3 The Grand Design

Written by dade on . Posted in 7: A The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life on Earth
Chapter Three: The Grand Design


T he first book in this series, Forensic History, dealt with realities of existence that we can confirm with hard physical evidence. This includes the formation of the Earth, roughly 5.38 years ago. It includes the evidence that DNA-based life existed as of 3.58 billion years ago. (Life may have been here before then, but the earliest hard physical evidence so far takes it back 3.58 million years, so an evidence-based history of life on Earth must start there.) Once we get to this stage—the stage that we know that DNA-based life existed—we can follow the evidence involving the ‘actions’ of these living things and their effects all the way to the present time.

But there is one critical era in human existence that has to be skipped over in any kind of evidence-based analysis, because there is no evidence that tells us what happened on this era:

There was an era when there was no life at all on the planet.

There was/is an era when DNA-based life existed/exists (this is the era we are now in).

We now know a great deal about the way DNA-based living things function, and how many of their processes work. As we will see shortly, these processes are extremely complex and have almost unbelievable synergies that allow the life forms to do the incredible things they/we do. We also know that many of these incredible complexities and seemingly miraculous synergies worked exactly the same in the earliest living things as they do in living things today (including humans). If one era of history has complex DNA-based life, and another era does not have it, there must be an era when something happened that caused the transition from ‘no DNA-based life’ to ‘extremely complex DNA-based life’ to take place. There must be ‘transitional era.’ This era may have been extremely short (perhaps only a few microseconds) but it must be a part of our history.

Why would we care about this era?

The events during this era will give us a great deal of insight about the different premises for what we may call ‘the meaning of life,’ or the reasons that humans and other life forms exist at all.

If we should determine that the process we call ‘life’ is simply a very advanced functioning of some set of chemical and quantum-mechanical processes that simply happened, as a result of some accidental event of nature (lighting striking a ‘soup’ of naturally occurring chemicals, for example), we could justify accepting that life has no meaning and there are no philosophical rules for existence.

On the other hand, if we accept the description of this era described in the Abrahamic religious texts (including the Bible, Koran, and Torah), we may believe that life was created to please an all-powerful invisible being that lives in the sky, humans were created in God’s image to keep him company, and all events that take place on Earth, including wars, take place because God wants them to take place.

Abrahamic texts:

All Abrahamic texts are built on the descriptions in the book of Genesis, which describes the creation of the world and the events that led up to the life of Abraham. Here is a link to Genesis, which will allow you to search for references to Abraham and see how he is introduced.

If we start here, we may justify accepting that the ‘meaning of life’ is to keep God happy, by following his directives. Since the religious texts tell us that God created nations, determined the borders of the first nations and sanctioned the wars that caused these borders to move, we have an obligation to respect the idea of ‘nations’ and even the realities of war as desired and intended by the all-powerful creator of all existence, and make sure the structures that lead to wars remain in place, so that God’s will (that there be wars) will continue to be done in the future.

But there are other possibilities:

The ‘era’ that led to DNA-based life being on Earth may have started with an object that contained DNA (and whatever was needed to keep this DNA ‘alive’) arrived from somewhere off of this world.

As we will see, this is, by far, the mathematically most likely option.

If we proceed from the premise that this may have happened, we find we have new options for understanding the foundation of the ‘meaning of life’ that we did not have if we failed to consider it. We no longer have to choose between the idea that ‘life has no meaning at all’ (which comes from the idea that random natural processes created it) or ‘an invisible superbeing directs everything on this world and we are here to do this being’s will’ (which comes from the idea that we were created by a being with super-natural, super-human, and super-scientific powers). If we start with the idea that DNA-based life has a non-Earth origin, we are forced to think a little bit before we can answer the question about what life means, why we are here, and where we might possibly be going from here.

You will see shortly that we have a great deal of evidence to help us answer these questions. Before we go over this evidence, however, it would make sense to look back at historical events that we know happened, because we have physical evidence it happened. This will help us get a perspective that will allow us to examine the non-historical physical evidence in a scientifically-consistent context.

 

Terraforming the Earth

 

The first living things we know were on Earth are a kind of organisms scientists now call ‘blue-green algae.’ The first evidence of these blue-green algae goes back 3.58 billion years, roughly 0.9 billion years after the solar system formed, and roughly the time that the Earth became a more or less solid planet.

About carbon dioxide and the internet:

At this time, the heat-retention properties of carbon dioxide are a hot-button political topic. If you search for information on this topic, you will find that all of the top several thousand results are political in nature, mostly claiming that carbon dioxide is not responsible for a problem called ‘global warming.’ The fossil fuel companies hire teams of writers to create and distribute these articles and use the best techniques their money can buy to make sure that the ‘anti-global warming’ articles come up first in any search that includes the term ‘carbon dioxide.’ Environmentalists respond to this in kind, with their ‘pro-global warming’ articles. (With far less funding, the ‘pro-global warming’ articles don’t get as high of placement as the articles that back the fossil fuel industry, but because there are so many of them, they swamp objective information.) As a result, it is extremely difficult to find articles that go over the actual quantum mechanical properties of carbon dioxide in an objective way. While I have found some that appear to meet this need, there are so many political articles of carbon dioxide that it is very hard to actually find a non-political article, or determine whether the writers of these articles have political agendas.

I got my information about the properties of carbon dioxide from Linus Paulings wonderful books, General Chemistry and Quantum Mechanics.

At the time, this world was a very hostile place. It had no oxygen in its atmosphere at all; the atmosphere was mostly carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Carbon dioxide has quantum-mechanical properties that allow it to store vast amounts of heat. Heat arrives on Earth every day from the sun (in the form of visible light radiation) and the Earth tries to re-radiate this out into space to balance its temperature. The carbon dioxide molecule absorbs this radiation and re-radiates it out; because this re-radiation is also captured by carbon dioxide molecules.

When heat tries to escape from the Earth and hits carbon dioxide, it causes the carbon dioxide to vibrate, like a barbell (with a carbon in the middle and two oxygen atoms on the outside), preventing the heat from escaping. The sun’s energy would hit the Earth and make it hot; the heat would try to escape but the carbon dioxide would make this impossible. As a result, the Earth was extremely hot, mostly likely as hot as Venus is today. (Venus also has an atmosphere with large amounts of carbon dioxide.)

The first living things took advantage of the solar energy and used the process called ‘photosynthesis’ to tear apart the carbon dioxide molecules. The algae then released the oxygen into the air and stored the carbon in their bodies in the form of carbohydrates. When algae died, their bodies would sink down to the surface, and eventually be buried. Over time, they became the ‘fossil fuels’ that we are now burning for energy, including coal, oil, and natural gas.

Schools teach that fossil fuels come from decaying dinosaurs. This is not correct. By the time complex organisms like dinosaurs existed, all of the carbon that is now under the ground was already under the ground. The coal, oil, and gas were created during the roughly 3 billion year period when the only living things on Earth were blue-green algae.

The changes that these early beings made to the atmosphere did two things that helped make complex life possible:

First, they created the ‘unbound’ oxygen that is needed for the highly efficient organisms that live now. Oxygen-using living things (those that use the Krebs Cycle for energy, as described below) are roughly 30 times as efficient as the non-oxygen using or anaerobic beings, like the blue-green algae that created our oxygen. All complex living things—anything that is more than basically a string of DNA use the more efficient processes, which require oxygen.

Because of their incredibly complex reproductive processes, all complex living things (meaning basically everything except blue-green algae) require the greater efficiency that comes from the use of oxygen. They could never exist without oxygen that is not already bound to other elements. (In other words, ‘free’ oxygen.) When the world first formed, there was no free oxygen at all. After about 3 billion years of operation of the blue-green algae, the Earth’s atmosphere was roughly 20% ‘free’ oxygen, about the same level as exists today. This was a high enough oxygen content to support advanced life and, as soon as the oxygen was available, the oxygen-using life forms quickly came into existence (as we will see below).

The second thing that helped make advanced life possible was global cooling. As the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere fell, the planet cooled. Again, due to the political realities of carbon dioxide at this time, it is difficult to get objective evidence to tell us how this happened, but we can get a great deal of information by comparing the temperature on Venus, which is very similar in size and other properties to Earth but has a carbon dioxide atmosphere to Earth. The surface temperature on Venus averages roughly 864 degrees Fahrenheit. (This is clearly NOT entirely due to its greater proximity to the sun because Mercury, which is much closer to the sun is far cooler, with an average temperature of only 332 degrees Fahrenheit.) When the blue-green algae first arrived, the planet Earth was far too hot to support liquid water anywhere except at the top of very high mountains or in polar regions. Over 3 billion years, the carbon dioxide level fell essentially to zero, and the Earth’s temperature dropped to its current 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit, a perfect temperature to support liquid water over the great majority of the planet’s surface.

 

A Transition Between Life Forms

 

As soon as the Earth had the necessary conditions, the living things suddenly started to ‘act’ differently, almost as if they had a different purpose:

First, for some reason that no one today seems to understand, oxygen-using life forms suddenly materialized. As we will see shortly, the processes of oxygen using life (called ‘the Krebs Cycle,’ after its discoverer) take place in a special structure called the mitochondria, which we know now has its own DNA, which is entirely separate from the DNA inside the nucleus. It is almost as if mitochondria had been there from the beginning, but without any oxygen for them to burn, couldn’t operate. Then, when the oxygen was there, they suddenly ‘turned on’ and began to operate, creating the fuel for beings that used them far, far more efficiently than the anaerobic beings that had been the only beings on Earth for 3 billion years.

The oxygen-using life forms were different in the way they reproduced. They were formed into ‘cells,’ each with a ‘nucleus.’ The ‘nucleus’ stored DNA for that organism. The nucleus acted almost like it was trying to protect its DNA; it made ‘copies’ of this DNA through the process explained below, in case the original DNA should be destroyed.

 

Sex

 

Another change that took place about 3 billion years ago involved sexual reproduction. The blue-green algae reproduced by a very simple process which basically made exact copies of the original beings. The ‘code copying’ mechanism of DNA is extremely accurate, with less than one mutation per 3 billion copies. If there are few mutations, evolution takes place at an extremely slow rate. The new beings began to reproduce using a process that mixed the DNA of two parent cells to create a ‘daughter’ cell that combined the DNA of the parent cells. As a result, the ‘daughters’ would be different—essentially brand new life forms—if the parent cells had any mutations at all.

In non-sexual reproduction, mutations are normally bad: they harm the ability of the organisms to survive. Sex changes this. It allows enormous variety. Some of the daughter cells had characteristics that made them more capable than other daughter cells. They would survive to reproduce. They would reproduce with other cells that also had advantages, mixing their DNA to create new offspring that would have the advantages of both parents. These new offspring competed with the less-capable beings for resources, and won. They survived to pass their advantages on to their offspring, leading to a process of evolution.

This process is extremely rapid in beings that reproduce sexually. (You can tell this if you have ever bred plants or animals intentionally. Within only a few generations, you can create totally different varieties and breeds.)

Somehow, once the oxygen was there and temperatures were suitable, the living things ‘found out’ about this and changed their nature. Evolution took place at a fantastic rate. Within a very short period of time after oxygen arrived, some 580 million years (short in geological time), we were here.

The above description is essentially scientific fact, supported by unlimited amounts of evidence. It is what happened and how we got here. Now let’s look at some new information that can help us understand whether DNA is likely to have an earthly origin and, if not, how and why it came to exist on Earth.

 

Panspermia

 

Francis Crick, one of the discoverers of the genetic code that underlies all life on Earth (explained below) analyzed the processes that led to life on Earth. He claimed that it is highly unlikely that the process described above came about as a result of random chance. Crick wrote several scientific papers and a mass-market book that provided evidence that the mathematical probability of such events happening due to random chance were so astronomically high that it is mathematically impossible to accept them. DNA does too many incredible things. Since Crick showed that these exact same things happened even in the very first DNA-based life forms that existed, these metaboloic processes did not evolve.

He makes special reference to something he and his colleagues at Oxford discovered called the ‘Genetic Code’ (described below). This is an incredibly complex and intellectually amazing coding method for proteins that is found inside all DNA. Since it is so complex, and works with such incredible precision, if the genetic code had evolved from something else here on Earth, there would have had to have been other, far simpler, versions of this code that led up to the amazing and complex version that all current life on Earth uses. Crick showed that the genetic code for even the very first beings that lived on Earth (blue-green algae, that existed 3.58 billion years ago), is identical to the genetic code that takes place in humans and other advanced life. There are no ‘simpler versions’ of this code, and there is no evidence that any have ever existed on Earth. The very first beings on Earth used the same code as we use today. This is very powerful evidence that the first beings on Earth did not evolve from simpler beings, at least not here on Earth.

It also couldn’t have happened by chance. The reason for this is its complexity and synergy, which is explained below. Inside of your DNA is a code which tells the body exactly how to make each of the several millions proteins your body needs to operate. Not only does this code exist, your body uses a great many of these proteins to ‘read’ the code, transcribe it into a kind of blueprint of the proteins it needs to operate, send out ‘workers’ to collect the needed materials to manufacture these proteins, then assemble these proteins, and somehow turn whatever switch is needed to make the ‘alive’ so they can begin to do the things they do.

To see why this is unlikely to have simply materailized, imagine the complexity of a living human baby. We know that the baby is made up of molecules; molecules are made of elements (mostly hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, with small amounts of other elements.) Imagine that there is a pond made of water (hydrogen and oxygen) with some oil floating on it (oil has lots of carbon) and all of the other elements needed to make the baby. Say that a nuclear bomb were to go off in that pond and send the elements into the stratosphere. Most of the molecules would be destroyed and the elements would recombine. It is possible that, if dropped enough nuclear bombs on enough ponds, the elements would recombine to the exact configuration of the human baby, and somehow whatever spark that makes a baby ‘alive’ would come out of the explosion, causing a living human baby to be the result of this process.

But it isn’t likely. The baby is simply too complex. The odds against this happening are so high that if you started dropping nuclear bombs now, and dropped them billions per second each second, you wouldn’t end up with living baby in any time frame that would make sense to the human brain.

This is the basic problem with accepting that the first DNA-based life coming to exist as a result of some spontaneous event: the processes that take place in DNA-based life are simply too complex. I will go over a few of these processes below; it is easy to see, when you understand how they work, that they couldn’t have simply started doing these things as a result of random events.

If they couldn’t have evolved on Earth, and couldn’t have come to exist as a result of random events, how did they come to exist on this planet? Francis Crick concluded there was only one option left: They came from some other world.

 

Design or Chance?

 

If DNA came from some other word, there are two possibilities:

 

1. It was sent here intentionally.

2. It came as a result of an unintentional event.

 

It is fairly easy to rule out the second option, based on the events we know took place.

It is possible that DNA arrived on an asteroid that came from some other world. There are several problems with this however.

The first involves the idea of life. Sending DNA, by itself, would not lead to DNA-based life. The reason is that DNA, by itself, is not alive. You can take DNA out of cells. If it doesn’t have the millions of proteins needed for reproduction, all acting in concert (as described below), it is nothing but a glob of acidic organic residue. It is not ‘alive.’ For it to be ‘alive,’ it must have more than just the DNA. It must also have all of the proteins needed for the DNA to operate. It must also have a power source, or something that will give it the energy it needs for the proteins to do the things they have to do. It must also have an ‘operating system.’ The operating system is the set of rules that the DNA ‘understands’ that tell it how to operate.

The easiest way to understand the need for an operating system is by analogy to a personal computer. The raw materials for personal computers are built on silicon. The silicon is basically sand. If you were to crush a computer chip (silicon chip) with a hammer, it would turn back into sand. A pile of sand obviously can’t do the things a personal computer can do. In order to make them do the things a computer does, you have to do several things. First, you have to properly process the sand into the correct silicon mixture, and turn it into a ‘wafer.’ Then you have to ‘etch’ the wafer, or divide it into all of the different transistors that process information. Once you have done this, you still don’t have a computer: You need to install an operating system that tells it what to do. This operating system is not a real physical thing, it is information. (This information is held on a physical thing, but the information itself is not physical.) In order to get the chip to take the information, you have to plug it in to a power source and turn it on. Then, the information will set the transistors to the state they have to be in to do what they do. Only with all of these things will you have an computer that actually does the things computers do.

The same is basically true for DNA. If you send a dead animal into space, and part of it’s DNA falls to Earth (without burning up in the atmosphere), this DNA will not come back to life. The first DNA that arrived on Earth have to arrived with, at least, a power source or means to harness existing Earth power, and an operating system to tell it what to do. Then, once it was here, it had to have something computer programmers call a ‘bootstrap,’ which is a tiny, self contained program that tells the computer to load the operating system. This bootstrap has to be self-contained and have its own power source, because without being ‘booted,’ the computer itself doesn’t even know how to use the energy that comes from your wall outlet. If DNA arrived, it would have to have all three elements, at a minimum, including the bootstrap, operating system, and enough DNA to begin operating in the complex manner that DNA operates.

The odds of all of these things being in the same place and having arrived from another solar system by random chance are immensely high. Even if they were in the same place, the odds against them surviving the fall through the Earth’s atmosphere, even once, are astronomical. In order for this to happen by accident on Earth, trillions upon trillions of such complete packages arriving from another solar system for one to survive. If you consider the condition the Earth was in when life first arrived here—with an average temperature far higher than most DNA life forms can survive, we get to impossibility, at least from a mathematical perspective.

 

Mitochondria

 

Another reality of existence compounds the problem of accepting that the DNA arrived here through an accidental process. The mitochondria. All plants and animals (all advanced forms of life) utilize oxygen to generate their power. This is done through a cellular structure called ‘mitochondria.’ The mitochondria use a process called ‘the Krebs cycle’ to turn glucose into a systems that generates the electricity that run’s the great bulk of the living thing’s activities. (This is explained in Chapter 5, below, the power source.)

Mitochondria has its own DNA. This DNA is entirely independent from the DNA in the nucleus. It reproduces in an entirely different way: Nucleaic DNA reproduces sexually. Sexual reproduction leads to diversity. Mitochondrial DNA reproduces asexually. In other words, it always makes exact copies of itself, with no interference from DNA of other beings.

It helps to understand the idea here if you realize that your mitochondria DNA, normally called simply MDNA, comes only from your mother, not from your father. In fact, your MDNA was not involved in the sexual interactions of your parents; these interactions only led to the fertilized egg that contained your nucleic DNA. The MDNA came only from your mother, transferred from her body to yours while the fertilized egg was gestating. Your mother’s MDNA came only from her mother, and that came only from her mother, in a direct line all the way to the first woman that existed. Before that, the MDNA was passed down from mother to child in a direct line all the way from the first primate. Before that, the MDNA was passed down in a direct line all the way from the first mammal and before that, all the way to the first animal, and before that, through the female line of plants, all the way to the first plant.

This is an amazing fact that has many implications for the meaning of life, which I will go over in detail later in the book. For one example, example, unlike your cells, which are made newly starting when you are born, the mitochondria in your body NEVER DIE. The mitochondria, and its DNA, have been alive and reproducing since long before you were alive; in fact, long before you were ever conceived, or your mother was conceived, or the first human female was conceived, or the first mammal female was conceived, or the first plant female existed. (Mitochondria only transfers through the female line; all males got it from their mothers and before males came to exist, the DNA goes back in the same direct female line to the first females. Males are irrelevant in the mitochondria mechanism, because we are not capable of transferring our MDNA to anyone.)

One implication of this is the idea of a permanent soul: if we understand the idea of MDNA, we can understand that parts of us that are alive and have a life independent of our lives. The MDNA has a very short chain, with only 37,000 ‘links’ in the DNA ‘ladder’ (discussed in the next chapter). Because of the way MDNA reproduces, it never changes. (Occasional mutations occur but, because every single link in MDNA is essential, these mutations are virtually always fatal; the mutated MDNA and mitochondria dies, never to reproduce again.) As a result of this, MDNA is virtually identical in all living things (all that have them, which means all complex life) on Earth. If MDNA came from another world (we will see this is highly likely) these living parts of our bodies are identical in structure with those of beings on these other worlds, as well as the beings on any other planet that may have had the same package sent to it as was sent to Earth. As we will see in the next chapter, there are very complex substructures and ‘messages’ that are held inside of our DNA, including the MDNA. These structures and messages have been alive long before humans ever evolved and are alive now, essentially unchanged from the first time of their existence. Many people use the term ‘soul’ to refer to the essence of us, which they claim has been around forever and has a connection to all other living things on this planet and perhaps even many other living things that are on remote planets. If we understand the idea of MDNA, we can see that we have very real evidence that this ‘soul’ exists, a finding that may be very important to people attempting to work out the meaning of life.

At this point in the book, I want to focus on one particular topic, the issue of whether the DNA that started Earth life arrived here by accident or intentionally. If it was by accident, it is very hard to see how mitochondria and MDNA can exist. The reason is that MDNA is a totally different kind of DNA than nucleic DNA. It is not involved in the reproduction process that leads to the enormous genetic diversity we see around us. There are no ‘simpler’ forms of MDNA. All are identical, back to the very first beings that had this kind of DNA. This tells us MDNA did not evolve. The incredible synergy of MDNA, and the way it makes advanced life possible, tells us that it is highly unlikely it simply appeared and came to life through a random alignment of atoms. (As we will see later, sexually reproducing beings have to put a lot of energy into reproduction. This energy is simply not available without the enormous efficiency of the Krebs cycle, a cycle that turns roughly 98% of the energy in glucose into electricity, available to run the body. All this is explained in Chapter 5.)

If the MDNA did not evolve, and didn’t come to exist spontaniously, it must have arrived from some other world. This is where we get to the necessity of intentional seeding: mitochondria and MDNA would be totally useless on a world with no free oxygen. Remove MDNA or mitochondria from free oxygen, and they die immediately. In order for the MDNA to have gotten here accidentally, it would have had to have arrived at the exact right time, after the oxygen had been created. Then, once it arrived, it would have to also ‘come to life’ and begin doing what it does. In addition to this, this new DNA, which in many respects is the same as nucleic DNA, would have had to have somehow become incorporated into existing DNA-based life on Earth. Once this happened, it would have to somehow change the way the living things operated, turning them from non-oxygen using beings into oxygen using beings.

Other solar system:

Our solar system is only 4.53 billion years old. The DNA arrived while the solar system was still being formed, so it could not have arrived from another world in this solar system. It had to come from another solar system.

The idea of even a single accidental transfer of living DNA from another solar system to ours stretches the imagination. The idea of this happening twice, with the DNA being of the same general nature (both use the same genetic coding mechanism, as explained in the next chapter), and both DNA bits being ‘alive’ when they hit the Earth or turned into living DNA by something that arrived accidentally with them, and then the two different DNA bits somehow integrating themselves to take advantage of the oxygen, seems to the theory that the DNA arrived by accident into a mathematical impossibility.

The field we call ‘science’ is devoted to figuring things out. Scientists don’t always have a full explanation for the things they are studying. If they don’t have the full explanation, they start with a theory. A theory is basically a logical explanation that conforms to the existing evidence, that scientists accept may or not be correct. They use the theory to help them discover additional evidence. They accept it for the sake of analysis and discussion until something better comes along. It would not make sense to start our analysis of the era when life came to exist on Earth with a theory based on accidental arrival of DNA. Since we have already rejected theories based on spontaneous generation or evolution of DNA, and accepting that super-human or super-natural beings created it all by magic is not scientific, we are left with only one theory that holds any scientific credibility.

 

A theory is not a ‘belief system’ or something that we are somehow philosophically tied to and must continue to accept once we have first allowed it to enter our minds. Accepting a theory is not like accepting a religion; if additional evidence comes along that supports an alternative theory, scientists are not being shamed if they make a sudden turn and accept the new theory. In fact, this is what they are supposed to do. A theory is simply a working model that we accept, for the purpose of analysis, until we can find a better model.

You should not believe that, by letting the idea of panspermia (the intentional seeding of DNA) into your mind, you are being a heretic or untrue to other belief systems, and will have to repent or feel ashamed if you should ever get evidence that panspermia is not true. You are simply doing a thought experiment and examining alternatives.

It is not heresy to use our minds.

 

Each different possibility for the origin of life on Earth has implications for the meaning of life. It makes sense to start with the option that has the greatest conformity to the existing evidence, to see where this leads.

 

 

turn into an impossible idea. This is not, by itself, proof that the transfer of DNA from some other solar system to Earth could not have been accidental, but it adds considerably to the other evidence.

 

 

Certain realities of mitochondria and MDNA indicate that this had to be intentioal.

 

 

Although there have been a few very tiny mutations.

 

born. In fact, they have been alive, having split over and over and over again, for at least 580 million years; the time of the first oxygen-using living things on Earth.

 

 

ochondria has its own DNA. This DNA is entirely independent from the DNA in the nucleus. It reproduces in an entirely different way: Nucleaic DNA reproduces sexually. Sexual reproduction leads to diversity. Mitochondrial DNA reproduces asexually. In other words, it always makes exact copies of itself, with no interference from DNA of other beings.

I

 

 

Crick proposed that one alternative to ‘it happening by chance’ was ‘it happening by design.’ He proposed a theory called ‘panspermia,’ which speculated that it is possible that, some 3.58 billion years ago—when the Earth was still a new planet and a very inhospitable place—a tiny package arrived here. This package contained the DNA that ultimately evolved into humans. This theory holds that a package could have been sent here—as well as to many other planets that were in roughly the same condition as Earth—intentionally.

A theory is just a guess. If you have a question and no information about the answer, you can speculate about the possible answers. If you are a scientist, you will then go through the guesses (theories) and attempt to use logical methods to determine which is the most likely. Then, if you have the tools to do so, you test the theory. If you don’t have tools to absolutely prove or disprove the theory, the scientific method requires that you accept the theory that is scientifically the most likely to be correct, until a better theory is proposed.

Crick proposes that the panspermia theory is the only truly scientific theory that can explain the realities of the fantastic process we call ‘life’ on Earth. All other theories either start with unscientific premises (for example, that a super-human being called ‘God’ said an incantation and, due to his powers, it appeared) or are in capable of explaining certain realities of the process called ‘life’ that science has discovered or categorized. We can’t prove or disprove it, but as scientists, we are compelled to accept it, for the sake of further study, until something better comes along.

 

Why This Matters

 

The panspermia theory was so outlandish and contrary to accepted ideas about the origin of life on Earth that it turned Crick into a laughingstock for many years. People wouldn’t take him seriously as long as he remained willing to consider this theory as a real possibility. He eventually turned to other matters, those which weren’t so contrary to standard accepted beliefs. Eventually people seemed to forget and it was as if the theory had never been proposed.

I am bringing the ‘panspermia’ theory up for an important reason:

Without passing judgment on whether or not this theory is correct, we have to accept this: this theory is the result of a mode of organizing thoughts that is highly desirable, if the human race is to overcome the obstacles we now face and prevent our extinction. The mode of thought that is willing to consider such theories puts logic and reason above beliefs, feelings, and traditional ideas that ascribe anything we don’t understand to magical and miraculous forces. This mode of thought shows a lack of fear for things that humans appear to be afraid to think about. By merely proposing that people consider this theory, Crick is showing confidence in the human race, accepting that the human race is at or at least on the verge of having the ability to put primitivism in the past, and use force of will to prevent the beliefs of past generations from coloring analysis of objective reality.

 

New Information about Panspermia

 

Crick abandonded his work on the panspermia theory in the mid 1980s. Since them, we have discovered a great deal of additional information about the nature of DNA and the processes of life. A great deal of this new information leads to ideas that support the idea of panspermia. The first automated DNA sequencers didn’t come into use until after Crick’s death in 2004. Even as you are reading this, all around the world are using these sequencers to unravel one of the messages that Crick and his colleagues found written in the DNA in 1954. They are finding wonderful things. Many of these things don’t make any sense if we think of DNA as having come to exist through some random processes, but make total sense if we accept the panspermia theory.

In this book, I want to go over some of this new information, along with the information that Crick provided in the 1980s.

I am NOT doing this because I have come to accept panspermia as a kind of religious belief and want to ‘convert’ you to this ‘religion.’

I am doing it for an entirely different reason:

Whether or not this theory is correct, its acceptance as a possibility indicates the acceptance of a mode of thinking that can help us get out of our current problems and prevent our destruction. If you take this theory seriously, you will consider the evidence that supports it objectively. If you do this, you will find a way to look at human existence and the realities we see around us that will allow you to see existence in a new light. You will see that it is highly likely that the human race exists for a very definite reason. This reason may not be apparent to us yet, but it exists and, whatever it is, we will not find it if we are not able to overcome the obstacles we currently face.

I am personally not sure whether or not panspermia is ‘what happened’ and the reason we are here. But through my analysis of this theory, I have come to accept that our existence does have meaning. We are here for a reason, and this reason is not to find new and better nuclear bombs so we can destroy ourselves over the locations of imaginary lines. Our destiny, whatever it is, lies in the distant future, when we know more and have greater intellectual capabilities. We will only reach it if we can overcome our primitiveness and look at existence objectively.

We clearly have incredible intellectual skills and talents. As a witness to this, consider that we can now split atoms (something far too small for us to even see) to make nuclear bombs, and send these bombs into outer space on missiles which will then split into multiple warheads and are capable of destroying more in a single microsecond than the entire human race created for the first 3 million years of its existence. This feat would never have been accomplished if we didn’t have incredible intellectual skills. The problem is that we are afraid to use them in certain areas. The next discussions will be a kind of test. If you can take them seriously, you will have provided proof that it is possible for at least one human mind to think in the ways necessary to prevent our extinction.

What percentage of the people of the world are capable of this? That is the question…

 

What is ‘Life?’

 

Forensic History explained Darwin’s premise of a ‘universal common ancestor’ and how recent advances have allowed us to test this premise. It showed that this theory is so probable that, mathematically speaking, it is more certain than any other premise science has ever proposed. If we accept science, we must accept that all beings on Earth share a common ancestor. While we don’t know exactly when this common ancestor came to exist, we do know that it must have occurred more than 3.58 billion years ago, because we have abundant evidence of life existing as of that date. There are only three possible ways that the UCA could have come to exist when it did:

 

1. It could have evolved from some non-living thing.

2. It could have come to exist spontaneously.

3. It could have been created intentionally and then sent here.

 

In order to understand exactly why the first two options are not possible, we need to understand a little bit about the way the process we call ‘life’ works, from a mechanical perspective, in all things that are ‘alive’ here on Earth.

I want to warn you in advance that the information that follows is intellectually challenging. I have spent a great deal of time learning it, many years in fact, both in university classes and through independent study in very difficult and challenging fields. I will condense this information a great deal and simplify it as much as I can, so you can see the general ideas needed to understand the essential points of this chapter. If you find this kind of analysis interesting (and I hope that you do; there is a great deal more work that could be done in all of the fields discussed below), the internet provides a treasure trove of information and virtually any university in the world will have classes in the key fields. I have tried to make the discussions as simple as possible, given the topic, and expect that most people should be able to get it if they are willing to go through it slowly.

 

Molecules

 

First a little physics:

Before 1905, scientists only had theories to tell them that the things called ‘molecules’ exist. There was no proof. Scientists had never seen molecules, or done any experiments that allowed them to tell if molecules really existed and, if so, what they did and how they worked. In 1905, Albert Einstein got a paper published called ‘Investigations on the theory of Brownian movement.’ In this paper, Einstein presented mathematical evidence that the movement of pollen grains that were suspended in water, called ‘Brownian motion,’ could be explained by collision with tiny ‘particles’ of water. The math showed that, if water formed itself into ‘particles’ with one atom of oxygen and two of hydrogen, the weight of these ‘particles’ colliding with pollen grains would be exactly enough to account for the observed motion of the pollen grains.

This was seen as proof that molecules existed and were real things.

Over the next few decades, analysis of molecules advanced a great deal. The nest great milestone came in 1939, when Linus Pauling published the book ‘The Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals: An Introduction to Modern Structural Chemistry.’ This book used various different tools to show how nature puts atoms together to form molecules. Pauling’s book explained how to determine the exact distance that the atoms were from each other, and the angles that separated them. It explained how to calculate the bond ‘strength,’ or the amount of force holding the atoms together and the amount of energy needed to separate them. This passage is from the jacket material for this book:

 

For the first time, the science of chemistry is presented as the natural result of quantum mechanics operating at the level of the chemical bond. Observable chemical properties such as melting point, boiling point and bond strength resulted from molecular structure; molecular structure resulted from the bonds that held the atoms in position; and the bonds resulted from the quantum nature of the atom.

 

With this information, researchers could begin to make scale models of molecules for the first time. They could and did get tiny balls made of some porous material (styrofoam) and sticks, and physically put them together. Pauling’s book explained how far apart the atoms must be, and the exact angles of the bonds. Scientists could put together even very complex molecules as if assembling a puzzle.

Prior to the 1953, the term ‘deoxyribonucleic acid’ or DNA simply referred to an acidic substance of the nuclei of cells. By the 1950s, researchers were starting to realize that DNA was no ordinary substance. DNA formed itself into shapes that could be seen under microscopes as very complex. It reproduced itself to make exact copies of these shapes in incredible numbers. (there are more than 5 trillion exact copies of your nucleic DNA in your body, one in each cell of that body.) DNA appeared to be a truly enormous molecule, one that clumped together into collections of atoms so large that they can be seen with powerful microscopes (called ‘chromosomes’). DNA appears to have special properties that no other molecule had. Researchers began to try to figure out how DNA could do the seemingly impossible things it did.

In 1953, three researchers at the University of Cambridge in England, Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins, used calculations in Linus Pauling’s book to make physical models of the components of DNA. These components are called ‘amino acid bases:’ they include adenine (abbreviated A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and uracil (U). After they had models of the bases, they worked out ways to fit them together to see if they could make a model of this complex molecule.

They found that they only fit together in a very specific way only, a way that explained the special properties of this molecule.

A could only bond with U and U could only bond with A. G could only bond with C and C could only bond with G. These bondings created something called ‘base pairs.’ The ‘base pairs’ then became something that looks like the rungs of a ladder that takes the shape of a double helix. Qqqq dna model left.

The chemical bonds holding the base pairs together in the middle are very weak. (Technically called ‘hydrogen bonds,’ they are a kind of ‘semi bond,’ which is not nearly as strong as true chemical bonds.) This allows the ‘ladder’ to split in the middle; under the right circumstances, it will ‘unzip’ almost like a zipper, turning the molecule into two ‘half ladders.’

Note about Thiamine and Uracil:

These are basically two names for the same amino acid. You will find some texts use Thiamine (T) and some use Uracil (U) for this acid, leading to some confusion. Most commonly, when talking about DNA texts call it ‘Thiamine’ and when talking about RNA (the ‘half ladder’) they call it Uracil. There are tiny quantum mechanical differences in these molecules, which is the reason they have different names, but these differences don’t affect anything that would have any impact but the most ardent quantum mechanical researchers. (I think that many scientists like such complexities, as it makes their field seem far more complex than it really is, allowing them to impress people more easily.)

Each rung of the ‘half ladders’ can only bond with the appropriate other ‘base amino acid,’ as described below. Once a molecule has split into two ‘half ladders,’ molecules found in the nuclei of cells can then ‘rebuild’ the two half ladders into two brand new ladders. Human DNA has about 3 billion ‘rungs’ in its ladder. In the new ladders, the rungs are identical to those in the old ladders, with each of the 3 billion ‘base pairs in the exact same sequence in the new ladders as in the original one.

The new molecules (‘ladders’) are exact clones of the original.

You could think of the information in the DNA as like a coded message. If you start with a ‘half ladder,’ each ‘half rung’ will be one of the four ‘amino acid bases,’ either A, C, G, or U. There will be 3 billion ‘half rungs.’ The sequence of the ‘letters’ in the genetic code is used (as we will see shortly) to create the physical molecules needed for the processes we call ‘life’ to take place. This coded message can make exact copies of itself. Under the right circumstances, each of the coded messages can turn into a new independent living thing.

This was an amazing discovery.

But even more amazing discoveries were to come.

 

The Second Coded Message In DNA

 

There is also a second, far more complex code within DNA.

This code is responsible for producing the ‘worker molecules’ in living things, called ‘proteins.’ Proteins are very complex molecules that do things in life.

Hemoglobin is one example of a protein. The hemoglobin molecule is red in color; this is what gives blood its distinctive color. Hemoglobin is a complex molecule that has the ability to ‘soak up’ oxygen when it passes through the lungs. The hemoglobin then carries that oxygen to the cells of the body, which all need oxygen for their life functions. When a red blood cell containing oxygen-saturated hemoglobin gets to cells that need oxygen, it releases the oxygen and sends it through the cell wall. The cell then sends carbon dioxide (a waste product of metabolism) back through the wall. The hemoglobin inside the red blood cells then ‘soaks up’ the carbon dioxide. The red blood cells then travel back to the lungs where the hemoglobin releases the carbon dioxide as air (which you will then exhale). The entire process then begins again.

Hemoglobin is one of more than 2 million different known proteins in the human body.

All of them have to be manufactured by the body; none of them can come from food:

The reason for this is that all proteins are far larger than the openings in intestinal walls and can’t get through from food to the bloodstream. It is true that you can eat proteins. But these proteins can’t go directly from your food into your cells. In your intestines, bacteria break down the proteins into amino acids (which all proteins are made of). The amino acids are small enough to get through the intestinal wall. Once they are there in the bloodstream, your body sends them to cellular factories that ‘reassemble’ them, through the process described below, to make the exact mix of new proteins that your body needs.

These new proteins do the ‘work’ needed to keep your life functions going.

The second code in DNA is the code the body uses to reassemble the amino acids as needed into new proteins.

Researchers have found that there are exactly 20 amino acids in all living things on Earth. (You will find them all listed in the table below, marked ‘the genetic code.’) No living thing has more or less than this. The DNA ‘codes’ for these 20 amino acids in a very specific way that Crick, Watkins, and Wilkins discovered and catalogued in 1953.

Here is the short version of how this process works (you can find as detailed of explanations as you want on the internet):

If your body needs a protein, specialized proteins find a DNA molecule and split the ‘ladder’ into two ‘half ladders.’ One of these half ladders then ‘grabs’ the amino acids needed to reproduce itself and turn it back into a full ladder.

Now you have a full DNA molecule and a ‘half ladder.’ The ‘half ladder’ is called ‘messenger RNA.’ It holds the ‘messages’ needed to make the proteins. Each set of 3 rungs on the messenger RNA is a ‘triplet’. For example, if there are three ‘rungs’ that are each made of Uracil, the triplet is UUU. There are 64 possible triplets. (In other words, 64 possible three letter combinations, where each of the letters may be one of four amino acids.) The chart to the right shows all of the possible combinations. Each three-letter combination corresponds to one block in the chart, and each block contains the name of 1 of the 20 amino acids. (Note that there are 64 possible combinations but only 20 amino acids, so each amino acid is coded by more than one triplet; in some cases there are 2 and in some cases 3.) This relationship, between the ‘triplets’ of letters and 20 amino acids, is called ‘the genetic code.’

Qqqq genetic code here.

Crick, Watson, and Wilkins discovered the mechanism living things use to manufacture the worker molecules needed for life processes to take place. Here is how it works:

A specialized protein called a ‘ribosome’ ‘grabs’ onto three of the ‘rungs’ of this half ladder. The ribosome then ‘reads’ that triplet and ‘decodes it,’ figuring out which of the 20 amino acids it represents. For example, if it ‘sees’ UUU, it knows that the required amino acid is Phenylalanine; if it ‘sees’ UUA it knows it needs Leucine. (You may want to refer to the chart to the right to see that these are the corresponding molecules.) Once the ribosome ‘knows’ which amino acid is required, it ‘grabs’ that particular amino acid from its surroundings, where all of the 20 amino acids are available. It ‘attaches’ the required amino acid to the three ‘rungs’ it is ‘holding.’ It then ‘walks’ down another three ‘rungs.’ It ‘reads’ the code to see which amino acid is called for; it ‘grabs’ that amino acid, and it ‘attaches’ it to the three ‘rungs’ it is ‘holding.’ It then walks down the ‘ladder’ again to get to the next three ‘rungs’ and does the same thing.

At a certain point, it will come to a code that tells it that the protein is finished. At this point, the ribosome will work with several other proteins to ‘cut’ the long chain of amino acids loose from the ‘half ladder’ of messenger RNA. After the new protein has been removed, the messenger RNA (the ‘half ladder’ that we started with) is available to make another protein, if another is needed.

This leaves a long chain of amino acids in the right sequence that is floating in the cell. This is not a finished protein yet, because all proteins are 3-dimensional molecules and this is just a long chain. The protein is a worker; it can’t do its job unless it has been ‘folded’ into the proper shape by other worker proteins. Every atom has to be in the exact right position for the molecule to do its job. Specialized proteins come in to ‘fold’ the chain into the required shape. Now the protein is finished and can be sent out to do whatever job it was designed to do.

Here is an example so you can see how this works: Hemoglobin is a protein. It has exactly 137 amino acids. These amino acids are coded in 438 of the 3 billion ‘rungs’ in your DNA. Each 3 ‘rung’ combination (triplet) represents 1 of these 137 amino acids. If your body needs hemoglobin, it signals to the cells to make some. Proteins divide a DNA molecule into two ‘half ladders’ (if there is none already divided) and ribosomes begin making the 137-link chain. Once the chain is complete, other proteins cut this chain loose from the half ladder (allowing the half-ladder to make another hemoglobin molecule, if necessary).

The hemoglobin molecule is not finished yet. It is a 3 dimensional molecule and can’t work as a chain. Other proteins then ‘fold’ this hemoglobin into the required shape.

Now the hemoglobin molecule is finished. Your body needed the hemoglobin to make red blood cells, the only cells in the body that use hemoglobin. Bone marrow is the only place in your body that makes red blood cells, so the hemoglobin and all of the other proteins needed to make red blood cells must be transported to the bone marrow. Once all of the parts needed to make red blood cells are available, the marrow makes them. It then sends the blood cells out into the blood stream to start their working life. Your body replaces all of its red blood cells every 90 days, so the old cells are constantly being removed from the body and replacement blood cells are being made. To supply the needed hemoglobin, your body makes millions of molecules of hemoglobin (by the above process) every minute of every day you are alive.

Hemoglobin is one of roughly 2 million different proteins that your body needs to operate. They are all made the same way. A single strand of DNA contains all the information needed to make every one of these proteins.

So far, we are not talking about a theory.

A theory is a guess about how something might work by people who don’t fully understand the exact mechanism. The genetic code is not a theory, it is a scientific fact. It is known to be the way living things make the ‘worker molecules’ needed to maintain life processes.

 

Seeding the Universe

 

There are only three possible ways that the UCA (universal common ancestor) of all humankind could have come to exist on Earth:

1. The living common ancestor could have evolved from some non-living thing.

2. The living common ancestor could come from spontaneous generation: the right combination of atoms may have been in the right place at the right time, and they could have then ‘come to life’ as a result of a natural event like a lighting strike.

3. The living common ancestor could have been created intentionally. It could have been designed to do certain things by its creators. It could have then been sent to Earth, along with many other worlds, to perform the designed functions.

 

If you understand the genetic code, you can see that the first two options can’t possibly be correct.

First consider evolution of this universal common ancestor from a non-living thing:

Evolution starts with simple things and builds to more complex things. The genetic code is extremely complex. The decoding mechanism, by itself, is more complex than even most complex computer languages in use today (see sidebar for more information):

The genetic code is a 64-character code that the ribosomes translate into a 20-character code. (You can see this by the genetic code table above; there are 64 possible ‘triplets’ or three ‘rung’ combinations of 4 ‘letters’ each; the ribosomes translate this into a 20 ‘letter’ code in accordance with the table.) The real genetic code is a 64-character code.

The first computer languages on Earth were written in an 8-character code. The 16-character operating system was introduced in 1990 and 32 character operating systems came into use for the first time in the early 2000s. Although 32 and 64-character systems exist, they are not true 32 or 64 character languages, they are modified 16 character systems and have no true 32 or 64 character functions. (They are designed for ‘multitasking’ or doing several tasks that requires 8 or 16 character messages at the same time.) Perhaps some military or other government programmers have worked out true 64 character operating systems to try to create military advantages, but if they do exist, they are extremely primitive relative to the coding mechanism for DNA.

If the genetic code had evolved here on Earth, there would have to be simpler versions of it somewhere. The earliest life forms would have simpler versions of the genetic code, and then the code would have gotten more complex over the course of billions of years.

There aren’t any simpler versions of the genetic code in any living thing on this planet. In fact, there aren’t even any other versions of it. The genetic code is identical for all life forms, from the simplest blue-green algae (so far identified as the first living things on the planet) to humans.

When the common ancestor of all living things came to exist on Earth billions of years ago, it used the exact same code and coding mechanism that human DNA uses today.

This allows us to rule out evolution: Evolution requires change and there has been no change. The genetic code is in the exact same form it was in when it first appeared on Earth.

Next, we can rule out spontaneous generation. Some have speculated that a collection of atoms that happened to be in the right configuration and then were somehow hit by a spark that brought them to life.

We can rule this out because of the immense complexity of the coding mechanisms. The code itself (the DNA molecule) has 208 billion atoms. Every single one of them has to be in the exact right place for the molecule to do what it does.

Even having all of the atoms in the exact right place doesn’t give you ‘life.’ The molecule DNA can’t even reproduce without a large collection of existing proteins to ‘unzip’ it and then reassemble the copies. It can’t make proteins without an even larger collection of existing proteins to do the work described above.

While doing all this, the living organism must get energy from some source (plants generally use photosynthesis; animals generally use mitochondria to break down carbohydrates into water, carbon dioxide, and energy).

Even having all of these things together won’t give you life: there has to be a kind of ‘boot sequence’ that gets everything started.

We couldn’t calculate the odds of something like this happening spontaneously, at the same time and same place and in the right sequence, because they are so remote.

But we might compare it to the odds of some other fantastically unlikely event.

Say a nuclear bomb fell on a forested area. It is possible that the fibers in the trees could form themselves into white paper, the molecules in oil and under the ground coal turn themselves into black ink, and the entire collection could then fall to Earth from the sky as bound books, exactly matching the books of the Library of Congress, all with the right fonts, spacing, and margins, and without a single missing or extra mark.

We can’t claim this is ‘impossible’ because coincidences do happen and this remarkable coincidence could possibly happen, if the test were attempted many more times than there are atoms in the universe. Although it is possible, however, it isn’t really credible. The odds against it happening are so far beyond anything that we could calculate that no thinking person would ever really presume that such a thing could actually happen in a real-world situation.

The spontaneous generation of working model of the genetic code (the proper coded message in DNA, accompanied by all of the proteins needed to make it work, all of which had the appropriate ‘boot sequence’ to make it begin and continue operating) would be even more unlikely than the nuclear bomb perfectly reproducing the Library of Congress. A scientist would not try to explain something by a process that is so unlikely that, for practical purposes, it is not possible.

 

After We Rule Out Evolution And Spontaneous Generation For The Genetic Code, What Else Is Left?

 

Imagine you were born into a different situation. Imagine that, rather than being born on Earth, you were born on another planet that is far more advanced than Earth is today. When you went to school, you took an interest in the ‘panspermia’ project, a project that had been proposed to create a programmed molecule that contains the codes needed for life and the ‘key’ needed to ‘boot’ this molecule and make it begin operation, and then send this designed molecule to various different newly-formed planets.

Imagine that you have just graduated and have taken a job with the team that will attempt to predict what will happen if everything goes as planned, the coded molecule actually gets to a planet, the key successfully ‘boots’ the process and life begins.

The people who have created this programmed molecule (the universal common ancestor) have told your group that it will take about 3.5 billion years for the evolving life to reach the level of self-aware beings. Your team will call them ‘humans’ so they have a term to refer to them. Your team’s job is to predict what is likely to happen then, after the first humans come to exist.

Humans have an ability that no lower animals have: they can think about their situation, figure out how the structures around them work, and use tools of various kinds to alter the way their situation works and make it better, in accordance with a plan. They will quickly find that they can accomplish more if they work together, so they will organize themselves in some way.

They will form societies.

How will the first societies work?

The idea of a being that evolves on the planet claming to ‘own’ the planet is not intuitive.

You may suspect that this would not occur to the newly-evolved thinking beings.

They would probably not think that the planet belongs to them.

If no one owns the planet, no one owns the food and other good things it produces. They would have to have meetings and make common decisions about what to do with these things. They would share these things in some way that they could agree on among themselves.

They would realize that they got more to share if they treated nature with respect. Their greed (desire to get more) would push them to take care of the planet. They would teach the principles of ‘care of the planet’ to their children, eventually formulating a set of ‘natural laws.’ For example, it is a natural law that if you destroy part of the world, it stops producing value and everyone who depends on it gets less. People would figure out these natural laws and teach them to their children. You would expect the first societies to evolve to be based on the principles of natural law. You would know that, once your evolving creatures got to this stage, they would be safe. They would be at the top of the food chain, with the ability to figure out how to survive almost anywhere.

People would have babies. The population would grow. A reasonable rate of growth (equivalent to about 1.2% per Earth-equivalent year) it would increase to the maximum carrying capacity of the land within a few thousand years. This is a tiny bit of time for your team, because you already realize it will take at least 3.5 billion years for humans to exist.

A few thousand years one way or the other would not be noticeable. You should realize that you would not be working with or analyzing the condition of a few isolated tribes, but a large population, living together in some sort of organized way.

Books in this series

This book is a part of a series of four books about the important realities of human existence. They are:

1. Forensic History: uses new scientific tools and information sources to reconstruct the series of events that put the human race on the path it is now on. It explains how the realities of human existence came to be as they are. It focuses on the events led to the existence of the power structures that dominate the world today, including the entities called 'nations,' organized religions, and the massive and extremely powerful entities we call 'corporations.' These entities did not appear by magic. They came to exist as a result of decisions people made in the past. If we want to understand the realities of human existence, we have to understand who made these decisions, why they were made, and how the decisions made in the past have led to the realities that we see around us.

2. Possible Societies goes over the capabilities of the human race and the limitations we have for organizing the realities of our existence. It is an attempt to categorize all possible methods of organizing human existence—or all possible societies—in a methodological and organized way. Once we understand the different options we have for organizing societies, we can go over them to determine which of the options are able to meet our needs without constant problems such as war and unnecessary environmental destruction.

3. Reforming Societies: We were born onto a world that was organized in a very dangerous way. It was cut up with imaginary lines into the entities we call 'nations.' Each nation had formed a government which claimed that everything within that nation belonged to the people who were born inside the imaginary lines. Any society built on this foundation necessarily has very serious problems, which include powerful forces these entities surrounded by imaginary lines to engage in activities that are the most horrific destructive within the capability of any physical beings with the power to think on a rational level. The pressure to perform these horrible acts is so powerful that the industries devoted to war and the support of war, combined, make up the largest industries on Earth: More wealth, manpower, effort, skills, talents, capital, and resources are devoted to organized mass murder and destruction than any other activity on the planet. People have gone as far as building weapons that will destroy the planet if used and actually deployed these weapons, making them ready for instant use if certain circumstances arise. Given enough time, these circumstances are certain to arise.

What if we—the current members of the human race—decide we don't like these particular realities of existence? What if we decide we want some other destiny for our race (than extinction)? It is possible to organize the realities of our world in different ways. (Even children should realize this: humans need food, water, air, sleep, and protection from the elements; the imaginary lines that cut the world into 'nations' don't give us any of these things.)

But is it possible to actually build them?

If we know other methods of organizing the realities of human existence are possible, we can work out the exact structural differences between the realities of these other societies and the current realities of human existence.

We can figure out practical steps to take to change the form of ('reform') other societies. It explains the exact practical steps that ordinary people like you and I can take to put the human race on a path to one of these societies, if we should decide we want to do this.

4. The Meaning of Life explains why this matters. The societies we were born into must raise children to think a certain way so they will be willing to sacrifice for and participate in the wars that are an inherent part of societies built on the division of the world into 'nations.' To make them willing to participate, they must raise children to believe that there is a higher purpose behind the wars and behind the existence of the nations: They must make children believe that they were born to and exist to protect their nations, to respect the claimed founding principles, to honor the nation and, through ceremonies that all children are taught in schools, to even worship the nation, in the same way they are taught to worship the higher power that they were told created the nation. To make them do the horrible things that people must do to have wars, they must make children believe that this is the meaning of life and the reason they were born.

New scientific evidence is allowing us to put together messages that are encoded in our DNA and evident from the structures that are necessary for the process we call 'life' to exist in ways that can show us that there are scientifically acceptable and mathematically likely explanations for the existence of life on Earth that totally conflict with the premises taught to keep people willing to fight, kill, maim, cripple, destroy, risk and accept death for the benefits of the entities called 'nations.' If we accept science, logic, and reason, we can put together a picture of the meaning of existence that can help us see that the claimed reasons for existence that have been taught in schools and accepted for thousands of years are basically propaganda, created for the express purpose of allowing rationalization of horrific acts. If they could put together some rational picture of the reason we are here, people would not be willing to do the things that they spend their lives doing today.

What if we find there is a real meaning to our existence and it has nothing whatever to do with worshiping invisible superbeings or protecting nations? The entire rationalization for dividing the world into 'nations' and making war basically disappears. We must accept that the realities of existence on Earth are as they are because people made certain decisions. These people are no longer alive. We are here. We can make our own decisions. We can decide where we want to go from here and begin going there.

Books in this series

This book is a part of a series of four books about the important realities of human existence. They are:

1. Forensic History: uses new scientific tools and information sources to reconstruct the series of events that put the human race on the path it is now on. It explains how the realities of human existence came to be as they are. It focuses on the events led to the existence of the power structures that dominate the world today, including the entities called 'nations,' organized religions, and the massive and extremely powerful entities we call 'corporations.' These entities did not appear by magic. They came to exist as a result of decisions people made in the past. If we want to understand the realities of human existence, we have to understand who made these decisions, why they were made, and how the decisions made in the past have led to the realities that we see around us.

2. Possible Societies goes over the capabilities of the human race and the limitations we have for organizing the realities of our existence. It is an attempt to categorize all possible methods of organizing human existence—or all possible societies—in a methodological and organized way. Once we understand the different options we have for organizing societies, we can go over them to determine which of the options are able to meet our needs without constant problems such as war and unnecessary environmental destruction.

3. Reforming Societies: We were born onto a world that was organized in a very dangerous way. It was cut up with imaginary lines into the entities we call 'nations.' Each nation had formed a government which claimed that everything within that nation belonged to the people who were born inside the imaginary lines. Any society built on this foundation necessarily has very serious problems, which include powerful forces these entities surrounded by imaginary lines to engage in activities that are the most horrific destructive within the capability of any physical beings with the power to think on a rational level. The pressure to perform these horrible acts is so powerful that the industries devoted to war and the support of war, combined, make up the largest industries on Earth: More wealth, manpower, effort, skills, talents, capital, and resources are devoted to organized mass murder and destruction than any other activity on the planet. People have gone as far as building weapons that will destroy the planet if used and actually deployed these weapons, making them ready for instant use if certain circumstances arise. Given enough time, these circumstances are certain to arise.

What if we—the current members of the human race—decide we don't like these particular realities of existence? What if we decide we want some other destiny for our race (than extinction)? It is possible to organize the realities of our world in different ways. (Even children should realize this: humans need food, water, air, sleep, and protection from the elements; the imaginary lines that cut the world into 'nations' don't give us any of these things.)

But is it possible to actually build them?

If we know other methods of organizing the realities of human existence are possible, we can work out the exact structural differences between the realities of these other societies and the current realities of human existence.

We can figure out practical steps to take to change the form of ('reform') other societies. It explains the exact practical steps that ordinary people like you and I can take to put the human race on a path to one of these societies, if we should decide we want to do this.

4. The Meaning of Life explains why this matters. The societies we were born into must raise children to think a certain way so they will be willing to sacrifice for and participate in the wars that are an inherent part of societies built on the division of the world into 'nations.' To make them willing to participate, they must raise children to believe that there is a higher purpose behind the wars and behind the existence of the nations: They must make children believe that they were born to and exist to protect their nations, to respect the claimed founding principles, to honor the nation and, through ceremonies that all children are taught in schools, to even worship the nation, in the same way they are taught to worship the higher power that they were told created the nation. To make them do the horrible things that people must do to have wars, they must make children believe that this is the meaning of life and the reason they were born.

New scientific evidence is allowing us to put together messages that are encoded in our DNA and evident from the structures that are necessary for the process we call 'life' to exist in ways that can show us that there are scientifically acceptable and mathematically likely explanations for the existence of life on Earth that totally conflict with the premises taught to keep people willing to fight, kill, maim, cripple, destroy, risk and accept death for the benefits of the entities called 'nations.' If we accept science, logic, and reason, we can put together a picture of the meaning of existence that can help us see that the claimed reasons for existence that have been taught in schools and accepted for thousands of years are basically propaganda, created for the express purpose of allowing rationalization of horrific acts. If they could put together some rational picture of the reason we are here, people would not be willing to do the things that they spend their lives doing today.

What if we find there is a real meaning to our existence and it has nothing whatever to do with worshiping invisible superbeings or protecting nations? The entire rationalization for dividing the world into 'nations' and making war basically disappears. We must accept that the realities of existence on Earth are as they are because people made certain decisions. These people are no longer alive. We are here. We can make our own decisions. We can decide where we want to go from here and begin going there.

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