- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: Azure Reading Books, LLC (October 24, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0996624015
- ISBN-13: 978-0996624015
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,273,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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If DNA Is Software, Who Wrote the Code? Paperback – October 24, 2016
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What Others Are Saying:
1. On a first quick look, your book is absolutely fascinating Graham Hancock, best=selling author of Magicians of the Gods (Tom will be Graham Hancock's author of the month in January 2017)
2. "Tom's new book combines his knack of explaining complex technology with his familiarity with ancient wisdom. With his step by step comparison of DNA and computer software, Tom leads the reader right to the core of great questions." Barnet Bain, Director Milton's Secret, Author The Book of Doing and Being.
3. "In a provocative expression of how ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, Tom Bunzel does something marvelous about connecting the creation of software language and the mystery of DNA. While doing this, he inadvertently gets us one step closer to appreciating the mystery of the divine in practical terms. If you've ever used the computer as a metaphor, this book is for you!" Rev. Dr. Michael Lennox. Author, Dream Sight: A Dictionary and Guide for Interpreting Any Dream
4. "In If DNA is Software, Who Wrote The Code?, Tom Bunzel's latest book comes at a time where technology is at the forefront of the minds of the western majority. Through this literature, Tom provides us with extensive knowledge that allows us to look within our own internal programming. Not only does this groundbreaking book allows us to see that we are made up of actual software, but through his courage in sharing his own challenges, gives us permission to observe our own internal conflicts without personal judgment. I am more than proud to say that authenticity is definitely a part of Tom's programming." -Morgan O. Smith, Philosopher and Co-Writer of the critically acclaimed book, The God Behind The God
5. Tom and this book's ability to bring such seemingly complex information into easily digestible material makes it a powerful tool for all readers. Whether you are turning to it for scientific or conscious understanding, it's a must read that will enhance you in both realms. - Mark DeNicola, Collective Evolution
6. Tom Bunzel has an uncanny ability to expose mind blowing ideas sitting right in front of us. By drawing connections between the known with the unknown Tom builds a complex case for imagining some of the mysterious forces animating life in simple, clear and accessible language. His writing goes down easy as he masterfully weaves a tapestry of stories and personal reflections while challenging the assumptions of our thinking without every preaching, philosophizing or imposing his point of view. Tom leads us on a tour of extraordinary ideas that will delight as it also pushes us to go deeper than we ever thought possible. Terrence Gargiulo, Author, Speaker, and Chief Storyteller of a Fortune 100 Company"
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(I have the paperback, not the Kindle version.)
On page 1 lies perhaps the unknown-but-obvious insights that motivate the book. They are: (1) now that we have sequenced DNA we know “our genes represent intentional, intelligently manifested code,” i.e., “software”; (2) “our own personal experience with apps and software can provide an important insight as to how code comes into being – and it’s never by chance,” it is always intentionally programmed; (3) “software is a relatively recent human development, but we now work with it extensively on a daily basis;” and (4) we take for granted as we use computers today “that an inanimate intelligence is actively performing tasks according to coded human commands.”
In a nutshell, “software represents active encoded intelligence.” The author recounts the aha! moments when he realized that DNA is coded information, and even more importantly that DNA “literally operates a computer code.” Every insect, every tree, every living thing, he realized, is “running the same organic operating system – DNA.”
Analyzing briefly the conceptual history of computing starting with the mechanical devices in the 1800s, Mr. Bunzel describes the progress from machines that calculate to machines that “make decisions and, with stored memory, learn from its experiences.” He observes that “if-then” kinds of programming language commands implement decision making processes in software, implicitly seeing that “if-then” is a coded way of showing causal links between previous information and intended actions taking place in the future. Indeed, the concept of “if-then” flows from the reality of free will under the law of causation, as the author addresses also.
Likely surprising to many is the author’s monumental aha! that is an intellectual game-changer: “But bear in mind, no programming language from [the beginning] until the present ever ‘evolved’ spontaneously from inanimate objects; instead it was ALWAYS the mental product of an intentional intelligence (humans).” (P. 15, original emphasis)
The author makes a related crucial point also: “for anything to be edited it must convey meaning; the concept of editing is simply revising its essence or meaning.” (P.23) The idea is that you cannot edit DNA, as scientists now can, unless DNA starts out with encoded meaning. He continues: “[Editing of software] can only be accomplished within a consistently intelligently behaving system with predictable patterns.” Further: “You cannot ‘edit’ randomness or chaos.” And ultimately: “there is no ‘order’ without Mind.”
The point is larger than Mr. Bunzel develops in the book. As has been discussed in several Salvo Magazine articles and elsewhere, to make or modify software requires a programmer, i.e., a designer. And programming or editing software code assumes a symbolic code system exists so that encoded data and instructions can be stored, then fetched and executed in an orderly fashion. Any code system must necessarily proceed only from intelligent origins, not from unguided, unintelligent forces and materials. In the recent book, Evolution 2.0, Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design another software industry expert develops this point exceedingly well.
On page 43 the author elegantly phrases an essential philosophical insight that derives from the technological revelation: “Software is logic instructing silicon – DNA is logic instructing proteins, neurons and Life – both require the pre-existence of Mind.” And just as Microsoft, Google, Apple and other software could not exist without “monumental mental effort,” the author concludes: “it is illogical to suppose that the obvious intentional intelligence behind DNA could have ‘evolved’ from inanimate matter.”
The author then links the truths about software to the philosophical notions of Self, Soul, and Consciousness. Following the internationally known physician and biological scientist, Dr. Robert Lanza, he points out that “science has no explanation for how even thought or experience can emanate from inanimate matter.” (P. 67) The scientific approach to knowledge using data, however, itself relies upon Mind already existing. As the author reiterates, “there can be no such ‘thing’ as data without Mind. Data is order discerned from chaos based on a system of consistency; all of which must be within the domain of Mind.” (P. 90)
This author, a long time writer, speaker, and consultant with a strong computer technology background, has mastered the art of direct clear non-fiction writing. This book is therefore easy for a non-scientist and non-computer expert to read and digest. I like the way the text is divided into many short sections with titles, making it easy to grasp the topic ideas the author addresses.
Why not 5 stars? One of the weaknesses of the book is the lack of references to other writers who have made some of the same or related observations in recent years. Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design is directly on point concerning the coding and implementation of DNA, with citations to the biological and information technology literature. Donald Johnson’s Programming of Life and on-line videos provide ample science and technology arguments along with cites to literature that directly supports Mr. Bunzel’s points and explanations. Without Excuse, Werner Gitt’s comprehensive treatment of codes and communication theory is an excellent resource. Salvo Magazine articles have presented some of these ideas for lay audiences as well.
Paradoxically that weakness is also a kind of strength. Mr. Bunzel apparently experienced the aha! moments from his own personal knowledge and thinking about software as a category of thought and action. He is not part of a “movement,” his ideas sprang from reasoning available to anyone who seriously gives these ideas some thought. His book testifies to truths knowable by anyone, especially by software people, but which have been almost totally overlooked for their general application to larger questions.
Other weaknesses are not strengths, unfortunately. As well written as is the prose, the book itself is not well edited. Punctuation irregularities and errors, some missing words or sentences, and other such things mar its presentation. Every item I looked up in the Index was cited to the wrong page(s) – they were not even close.
Past the discussion of software, the book rather abruptly engages in exploring the author’s personal psychological issues, which he sporadically attempts to tie into the brain software analogy, albeit not very successfully. Revealing the author’s lack of wide reading of the subject, the book makes sweeping negative or dismissive statements about Theism and God without any good reasons given. And the bulk of the book engages in relating the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and others to the author’s various New Age based ideas about life, only occasionally linking the discussion to the generalized idea that thoughts come from software.
Well worth it are the first 50 to 100 pages of the book for the lively discussion of software as a key to understanding the origin of information, behavior, DNA, and the existence of life itself. Congratulations to Mr. Bunzel for expanding the discussion of this immense insight.