- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Hay House Inc.; 3 edition (August 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401926312
- ISBN-13: 978-1401926311
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 199 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There From Here Paperback – August 1, 2010
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"This is the life-map we’ve all been waiting for! In Spontaneous Evolution, Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman cast a holistic new light, on an emerging new civilization. With just the right blend of spiritual humor and rock-solid-science, the authors lead us beyond collapsing economies and religious extremes to show us that such chaos is a natural step in an unfolding process, rather than the tragic end to a broken planet. Once we recognize the big picture, the choices to a better life and a better world become obvious. The guiding role of spontaneous evolution is where our teachings of life, history, and civilization should begin. I love this book!"
— Gregg Braden, New York Times best-selling author of The Divine Matrix and Fractal Time
"Spontaneous Evolution is a world-changing book that offers a heartening view of humanity’s destiny. Built on the foundation of the latest discoveries in science, it points us in the direction of functional politics, sustainable economics, and individual responsibility in the context of an interdependent community."
— Thom Hartmann, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
"This wise and thoughtful book is a powerful antidote for anyone who is pessimistic and depressed about our future and the challenges we face as humans."
— Larry Dossey, M.D., author of The Power of Premonitions: How Knowing The Future Can Shape Our Lives
About the Author
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority in bridging science and spirit and a leading voice in new biology. A cell biologist by training, he taught at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine, and later performed pioneering studies at Stanford University. Author of The Biology of Belief, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.Steve Bhaerman is an author, humorist, and political and cultural commentator, who’s been writing and performing enlightening comedy as Swami Beyondananda for over 20 years. A pioneer in alternative education and holistic publications, Steve is active in transpartisan politics and the practical application of Spontaneous Evolution.
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A more purposefully driven top-down paradigm called epigenetics has emerged to temper the deterministic model of biology. As biochemists are beginning to understand, genes do not control our individual destinies, nor are they primarily responsible for evolutionary change. Genes are not self-emergent; they cannot turn themselves on and off, they are not the control center of cellular activity, and they are not self-replicating. No one-to- one correspondence exists between DNA instruction and the creation of a specific protein, since one gene can code for multiple proteins. In addition, once a protein is constructed it can take on over 30,000 different folding configurations as dictated by the specific needs of the cell. Genes are merely blue-prints, the gonads of the cells, whose processes are orchestrated by environmental signals from the brains of the cell--the cell membrane. Communications with the organelles of the cell are accomplished by means of thousands of protein based receptor and effector switches imbedded in the lipid plasma membrane. Signals sent from outside the cell are received by receptor proteins that modify their shape to connect with the effector proteins. The effector proteins then send secondary signals through the cytoplasm resulting in the regulation of cell metabolism, a fact that the authors call the real secret of life.
The idea of environmentally controlled top-down information runs counter to two of Darwinian evolution's most cherished principles:1) Adaptation (survival of the fittest) -That evolution occurs only as a result of a species ability to survive and pass on its genes to the next generation, and 2) Random mutation--That favorable traits are expressed in an organism only as a result of random mutations in the process of genetic replication and coding, and that this information flows in only in one direction, from the DNA to RNA to Proteins. This is the essence of genetic determinism.
According to biologist Lynn Margulis, however, evolution has rarely occurred in a Darwinian or Malthusian way in which species battle for limited resources. Paleontological history demonstrates that most evolutionary advances occur as a result of cooperation and symbiotic relationships. Simple prokaryotic bacteria evolved by banding together into communities protected by a biofilm membrane. By doing this they were able to enhance their survivability by sharing genetic information, specializing in task functions, and increasing their collective awareness. A major evolutionary advance occurred when these loose communities of prokaryotes underwent further specialization by creating organelles such as mitochondria, ribosomes, and nuclei within a single large cytoskeletal membrane giving the eukaryotic cells thousands of times more membrane surface area then their precursors and vastly increasing their awareness. During the Precambrian period, simple colonies were able to increase their awareness by banding together into mats or layers of identical cells such as Stromatolites that produced the oxygen in our early atmosphere. The law of diminishing returns put a limit on the size of these communities, and as a result, various cells within the community began to group into specialized epithelia, bone, muscle, and brain cells to carry out specialized tasks. As Margulis points out, evolution did not proceed by struggle, but by networking, an ongoing process that, according to the authors of this book, will happen in a similar way for our own destiny, not by producing a new species of man, but as a result of increasing levels of communal complexity and interrelationships
In the late 1960s, geneticist Howard Temin at the University of Wisconsin challenged the second tenant of Darwinian evolution postulating that DNA information can only travel in one direction when he suggested that RNA information could be transcribed from the RNA molecule into an organism's DNA. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1975 for discovering reverse transcriptase, the enzyme that did exactly that. Information from viruses can enter a cell and change the DNA of the host organism demonstrating that information can flow from the environment into the DNA of a cell.
A second broader challenge to the dogma of random mutation was established as a result of experimental research conducted by John Cairns in 1988. Cairns placed bacteria that were unable to metabolize lactose in a medium where only lactose was present. It was assumed that the colonies of bacteria would perish, but information from their environment was feeding back into the organisms and accelerating the bacteria's mutation mechanisms. It soon became apparent that stressed, non-dividing bacteria can purposely engage a unique error-prone DNA copying enzyme to make mutated copies of genes associated with a particular dysfunction. Through this process of generating genetic variants, the organism attempts to create a more functional gene that will allow it to overcome the environmental stressors. This purposeful, accelerated generation of random mutations is called somatic hypermutation. When one of these gene variants is able to produce a protein product that can effectively resolve the stress, the bacterium cuts the original ineffective gene out of the chromosome and replaces it with the new version. So, yes random mutations do occur, but those random mutations can be purposefully accelerated through awareness of the environment. This process is a reflection of quantum physics' discovery that a single reality can be created from a probability wave by simple observation or measurement. Our biological destiny is driven by bottom-up determinism and top down intelligence acting in a complementary interplay of both processes. The role of complementarities established by Niels Bohr in physics has established a foot-hold in many other disciplines and is likely to be a major factor in answering many mysteries in biology.
Perhaps it should not be so surprising that biology strayed so far afield from the philosophical niche that physics has carved out of reality. After all, it is difficult to do objective science when studying the very principles that create the scientist and life in general. We humans are attempting to study ourselves with the same tools that created us. It is time to step out of our shells just as humankind did during the enlightenment that followed the Copernican Revolution, when humanity believed we were the center of our solar system and the center of the entire universe. Thereafter, humankind came to realize that we were not the center of our solar system, the center of our galaxy, nor the center of the universe. We are simply self-repeating patterns in an intelligent fractal universe with no central control. With this in mind, we might imagine that the next great paradigm shift will occur when we entertain the possibility that we are not even at the controls of our own egos. Ninety five percent of our decisions, actions, and emotions are unconscious, subject to programing established from the time we were in the womb to the age of six. Does the idea of free will even make sense under these circumstances? What do we want to be free from--ninety five present of our cognitive being? We must acknowledge that there is no demarcation between the observer and the observed and this was the essence of the great battle between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. Einstein felt that the universe exists independent of observation and that the field was the ultimate reality. He stated, "There is no place in this new kind of physics both for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality." The authors apparently agreed with this statement when they equated the concept of the field to what happens to entangled particles in quantum physics experiments. They state for example, "No structure from a drop of water to a human being can ever be separated from the field which is the source." The concept of a field and nonlocal actions in quantum theory are completely different however. A field is something physical that obeys the laws of thermodynamics and Relativity. On the other hand, nonlocal actions, as described by John Stewart Bell in his theorem of inequality, are not physical; they are not part of a field, and they do not obey the laws of thermodynamics or Relativity. Explaining our existence as part of some morphogenic field is nothing more than reification. It explains nothing. Rather, what is more convincing is the author's contention that a cell and a human body are self-similar fractal images that share self-similar functions. The organs of our bodies that carry out the functions of awareness, digestion, respiration, and reproduction are also the functions that are carried out by most of the 50 trillion cells in our bodies. We are a community of cells.
This far-flung and wide-ranging work was too much to put between the covers of one book,making it difficult for any reviewer to encapsulate its essence. Much more lies between its covers and I will leave it to the reader to discover the treasure-trove of interesting and well documented material.
This review by David Kreiter, author of: "Confronting the Quantum Enigma: Albert, Niels, and John (Available on Amazon)