the philosophy of sciences, curriculum and instruction, and, social and clinical sciences.
These HGPs provided the first solid, albeit circumstantial, support for Smiths 1979 hypothesis that DNA must be the repository for long-term memories [LTM] especially in brain and the immune system. Thus, the HGPs, when coupled with Smiths hypothesis, now provide a compelling basis for nine findings:
Charles Darwins theories on evolution can account for at most 25% of human evolution, with Smiths, Jean-Baptiste Lamarcks and others theories having validity for 75% or more of human evolution;
Indeed, three interdependent systems of evolution operate in many higher species providing concrete evidence for the evolution of evolution the first system is associated with classic genetics and transmission of traits via the germ-line, the second system is associated with passive and active immune function, and the third system accounts for cognition and behavior with the second and third systems being associated primarily with inverse (from the "central dogma") molecular pathways and with changes in DNA not being transmitted to the germ-line;
In the third of these evolutionary systems, evolution within a host (involving nurturance) can be as profound as evolution within and across species, with much of that within host / species evolution representing the "transpersonal" (in the case of humans);
Concrete quantitative measures of nature comprise mostly proteomic portions of the genome, whereas crude quantitative measures of nurture and nurturance are reflected in changing Guanine*Cytosine :: Adenine*Thymine base-pair ratios in selected regions in brain;
The "Central Dogma" (that "DNA<-->RNA --> proteins") may be necessary, but is not sufficient; to wit, there appears to be a parallel inverse molecular pathway involving "conformed proteins --> RNA <--> DNA," and especially including changes in DNA in nonproteomic regions particularly in the second and third interdependent
Darwinian evolution focuses almost exclusively on genetics and genetic transmission of traits to offspring along with their survival characteristics, whereas Smith-Lamarckian evolution involves parallel non-genetic (i.e., non-proteomic) transmission of nurturance traits possibly involving some forms of non-proteomic molecular and/or cellular mimicry with those traits having epidemiologic distributions (i.e., not necessarily comporting with laws of genetics) and provide support for Smiths 1988 notion that "psychoviruses" underlying "transmissible negativism" may contribute to aberrant commonsense;
The mirror neuron system and trinucleotide repeat [TNR] diseases (e.g., Huntingtons disease) provide clues to underlying mechanisms associated with nurturance and inverse molecular pathways, respectively, and to Smith-Lamarckian evolution;
"Intelligent design" is not consistent with either Darwinian or Smith-Lamarckian evolution indeed, all forms of evolution are "unintelligent," though occasionally "understandable" using a variant of Murphys Law (i.e., "if it can be different, it will"); and,
Three corollaries to these findings are:
using Immanuel Kants notions of the a priori and a posteriori, DNA changes in neurons represent a priori events and axon-dendrite development and connectivity represent a posteriori events;
"preliophic" (i.e., protonic-electronic-ionic-photonic) devices and processes invented by Smith (patents pending) emulate cellular micro-geography and both (i.e., direct and inverse) molecular information pathways; and,
multivalent killed vaccines against relatively uncommon pathogens can provide efficacious vaccines against AIDS.
In addition to these nine findings, evolutionary perspectives on several clinical, methodological, and ethnomethodological issues and their underpinnings are instructive. Clinical issues include roles of slow viruses in dementia and immune dysfunction, the effects of transmissible negativism and other "psychoviruses" on cognition and behavior (and especially aberrant commonsense), the biogenesis of terrorism and post-traumatic stress disorders, autism and "temporary autism" (hypothesized by Malcolm Gladwell in Blink), and, vaccine development for HIV/AIDS.
Methodological issues include applications of epidemiology in studies of non-genetic transmissions and the spread of HIV/AIDS, noninvasive imaging of nucleic acid changes in brain, and, statistical and economic challenges associated with "knowing when and how to stop" (as in addictions, experiments, and timeseries events). Ethnomethodological issues include disambiguating causality and consequences (especially in the context of revising the Henle-Koch postulates for complex microbes such as HIV and EBV), epigenetics, gedanken studies, and, intriguingly, what may be the meaning of evolution. Regarding the latter, it is said that history is written by winners, and rarely by losers. Studies of evolution fundamentally require histories and understanding of losers and extinctions.Roulette Wm. Smith is the Director of the Institute for Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Studies in Palo Alto. He also is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto. He has published extensively on HIV and AIDS, prions, commonsense, transmissible negativism, and mathematical modeling in the social sciences. Smith earned his Ph.D. at Stanford in 1973. He also attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco from 1976 o 1980.
PDF Version of our February - April 2006 Newsletter