Politics & Science: On The Origin Of Life

PODCAST | Ray Peat

null | Ray Peat

00:00:00 > JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Hello and welcome to Politics & Science. I'm your host, John Burkhausen. Today, we are dipping back into the archives when I had a show back at WGDR in the 1999- 2000 time period. And once again, this is Dr. Raymond Peat and this is a more philosophical show talking about the origins of life, the work of Lamarck, Darwin, Vernadsky up here in the show. So I hope you’ll enjoy it. For those who don't know, Dr. Raymond Peat has a PhD in Biology and he has specialized in physiology and endocrinology and he has extensive knowledge about the history of science and philosophy. You can find out more about Dr. Raymond Peat and also read a lot of his articles. He has a newsletter that goes out six times a year. It's fascinating. And many of them are published in his website, raypeat .com.

00:01:04 > It was a call-in show and the number may be given out in this, I am not sure, but it's happened more than 10 years ago, so you can't call in. And I should also add that this is an abridged show, the original show was around an hour and a half long, and I am going to try to post the entire show at the website. And the website is radio4all. net. And when you get there, search for Politics & Science. So how should we start this, Ray. We were thinking of talking about the origins of life. RAY PEAT: Okay. I think it’s necessary at some point to think about the philosophical things that have fed into controversies about the origin of life and national cultural differences. I have

00:02:06 > studied quite a bit of the Russian tradition, starting with Mendeleev, the guy that invented the way of ordering the elements in the periodic table, and he referred to himself as a cosmic realist. And later, about a generation younger than Mendeleev, VI Vernadsky, he called himself a bio-geochemist, and he was also – thought of himself as a cosmic realist. And what they meant by this was that you have to think always back, think of the context of the problem that you’re dealing with and try to think of as many levels of a problem

00:03:08 > at the same time, if you can. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: What era are we talking? RAY PEAT: Mendeleev, for example, completed his table in 1869 or in that period – his idea of the periodicity of the elements. During the late 1800s, Vernadsky was traveling around Europe, talking to people, got to know all the interesting people in Europe. And every time he met someone, he would incorporate their ideas and even literature fed into Vernadsky’s way of looking at the world. And so that he thought of Tolstoy’s brain

00:04:10 > as a geochemical event. And Pavlov was another person. (inaudible) and Pavlov were – they set out to try to explain consciousness, human consciousness in realistic and physical terms, so that they didn’t have to leave anything out of the system. Didn’t think of the material world without consciousness or a conscious world without material. And so, it was a tradition of looking at the given assumptions behind everything. And from that perspective, there are one or two attitudes in American and German science that I think have

00:05:12 > limited the way people think about the origin of life. In a way, Pasteur – I think he’s selected by American educators and and science people as a way to obscure thinking about the origin of life because his famous experiment in which he demonstrated that life didn’t arise from decaying organic matter, but his principle was that life comes from life. People seized this, who didn’t want to accept that life came from non-living matter, they wanted to dispose of the idea of the origin of life in the world and say that life came only from life,

00:06:14 > so there is kind of a deliberate obscuring principle going on when people try to place Pasteur’s thinking at the top and, and… JOHN BURKHAUSEN: It sounds like they don’t want to discuss it. RAY PEAT: Yeah. And the same thing happened to Pavlov. This man named Watson, who I doubt even studied with Pavlov because he totally misrepresented what he claimed to have learned from Pavlov, J.D. Watson was the founder of behaviorism in America. And he denied the existence of consciousness. And even my professors in the University Psychology Department, some of them were still denying consciousness or at least denying it to children. They said that consciousness was only present in

00:07:16 > speech and this picture of Pavlov as studying conditioned reflexes, it goes back to Watson’s misrepresentation of Pavlov. And the translation of Pavlov’s phrase even was deliberately misleading. If you translated back into Russian, it says something like health resort reflection rather than what Pavlov actually said, which was conditional reflex, meaning that you reflect all the conditions around you. In other words, consciousness was the meaning of Pavlov’s term and consciousness was explicitly defined out of his

00:08:18 > system. And the same sort of attempting to hide the problem has been going on in genetics and everything else that genetics has attempted to evade the problem of where life came from in the first place simply by emphasizing that units are passed on which are identical to the units that preceded them. And so, when they’re forced to recognize change, very strange devices have developed. And the idealization of randomness, random change, random mutation for about 80 years or so just totally took over biological

00:09:20 > genetic thinking that if we’re going to have to admit that life changes and maybe even that life originated from non- life , we’re going to have to say that it’s random because if we don’t really want to admit that it happened, and so the big controversy between the Neo- Darwinists and the Lamarckians was this same thing. The Neo-Lamarckians even rewrote Darwin. They took out the Lamarckian inclinations of Darwin and that’s why they call it Neo-Darwinism because Darwin would be too Lamarckian for their preferences. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Maybe for our listeners, you should give a little bit of a brief synopsis of Lamarckian and Darwinism. RAY PEAT: Yeah. Lamarck

00:10:22 > basically said that life is purposeful and that the intention to do something is part of the process of physiological adaptation and that this attempt to adapt to an environment is part of what is passed on to the offspring. And Darwin accepted that there were many sources of variation, including the Lamarckian type of variation. Darwin didn’t say that variation was just by chance. In fact, he enumerated a whole bunch of mechanisms that could cause variation. But then after Mendel’s silly work with peas, which

00:11:24 > people have pointed out, wasn’t even truthful. He fudged his results to make it look more mathematically RAY PEAT: perfect. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Is that right? RAY PEAT: After he was resurrected or invented, people reinvented Darwin to support their position that change and evolution are random. And one of the recent manifestations of this strange religion of random changes evading the thought of purpose in the universe, there has been a craze about the idea of chaos. And there are really close parallels between the genetics of random change and this idea of chaos. What they are doing is

00:12:26 > using purely numerical processes to argue that you can’t predict the future. The whole argument of these chaos people is based on numerical sequences and computer events. And then they say, well, particles, atoms and things in the real world are just like numbers and that’s what the genetics people did. They said the particles we’re dealing with are just like numbers and individual particles don’t know where they are going, and so they can only change randomly. And what they’re doing is reducing everything to the most meaningless unit. In one case, totally abstract immaterial

00:13:28 > numbers; in the other case, almost abstract and immaterial entities called genes. And meanwhile these other people were thinking about the actual physics and chemistry and history and geology and cosmology that are operating in everyday life and that that would tend to produce the various phenomena of organisms and organic chemicals and so on. Oparin is one of the people that is well known in the theory of the origin of life in the 20s and 30s and 40s. He was talking about the

00:14:30 > types of physical processes that can create things equivalent to cells. And the idea of coacervation or clumping in complex colloid-like systems that find organization in a complex way that is stable, allowing complex structures to appear out of what seemed to be simple random solutions. The appearance of order – probably these people talking about coacervation were the first to introduce the idea of self-organization and self- structuring,

00:15:32 > in which entropy actually decreases just according to ordinary physical processes once you add a few complexifying ingredients to a solution of, say, starch or oil or protein molecules, order starts appearing. And the strange ideas about entropy only increasing, you have to see that whole history of denying that entropy can decrease in the universe. You have to see that as part of this philosophy of idealizing randomness and chaos and the unpredictability of things. Vernadsky was working along

00:16:34 > his synthesizing route. And I think in 1922 or 1926, he was lecturing on his picture of the place of consciousness in the cosmos and showing that, according to well-recognized principles, consciousness basically is generated by physical forces. And he used the ideas of the biosphere and the noosphere and Teilhard de Chardin happened to be in Paris, I think it was, where Vernadsky was lecturing. And he popularized the idea of the noosphere, but actually it was

00:17:36 > his cosmic realist philosophy of the biogeochemist that really generated the central idea of what the noosphere is in relation to the biosphere and RAY PEAT: material world. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: So Chardin, he used the word noosphere, but he didn’t really come up with the final meaning of it? RAY PEAT: Yeah. He turned it into a fairly revolutionary religious idea and it has been very stimulating to a lot of people, but he left out the physical principles that explain it really. He left it in a very abstract form. One of the

00:18:38 > outcomes of Oparin’s work and the people worked on coacervation, the American Sidney Fox was kind of the fruition of some of these particular experiments with how physical conditions affect the appearance of order out of disorder. I should mention that one of the people that Vernadsky knew in Paris was Henry Le Chatelier and the famous in chemistry, everyone hears about Le Chatelier's principle of the restoration of the disturbed equilibrium. Anything you do to disturb an equilibrium

00:19:40 > causes the system to adjust in a way that restores equilibrium and… JOHN BURKHAUSEN: He invented that concept. RAY PEAT: Le Chatelier did, yes. He first phrased it in very complex ways. And over the years, he got it simpler and simpler and now they state it in very simple, but sort of misleading ways in chemistry textbooks. But it’s a principle that really can be applied anywhere to organic physiology, brain processes, social processes and so on. It’s simply an inescapable way of seeing things once you apply it in a few cases. If you have a system and you disturb it by adding energy to it

00:20:42 > or pressure or changing the conditions in anyway, the system adjusts and restores a new equilibrium. And Vernadsky, thinking cosmologically, seeing the Earth as something in the universe, realized that heat is coming out of the inside of the earth and that the sun is constantly adding energy to the system, and if you’re constantly pushing on the system both from volcanic energy and solar energy, you don’t have a closed system. And in other words, energy is driving the system, disturbing the equilibrium in very

00:21:44 > powerful ways, and the system is being driven and directed and steered by this constant pressure of energy flowing into it. And Vernadsky said that the system will adjust in ways that restore equilibrium. And he showed why organisms would adjust their complexity to use the energy that’s available and that this would make bigger and smarter, more intensely metabolizing organisms to basically equilibrate the energy that’s being added to the system. And I’ve never heard that Sidney Fox

00:22:46 > was a student of Vernadsky’s, but he, in fact, was because he used Vernadsky’s principles and was able to perceive what happened. Everyone at this time about 40 years ago, everyone then and most of them still are talking about life originating in like a tepid pond or a warm ocean or an atmosphere sparked by lightning and various things, atmospheric sparks causing organic molecules to fall into an ocean in which they accumulate and then by random events, etc. And Sidney Fox

00:23:48 > happened or intended to rethink the question of how proteins come into existence when the equilibrium – if you have a protein floating in water is to degrade to various products such as the individual amino acids that it came from or other small molecules, and so the equilibrium is, obviously, not favorable for the occurrence of large molecules if they’re floating in water. And he put dry amino acids or almost dry amino acids deficient in water, put them on hot lava in a model of volcanic energy being added to organic molecules

00:24:50 > and then added the little water and showed that the heat in the absence of water creates protein like long polymerized molecules. So the equilibrium is absolutely the opposite in the deficiency of water than in an excess of water. And one of my professors, Sidney Bernhard, revolutionized cell physiology, but no one seems to have noticed. He demonstrated that the glycolytic enzymes are at a higher concentration in cells than the substrate sugar that they work on and everyone had been diluting these enzymes in water and then describing the rules of interaction with substrate when there was an excessive

00:25:52 > of substrate in water and a deficiency of enzymes. But he showed that actually there are more enzymes per cubic unit than sugar molecules. And the concentration totally changes the equilibrium situation. And Sidney Fox demonstrated not only does the relatively dry heat create order and protein- like molecules out of free amino acids, but when he added water, the proteins spontaneously formed tiny bacteria-like particles, almost all the same size, about the size of a bacterium, and a very orderly appearance of cell- like structures. And then over,

00:26:54 > I guess, about 20 years, he and his students demonstrated that these protein-like molecules have enzyme like properties, catalyze reactions. The amino acids polymerize in a non- random fashion. It depends on what’s present in a growing molecule and in its environment. The growing molecule, in effect, selects certain amino acids to be the next one to add. So it isn’t growing in a random fashion. And once it has grown, then it has this same selective pressure over other reactions. and there is enzyme- like catalytic action in these artificially made spontaneous

00:27:56 > protein-like molecules. And so, he added the precursors of genetic material and showed that these would be catalyzed into chains. And so, you have the reverse situation, in which genes come last after you've already created nice, neat little cells that can metabolize and they can even RAY PEAT: reproduce themselves, JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Really? RAY PEAT: Without the genes in them. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: He basically originated JOHN BURKHAUSEN: life. RAY PEAT: Yeah, yeah. And you put the proteinoid microsphere – he called them – in a solution with amino acids and there the proteins keep growing in the growth process because they’ve concentrated a relatively water-free environment in which they do grow, and so assimilate nutrients from the watery environment, grow, and then

00:28:58 > when they reach the size at which they are no longer stable, they bud or divide and produce new cells as long as there is food available, I guess. And this – he did this in the 60s and it was mentioned in my Lehninger’s Biochemistry Textbook, 1968 edition, I think it was, and now the renew so-called Lehninger Biochemistry book with the same title deleted that most interesting stuff that Lehninger had included as an important biochemical principle. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Because it doesn’t shift their concept? RAY PEAT: Yeah, apparently. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Yeah. But I would think that would be – what Sidney Fox did would be headline news. RAY PEAT: Yeah. It was for me. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: I didn’t quite understand, your professor, Sidney Bernhard,

00:30:00 > he showed that the concentration of glycolytic enzymes was higher in cells than the amount of sugar would warrant or…? RAY PEAT: No. Then the absolute amount of sugar, like there would be more than one enzyme per molecule of sugar and a very deficient relative amount of water, so that the enzymes can bind a molecule of sugar as it appears and then directly hand the product over to another enzyme. It isn’t random. The molecules are so close together that the reactants can go from one enzyme directly to the other without going back into watery solution and that drastically alters the equilibrium.

00:31:02 > And if you think of Le Chatelier, the concentration governs the equilibrium and the systems adjusts accordingly. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: So he showed that there was an order to… RAY PEAT: Yeah, glycolysis was essentially an ordered process where all of the test tube biochemist dissolving cells – before Bernhard had been working on that, I had gone around to all of the chemistry professors trying to just feel out ways for studying those processes without dissolving the cells. And, basically, the reaction was just to laugh and get rid of me. They said, you don’t have biochemistry if you don’t

00:32:04 > squash and dilute cells. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: So it seems to me this whole divide between the two philosophies is like reductionist versus the – I don’t know what you call, you have a word for it, I am sure, the holists or the – somebody who looks at the whole… RAY PEAT: Yeah. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: …organism rather than just dividing it into mechanistic little parts. RAY PEAT: Yeah. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: It also seems like science is afraid of sounding religious or something. RAY PEAT: Yeah. Did you happen to read my Generative Energy book? JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Yeah, I read some of the stuff on Vernadsky. RAY PEAT: Yeah. Fred Hoyle. I quote both Blake and Fred Hoyle at the top of one of the chapters and Fred Hoyle says that cosmos would be – it would be hard to avoid thinking of the cosmos as

00:33:06 > essentially a biological thing except that people can’t stand the thought that the universe itself is purposeful and alive. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: And really – I wonder why – it almost seems like science is reacting against religion in that sense because… RAY PEAT: Yeah. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: …because then – as far as – a lot of people are drawn to religion and that’s because it does give a purpose to life. RAY PEAT: Yeah. That was where Teil hard de Chardinmade a big contribution to French and American civilization by being both a scientist and a religion thinker. His noosp here got people thinking about the meaning of consciousness in the material world

00:34:08 > and how that relates to spiritual growth. And, unfortunately, some of the ecologically-minded people have replaced even the noosp here of Teilhard, but even worse they’ve completely reversed the noosp here of Vernadsky with the idea – the Gaia hypothesis, which basically, it’s like the idea of homeostasis versus creation. And the Gaia hypothesis says that the earth is – it’s sort of like a conscious being except it’s not going anywhere, it’s trying to maintain itself. And

00:35:10 > one of the implications of the randomness thinking is that random events have wiped out many species in the past and that just has to be accepted, species might take 4 billion years to evolve, but it’s okay if they’re wiped out by industry or whatever because that’s a normal event in history. But when you look at it from the Vernadsky point of view, the earth and the sun are driving evolution as a system in which the microorganisms, the soil organisms, vegetation and animals and culture are all being driven forward as a system.

00:36:12 > If you delete parts of the system, the whole 4 billion years might go to waste. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Right. RAY PEAT: Where the good people inclined towards the Gaia hypothesis and the random evolution tend to say whatever happens is okay. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: So I always thought that the Gaia hypothesis was more of a – the Earth is a being, it’s an organism, but I felt like the people, the proponents of that idea were not accepting of – basically hurting the organism on which we live, are a part of. RAY PEAT: Well, they say that the organism is a self-repairing system and that you just – you don’t want to kill it, but that it will repair itself and restore what was. But they don’t see it as a growing and evolving purposeful organism. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Right.

00:37:14 > RAY PEAT: And being driven in a specific direction by a specific energy. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: With a specific purpose. RAY PEAT: Yeah. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: I see. RAY PEAT: And the principles that Vernadsky developed were really extensions of Le Chatelier's principle, but he showed that the migration of atoms and the use of energy, the intensity of metabolism, all of these, he made as subdivisions of Le Chatelier's principle. But it basically showed why large brained warm- blooded animals had to evolve as the world system evolved.

00:38:16 > At sort of another level, but really parallel and probably for similar cosmic realist philosophical positions, an astronomer, Nikolai Kozyrev did his doctoral dissertation around 1950 on the energy of stars. And like these other people who pointed out that order tends to appear anytime you have a system which is receiving energy from the outside, in just the more abstract concept, Kozyrev said what if we assume that the universe

00:39:18 > is not necessarily running down and that within a system entropy does tend only to increase, but there is no such system that we know of, so why should we say that that is the ruling effect of entropy, what if we assume that the universe is not just running down, that it wasn’t created at one moment like someone winding up a clock only to run down. And he said time seems to us to move in one direction, but these people who were working out by the universities seems to be running down incorporated the assumption that time is not real

00:40:20 > and that time abstractly, on a physical level, is reversible. Kozyrev said what if we assume that time physically is a real asymmetric factor in all systems. Then the mere passage of time distinguishes one state of a system from another state in a real physical way. And he said what if we apply this using standard Einsteinian arguments, what if we apply this to the energy of stars and say that the passage of time, it introduces something, every moment of time that passes,

00:41:22 > something is being added to the system rather than time being as much downhill as uphill. And just by that simple assumption that what if time is real, he showed that that assumption leads to increasing energy being produced through time by a mass in proportion to how big the mass is and so he said, okay, now we can suppose that time itself is the source of stellar energy, what if we scale that down to Jupiter, for example, and he – back in the early 1950s before people were measuring the energy and temperature of the planets, he had

00:42:24 > predicted that Jupiter and Neptune would be emitting more heat than they receive and that each planet would have internal heat in proportion to its mass. And scaling it down to the size of a [inaudible], he said that the internal energy of the moon is likely to produce an occasional volcanic eruption or emission of very hot gasses. And so he trained his spectrometer through a telescope on the dark phases of the moon and recorded various hot emissions. And other people recorded these, but he found them, according to the prediction of how much heat should be generated inside the mass, simply by his reasoning,

00:43:26 > but because of the passage of time. And so, his physics, I think, should be taken into account in thinking about volcanic energy. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: It’s very interesting. I’d like to go back to that. But is a caller on the line? CALLER: Yeah. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Yeah. You have a question or a comment? CALLER: Yeah, it’s more in the nature of a question, I guess. I am curious about the idea of consciousness and its relationship to the brain and its relationship to matter outside the brain. As I understand it, the scientific paradigm about consciousness is the sort of epiphenomena of physiochemical processes in the brain and that it’s more or

00:44:28 > less self-referential; in other words what I think or feel doesn’t interface with anything outside myself or anyone outside myself, that it’s internally self-referential. There seem to be a lot of problems with this idea, if I’ve understood it correctly. So the first which is – my understanding is somewhat limited about this, so I may be making a fool out of myself, but that no one has been able to locate memory in the brain. The person who did the initial research that showed a relationship between different areas of the brain and the existence of specific memories of either olfactory or auditory or whatever, operated on epileptic patients who

00:45:30 > remained conscious during brain surgery. Yet, he came to espouse the idea of interaction as in the mind and brain are two different, but interactive structures or forces that thoughts – rather, memories weren’t stored in the brain per se, but existed in some type of field. RAY PEAT: Yeah. When my personal history is part of where -- my ideas on this have come from – before I discovered that thyroid was very important in my metabolism, I was a hypermetabolic individual. and I had – probably I would burn 10,000 calories in a day.

00:46:32 > And I had an electrical field around my body that would affect physical things like millivolt, meters about two feet away from my body. And so, I, for years, was very conscious of this, sometimes really annoying electrical field, I couldn’t operate the apparatus. I had to have my lab partner to do it because it would go off scale when I got near it. And all of it stopped when I took the right amount of thyroid. My metabolism became more normal and regulated, but I saw that oxidative metabolism generated this potentially very immense and disturbing field around cells and the whole body. And

00:47:34 > this has inclined me more than people who haven’t had those actual personal experiences with bioelectric fields, it has inclined me to see the importance of bioelectric fields in development and physiology. And I still use this kind of field thinking, for example, there’s a field concept of cancer which – traditionally, the definition of the field has been left open, but a lot of research shows that it is an electromagnetic field or a bioelectric field, at least, in part that creates the precancerous and cancerous conditions

00:48:36 > in a tissue or that governs the development of an embryo and so on. CALLER: Yes. And that idea has been taken up by people like Dr. Rupert Sheldrake who came up with a theory which he calls formative causation, if I understand it correctly, that information can be shared among members of the specific specie. RAY PEAT: From Vernadsky’s perspective, I think the supplementary context for that is that things are ready to be discovered and that, when you change components in the system, many things are contributing not just the individual’s consciousness, but the preconditions are tending

00:49:38 > to make that certain behavior probable, so that Vernadsky would emphasize multi- causal factors rather than just conscious factors. CALLER: And I also wondered – you seem to be – have been skirting around something which is sort of a scientific taboo and I wondered what you thought of the evidence for the so-called inheritance of acquired characteristics. RAY PEAT: Definitely, they are a fact, and Darwin knew it. Lamarck… CALLER: Are you familiar with Dr. Kammerer. He’s a biologist. RAY PEAT: Yeah, his work… CALLER: It’s a fascinating story. RAY PEAT: His work was real And a lot of people have met similar fate. People have

00:50:40 > slandered Lamarck and took him down because of the implications of his really empirical physiological approach to life. People couldn’t stand that in 1820 or ’30, and so they had to disassemble his reputation. The same thing happened to Kammerer and everyone who violates the taboos. Carl Lindegren wrote a book Cold War in Biology. It’s the best American book on the subject that I know of. C.C. Lindegren. CALLER: What I’ve been seeing, at least on the level of the popular media and the way the idea of genetics is presented, is a kind of genetic determinism, in which the public at large is being led to believe that a gene is sort of

00:51:42 > individual, almost like an organism itself, the selfish gene and all that sort of thing, which then is responsible for a specific quality or characteristic appearing. And as far as I know, no one has ever proved that genes do anything except organize the synthesis of protein. RAY PEAT: Yeah. I have – because I guess I have been interested in the subject for more than 50 years, and so I’ve noticed the things going on and tried to find out where they came from. The – in some of my newsletters, I’ll be talking about related issues, but the motivation for a lot of these ideas, around 1910 to 1920, were to

00:52:44 > stop immigration of Eastern Europeans and Southern Europeans to the United States. So they created IQ tests and showed that Russians and Jews and the various people that they didn’t want to immigrate that 85% of them were feeble minded, naturally they gave the tests in English. But these tests were very explicitly designed for racist exclusionary purposes. And many of these people have persisted in universities, the Bell Curve, for example, a real idiot at Harvard was one of the last hangers on. And these people had great success in getting

00:53:46 > published in science, the leading American science magazine. When I sent a tiny letter criticizing one of these genetic determination of intelligence, I think it was an 8 or 10 page article, I sent about a two-sentence letter. They sent me pages of anonymous referees, one of them – the only evidence that was cited for not publishing my little letter critical of the conclusions – I just said that conclusions have nothing what so ever to do with the text of the article. These cases of anonymous referees rejecting my comment. The only data cited was from Hitler’s racial hygiene

00:54:48 > [inaudible]got me interested in studying what was going on there And I saw that by studying that period, I saw that Konrad Lorenz was the architect of the racial hygiene, but he created the rationale based on American IQ racism. He created the rationale for exterminating inferior people. Konrad Lorenz was a Nazi. I think it was his last book. He repeated exactly the arguments of his 1942 and the founding papers of genocide. He repeated the exact arguments except he replaced exterminate with some slightly mild translation, but he never repented from this idea of eliminating genetic inferiority and…

00:55:50 > CALLER: Well, I think the ideology has survived apparently, but it’s been shorn of certain terms. One, for instance, never hears the word eugenics anymore. RAY PEAT: Yeah. I went to a lecture in the 70s and all the professors from my biology department were there, nodding happily as Gunther Stent, who was a Jewish refugee from Hitler – as Gunther Stent presented Konrad Lorenz’s arguments for genocide as the ultimate in understanding the brain genetically and all of my professors were there happily agreeing that this was wonderful stuff. And when my friend and I pointed out some of the logical irrationalities such as he was saying that a person’s life and work are a genetically

00:56:52 > determined unit, suddenly they said, are you saying the fact that he was a Nazi had anything to do with the validity of these ideas. And the whole point of the lecture was that every cultural feature is genetically determined. CALLER: Sort of interesting [inaudible] is that in the Indian tradition there were the so-called the Laws of Manu which were – basically governed the questions of occupation, heredity, and the creation of a caste system based on certain ideas about that. And my understanding was originally the caste system was not hereditary, but it was rather simply the recognition that certain people had certain proclivities or natural abilities or interest or capacities and that

00:57:54 > they could be best sorted out according to those in various occupational groups and so forth, but that it was possible to move from one to the other. And then, gradually, it became ossified into a hereditary system in which if your father was a leather worker or something, you would be one, or if he was a farmer, you would be one. And there was no mobility and no possibility of actually assimilating anything new, so to speak. RAY PEAT: I think one of the driving forces of the caste system was the – 3,500 years ago, the Nordics, the Indo-Europeans invaded and enslaved the dark native people and I think that was the racial caste difference became the power that

00:58:56 > stayed in force and tended to rigidify the occupational system. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: So do you think this whole caste system and emphasis on genetics has been the setting stone basis for your status and life? RAY PEAT: Yeah. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Do you think people are just justifying survival of the fittest? RAY PEAT: No. The whole idea of survival of the fittest is basically saying that whoever is in power is the fittest. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Right. RAY PEAT: And whoever is able to say with most force is the fittest. And if you object and they can kill you, they are the fittest. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Right. RAY PEAT: And it basically is tending to create, well, a ruling case of inferiors if they

00:59:58 > keep their status only on the basis of saying things like, if you are so smart, why aren’t you rich like me. Pretty soon the ruling class becomes degenerate. RAY PEAT: Yeah. CALLER: What you do think of the misappropriation – it seems like the modern – the official ideology, you might call it, of the ruling classes in this country is compounded off misinterpretations of Darwin and Adam Smith basically. RAY PEAT: Yeah. CALLER: I personally don’t find the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution intellectually convincing at all myself. But whenever I bring this up, it’s roughly – people look at me as if I suggested that the earth is flat because it constitutes, so to speak,the very pillar of their

01:01:00 > thought about how the world is organized and operates. RAY PEAT: Yeah. If you point out – if you start pointing out any of the 1,000 hidden assumptions or 1,000 facts that they are trying to cover up, you get to about two or three of them and then they remove you in someway from the discussion. CALLER: Right. And, interestingly, Adam Smith’s idea interface with Darwinism very much, I think, and they are always misrepresented in economics textbooks. For instance, we all know that Adam Smith believed that self-interest was the appropriate form of being, so to speak, and acting. And if everyone pursued their own self -interest to the maximal degree, that results in the maximal degree of happiness for all. But what they leave out

01:02:02 > is that Smith believed also in benevolence as a counterpoint to self-interest, to naked self-interest, and that he – you could say his idea of benevolence was the kind of social capital, you might say. And his comment, for instance, on businessmen is “they neither are, nor ought to be the rulers of mankind,” and yethis ideas are promoted – one-half of his ideas are promoted, the other half is ignored. Similarly, Darwin, the… RAY PEAT: It isn’t just Neo-Darwinism and Smith distorter, but it’s basically everything in our intellectual history. I’ve had a habit of

01:03:04 > reading textbooks in many different fields over the years. And they – really 99-plus -percent of them are ideological distortions,a rewriting of history, leaving out everything interesting or threatening to the established system. Every field of knowledge has been distorted. CALLER: Right. RAY PEAT: Art, literature, everything. Part of the culture that you can think of has its threatening aspects. And in education, it happened that the potential meaningfulness that some of these ideas give to life are very exciting to students. And so, education has been very powerfully trimmed

01:04:06 > down to become nothing, but as far as the system can manage it to be nothing, but an indoctrination in these distortion of Adam Smith, Darwin, Pavlov, everyone that’s treated. If they were good, they have to be distorted; if they were too good, they have to be left out entirely. CALLER: Right. For instance I remember my biology textbook talked a little bit about Darwin and Wallace and contrasted their basically coincident discovery of so- called natural selection. But a radical difference between Darwin and Wallace is that Wallace simply could not accept the idea of an entirely mechanical evolutionary process driven by randomness or chance. RAY PEAT: Yeah. Darwin didn’t either, though.

01:05:08 > CALLER: Yeah, right. And Wallace actually went to the extent of writing a book, which I’ve never been able to locate, in which he tried to work on the idea that there was consciousness and will and even perhaps this is really going over the edge. Angelic intelligence, as he calls them, who were guiding the evolutionary unfoldment of people or humans. Of course, they wrote him off. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Can’t have that? CALLER: Yeah, can’t have that. But what I – I am turning the discussion a little bit back. Why is there – there seems to be – science developed as a reaction against what, I guess, you could call religious provincialism or a metaphysical speculationby giving people a concrete method by which they could prove or disprove

01:06:10 > certain phenomena and repeat them and like that. But then it seems to have turned into an ideology. Science as a method is one thing. Science as an ideology, scientism is something else altogether. RAY PEAT: Well, my view is that they got one little success, but then they decided to give in to the forces which were also driving the backward cultural forces which, at one time, very closely identified with religion. But these same forces took over and more scientists have accepted the fundamental assumptions of the people who use those assumptions for what they called religious purposes. CALLER: Right. It’s a kind of surrogate

01:07:12 > religion for the materialists, you might say. RAY PEAT: Yeah. And how it works is by eliminating all of the troubling, complexifying other things and reducing everything to a few principles of random variation, for example, and chance and survival of the so -called fittest. CALLER: Well, you know what’s interesting about that is that – I am not a mathematician – but my understanding is that the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution basically posits random mutation and natural selection as the driving factors in the creation and the dominance of certain species and the death of others. But randomness is based on the idea of infinite time. In other words, given enough time, if you throw bricks at random, they will organize

01:08:14 > themselves into a building. Or if you put a bunch of monkeys in a room with typewriters, they will eventually write The Sun Also Rises or War and Peace or something. RAY PEAT: Yeah. That’s were Vernadsky shows that very quickly species will arise to the limits of the resources available that evolution is driven in a relatively, practically instantaneous way. There is such a powerful guiding influence coming from this energy, disturbing the old equilibrium, that variation, whatever the stimulus might be, there might be some random events, but the driving environmental force is so powerful that evolution is relatively fast

01:09:16 > and directional. CALLER: And one of the puzzling things is, if you posit mutation as a one of the principal driving forces, most mutations are regressive. and Sheldrake points out, you might be able to get, say, an insect, say, a precursor of a fly, and it might somehow through genetic mutation produce one wing, but what are the probabilities that it could produce two wings and then what are the probabilities that those two wings would be functional and actually allow it to fly, etc. etc. etc. In other words, it seems like a series of improbabilities linked together to explain how we get flies. RAY PEAT: But if you look at it in the context of energy added to the system and look

01:10:18 > for rules of stability, many different physical principles that are well accepted like hysteresis,the system memory, every system that isunder going change has a certain memory of the changes that it has gone through. CALLER: Right. RAY PEAT: And long-range order, a surface projects a sort of field or ordering influence into, for example, the surrounding water or air or vacuum and orders its environment. Michael Polanyi’s adsorption isotherm came prematurely for western physics, and so it was ignored. But he

01:11:20 > showed that surfaces project their influence into the environment. And one of my professors posted electron microscope pictures, but as far as I know never published about them, he showed that you can lay a plastic membrane, a sheet of plastic over a crystal and, in a vacuum, evaporate a different chemical on top of the crystal and the first accumulation of atoms appears ordered – it takes on the ordering characteristics of the crystal under the plastic layer, showing that the crystal isn’t working just atom to atom, but is projecting a field through space that orders the way

01:12:22 > atoms of another substance fall and stick to the membrane. CALLER: So in other words, there paradoxically is some type of consciousness inherent in so-called matter and in life forms? RAY PEAT: Yeah. The principle that explains Polanyi’s and several other people – a man devised a way of measuring this optically – the ordering influence that could be projected through membranes and devised a lot of interesting techniques that no one is using. Alexander Raafen [?] was – I think he died about 1980. He was applying a lot of these long-range ordering

01:13:24 > principles. The mechanism seems to be partly that the electrons on an atom are resonating such that one atom will induce a field in whatever the next atom is, which then induces a field off into space. And if these can be ordered rather than going simply away from the surface out in space, if the surface reinforces this in the other dimension horizontally, then you can project for amazing distances this ordering field. CALLER: Yes. A related thing is the discovery several years ago of – that heart cells, human heart cells, which were put in close proximity, but not actually touching or whatnot appeared to

01:14:26 > influence the physiological processes in other cells, even though they weren’t physically touching or chemically linked. RAY PEAT: In the 1930s, the Gurwitsches were demonstrating this process. But, again, they were ridiculed. They would demonstrate that you could put a quartz window between cells and they could communicate through that quartz window, which was very similar to what my professor demonstrated with a crystal influencing gas molecules through a plastic membrane. In this case, thin quartz window would transmit the influence. CALLER: And I think we’re probably circling around the phobia, if you – I don’t know what else to call it – about how research is directed and how people understand these processes

01:15:28 > and linkages to happen because we don’t have, as far as I know,a mechanism that can explain communication between cells or communication between organisms that are not linked in some kind of concrete material, chemical, electrical fashion that you can measure and show. It’s just kind of – there is a missing piece. RAY PEAT: Yeah. Usually, the missing piece is just that the researcher is too dull minded to think of measuring what might be relevant. They have in mind that only atom to atom forces, only mechanical processes are relevant, and so they simply don’t measure other conditions such as the phase of the moon

01:16:30 > or the outside-the-room condition. CALLER: Right. RAY PEAT: That are actually physically affecting the process that they’re measuring. CALLER: Well, on a similar note, I understand that they recently discovered the presence of magnetite in human brain tissue, which is, of course, a form of iron. RAY PEAT: I think some people have it and some don’t according to the experiments. CALLER: Yeah. RAY PEAT: You can put some people out in the woods and I think it’s about 15% of them know always where north is and the rest of them have no clue. CALLER: Well, I have sort of rambled on and on. But you could see, I am trying to link some of these ideas and get your feeling about it. RAY PEAT: There are two more aspects of this origin of life that I wanted to mention before RAY PEAT: we finish. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay. RAY PEAT: The submarine vent

01:17:32 > biologists are – if you link them with Vernadsky and Sidney Fox’s work, it is very suggestive that the volcanic processes are creating organisms rather than the organisms simply have chosen to live in this incredibly hot environment. And the – one of Mendeleev’s early perception was – he happened to be melting – dissolving iron in acid and he noticed the smell of crude petroleum. This happened to be the year that petroleum was discovered or started to be mined in Pennsylvania. And he

01:18:34 > sent samples of this oily material to various petroleum chemists. I think was 59 or 60. And they identified that definitely as petroleum from a certain region. And it was simply the carbon molecules, atoms that had been dissolved in the hot iron were catalyzed into what everyone agreed smelled exactly like natural petroleum. And Thomas Gold is an American, basically a geologist, he has argued that petroleum is being constantly created by a mechanism such as

01:19:36 > Mendeleev’s iron acid reaction. Since volcanoes have plenty of acid and the Earth is rich in iron, this Mendeleev reaction would eventually have to produce petroleum in the depths of the earth and Thomas Gold has pointed out that you can find petroleum miles down in granite where it absolutely shouldn’t be unless it’s being synthesized from the depths of the Earth rather than being a fossil material. CALLER: But bacteria, is that [inaudible]? RAY PEAT: Well, the traditional idea is that petroleum is a marine biological fossil residue. CALLER: Right. RAY PEAT: But the Thomas Gold, Mendeleev, Vernadsky

01:20:38 > interpretation is that the Earth is generating new petroleum and these processes, if you think of Sidney Fox’s work in which cells are generated by volcanic heat, you have organic sources of energy, fats and oils and carbon dioxide being released and organisms that are able to eat carbon dioxide as a raw material, these submarine vent bacteria live on carbon dioxide, you have many factual things that have to be considered in relation to the origin of life. It basically looks increasingly as if not only petroleum, but simple

01:21:40 > organisms are being generated volcanically and emitted into the depths of the earth. CALLER: That interfaces interestingly with the bion experiments of Dr. Wilhelm Reich in the 1930s where he claimed to have found an intermediate type of life form that was intermediate between matter and biological life forms, he called bions. RAY PEAT: Yeah, Sidney Fox’s organisms, any high school student can produce little cells that will each be reproduced. It just takes few hours in the lab to make organisms. CALLER: So the spontaneous generation idea is not completely mad, right? RAY PEAT: Not at all. I think volcanoes are churning out life all the time. CALLER: Wow, it’s

01:22:42 > amazing. Okay. Well, I didn’t want to monopolize everything. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: You’ve done very well and I went for a long walk. You guys have taken care of yourselves. CALLER: Okay. Well, I am going to hang up now. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay. Thanks. CALLER: Let somebody else have an CALLER: opportunity. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Thank you very much for calling. CALLER: Thank you. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Yeah. So did you get to say everything you needed to say? RAY PEAT: Yeah. Briefly, I think I touched everything that has to be thought about in connection RAY PEAT: with the origin of life. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: That was extremely interesting. RAY PEAT: I might mention the work of Lancelot Law Whyte who wrote books on sort of the philosophy of physics and biology. He was, I think, an important thinker along those lines, talking about the formative principle as something that has been overlooked by the conventional science community. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: His books are available or…? RAY PEAT: They’re in good libraries. They haven’t been in print for

01:23:44 > 40 years, I guess. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay. His name is Lancelot JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Law Whyte. RAY PEAT: Yeah, W-H- RAY PEAT: Y-T-E JOHN BURKHAUSEN: Okay. Y-T-E. Well, that was really fascinating. And I want to thank you JOHN BURKHAUSEN: for coming on again. RAY PEAT: Okay. JOHN BURKHAUSEN: All right. Well, we are going to have to leave it there. That was Dr. Raymond Peat, circa 2001 on WGDR in Plainfield, Vermont. You are now listening to WMRW-LP1 and you are listening to the show Politics & Science. I have been your host, John Burkhausen. And this will be posted on the website, radio4all .net. And when you get there, search for Politics & Science. Raymond Peat has a PhD in biology and has specialized in physiology and endocrinology. And he has a website, ray peat.com, R A Y P E A T .com

where you’ll find many, many extremely interesting articles, fully referenced that will keep you busy for months to come. Thanks for listening to Politics & Science and tune in again next week for another edition.