July 12, 2022

543: Evolution 2.0 - Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design

Tackling the hard questions about evolution with precision, making it clear when information is proven with hard data and when it can only be inferred.

Evolution 2.0 chronicles bestselling author Perry Marshall's 10-year journey of in-depth research. As an Electrical Engineer, author of an Ethernet book and world-renowned business consultant, Perry connects the dots in a new refreshing way. He tackles hard questions about evolution with precision, making it clear when information is proven with hard data and when it can only be inferred.


This book will open your eyes and transform your thinking about life, evolution, and creationism. You'll gain a deeper appreciation for our place in the universe. You'll the see the world around you as you've never seen it before: adaptive, efficient, and incredibly elegant.


$10 Million Technology Prize: Origin of Information is one of the central problems in modern biology. No one knows where the genetic code came from; no one knows how the first cell developed. To solve this, the author has organized a Private Equity Investment group, Natural Code LLC. They are offering a prize, reminiscent of the X-Prize, for a natural process that produces coded information. The prize amount is $10 million USD!


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Brian Nichols  0:03  
focusing on winning arguments we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, happy Tuesday there so you're on the plumbing of Joe for another episode I am as always your humble host. Today we're gonna be talking about evolution looking at a little bit different of a lens than you're used to but before we get there I want to go ahead and give a shout out to today's sponsor at this point in time I hope you guys know him and I certainly hope you love him is the one and only McHale Thor from the expat money show head over to the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash expat why because you want to make sure that you can get your your Well number one I'm gonna scroll the top here you're gonna make sure you protect the money there we go. You work so hard to earn from those ambulance chasing lawyers, nefarious creditors and greedy unjust governments. Why? Because our good friend McHale Thorpe over at the expat money show he's bringing on hundreds of experts who are going through and helping you protect all that money that you've worked so hard to protect. And by the way, he helps people just like you who want to invest internationally. There we go secure second passports and residencies eliminate the tax bill and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again. And oh, by the way, the expat money show is also hosting the expat money summit taking place November 7 through November 11. Five days 30 expert speakers, and just one of those keynote speakers happens to be the one and only Ron Paul. So head over to the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash expat and get your free. Yes, I said it one more time free virtual summit tickets today. Alright, folks, so on to the episode today. Yes, we're going to be talking about evolution and helping me do that is Perry Marshall Perry, welcome to The Brian Nichols

Perry Marshall  1:58  
Show. Great to be here. Thank you for having me on. Sounds like

Brian Nichols  2:02  
thank you for coming on the show. And I'm looking forward to this conversation because you just wrote a book evolution 2.0 We're digging into the topic of evolution. Now. Yes, we do have some folks here who we talked about beforehand, they're probably more in the conservative Christian camp and that that's okay, everybody here. This is a great conversation with everybody needs to bring all I think voices and ideas to the table. Let's have that a great conversation. In this case, I would love to hear more about evolution 2.0. But first parry, do us a favor, introduce yourself to the audience, and what brought you into this world looking at the world of evolution.

Perry Marshall  2:33  
So I'm a business consultant and an entrepreneur. And I'm also an electrical engineer, and I'm a pastor's kid, along with my brother. And I went into business. And he went into ministry. And he was a missionary in China 18 years ago. And I went to see him. And he says, You know what, Perry? I don't believe any of this Christian stuff anymore. And I'm done. And I'm don't want to be a missionary anymore. And I'm gonna go back to the United States in a month or two. And I'm like, what? And we got into this argument. And I said, Brian, look at the hand at the end of your arm. This is a nice piece of engineering. And I should know, because I'm an engineer. You don't think this is an accumulation of random accidents? Do you know he goes, hold on. And he just came right back with me said, Look, if you got a million falcons, all you need is a DNA copying error. And once in a while that's going to make their eyes see better, and it's going to out hunt the other falcons, you don't need any designer, you just need enough time and chance it's gonna happen. And I, I just kind of stopped and I thought well, I've never actually studied this topic of evolution that we're just arguing about right now. And on one hand, I know that a whole bunch of biologists would agree with him and not me, and they're probably not stupid people. So I probably need to take that into consideration. On the other hand, I like I thought about everything that I knew about engineering. And I couldn't think of anything I knew from 20 plus years of engineering that made what he said makes sense. Like we're copying errors. You're saying copying errors make better eyesight? Like, I just, I can't think of anything I've ever learned that would back that up. So I made a decision right there in the moment. Dude, stop arguing with your brother. You're not going to change his mind. Not today anyway. And you're just making your little vacation to China miserable. So how about when you go back home? You you figure this out? Maybe the biologists know something you don't maybe you know, something the biologists don't know. But I said I'm gonna find out and I was really serious. And I started buying books like you can see them all. They're all over my office here. And man did. It was way, way, way, way more fascinating than I had ever suspected. It was a way more interesting than the normal argument was even considering. And so that's how evolution 2.0 got started.

Brian Nichols  5:23  
Wow, what a jury now I too by the way, I'm also a pastor's kid fellow PK over here. So yeah, I was we my my wife and I were driving through a rural Indiana and I saw signs for vacation bible school and I said, Ah, that brings back memories sweet, sweet memories of Jonah and the whale. Yeah, good times also VeggieTales for anybody playing on in the game. Good stuff there. Also, I played tuba. And back when I was in marching band, inevitably I'd get asked at least, you know, two or three times a parade. Can you play the VeggieTales theme song? I was like, Of course I can. So that was always a good time. But anyways, back to the conversation of evolution. So yeah, this is a conversation that took place, not only I think, with every kid who's likely gone through Vacation Bible School Sunday school, or has at least, you know, been aware of the, you know, the evolutionary versus the Creator story. And this has been a very sensitive topic, I think when you look at the way that it's been approached, because it's almost been like it's it's a or b, it's black or white. It's yes or no, there is no room for nuance, there is no room for digging into well, maybe it's a little bit of both. Maybe there's stuff that we can't explain. But we do see things happening in a very consistent manner. What were you uncovering Perry's, you're walking through some things that maybe open your eyes.

Perry Marshall  6:38  
So it took me about two weeks to figure out that if all you're going to do is go to borders, or Barnes and Noble or some bookstore and take the books that are sitting there on the shelf there about the creation, intelligent design evolution debate, you are not going to get the whole story, you're gonna get polarized talking points, where everybody's thing makes sense within their particular picture. But then if you step outside of that picture, there's a lot of stuff that they're not telling you. And so within a few weeks, I was going deep into science, literature, and peer reviewed papers and actual research, rather than just taking the popular digested version of things. And it got more and more and more interesting, because what I found was the popular positions, were all butchering the conversation, and they were leaving the most important stuff out. And I found that the truth was really somewhere in the middle. And it wasn't, I wouldn't even call it a compromise between the two, I would say that it was actually much more interesting than either side was even talking about. So for example, I found out that cells can rearrange and rewrite their own DNA in not just weeks or years, but literally hours, I found that every cell in existence, every cell in your body has the ability to modify its own genetics. And when you put, it could be corn plants, it can bacteria, it can be viruses, it can be human beings. When you put organisms in stressful situations, they adapt with an incredible capacity that's beyond anything humans have ever engineered. And so I was like, Why isn't anybody talking about this? Like, why did it it really took me a couple of years to get to the treasure trove of Oh, dude, like, I can tell you where some serious bones are buried. And and I just I said we have to have a whole new conversation about this topic.

Brian Nichols  8:59  
Yeah, well, okay, we're gonna save obviously, a lot of a good good stuff for folks actually go purchase the book, which you can go ahead and purchase over on Amazon, we'll make sure we include that link, by the way, folks in the show notes. We'll touch on that the end. But let's talk about some of the areas that you were surprised in terms of where people have been maybe trying to keep the conversation from actually being a conversation and rather present only one narrative over the other.

Perry Marshall  9:26  
So one area that I thought was really interesting was the question, Where did life come from in the first place? And so some people would say, Well, God did it. You know, it has information it has intelligence, only an intelligent being can do that. And then on the other side, you have people say, well, there was a warm pond and a lucky lightning strike and a in a in a lucky RNA strand and it started replicating and why you've got to sell. Now when you dig down into the origin of life question what you'll quickly find out if you're reading anybody who's honest, is that nobody really has any idea. And, and what I wanted to do was rather than just say, oh, therefore we can't figure it out. God did it. I was never very fond of that approach. Because, okay, think about Isaac Newton sitting under the apple tree in the apple falls on his head. And, you know, we've all heard that story of like he, he said, Well, something must have pulled that down. And maybe it's the same thing that keeps the moon in orbit. And he was right. And he discovered gravity. And if he had sat there and said, Well, God did it. We wouldn't have Isaac Newton, we wouldn't have gravity, we wouldn't have calculus, we wouldn't have modern physics, right? And like, so God did it is in science isn't really a very helpful answer. I started to see God's role in this as being almost like a North Star kind of thing. Like, we live in a divinely ordered universe. But the rest is for us to discover. And so I put together the world's largest science research prize for fundamental science. It's called the evolution 2.0 prize. And it's a search for the answer to the question, where did the genetic code came from? Because the genetic code is information. And information is a very different kind of thing than gravity, or a steel ingot, or a hunk of plastic. Information is immaterial. And so we're like, where did the instructions in the genetic code come from? You can't say, oh, well, evolution produced it, because you have to have a genetic code for evolution to happen in the first place. So there's a there's a chicken and egg problem. And so I put together a group of private investors, who put up $10 million. And we announced it three years ago at the Royal Society. And I have judges from Harvard, Oxford, and MIT. And every week, I get emails from scientists who are seriously discussing this question with me about where did the genetic code come from? Where did life come from? And I, rather than picking a side, I said, Let's insist on empirical facts. You don't just get to tell a story. You've got to come with data and information.

Brian Nichols  12:30  
So when you're having this conversation with the scientists now this, this I'm sure opens up so many different conversations that you can go the rabbit hole of whether you can go the creationist route, that could be any name, your religion, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, I mean, there's always some creation story creation story. There's also which has become much more popular nowadays, like the Ancient Aliens of theory, where we are the descendants of this greater being, which almost goes back to this, this coding, right word of the coding come from? And then there's the evolutionary conversation which now to your point, there is that question, though that where does it come from? So now I have to ask, and I'm not sure this isn't the book, but I don't want to do any spoiler alerts. But what's the conversations you've been getting? Where are scientists starting to lean more towards where the actual codes come from? Or do we not have an answer yet?

Perry Marshall  13:23  
So well, we don't have an answer yet. But a conversation that's really opened up, especially in the last five years or so, is a conversation that I will label cognition. And intelligence can be a synonym for cognition, agency, consciousness, those could all be synonyms for cognition, but cognition is a it's a very clean word. It's used very frequently in the scientific community and for, I would say, 100 years, it was kind of taboo, or frowned upon to treat life itself, as though it is intrinsically intelligent and intentional. The story would always be more like, well, humans are intelligent and chimpanzees are sort of intelligent and your dog is a little intelligent, but, you know, we're not going to we're not going to treat individual cells or plants or bacteria, like they're intelligent, but there's a fabulous, fabulous TED Talk by Bonnie Bassler called how bacteria talk. Bacteria are intelligent bacteria have words like you and me, in us in them and they talk to each other. And like when you get like ever had one of those, like autumn days when it's really cold outside and you go out and you come back in, you're like, oh, man, I don't know if I should have gone outside today. I I'm coming down with something. Well, you didn't catch something when you went out If you didn't catch a cold or the flu when you went outside, it was in your system for weeks. And they were sitting there going, is it time yet? Is it time yet? Is it time yet, and while you're outside and your immune system was distracted to go, okay, now's the time and they attack. And all of a sudden, like, you get sick, like within an hour or two, that's called quorum sensing. And a conversation that is opening up in biology Now that wasn't going on a decade ago, is that all cells and all living things have some level of cognition. And they're intelligent. And personally, I think, in order to solve the origin of life problem, we're actually going to have to solve the consciousness problem. Yep. And the issue with consciousness is honestly, nobody really knows what it is like, like, I'm talking to you, and I'm having an experience inside my head. And Brian, you're talking to me and your experience inside your head, and so are the people listening. And nobody knows how to quantify that, how to reproduce it. Nobody knows how to create sentient beings. Nobody knows where consciousness comes from. But I believe that consciousness is fractal and it goes down to the very lowest levels of life. And all of my study and reason, and you know, I've been I've been working on this 18 years, I think you have to solve the consciousness problem, first to solve the coding and the life problem, because I think life is actually consciousness first, chemicals in code second, not the other way around. And that's a complete reversal of the standard story. In fact, I published a paper a year ago in progress and biophysics and molecular biology, it's called biology transcends the limits of computation. And what that paper says, is that biology has gotten cause and effect backwards for 100 years. So yeah, I don't mean to offend anybody. But I think we've been barking up some wrong trees for a long time. Now.

Brian Nichols  17:09  
I open so many questions. And I think you're spot on Perry. Because the the idea of consciousness of cognition, it is so hard to define. And frankly, I don't think it is possible to define I know, there's been so many studies, I know, I think there was one particular study where they actually measured the weight of somebody on their deathbed before and after they passed. And they noticed there was actually a weight of them that that dissipated immediately after death. And there's the idea is that is that the weight of consciousness? Right, and there's, there's so much to what eat? What is it? Is it energy? Is it the? I mean, is it something that we haven't even discovered yet? I mean, I know we're, we're talking right now about the James Webb telescope that's out there, right? And all the new things it's gonna be discovering, but like, is it possible that there is just something out there? That is, that makes consciousness and yet we just can't put it into words yet? It just hasn't. I won't say we haven't discovered it yet. But because we all know it's there. We don't know how to verbalize what it is we're experiencing? Well, if

Perry Marshall  18:16  
at the very, very least, there is something akin to completely undiscovered law of physics that makes such things possible. I think there's kind of a war in science between people who insist that the current laws of physics, as we know today are basically pretty close to the answer. And I think there's a whole bunch of other people who are saying, No, you are completely missing something very, very, very big. And, and that, that conversation constantly revolves around information consciousness agency, and I'll add a comment. So if you sort of like put on your Jordan Peterson hat, and you know, he's been People like him are always talking about, well, what is the symbolic meaning of a story, or what's the archetypical significance of a story? All of that is about symbolism. And if you, if you go to look at my prize, and what it's all about, it's looking for, where does the ability to to assign meaning come from? Because a jinn like a letter and then genetic code, it's three codons together that mean an amino acid and then you string some of those together and those mean, the building of a protein, and it's all about meaning and, you know, all religious views and like, the whole kind of religious framework in general, has always been concerned with meaning and symbols. And, and the truth is, you can't understand any of this without a sign meaning. It's just I think a lot of people they assign meaning and make assumptions without even realize what they're doing. And I, what the religious view does is it gives you for the tools for understanding what exactly that you're doing, and realizing that you're doing it.

Brian Nichols  20:16  
Yeah, one thing I'm gonna go back to really quick. And you mentioned this feud in science, where there is those who seem to be eternally curious, and those who are not how I mean, how huge is that right now and what we've seen over the past few years with the COVID conversation with those who have been eternally curious in the conversation about the COVID pandemic, and those who are like, no settled sciences, you know, anything else, you're a heretic to fast forward. I mean, Dr. bidjan, when he was in the program, he was talking about how there's too many folks in academia who are afraid to utter the F word freedom, they're afraid, right? Isn't that scary? And he says, We need to have more folks who are on saying the F word. Because at the end of the day, if you're not comfortable, and being able to talk about these sometimes controversial, and sometimes very humbling ideas, because frankly, it makes us have to acknowledge that there's a lot of stuff we don't know, I think, an imperative, I know we have to wrap, right. It's looked at time already getting hard pressed here. But one of the things that it hits me when we see this in the political conversation is the arrogance of humans, and that we think we can have the the answer for everything. And yet there is so I mean, infinitely there's infinite amounts of stuff that we do not know. And we will never know. And yet we think we have the answers. It just, it does baffles my mind sometimes that we can be so so you know, with our hubris and go out there with our ideas and think how confident we are when there is so much we don't know. But I'll get off my soapbox. Now. Perry, what would you say are some final thoughts here that you want to leave with the audience, particularly as it pertains to eliminate evolution? There it is to point out

Perry Marshall  21:57  
a Brian, fairly early in my journey through evolution 2.0, I came to a startling realization, which was, fundamentalism is not a religion. It's a personality type. And you could be a fundamentalist atheist, you could be a fundamentalist evangelical Christian, you could be a fundamentalist Islam, you could be a fundamentalist anything. Okay? And what what a fundamentalist personality, and I'm not using the word in a complimentary way, okay. But at the root of it is an addiction to certainty. Like, I want to know the exact answer. And I am only comfortable with exact answers. Well, if you go deep enough, in science, you will figure out that if what you want is exact answers and certainty. Science is not a very good profession to be in. Because every 50 years, in any branch of science, something gets violently turned upside down. Right? Like it happened with physics with equals MC squared and relativity in it. It didn't invalidate traditional physics, but it showed that it was very incomplete. And this always happens in science, okay. And I think there are a lot of sophomoric people in science, who they try to present an appearance that we've got all figured out, but you will always see the foundations crumbling beneath them. I'll introduce another word mystic. And I don't mean mystic in a derogatory way, I mean, Mystic in the sense of a person who is comfortable with mystery, and is able to embrace it, and is actually in some ways, more interested in questions than answers. And I think if you want to keep learning your whole entire life, and you want to maintain your sense of wonder, you need to be a mystic.

Brian Nichols  24:06  
Oh, amen. And you know, what is great because we talk about sales and marketing here on the show quite often, when we talk about makes a great salesperson, folks, eternal curiosity, you have to be eternally curious about your customers. And by the way, Perry, I do want to go back to one thing you did bring up there, you're talking about isms, not being necessarily a good thing that just struck a chord. There's a very famous scene here and a very great movie, I think that summarizes that quite well take a lesson.

Unknown Speaker  24:38  
or anything for that matter. isms, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an ism. You should believe in yourself. I quote John Lennon. I don't believe in Beatles. I just believe in me. The point there after all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I still have to bum riots up on people.

Brian Nichols  24:59  
All right. isms are not a good thing. And as a matter of fact, yeah, you should believe in yourself. Perry Marshall, thank you for joining us, where can folks go ahead and find you if they want continue the conversation, but also, if they want to go ahead and check out evolution 2.0, where they go ahead and snag that you can

Perry Marshall  25:13  
go to Evo two.org, get sign up, you get three free chapters of the book, you get on our email list or a podcast list, and the books@amazon.com. So go to EVO, two.org, e v o number two.org. And you sign up right there in the homepage in the adventure will begin. And I promise you, the rabbit hole goes very deep in in our world, we have very respectful conversations about the most important questions in the world. And they're fun and enjoyable. And they're for curious people. So really glad you had me on man.

Brian Nichols  25:48  
They absolutely. Now Perry, thank you for joining us. And folks, if you enjoyed today's conversation, please do me a favor. Well, number one, go ahead and give it a share. Because I think there's a lot of folks out there who want to hear this conversation. But number two, go ahead and reach out to Perry tell him that you heard him here and The Brian Nichols Show. I know, all my guests love to hear from the audience. And especially when they're saying, you know, hey, I really enjoyed not only your appearance, but then they continue the conversation. Because at the end of the day, that's we're trying to do we're trying to educate, enlighten and inform that requires us to be yes, eternally curious, and and go in and try to find some answers even though we might not necessarily discover them. So with that being said, Folks, if you enjoy the episode, as I said, go ahead and give it a share. And by the way, I'll make it easy for you. If you want to go ahead and learn more about today's episode, click the artwork in your podcast catcher, it'll bring you right over to the Brian Nichols show.com where you can find today's episode the entirety of the transcript from today's episode and oh, by the way, we have the video version of the program as well folks, so if you have not checked that out yet, it's right there of a Brian Nichols show.com. And when you head to YouTube, hit that subscribe button and little bell so you don't miss a single time. We have an episode air Yeah, five days a week. How about that, folks? All right. With that being said, thank you for joining us on today's episode. It's Brian Nichols signing off for Perry Marshall. We'll see you tomorrow,

Unknown Speaker  27:01  
listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Perry MarshallProfile Photo

Perry Marshall


Perry Marshall is one of the most expensive business strategists in the world. He is endorsed in FORBES and INC Magazine.

At London's Royal Society, he announced the world's largest science research challenge, the $10 million Evolution 2.0 Prize, staffed by judges from Harvard, Oxford and MIT. He is a published scientist and aims to solve the #1 mystery in Artificial Intelligence and life itself.

His reinvention of the Pareto Principle is published in Harvard Business Review. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs uses his 80/20 Curve as a productivity tool.

His Google book laid the foundations for the $100 billion Pay Per Click industry. Marketing legend Dan Kennedy says, “If you don’t know who Perry Marshall is — unforgivable. Perry’s an honest man in a field rife with charlatans.”

He has a degree in Electrical Engineering and lives with his family in Chicago.

Web: www.perrymarshall.com || www.perrymarshall.info || www.evo2.org