Politics & Science: Evolution

PODCAST | Ray Peat

null | Ray Peat

00:00:00 > JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Hey this is a politics and science, and I'm your host John Barkhausen. And this is the special extended interview with Ray Peat done on March 4, 2015, with Ray from the studios of WMRW and the subject was Evolution and Lamarck, although that hardly gets mentioned. Anyway, just a few things about the show; I had some technical problems, so I think there is some distortion throughout, Ray was recorded at too high-volume and I apologize for that. Anyway, for what it's worth here is the interview with Ray Peat and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I’ll try it again. RAY PEAT: Okay. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: But now you have the echo? RAY PEAT: No, I don’t think there is an echo. There is a – well, a

00:01:02 > faint echo but slight hum. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Okay, well, if you can live with it? RAY PEAT: Yeah, that isn’t bad. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Okay, alright. So, Ray Peat, as I said is – I guess nobody heard this, he has a PhD in biology and has speciality in physiology, and if you wouldn't mind Ray maybe you could introduce yourself a little more. RAY PEAT: Okay. My dissertation was on reproductive physiology, female aging influence on the oxidative processes in the uterus actually, but I went to graduate school in biology after having studied literature and linguistics previously with the intension of studying the brain and how the brain can create language, but because

00:02:04 > brain biology people were the most dogmatic next to the genetics people, I looked around and found that their reproductive physiology professor was actually a scientist, so I did by work in that area. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I see, and you’ve been interested in science your whole life. It’s fairly impressive that as a child you were reading many scientific texts, and when did you first run into the subject of the origin of life and evolution which is what we’ll be talking about today. RAY PEAT: We had a little old Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia from – my parents got it around 1930, I think, and that was why I first ran into some of the really interesting science things when I was, seven or eight or nine years old.

00:03:06 > And then in 1950 we got the new Britannica which had bigger articles but both of them were very objective on the issue of Lamarckism versus Darwinism. And so I had heard about the inheritance of acquired traits when I was probably eight years old or so, and one of the stories that stuck in my mind was done by Michael Guyer at the University of Wisconsin. I think he ground up the eyes of a rabbit and injected them to produce antibodies and treating pregnant rabbits so that they became immune to

00:04:08 > the eyeball tissue, the babies were born with defective eyes and then he cross-mated these offspring and found that the defective eyes were inherited as if they were genetic traits in subsequent generations. And no one really repeated that as far as I know and it was pretty widely accepted. He was a very standard, mostly Darwinian biologist. I think some of articles are available on the internet but he was doing that research around the same time that Paul Kammerer I think was in Vienna was

00:05:10 > experimenting with some marine invertebrates and with toads, and I think he used to show that salamanders to show that one day acquired an adaptation, mating them the offspring would show traits that had been acquired by the parents. And Paul Kammerer was viciously attacked. He committed suicide in 19 26 in the midst of very intense attack against his midwife toad. Someone has apparently injected ink into the spot that was supposed to be an inherited mating pad on the toad’s feet, but the

00:06:12 > person who mostly condemned him as a fraud, William Bateson hard lined English geneticist. When Kammerer sent samples of his specimens to England, several – he invited the biologists to examine them, several well-known biologists did examine them and reported that they were convincing but William Bateson refused to go the meeting to examine the specimens but then he immediately resumed his attacks. So, Bateson really didn’t want to look at the evidence because he knew it was not there. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And, so may be just backing up a little bit, maybe you could tell us why it's important what the debate over the

00:07:14 > theories of evolution and what's going on, why are people getting so upset about this? RAY PEAT: Really, it’s an essentially religious or political argument, and the whole mystique of science wants to say that there is a simple objective science you follow, a certain method you get an absolute result, and if you don't get what you should get, then it has to be pseudoscience or fraud. But the context, it’s very closely related to your social, economic, political, religious background and beliefs. And if you look at the

00:08:18 > Darwin, for example, he was pretty progressive thinker in a lot of ways. He was against slavery for example, and was – I think he went to the Unitarian Church even though he had been – his father wanted to bring him up as a Church of England mainliner but he was essentially from the upper class, had the habits and way of life of the ruling class. And even though despite his progressive traits in some ways he was really in the mainline with 19th century British imperialist thinking and

00:09:20 > that quality stuck with the idea of Darwinian evolution and the social Darwinists really developed what was an essential part of Darwin’s thinking, and that was a little later taken up by the fascists and eugenics had a Darwinian genetic basis, racial improvement and so on. And people who want to play Darwinist sort of their intellectual ancestor don't like to recognize that he was a pretty crazy imperialist racist.

00:10:22 > He believed that even English plants were better than plants in another countries and would displace them if given the opportunity just like the English people and Europeans would finally exterminate to illuminate by competition what he called the intermediate races between the higher apes and the civilized Europeans. But he believed that even the higher apes along with Australians and Africans would go out of existence because of the superiority of Europeans. So, when you see people in the 20th century like William Jennings Bryan denouncing evolution,

00:11:24 > they were really against the whole racist, fascist inclination of so many people that eugenics movement was very distasteful to some of the traditional, middle and lower class Christian thinking. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So the idea of where we all came from is very – a powerful one in manipulating people to be on your side of your ideology I suppose, but it’s inarticulate as I could possibly say that but it seems like it's a very key idea that people are wrestling over to win the argument over whose ideology is best. RAY PEAT: Yeah, the

00:12:28 > way science is taught, it really doesn’t free itself from ideology. And so whatever the ideological system that existed around your – say your physics professors and their professors, this ideology gets built into a belief of how science works, how the brain works even and is a philosophy of the nature of being the nature of the universe, the creation of the universe and all of that is built into these so-called objective things that students are taught. My professors in

00:13:30 > all of the sciences just didn’t want to think about their philosophical commitments. It was scientific and that was it. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: You mean, they wouldn’t look at any of their preconceptions? RAY PEAT: Yes, the extent of philosophy might have been to – I’ve read Percy Bridgman's operationalism approach to saying that if you can’t measure it, it isn’t unreal. Some professors with a philosophical mind had saw that as their philosophical foundation. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah, I think, you are the reason this show is called Politics and Science because I think like many people before I read your writings

00:14:32 > which by the way are available at www.raypeat.com, many of your newsletters are up there, I thought, you know, science was science and it was an objective art that was practiced by dedicated people with lots of integrity and I didn't think business interests or corruption which is also business interests or vanity played any role in it but it turns out it's just a subject to other human – to all the human vices as any other field. RAY PEAT: Yeah, early in 20th century, you could trace the personality of the academic culture to the 19th century conflicts between the different attitudes towards religion whether the old

00:15:34 > free enlightenment religion should still be in power in government and educational or whether a newer 18th or 19th century loosening up of religious ideas should be the rule, but it didn’t go beyond either of those. And the missing thing was to see that there is a conflict between essentialism which was the old absolutist religious approach, the Platonic thing that, for example species never change because they are these timeless identities and the conflict between that essentialist and the

00:16:36 > empirical or existentialist looking at the actual historical situation that you see in front of you, that’s where the real difference in interpreting science comes in. You can see it in every field of science. The people – the anti- essentialists tend to be on the fringe and not fully accepted by any of the sciences. For example, in cosmology, you have the electric universe people who are very grid, coherent, descriptions of observed facts against the big bang mechanistic

00:17:38 > type of universe. And Halton Arp, the astronomer who made pictures of galaxies that were visibly connected to each other but moving at a very different velocities, tremendously different velocities, that you can't have things tied together that are moving at extremely different speeds, meaning that they are at extremely different distances according to the Red Shift Big Bang theory, and the reason that he was able to see and think about that sort of thing was that he wasn't committed to an essentialist idea that every atom

00:18:40 > is the same at every moment of time and every place in the universe. If you start by observing things, then you might conclude that atoms aren’t the same at every time and place. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Right, and you’ve talked about him before on my show and probably others and it’s interesting that it all boils down, I guess, even in the field of biology to your school of thought whether you've started off, I think as you would explained it with the essentialist form or the empirical form, and you said before I think that Aristotle was the founder of the Empirical Movement? RAY PEAT: Yeah, he was just about as fully developed as anyone

00:19:42 > as a thinker. The philosophers of the scholastic period, a thousand years ago, did some fairly ridiculous things in the name of Aristotle worship but people like Leibniz were still thinking in some of Aristotle's ideas, for example, the analyzing cause into the different types of causality including final cause that has been the condemnation of teleological explanations has been a big part of the essentialist mechanistic science but Leibniz was able to,

00:20:44 > for example, explain the physics of optics using Aristotelian final cause in his mathematical descriptions and showed that it worked just as well as the mechanical billiard ball kind of causality, one thing hits another and the cause moves normally in that direction rather than taking into account the end condition as well as the starting condition, Leibniz wanted to see the causality as a global holistic way of existence. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And I think you’ve pointed out before and you can say this over if you would like but the East or the Eastern Orthodox

00:21:46 > branch of knowledge, the Russians basically went off primarily with the Aristotelian viewpoint and the West somehow adopted the Platonic viewpoint. So, we’re all – I mean I think that accounts for our love of modelling instead of gathering empirical evidence with recurrently in a big festival of creating mathematical models and imposing that on reality and trying to make it fit. RAY PEAT: The teleological approach, it is fully compatible with the evidence-based historical fact-centered approach and it just looks at generality

00:22:48 > and laws in a different way that doesn’t insist that they are outside of time and absolute and that things can only obey them in a simple and abstract way, so that it’s open to complexity and way that the essentialist Platonist approaches. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And bringing that history back to the history of evolution, the evolution of evolution, how is the evolutionary thought developed over the years, maybe you could give us a summary of East versus West or if it's not... RAY PEAT: In Darwin’s time, the racist approach

00:23:50 > tried to explain everything in terms of your existing present biology which was explained in terms of your genetic nature, and it said that how you came to be with this nature was a purely random affair, and that the only way to change the situation generally is to select out the inferior not to improve them because things essentially aren’t open to change and improvement. And so what you measure is what was destined from the start and can never be changed. So it’s seeing the future in

00:24:52 > terms of determinate defining past or worse. You can delete the inferior species but you can't improve them, so it necessarily leads to either intentional or incidental genocide in which inferior plants, inferior people, inferior animals will go out of existence simply because improvement is impossible. So that amounts to saying that the future can’t be – it can be cleaned up by eliminating the random inferiority of all of the species except those in England and Europe

00:25:54 > but it rejects the idea of improving the world. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: In that ideology, you just expressed there of basically getting rid of inferior people and things, was that expressed before Malthus came along? RAY PEAT: No, I think it developed as they realized that the moneyed class had a better health, everything better, the ideology was intended to keep down the demands of the working classes. So, Malthus really just codified an ideology and Darwin

00:26:56 > being a member of the upper class found that compatible to his way of thinking. I see Vernadsky’s use of the Dirichlet Principle that if a system is in equilibrium and you disturb the system, it adjusts itself to come to a new equilibrium and Vernadsky saw the cosmos as an energy system and life as a part of the system that is adjusting the equilibrium as the system is energized from the outside. So he saw evolution as having a direction

00:27:58 > but in a way it was theological because he showed that it would maximize the movement of atoms, the intensity of metabolism in organisms and the maximization of size especially of the nervous system in the brain. So, the flow of energy was giving shape to his system. Every part of the system was part of the equilibrium which opened the change but the change was directional in the sense of improving the equilibrium and function of the whole system. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I see. And that’s what you mean by theological, that's purposefulness? RAY PEAT: Yeah, that you think about the equilibrium and the end condition as well

00:29:00 > as the starting condition, you have to think in terms of a whole system and the interactions through time, so that everything has a history and all of the parts and levels interact with each other. So that there is no part of the system that isn’t interacting so there is no place for one of these essential Platonic forms of which Mendel for example wanted to identify as trait genes so that you could have the fixed species – he let the traits vary by rearrangement , the traits in the genes were really essential timeless forever fixed forms. It’s really very pure

00:30:02 > religious imposition on key traits in Mende’s case. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: It seems like the – go ahead, Ray. RAY PEAT: What was that? JOHN BARKHAUSEN: It just seems like the pot calling the kettle black there because you got him insisting on these ideal forms which sounds religious but he is calling the people who believe in teleological or purposeful adaptation. He is calling them vitalists or superstitious people. RAY PEAT: Yeah, and the people who owned the schools, universities, publishing houses are in a better position to denounce others as frauds and pseudo-scientists and so on, but actually there is a tremendous amount of fake science

00:31:04 > hiding among at the genetics culture. The eugenics was part of the biological gene culture in the United States’ Journal of Eugenics after Hitler lost a war and it was discredited. They changed their name to Journal of Human Genetics but the people didn’t changed their ideas, they still worshiped the doctrines of Konrad Lorenz, who devised Hitler’s genocide rationale. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah, that's right. We talked about that before and he was lauded in this country as a great friendly scientist. He was on the cover of Life magazine when I was a kid. RAY PEAT: Yeah,

00:32:06 > and after he got the Nobel Prize, my professors, everyone of them including the immigrants, the Jewish, Hungarian, Austrian immigrants who had escaped Europe in around 1939 and 1940, they were praising Konrad Lorenz and the very ideas that were published to justify the extermination. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah, I looked that up after we talked last time and he was apparently very influential in convincing people that – or the German public anyway that the Jewish had to be removed like a cancer from Europe. RAY PEAT: Yeah, and his books that was published, I think it was around 1970,

00:33:08 > he used exactly the same sentences except he used a slight euphemism instead of exterminated, I think he used some milder term. But even though that was in his newest book, these professors somehow made a disconnect and they saw it as their very own personal philosophy of the world. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And it's a good example of how dangerous science – science or influential scientists gone bad can be it. So they have a powerful podium that they speak from behind and they can be very influential in a terrible way. Ray, I was thinking maybe you could walk us through from the – which your conception of the history of evolution is from the origin of life as

00:34:10 > maybe as you see it but as also as other people have proposed and bring us up to Darwin and Lamarck, if that’s something you're able or interested in doing? RAY PEAT: I am inclined to see Sidney Fox’s approach as being at least a good imager or analogue of how the process works and he was – he worked in Linus Pauling’s lab and was a professor in regular biology departments supported, I think by NASA, and other government funding but

00:35:12 > his conclusions, his results that were very clear just didn’t resonate with the genetics of biological schools and in his crucial series of experiments he showed that the Urey-Miller bubbling of primitive atmospheres supposedly with methane and ammonia and sparking up getting amino acids. He did variations on that. Cooking ammonia and carbon dioxide in various ways in the presence of hot rocks and he found that protein like things spontaneously polymerized and the arrangement was non-random. If

00:36:14 > he had eight or ten amino acids cooking together, the proteins spontaneously formed on the surface of hot rocks had a non-random arrangement as if the amino acids were interacting in such way that they choose their position according to stability in some sense, or rather than just randomly falling together. And in a certain arrangement, the heat with a very small amount of water, letting them dry out and then adding a small amount of water to this hot spontaneously formed protein, they spontaneously formed little bacteria-like spheres, very uniform in size,

00:37:16 > and the bulk of the protein would take on this bacterial- like shape spontaneously. And these shapes – when new amino acids were added, these shapes could divide like cells or bug off parts that would then grow up to the bacteria size particle about micron environment or I think it was, so they could eat and reproduce, and he – to a mixture of these amino acids, proteins and spheres, he found that adding the bases of the nucleic acid, these two would polymerize inside the little bacteria-

00:38:18 > like particles and would form nucleic acid chain polymers, again which were non-randomly arranged apparently by the nature of the bases themselves and their context. The nature of the non-random protein structures around them. So, the ordering process doesn't require any kind of input up to this stage, neither a Divine Watchmaker specifying that they should have the sequence and shape, nor the infinitely long spans of time that the crude

00:39:20 > Darwinian viewpoint suggested in which a random change would be selected by being outside environment become non-random through a series of adaptive selections. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah, that’s amazing. And so he just did that by adding amino acids to hot volcanic rock which presumably had some chemical attributes to it that made JOHN BARKHAUSEN: that stuff happen? RAY PEAT: Yeah. He simplified the procedures so that high school students could create life in our lab session. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: That’s a good science project. Well, make you feel like God. RAY PEAT: And that

00:40:22 > is a sort of a primitive single cell arrangement with nucleic acid, a possible precursor to genetic material but it seems like a very possible way to see the first bacteria coming into existence and the underwater events in the ocean for there is a volcano spewing constantly material into the deep ocean water, these are full of very weird types of organism, and looking that as an analogy to Sidney Fox’s experiments, it suggests that you might get – with

00:41:24 > a bigger lab setup, you might get something much closer to presently existing organisms, just in a matter of minutes or hours when you have extreme pressure, for example, and high temperature. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah, those underwater volcanic worms are unbelievable. They are way down, very low in the ocean, so lots of pressure and intense heat coming out too. Is that correct? RAY PEAT: Yeah, and I think usually there is a lot of sulphur and carbon dioxide but each volcanic vent has its chemical particularity. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So, is that theory of life developing, gaining more acceptance, because I would think it's very difficult to

00:42:28 > go on with any other kind of theory in that case looking at that evidence? RAY PEAT: I mentioned it to my professors in my qualifying exam and none of them had heard about it, even though it was in Lehninger's Biochemistry textbook. They hadn’t heard about it. And I looked at the edition that came out in Lehninger's name after he died and Fox's work had been removed. So, I think there is a move away from it after Fox died but I don't think anything has come near to replacing it. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: You wrote in Generative Energy under the chapter called Another View of Evolution.

00:43:30 > You wrote the thought that life forms might just sort of gush up out of the earth in volcanic regions, makes it all seem too easy. Where might it lead if people started believing that life could originate without a struggle for existence, and what you think they're afraid of, Ray, if? RAY PEAT: I’m sure it’s that the Malthusian and Darwinian hatred of lower classes, the feeling that if they were given a chance, they would displace the ruling class. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So, it really comes down to politics. RAY PEAT: Yeah, and the very present attitude of the American ruling class is that

00:44:32 > they have the right to kill anyone in the world they chose to, no legal process required, just choosing names on the list is all is RAY PEAT: necessary. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: That’s right. Now even American citizens can be taken out. RAY PEAT: Yeah, it has different justifications. It was a little more complex in Darwin’s time, the various justifications for why Africans could be exterminated. But the general attitude towards the working class has from 1800 right down to the

00:45:34 > more or less the present time, the working class is seen as a threat. The word class in politics, the only time I saw an American presidential candidate use the word social class, that was the end of television paying attention to his candidacy. I forget the candidate’s names, but class isn’t something that you can mention politically except denounce the union advocacy as a class warfare. You can denounce class warfare but you can't denounce

00:46:36 > class privilege. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I had to turn my mike on. They have embedded in their thought processes these Malthusians sort of ideas that the people are dispensable, I think, which is I think we live in a democratic country unless any of that's occurred in places like San Francisco. RAY PEAT: Yeah, not only dispensable but better off without them. A lot of people are arguing that birth control, especially for the poor in other countries, but they don’t like to say it very loud but birth control is a way of eliminating the undesirables. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So stepping out of

00:47:38 > the political realm for a second. If we go back to those molecules forming from the amino acids and then forming larger organizations of molecules, how do you see life developing into actual organisms that have organelles within them and going on from there to where we are now? RAY PEAT: The Sidney Fox particles could interact with each other, and if you have a whole planet full of such things, the interactions, every time you get something that is a little more stable, this will spread horizontally. It isn’t necessarily a matter of descendants, but it will spread its influence by contact

00:48:40 > with its contemporaries, so things can spread much faster than the idea of the inheritance and the selection RAY PEAT: of the fittest and so on. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: You say a residence? RAY PEAT: The bacteria are now known to be able to spread the resistance to antibiotics horizontally so that they don't have to evolve as descendents of the immune individual, with that one it can give to all of its neighbors, so you get an explosive change in populations. And if you have a planet that is full of these simple things, the tendency is for them to accumulate more and more of the stabilizing, activating structures,

00:49:42 > so it’s – I see it as an example of Vernadsky’s apply the right pressure and temperature conditions onto one and the systems spontaneously moves in a direction as being driven by the environmental conditions. So I think it’s a very quick process to come to the single cell that’s extremely well endowed with the so-called genetic material, the nucleic acid, just by following the Vernadsky Principle will tend to complexify, so you get – instead of simple bacteria, you get a very

00:50:44 > well endowed things like amoebas, very complex single celled organisms. And I think it was James Shapiro who talked about the bacterial self- engineering of their genetic material. I think he was maybe the first one that proposed it. The movement from a protozoan- type organism to multi-cellular organism could also be almost spontaneous in which this over- endowed single-cell finds a situation in which colonizing

00:51:46 > joining with its neighbours leads up to a new level of metabolism and stability. So I think the Vernadsky Principle applies not only at the move from the protein to the Fox particle and the Fox particle to be full bacterium and the bacterium to the amoeba, but also from the amoeba to the multi-celled organism. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Wow! And Vernadsky was a Russian geophysicist is that what his official title is? RAY PEAT: Yeah, he had a theory of how soil was formed and that lead him to a new view of cosmology and

00:52:48 > of organisms and so on. He didn’t draw any lines and so in trying to understand the soil he had understand the history of the organisms that made it and the history of the cosmos and the energy supplies that supported those organisms interacting and making their environment. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah. Go on, please. RAY PEAT: Well, just that the organisms make their environment in a sense and then they choose the way they will be in the environment so they make themselves as well as the environment, but it’s the whole system that is making the whole thing possible. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah, that’s – I really like that idea. And we just had a question come in about what

00:53:50 > you were saying earlier. This is from Duncan. And the question goes like this, it’s by email which people can email politicsandscience@madriver .com, if they want to send an email in, politicsandscience @madriver.com. And Duncan says is it possible to fix the class warfare problem, if so, then how? Are there anyways to do it non-violently? What are the best materials to study for propaganda and revolution? Will the class warfare problem always exist considering inherent human nature? RAY PEAT: I think it’s a metaphysical problem essentially in which – I think it was about 1870 or 1875 that William Morris said, where will this culture end in with a counting-

00:54:52 > house on top of a cinder pile. That was very close to the way the climate change seems to be leading as ashes and money. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah, and that’s all that will be left with a few cockroaches. RAY PEAT: I think it’s basically metaphysical thing that if you see the mechanical commitment to the past leading it’s way into the future, you end up with that cinder pile and you – to avoid that, you have to change your metaphysics to the Leibnizian or Aristotelian view in which the final cause

00:55:54 > has to be taken into account. Leibniz and Teilhard de Chardin attended a Vernadsky lecture on the noosphere. And Chardin was an archaeologist, anthropologist, priest, and he saw this endpoint as a God-consciousness and that was how Leibniz express that the end condition was moving towards in some way fuller expression of god-ness that however you express the end conditions, Vernadsky didn’t have that sort of

00:56:56 > an ended mind. He described it as a universe of consciousness the noosphere in which knowledge and awareness became the governing principle. But however you see the end condition, I think you have to start thinking in terms of final causes and get back to Aristotle at least. And once you take that into account that maybe it isn’t so good to reduce the planet to ashes and money that maybe you can work on solutions which part of the solution is to stop thinking about class superiority and racial superiority and so on.

00:57:58 > JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And when you say the end conditions, does that mean you have to imagine how you’d like the world to be and then intend to make it that way. RAY PEAT: Yeah, the final clause that the purpose for him mean to go and by denouncing teleological thinking at any level, they said that the bottom line is that you want to make your money and you don't care what it costs the other person or the environment that restrict one directional idea of causality you work on what’s local and profitable and disregard the outcome because

00:59:00 > according to that metaphysics the outcome is always a matter of degradation, elimination of what was unsuccessful. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: All right. And again you’re listening to WMRW- LP Warren. We’re talking to Dr. Raymond Peat. He is a PhD in Biology and specializes in Physiology and we’re talking around the subject of evolution and why – how you think about that is important. Let’s see, I guess... RAY PEAT: On that line of thinking, anthropology, there is an area that is very closely we're connected to evolutionary

01:00:02 > thinking and despite the fact that the academic anthropology in the US has been very strongly guided by the CIA recruiting anthropologists as agents to learn how to control the inferior masses of the world, despite that, pretty much takeover by the government, there are these evolutionary lines of thinking in anthropology that are very promising. The Margaret Mead approach that cultures don’t have to be static that the people make the culture until they can change the culture. And her professor, Franz Boas,

01:01:04 > at Columbia was a very – he thought of himself as a Darwinist and evolution- oriented thinker but when he actually studied the facts, he was showing that the environment rather than the genes govern even the person’s biology not only their language and thoughts and culture and ordinary everyday behaviour but even the shape of their organism. He measured the heads of Europeans who had moved either to New York or Puerto Rico and found that their first

01:02:06 > generation offspring of these immigrants had heads shaped more like New Yorkers or Puerto Ricans than like the European parents. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Well, that’s bizarre. I had no idea that New York was so powerful. RAY PEAT: So, it was – even though he thought of himself as a Darwinist, it showed that the powerful importance of the material and the social culture that people that move into shaping even the organism of the body JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Here is another question. I’ll just take this as it comes. It’s also from Duncan, Is empathy evolutionarily advantageous? RAY PEAT: I see empathy as the universal

01:03:08 > principal of substance, the absolute opposite of the essentialist view of reality. The essentialist takes a – if you break the world up into like Leibnizian monads, the essentialists says that the monads are closed. The existence of empathy implies that each unit of existence is open and interacting with its environment. So I see empathy as expressible in physical terms such as a resonant. In the case of empathizing

01:04:10 > with the person or animal, you tune your nervous system so that it in effect is resonating with the conditions of the other nervous system. But I see it as something that is explaining why the amino acids take on a non- random arrangement in Fox’s molecules, why his certain structures are stable that happened to look like small bacteria. Resonance is a stabilizer on the atomic level of the chemical cellular level and so on as well as the organismic level, resonance of the nervous systems

01:05:12 > JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah, I like that a lot. And culturally too in the form of music and ideas that resonate. RAY PEAT: Yeah. And Luca Turin, there are some lectures by him. He is a perfume expert but his theory of psychoactive drugs or of hormones and so on, as well as older molecules. It’s based on the idea that it’s an electronic resonance between the molecule and the cell that accounts for the specificity. He gives many examples in which molecules that resonate the same have the same smell

01:06:14 > or the same biological effect despite having a different shape or the molecules with the same shape that are different vibratory frequency are not experienced, don’t have the same biological effect. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Where did you run unto him, Ray? RAY PEAT: Reading about perfume, I guess, so the Science News around 1951 had an article about the person who originated that theory or actually a follower of the person who originated the theory. It started in the 1930s but I saw this article in Science News in the early 50s. And Luca Turin is updating those lines of thinking. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So I had a basic question about evolution.

01:07:16 > Are we – basically we’re made out of the material the world is made out of, our bodies and everything on the earth. And so are we basically just an evolution of the actual material that we’re made out of, the elements of the earth, or is it just a building of complexity of those materials? RAY PEAT: Yeah, I think the resonant properties are the properties that matter to us and so we can substitute sometimes molecules that aren’t exactly the same in former substance but it have the same electronic way of interacting with the same resonance.

01:08:18 > And for example I would say methylene blue has this remarkable range of biologically valuable functions even though it’s something that we’ve never evolved with but it has an electronic property that fits in and stabilizes or enriches our system. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Okay at this point, we had a Skype fallout. The distortion got so bad, Ray couldn't hear me and I had to call him back. So it goes away pretty quickly but at any rate I apologize for yet another audio problem. RAY PEAT: Hello? JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Can you hear me now? RAY PEAT: It’s better but it’s still pretty scrunchy. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Still scrunchy? Gosh, I don't know what's going on. RAY PEAT: But I can understand you now. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Okay. RAY PEAT: I said something about methylene blue RAY PEAT: was the last. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: That's correct and I’ve heard you

01:09:20 > say that it's a supplement you can take that will actually improve your cellular energy function. RAY PEAT: Yeah, even though it’s a weird molecule, it happens to electronically fit in even though there is no structural analogue that’s exactly like it. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And do you think using materials like that is finding them out of the environment and using them because we find some benefit from them. Is that part of our evolutionary and probably all life's evolutionary process? RAY PEAT: Yeah, I think so. I think things analogous to that have happened at different stages that something that is available and increases our efficiency, give us sort of

01:10:22 > a stepping stone to do something else. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I know there was a book, I think it was called Food of the Gods, I could have that wrong, but it was about – it was postulating that our consciousness did a radical shift and improvement sometime in ancient history when we discovered Psilocybe and mushrooms that went along with the cow plops that came out of following cow herds around the world or of Africa, and I was wondering what you thought about the evolution of consciousness? RAY PEAT: I think things such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, the amount of particular nutrients in the diet, the balance of amino acids and such, very widely available things are the main

01:11:24 > powers of increasing consciousness. But consciousness, I see is simply one side of the metabolic interactive process, so that anything that increases our quality of metabolism is increasing our ability to resonate with more complex and extensive systems. The things like the mushrooms act as a lubricant that the organism might have a certain amount of energy available and with just a little lubricant it might find that it can slide up to a new

01:12:26 > metabolic level. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Sort of a lubricant that will help you have a piffanies about the life around you. RAY PEAT: Yeah, and new ways of interacting. For example, I think there is a tendency of the offspring of the ruling class to not have the appetite for the crazy things that their parents and grandparents were committed to. JOHN BARKHAUESN: I see. So they’ve had a change of consciousness. RAY PEAT: Yeah, I think that there are bits of that happening over the last 40, 50 years. JOHN BARKHAUESN: One of the things that you’ve written about a lot is Pavlov and Anokhin, the

01:13:28 > Russian behavioural scientist. Is that what you call him? And one of the things that you put down which I thought was interesting was Pavlov's writing about that life has a biological urge for freedom. And I was wondering if you believe that and if that’s a powerful evolutionary force? RAY PEAT: Yeah. I think that it fits into the idea of the noosphere. Pavlov’s reflex of freedom was also the exploratory reflex sort of what is a reflex, always wanting to find out more and when the

01:14:30 > culture or planet evolves beyond the urge to accumulate and gain power and so on to the conscious noosphere level, then that reflex, I think, will be fully activated and everything will become or question and an opportunity for discovery so that instead of being an end point, it becomes an opportunity for creation of new levels of being. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Yeah, I like that. And once you

01:15:32 > also wrote that health can be seen as the coordination of the levels of evolution, and I know you do a lot of writing about health because that's a good window I think you said to connect with people and I thought that was very – and maybe you could talk about the levels of evolution and what those are, and why coordinating those equals good health? RAY PEAT: I don’t remember what I RAY PEAT: had in mind. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Okay. RAY PEAT: Maybe it’s something like Maslow’s steps of development, security, the need for enough food, the need for social interactions and mental stimulation,

01:16:34 > and finally Maslow's self-actualization. It might be analogous to the freedom reflex that the opportunity to live for creative action. JOHN BARKHAUESN: And who is Maslow, Ray? RAY PEAT: Abraham Maslow is the Brandeis psychologist. One of the – along with Carl Rogers, he was the great step forward in psychology beyond Freudianism and Behaviourism to humanistic psychology. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Bringing us back to empathy? RAY PEAT: Yeah. Carl Rogers was actually a sophisticated

01:17:36 > thinker with a phenomenological approach to science and his understanding of therapy was that it’s the interactive attempt of the therapist to listen to and understand the client, which is therapeutic, but it’s the resonant in itself which is therapeutic. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Okay, we got our question taking you back to the methylene blue came in by emails from Duncan again. Considering higher energy levels, have you tried methylene blue, and if so, how does it feel versus progesterone or caffeine? Were there any higher energy thinking abilities evident? RAY PEAT: I’ve only been it transdermally

01:18:38 > and that’s my approach to understanding new chemicals is to find what the smallest amount does and then workup in stages. And so far I see it as just a good anti- inflammatory. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Okay. So we'll wait for further report as that progresses. Were you going to say something else, Ray? RAY PEAT: No, but quite a few people are having very powerful antidepressant effects from it with just one milligram a day and but I think it’s probably going to be effective at doses analogous to thyroid hormone 20, 30, 40 micrograms per day I think might

01:19:40 > be the optimal dose of the methylene blue. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Okay. All right, take something blue to get rid of your blues. It sounds like it's like you said it’s raising your – if it works, it’s raising your energy levels and that's a JOHN BARKHAUESN: common thing. RAY PEAT: Yeah, it’s known that it can bypass mitochondrial defects and I think that's a big part of why it can cure very serious depression at such a small dose. JOHN BARKHAUESN: That’s impressive. I have some – well, I wanted to talk a little bit. We have some time left and I wanted to talk about Russian science. I know you've always been interested in that, and I was curious about your experience personally going to Russia. I know you went there one summer to talk to scientists and they were all out of their,

01:20:42 > what do they call him, dachas? RAY PEAT: Dachas, yeah. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Dachas. And I was wondering if you speak Russian, have u learnt Russian? RAY PEAT: No, I learned to read it. JOHN BARKHAUESN: You did? RAY PEAT: But I hope that I would get to practice it but I would go up to someone on the street and ask them directions or something in Russian and everyone of them said I am sorry, I don’t speak Russian. They were all from the other Republics on vacation RAY PEAT: in Moscow. JOHN BARKHAUESN: I see. Nice try though. Did u meet any scientists when you went? RAY PEAT: Yeah, I went to Lysenko’s, the place where he was working and it happened that I was there on the day he wasn't, but one of his assistants took me around and Yuri Kholodov was the

01:21:44 > person studying magnetobiology, he called it as opposed to biomagnetism, the influence of magnetic fields on the nervous system in particular. We just – this person, I guess, called him up and we went over on the bus and got in without warning. And he took the time to talk to his answer or questions and his first question was, what are you studying and where?, and I said I plan to enroll at the University of Oregon in nerve biology and he said, oh, and you are going to work with, named a professor who just start

01:22:46 > that quarter had left the University. He was up to the present year at least in who was doing nerve research in the universities. He didn’t know in advance that I was from Oregon but just instantly knew who the professors would be at Oregon. JOHN BARKHAUESN: And were you speaking Russian with him? RAY PEAT: I forget. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Okay. RAY PEAT: I think we might have been doing a mash of languages. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Yeah, and so when you look into Russian literature, you are reading in the original form. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Is that right? RAY PEAT: Yeah. JOHN BARKHAUESN: Because it does seem like you have an awfully in- depth perception of what they're talking about.

01:23:48 > RAY PEAT: Oh! Yeah, the translations are sometimes very obviously ideological. Just that’s a great example of fraud in American sciences how they translated Soviet things. Israel did a lot of good translations of the Russian research. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: That’s good. So some of the literature or scientific literature is available through Israeli publishers? RAY PEAT: Yeah. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: I see. And maybe since Trofim Lysenko ties in with the subject matter of evolution, maybe you could outline for us what that was all about and what primarily the Russian stance on evolution versus the Western stance? RAY PEAT: Lysenko

01:24:50 > never – was the star of genetics even at the height of his power under Stalin, he was always criticizing the university genetics people. He was basically like a state college research stations, the crop improvement stations where a lot of good science is done out in the agricultural stations not the universities, and the universities stayed Western genetics oriented right through Stalin, so then given a really false history of what Lysenko was doing. And

01:25:52 > his research I think it was Lewontin, an American Marxist biologist, who examined the actual grain production records in the years under Lysenko’s influence and they were actually increasing grain production steadily when they were applying the work he did at the field research stations. And the university of genetics departments weren’t producing anything value but what they did was to take the seeds he developed out in these practical research, farm stations; take them to England, give them to the anti-Soviet genetics people to work with. The

01:26:54 > government learned that he was giving way the valuable seeds that Lysenko had developed, that was where they were prosecuting them for working with enemy. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Wow! RAY PEAT: It was actually concrete events of giving stuff away without permission rather than any ideological punishment. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And Lysenko was always ridiculed in the West, wasn’t he? His theories and maybe you could – is that because he was advocating the inheritability of acquired characteristics? RAY PEAT: Yeah, he emphasized the predominance of the cytoplasm and the nucleus was a reservoir

01:27:56 > of useful stuff but the change within the adaptation was being done by the cell as a whole but especially being lead by the cytoplasm. And the adaptation of the organism involved changes in the organization of the cytoplasm. And the people in the West were working on similar things with cloning experiments for example where a nucleus would be removed or replaced by a nucleus from a different species or even a different phylum, and the cell would develop if it was in an embryo. The embryo would develop according to the rules of the cytoplasm.

01:28:58 > The genus or phylum that the cytoplasm came from would govern the shape of the organism even with a very remotely related nucleus. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: But – go ahead. RAY PEAT: And the cloning experiments in which a nucleus, say from a skin cell would be put into a frog’s egg. Frogs were the first things cloned because they have such big eggs and they are easy to do surgery on. But in the 1960s, Western biologists were working on the changes happening in the cytoplasm that would be inherited like with the paramecium.

01:30:00 > If you take a bit of the surface, turn it around so that the cilia beat in reverse as that organism has descendants, they all have the reversed cilia in that spot showing that you do have very clear inheritance of things that happened to the cytoplasm, which is all that was essential in Lysenko’s thinking. And the idea of stress, increasing variability simultaneous or maybe five or 10 years after Lysenko was writing about it, Barbara McClintock was finding the same things in her work with corn that stress increases the viability and

01:31:02 > adaptability of the organism changing the chromosomes. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So, how is it that they were so intent on making fun of Lysenko and basically they put him in the same boat as Lamarck who we hardly talked about in this whole show which going to about Lamarck, but we said we’d be talking around him, so we successfully avoided him. RAP PEAT: Barbara McClintock came close to Lysenko and Lamarck in showing that stress changes heredity and she was sort of hastily ignored by the profession for 40 years, I guess, it was, and

01:32:04 > with genetic engineering when people went into patent new genes, they realizes it would be a good to have some actual scientific present to make them sound nicer that they weren’t just changing DNA to make a profitable product, they resurrected from obscurity of Barbara McClintock’s work and gave her the, I think the, first MacArthur Prize, then the Nobel Prize, but 40 years later roughly than her actual discoveries. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And let's see. I should probably move on to some of the questions from

01:33:06 > other people. We got about 20 minutes left. RAY PEAT: One other line of things evidence related to Lysenko and McClintock and genes, you remember that Darwin proposed that since he knew that farmers could improve their animals and plants by selection, he wanted to say something about acquired traits being passed on and he had the idea of gemmules or pangenes, which were the idea that something that the organism acquired through experience in a particular organ or all of the organs that these were shed from the

01:34:08 > particular part of the organism and reached the gonads to be taken up in the germline as the evidence or the expression of the environmental modification that had happened to the organism. And that idea was the – it was too Lamarckian for anyone up until Lysenko’s time that something could pass from the cytoplasm or the cell of the body and be taken up in the germline to be passed on, that was where Darwin and Lysenko and Lamarck were all put down totally. But in the last

01:35:10 > 10 or 20 years, it really can be traced back to a North Korean, Bong-han Kim, who in the 60s published his work which was repeated only as far as I know by two Japanese. He showed that there were particles carrying nucleic acids through a lymphatic-like conductive system that he thought accounted for how acupuncture could cause changes in the other parts of the organism. He thought these particles of nucleic acid were being transmitted along the meridians of acupuncture but he demonstrated microscopically these particles

01:36:12 > and their chemical RNA content for example. But only in the last 10 or 15 years, people have bothered to look at the particles in the plasma or serum under an electron microscope it looked just sort of like dust, undefined very small particles smaller than bacteria like a tenth of the diameter of even a small bacterium. These little particles just billions of them everywhere, you can find them in the blood, the lymph, saliva, urine, every body fluid is full of these little particles and they are now known to in fact carry RNA proteins, fats and

01:37:14 > even DNA, and it has been demonstrated that the DNA carried in these particles can be incorporated into the germ cells and transmitted. So basically Darwin's gemmules and now are called exosomes or microvesicles or ectosomes by different people. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: So he may have been a classist and racist, but he was pretty farseeing. RAY PEAT: Yeah, he was an intelligent observer and sometimes a very imaginative thinker. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And he had many of this – I mean he did not rule out many of the mechanisms that Lamarck talked about for passing out acquired characteristics. Is that right? RAY PEAT: Yeah, in his Descent of Man, I think it was,

01:38:16 > he in one of the introductions to that he said, my opponents are saying that I'm all about the natural selection, but in fact, here are the points that I believed in and he listed several inheritance of acquired traits and sexual selection and several points other than natural selection. And Samuel Butler in two or three books in the – while Darwin was still alive was denouncing Darwin for neglecting to acknowledge his death to both Lamarck and his grandfather Erasmus Darwin. And I think Samuel Butler was very accurate in

01:39:18 > saying that Darwin was just too cowardly to be very public about his Lamarckism. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Yeah, it’s amazing. It carried such a stigma and still does. I mean people are still laughing at Lamarck even though he seems he was in a large part correct about how things work. I have a quick question maybe I hope we’re – that it’s quick as we don’t have much time. But what was Blake – I know you’re a great scholar of William Blake who lived I think it was a contemporary with Erasmus Darwin and what was Blake's opinion on evolution? RAY PEAT: He didn’t use any such language but he obviously had read Erasmus Darwin’s Zoonomia and Emanuel Swedenborg’s physiology, things that ordinary embryology and anatomy

01:40:20 > didn’t recognize until the 20th century. Blake, I’m sure got them from knowing Swedenborg’s writing. Swedenborg lived in London in his old age, and Swedenborg had identified the fine anatomy of the nervous system and its development and seeing the nature of the developing embryo combined with Erasmus Darwin’s picture of all organisms developing from a single simple fibre, he said, or in one case he said everything from a seashell or sea organism but

01:41:22 > a simple cell as the origin of all organisms was a current idea in London of the 1790s. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Well, that’s pretty modern. RAY PEAT: You can see those anatomical flexible ideas in many places in Blake. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Here is a question from Prana Rupa. Let's see. Would you be willing to speculate about future evolutionary expressions both at the level of the biosphere as a whole and in relation to optimizing our own potentialities? JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Could you hear that? RAY PEAT: I think the environment – I think the increasing carbon dioxide is going in the right direction

01:42:24 > and I think it increases adaptability and so I don't think we have to worry about carbon dioxide as contributing to extinction of species, I think it increases everyone's flexibility and adaptability. And I think the tendency of this increasing carbon dioxide is to support the process of cephalization, and so I think the direction will be bigger brains, a further development of a lot of the abilities, especially the imaginative types of mental processes. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: And a question from Todd Mudd.

01:43:26 > He says are evolutionary steps really spontaneous? Do they happen in a single generation or are the changes gradual? Doesn't energy charge build up and then suddenly make a change? With the next physical changes in humans to bigger heads, higher metabolic rates or something else, okay, that is similar question there. RAY PEAT: Yeah, I think it’s happening intermittently. One woman will have remarkably advantageous pregnancy and will be sort of the forerunner of a trend. It can happen immediately in one lucky group of organisms and more widespread in the whole population when the whole situation is more

01:44:28 > fortunate. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: All right, and here is another question. Not sure if I have it right but would another evolutionary step have something to do with being aware of sensory processes and would it have something to do with thinking and images rather than words? RAY PEAT: Yeah, the essentialist metaphysics I think is literally holding back physiological functioning and evolution. The organism is impaired when it gets stuck in these verbal formulas which are the nature of the essentialist metaphysics is that the brain looses energy and works on a low energy symbolic set of interactions, and

01:45:30 > when the – in [indiscernible] terms or from a perspective analogous to Luca Turin, from this perspective there is a conductive quality to the fluids of the brain and the cells which allows a holistic more encompassing kind of functioning, so that any concrete thought or image brings with it an interpretive context, so that you see the meaning in all of its expanded qualities rather than a symbolic formulation which leads to other symbolic formulations. What you see is like a simultaneous picture in three-dimensions and moving,

01:46:32 > so that the thought when the brain is properly energized [indiscernible] and Luca Turin has dimensions of this as described. When the brain is properly energized, it forms these image complexes which bring with them the interpretive context so that the sense of meaning is always part of understanding the particular image. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: That's fascinating. So the images and especially a moving image is such a powerful method of communication. You mentioned a talk by somebody called No More Secrets and is that possibly where we’re evolving to telepathy?

01:47:34 > RAY PEAT: I think, yeah, he makes some good argument, Michael Persinger, JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Thank you, yes. RAY PEAT: it’s that person. RAY PEAT: And he experimented with stimulating the brain in different ways and getting what he called, the god consciousness. I think that sense of overwhelming meaning that’s just a natural brain process when it’s properly energized so that when you think of an atom, you can’t think of an abstract atom out of time. Every atom has its own history. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Imagine that family tree. I can hardly keep track of my own. Well, Ray I’m afraid we’re out of time. I hate to do it but that was almost two hours with

01:48:36 > Dr. Raymond Peat. Thank you so much for offering us your time and knowledge today here on WMRW, and if all goes well, we’ll talk to you again next week about physiological implications of acid-base molecular electric charges and reduction oxidation and the relation to each other and that's a subject I've always gotten very confused by, so I am looking forward to may be getting less confused. RAY PEAT: Okay. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Okay. Thanks JOHN BARKHAUSEN: so much, Ray. RAY PEAT: Okay. Thank you. JOHN BARKHAUSEN: Okay. Good bye. And you are listening to WMRW-LP Warren and we’re about to go the news here. I want to thank everybody who helped participate and make the show more interesting. This is an archive edition of Ray Peat interview done on 4th of March, 2015, with Ray. The

subject ostensibly was about evolution, and if you like more information you can go to ray peat.com, where he has many, many articles there for you to read for free. I have been John Barkhausen. I still am I hope and hopefully do a few more interviews with Ray. So thanks for listening and thanks everybody who made this possible. I apologize for the fact that there is some distortion. Obviously, I had some technical challenges during the show which hopefully I'll conquer next time around. All right, thanks a lot for listening.