Ray Peat Rodeo
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00:00 Hey, this is Politics and Science, and I’m your host, John Barkhausen, and this is the special extended interview with Ray Pete, done on the 4th of March 2015, with Ray from the studio. This is WMRW, and the subject was evolution and Lamarck, although that hardly gets mentioned. Anyway, just a few things about the show. We had, I had some technical problems, so I think there’s some distortion throughout. Ray was recorded at too hot, too high a volume, and I apologize for that. Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s the interview with Ray Pete, and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks. Let’s try it again. Okay. But now you have the echo. No, I don’t think there’s an echo. 01:01 There’s, well, a faint echo, but a slight hum. Okay, well, if you can live with it. Yeah, the hum isn’t bad. Okay. All right, so Ray Pete, as I said, I guess nobody heard this, has a PhD in biology, and has a speciality in physiology. And if you wouldn’t mind, Ray, maybe you could introduce yourself a little more. Okay. My dissertation was on reproductive physiology, a female aging influence on the oxidative processes in the uterus, actually. But I went to graduate school in biology after having studied literature and linguistics previously, with the intention of studying the brain and how the brain can create language. 02:02 But because the brain biology people were the most dogmatic, next to the genetics people, I looked around and found that their reproductive physiology professor was actually a scientist. So I did my work in that area. I see. And you’ve been interested in science your whole life. It’s fairly impressive that, as a child, you were reading many scientific texts. And when did you first run into the subject of the origin of life and evolution, which is what we’ll be talking about today? Oh, we have a little old funk and lagnos encyclopedia from my parents got it around 1930, I think. And that was why I first ran into some of the really interesting science things when I was seven or eight or nine years old. 03:06 And then, 1950, we got the new Britannica, which had bigger articles. But both of them were very objective on the issue of Lamarckism versus Darwinism. And so I had heard about the inheritance of acquired traits when I was probably eight years old or so. And one of the stories that stuck in my mind was done by Michael Geyer at the University of Wisconsin. I think he ground up the eyes of rabbits and injected them to produce antibodies. And treating pregnant rabbits so that they became immune to the eyeball tissue, the babies were born with defective eyes. 04:14 And then he cross-mated these offspring and found that the defective eyes were inherited as if they were genetic traits in subsequent generations. And no one really repeated that as far as I know. And it was pretty widely accepted. He was a very standard, mostly Darwinian biologist. I think some of his articles are available on the internet. But he was doing that research around the same time that Paul Cameron in Vienna was experimenting with some marine invertebrates and with toads. 05:16 And I think he used salamanders to show that when they acquired an adaptation, mating them, the offspring would show traits that had been acquired by the parents. And Paul Cameron was viciously attacked. He committed suicide in 1926 in the midst of a very intense attack against his midwife Toad. Someone had apparently injected ink into the spot that was supposed to be an inherited mating pad on the Toad’s feet. But the person who mostly condemned him as a fraud, William Bateson, a hard-lined English geneticist, when Cameron sent samples of his specimens to England, 06:32 he invited the biologists to examine them. Several well-known biologists did examine them and reported that they were convincing. But William Bateson refused to go to the meeting to examine the specimens. But then he immediately resumed his attacks. Bateson really didn’t want to look at the evidence because he knew it was not there. And so maybe just backing up a little bit, maybe you could tell us why it’s important what the debate over the theories of evolution and what’s going on. Why are people getting so upset about this? Oh, it’s really an essentially religious or political argument. And the whole mystique of science wants to say that there is a simple objective science. 07:41 You follow a certain method, you get an absolute result. And if you don’t get what you should get, then it has to be pseudoscience or fraud. But the context, it’s very closely related to your social, economic, political, religious background and beliefs. And if you look at Darwin, for example, he was a pretty progressive thinker in a lot of ways. He was against slavery, for example. And I think he went to the Unitarian Church even though his father wanted to bring him up as a Church of England mainliner. 08:49 But he was essentially from the upper class, had the habits and the way of life of the ruling class. And even though, despite his progressive traits in some ways, he was really in the mainline of 19th century British imperialist thinking. And that quality stuck with the idea of Darwinian evolution. And the social Darwinists really developed what was an essential part of Darwin’s thinking. And that was a little later taken up by the fascists. And eugenics had a Darwinian genetic basis, racial improvement and so on. 10:01 And people who want to claim Darwin as sort of their intellectual ancestor don’t like to recognize that he was a pretty crazy imperialist racist. He believed that even English plants were better than plants in other countries and would displace them if given the opportunity. And just like the English people and Europeans would finally exterminate and eliminate by competition what he called the intermediate races between the higher apes and the civilized Europeans. But he believed that even the higher apes along with Australians and Africans would go out of existence because of the superiority of Europeans. 11:11 So when you see people in the 20th century like William Jennings Bryan denouncing evolution, they were really against the whole racist, fascist inclination of so many people. The eugenics movement was very distasteful to some of the traditional middle and lower class Christian thinking. So the idea of where we all came from is very a powerful one in manipulating people to be on your side of your ideology, I suppose. It seems like it’s a very key idea that people are wrestling over to win the argument over who’s ideology is best. 12:24 The way science is taught, it really doesn’t free itself from ideology and so whatever the ideological system that existed around your physics professors and their professors, this ideology gets built into a belief of how science works, how the brain works even, and it is a philosophy of the nature of being, the nature of the universe, the creation of the universe, and all of that is built into these so-called objective things that students are taught. 13:26 My professors in all of the sciences just didn’t want to think about their philosophical commitments. It was scientific and that was that. They wouldn’t look at any of their preconceptions. The extent of philosophy might have been to have read Percy Bridgeman’s operationalism approach to saying that if you can’t measure it, it isn’t real. Some professors with a philosophical mind saw that as their philosophical foundation. Yeah, I think you are the reason this show is called Politics and Science because I think like many people, before I read your writings, which by the way are available at raypeat.com, many of your newsletters are up there, 14:37 I thought science was science and it was an objective art that was practiced by dedicated people with lots of integrity and I didn’t think business interests or corruption, which is also business interests or vanity played any role in it, but turns out it’s just as subject to all the human vices as any other field. Yeah, early in the 20th century you could trace the personality of the academic culture to the 19th century conflicts between the different attitudes towards religion, whether the old pre-enlightenment religion should still be in power in government and education or whether a newer 18th, 19th century loosening up of religious ideas should be the rule. 15:54 But it didn’t go beyond either of those and the missing thing was to see that there is a conflict between essentialism, which was the old absolutist religious approach, the Platonic thing, that for example, species never change because they are these timeless identities and the conflict between that the essentialist and the empirical or existentialist looking at the actual historical situation that you see in front of you, that’s where the real difference in interpreting science comes in. You can see it in every field of science. The people, the anti-essentialists tend to be on the fringe and not fully accepted by any of the sciences, 17:13 for example in cosmology you have the Electric Universe. People have very good coherent descriptions of observed facts against the big bang mechanistic type of universe. And Hulton Arp, the astronomer who made pictures of galaxies that were visibly connected to each other but moving at very different velocities, tremendously different velocities that you can’t have things tied together that are moving at extremely different speeds, meaning that they’re at extremely different distances according to the redshift big bang theory. 18:24 The reason that he was able to see and think about that sort of thing was that he wasn’t committed to an essentialist idea that every atom is the same at every moment of time and every place in the universe. If you start by observing things, then you might conclude that atoms aren’t the same at every time and place. Right, and you’ve talked about him before on my show and probably others. It’s interesting that it all boils down, I guess even in the field of biology to your school of thought, whether you’ve started off, I think as you’ve explained it with the essentialist form or the empirical form. 19:25 And you said before I think that Aristotle was the founder of the empirical movement? Yeah, I think he was just about as fully developed as anyone as a thinker. The philosophers of the scholastic period a thousand years ago did some fairly ridiculous things in the name of Aristotle worship. People like Leibniz were still thinking in some of Aristotle’s ideas, for example, the analyzing cause into the different types of causality, including final cause that has been the condemnation of teleological explanations 20:29 has been a big part of the essentialist mechanistic science, but Leibniz was able to, for example, explain the physics of optics using Aristotelian final causes in his mathematical descriptions and showed that it worked just as well as the mechanical billiard ball kind of causality. One thing hits another and the cause moves only in that direction rather than taking into account the end condition as well as the starting condition. Leibniz wanted to see the causality as a global holistic way of existence. 21:35 And I think you’ve pointed out before and you can say this over if you’d like, but the Eastern Orthodox branch of knowledge, the Russians basically went off primarily with the Aristotelian viewpoint and the West somehow adopted the Platonic viewpoint. So I think that accounts for our love of modeling instead of gathering empirical evidence. We’re currently in a big festival of creating mathematical models and imposing that on reality and trying to make it fit. The teleological approach is fully compatible with the evidence-based historical fact-centered approach. 22:42 And it just looks at generality and laws in a different way that doesn’t insist that they are outside of time and absolute and that things can only obey them in a simple and abstract way. So it’s open to complexity in a way that the essentialist, Platonist approach isn’t. And bringing that history back to the history of evolution or the evolution of evolution, how has the evolutionary thought developed over the years? Maybe you could give us a summary of East versus West or if it’s not? In Darwin’s time, the racist approach tried to explain everything in terms of your existing present biology, which was explained in terms of your genetic nature. 24:02 And it said that how you came to be with this nature was a purely random affair and that the only way to change the situation generally is to select out the inferior, not to improve them. Because things essentially aren’t open to change and improvement. And so what you measure is what was destined from the start and can never be changed. So it’s seeing the future in terms of a determinant defining past or worse. You can delete the inferior species, but you can’t improve them. 25:07 So it necessarily leads to either intentional or incidental genocide in which inferior plants, inferior people, inferior animals will go out of existence simply because improvement isn’t possible. So that amounts to saying that the future can be cleaned up by eliminating the random inferiority of all of the species except those in England and Europe. But it rejects the idea of improving the world. In that ideology you just expressed there of basically getting rid of inferior people and things, was that expressed before Malthus and came along? 26:17 No, I think it developed as they realized that the moneyed class had a better health, everything better. The ideology was intended to keep down the demands of the working classes. So Malthus really just codified an ideology and Darwin being a member of the upper class found that compatible with his way of thinking. I see Bernadski’s use of the Le Chatelier principle that if a system is in equilibrium and you disturb the system it adjusts itself to come to a new equilibrium. 27:30 And Bernadski saw the cosmos as an energy system and life as part of the system that is adjusting the equilibrium as the system is energized from the outside. He saw evolution as having a direction, but in a way it was teleological because he showed that it would maximize the movement of atoms, the intensity of metabolism in organisms, and the maximization of size especially of the nervous system in the brain. So the flow of energy was giving shape to his system. 28:31 Every part of the system was part of the equilibrium was open to change, but the change was directional in the sense of improving the equilibrium and function of the whole system. And that’s what you mean by teological, that’s purposefulness? Yeah, but you think about equilibrium and the end condition as well as the starting condition. You have to think in terms of a whole system and the interactions through time so that everything has a history and all of the parts and levels interact with each other. So there’s no part of the system that isn’t interacting, so there’s no place for one of these essential platonic forms which Mendel, for example, wanted to identify as trait genes so that you could have the fixed species. 29:45 He let the traits vary by rearrangement, the traits and the genes were really essential, timeless, forever fixed forms. It’s really a very pure religious imposition on P traits in Mendel’s case. It just seems like the pot calling the kettle black there because you’ve got him insisting on these ideal forms, which sounds religious, but he’s calling the people who believe in teleological or purposeful adaptation, he’s calling them vitalists or superstitious people. Yeah, and the people who own the schools, universities, publishing houses are in a better position to denounce others as frauds and pseudoscientists and so on. 30:55 But actually there is a tremendous amount of fake science hiding among the genetics culture. The eugenics was part of the biological gene culture in the United States. The journal of eugenics after Hitler lost the war and was discredited, they changed their name to a journal of human genetics, but the people didn’t change their ideas. They still worshipped the doctrines of Conrad Lorenz, who devised Hitler’s genocide rationale. Yeah, that’s right, we’ve talked about that before and he was lauded in this country as a great friendly scientist. 32:01 He was on the cover of Life Magazine when I was a kid. Yeah, and after he got the Nobel Prize, my professors, every one of them, including the immigrants, the Jewish, Hungarian, Austrian immigrants who had escaped Europe around 1939 and 1940, they were praising Conrad Lorenz and the very ideas that were published to justify the extermination. Yeah, I looked that up after we talked last time and he was apparently very influential in convincing people, or the German public anyway, that the Jews had to be removed like a cancer from Europe. Yeah, and his book that was published, I think it was around 1970, he used exactly the same sentences except he used a slight euphemism instead of exterminated. 33:16 I think he used some milder term, but even though that was in his newest book, these professors somehow made a disconnect and saw it as their very own personal philosophy of the world. And it’s a good example of how dangerous science or influential scientists gone bad can be. They have a powerful podium that they speak from behind and they can be very influential in a terrible way. Ray, I was thinking maybe you could walk us through from what your conception of the history of evolution is, from the origin of life, maybe as you see it, but also as other people have proposed. And bring us up to Darwin and Lamarck, if that’s something you’re able or interested in doing. 34:26 I’m inclined to see Sidney Fox’s approach as being at least a good image or analog of how the process works. And he worked in Linus Pauling’s lab and was a professor in regular biology departments, supported I think by NASA and other government funding. But his conclusions, his results were very clear, just didn’t resonate with the genetics of biological schools. His crucial series of experiments, he showed that the Uri Miller bubbling a primitive atmosphere supposedly with methane and ammonia and sparking it, getting amino acids. 35:46 He did variations on that, cooking ammonia and carbon dioxide in various ways in the presence of hot rocks. And he found that protein like things spontaneously polymerized and the arrangement was non-random. If he had 8 or 10 amino acids cooking together, the proteins that spontaneously formed on the surface of the hot rocks had a non-random arrangement. As if the amino acids were interacting in such a way that they chose their position according to stability in some sense, rather than just randomly falling together. 36:48 And in a certain arrangement, the heat with a very small amount of water, letting them dry out and then adding a small amount of water to this hot, spontaneously formed protein, they spontaneously formed little bacteria like spheres, a very uniform in size and the bulk of the protein would take on this bacterial-like shape spontaneously. And these shapes, when new amino acids were added, these shapes could divide like cells or bud off parts that would then grow up to the bacteria-sized particle about micron and diameter, I think it was, so they could eat and reproduce. 37:51 And he, to a mixture of these amino acid proteins on spheres, he found that adding the bases of the nucleic acids, these two would polymerize inside the little bacteria-like particles and would form nucleic acid chain polymers, again, which were non-randomly arranged apparently by the nature of the bases themselves and their context, the nature of the non-random protein structures around them. So the ordering process doesn’t require any kind of input up to this stage. 38:57 Neither a divine watchmaker specifying that they should have this sequence and shape, nor the infinitely long spans of time that the crude Darwinian viewpoint suggested in which a random change would be selected by the outside environment and become non-random through a series of adaptive selections. Yeah, that’s amazing. And so he just did that by adding amino acids to hot volcanic rock, which presumably had some chemical attributes to it that made any stuff happen. 39:59 He simplified the procedure so that high school students could create life in an hour lab session. There’s a good science project. Wow. Make you feel like God. And that is sort of a primitive single-cell arrangement with nucleic acid possible precursors to genetic material. But it seems like a very plausible way to see the first bacteria coming into existence, and the underwater vents in the ocean, there’s a volcano spewing constantly material into the deep ocean water. 41:03 And these are full of very weird types of organism. And looking at that as an analogy to Sidney Fox’s experiment, it suggests that you might get, with a bigger lab setup, you might get something much closer to presently existing organisms just in a matter of minutes or hours. When you have extreme pressure, for example, at high temperature. Yeah, those underwater volcanic worms are unbelievable. They’re way down, very low in the ocean, so lots of pressure and intense heat coming out, too. Is that correct? Yeah, and I think usually there’s a lot of sulfur and carbon dioxide, but each volcanic vent has its chemical particularity. 42:17 So is that the theory of life developing, gaining more acceptance? Because I would think it’s very difficult to go on with any other kind of theory in that case, looking at that evidence. I mentioned it to my professors in my qualifying exam, and none of them had heard about it, even though it was in Lenninger’s chemistry textbook, biochemistry textbook, they hadn’t heard about it. And I looked at the addition that came out in Lenninger’s name after he died, and Fox’s work had been removed. So I think there was a move away from it after Fox died. But I don’t think anything has come near to replacing it. 43:23 You wrote in Generative Energy under the chapter called Another View of Evolution. You wrote, the thought that life forms might just sort of gush up out of the earth in volcanic regions makes it all seem too easy. Where might it lead if people started believing that life could originate without a struggle for existence? And what do you think they’re afraid of, Ray? Well, I’m sure it’s that the Malthusian and Darwinian hatred of the lower classes, the feeling that if they were given a chance, they would displace the ruling class. So it really comes down to politics. Yeah, and the very present attitude of the American ruling class is that they have the right to kill anyone in the world as they choose to. No legal process required just choosing names on the list is all that’s necessary. 44:49 That’s right. Now even American citizens can be taken out. Yeah, it has different justifications. It was a little more complex in Darwin’s time. Various justifications for why Africans could be exterminated, but the general attitude towards the working class has from 1800 right down to more or less the present time. The working class is seen as a threat. The word class in politics, the only time I saw an American presidential candidate use the word social class, that was the end of television, 46:03 paying attention to his candidacy. I forget the candidate’s name, but class isn’t something that you can mention politically except to denounce the union advocacy as a class warfare. You can denounce class warfare, but you can denounce class privilege. And yet that’s occurred in places like San Francisco. 47:30 So stepping out of the political realm for a second, if we go back to those molecules forming from the amino acids and then forming larger organizations of molecules, how do you see life developing into actual organisms that have organelles within them and going on from there to where we are now? The Sydney Fox particles could interact with each other, and if you have a whole planet full of such things, the interactions, every time you get something that is a little more stable, this will spread horizontally. It isn’t necessarily a matter of descendants, but it will spread its influence by contact with its contemporaries so things can spread much faster than the idea of inheritance and the selection of the fittest and so on. 48:53 A resonance. And if you have a planet that’s full of these simple things, the tendency is for them to accumulate more and more of the stabilizing, activating structures. So I see it as an example of Vernadsky’s apply the right pressure and temperature conditions and so on, and the system spontaneously moves in that direction as being driven by the environmental conditions. 50:06 So I think it’s a very quick process to come to the single cell that’s extremely well endowed with the so-called genetic material, the nucleic acids. Just by following the Vernadsky principle will tend to complexify, so you get, instead of simple bacteria, you get very well endowed things like amoebas, very complex single celled organisms. And I think it was James Shapiro who talked about the bacterial self-invenering of their genetic material. 51:10 I think he was maybe the first one that proposed that the movement from a protozoan type organism to a multicellular organism could also be almost spontaneous, in which this over-endowed single cell finds a situation in which colonizing, joining with its neighbors leads it to a new level of metabolism and stability. So I think the Vernadsky principle applies not only the move from the protein to the Fox particle and the Fox particle to the full bacterium and the bacterium to the amoeba, 52:20 but also from the amoeba to the multicellular organism. Wow, and Vernadsky was a Russian geophysicist? Is that what his official title was? Yeah, he had the theory of how soil was formed and that led him to a new view of cosmology and of organisms and so on. He didn’t draw any lines and so in trying to understand the soil, he had to understand the history of the organisms that made it and the history of the cosmos and the energy supplies that supported those organisms interacting and making their environment. I’ll go on, please. Well, just that the organisms make their environment in a sense and then they choose the way they will be in the environment so they make themselves as well as the environment. 53:34 But it’s the whole system that is making the whole thing possible. I really like that idea and we just had a question come in about what you were saying earlier. This is from Duncan and the question goes like this. It’s by email which people can email politicsandscienceatmadriver.com if they want to send an email in, politicsandscienceatmadriver.com. And Duncan says, is it possible to fix the class warfare problem? If so, then how? Are there any ways to do it non-violently? What are the best materials to study for propaganda and revolution? Will the class warfare problem always exist considering inherent human nature? I think it’s a metaphysical problem essentially in which I think it was about 1870 or 1875 that William Morris said, where will this culture end with a counting house on top of a cinder pile? 54:58 That was very close to the way the climate change seems to be leading us, assets and money. Yeah, and that’s all that will be left with a few cockroaches. I think it’s basically a metaphysical thing that if you see the mechanical commitment to the past leading its way into the future, you end up with that cinder pile. And to avoid that, you have to change your metaphysics to the Leibnizian or Aristotelian view in which the final cause has to be taken into account. Leibniz and Teilhard de Chardin attended a Bernadsky lecture on the Noosphere, and Chardin was an archaeologist, anthropologist, priest, and he saw this end point as a God consciousness. 56:26 And that was how Leibniz expressed it, that the end condition was moving towards, in some way, a fuller expression of godness. But however you express the end conditions, Bernadsky didn’t have that sort of an end in mind. He described it as a universe of consciousness, the Noosphere, in which knowledge and awareness became the governing principle. However you see the end condition, I think you have to start thinking in terms of final causes and get back to the Aristotle at least. 57:30 And once you take that into account that maybe it isn’t so good to reduce the planet to ashes and money, then maybe you can work on solutions, which part of the solution is to stop thinking about class superiority and racial superiority and so on. And when you say the end conditions, does that mean you have to imagine how you’d like the world to be and then intend to make it that way? Yeah, the final cause was the purpose where you mean to go. And by denouncing heliological thinking at any level, they said that the bottom line is that you want to make your money and you don’t care what it costs the other person or the environment. 58:40 The strict one directional idea of causality, you work on what’s local and profitable and disregard the outcome because according to that metaphysics the outcome is always a matter of degradation. The elimination of what was unsuccessful. Alright, and again you’re listening to WMRW LP Warren. We’re talking to Dr. Raymond Pete. He’s a PhD in biology and specializes in physiology. And we’re talking around the subject of evolution and why how you think about that is important. 59:41 Let’s see. I guess on that line of thinking, anthropology is an area that is very closely connected to evolutionary thinking and despite the fact that the academic anthropology in the U.S. has been very strongly guided by the CIA recruiting anthropologists as agents to learn how to control the inferior masses of the world. Despite that pretty much takeover by the government, there are these evolutionary lines of thinking in anthropology that are very promising. 01:00:46 The Margaret Mead approach that cultures don’t have to be static, that the people make the culture and so they can change the culture. And her professor, Franz Boaz at Columbia, he thought of himself as a Darwinist and an evolution oriented thinker. But when he actually studied the facts, he was showing that the environment rather than the genes govern even the person’s biology, not only their language and thoughts and culture and ordinary everyday behavior, 01:01:47 but even the shape of their organism, he measured the heads of Europeans who had moved either to New York or Puerto Rico and found that their first generation offspring of these immigrants had heads shaped more like New Yorkers or Puerto Ricans than like the European parents. Well that’s bizarre. I had no idea New York was so powerful. So it was, even though he thought of himself as a Darwinist, it showed the powerful importance of the material and the social culture that the people move into shaping even the organism, the body. Here’s another question. I’ll just take this as it comes. It’s also from Duncan. Is empathy evolutionarily advantageous? 01:03:00 I see empathy as the universal principle of substance, the absolute opposite of the essentialist view of reality. The essentialist takes a, if you break the world up into Leibnizian monads, the essentialist says that the monads are closed. The existence of empathy implies that each unit of existence is open and interacting with its environment. So I see empathy as an expressible in physical terms such as resonance in the case of empathizing with a person or animal. 01:04:14 You tune your nervous system so that it in effect is resonating with the conditions of the other’s nervous system. But I see it as something that is explaining why the amino acids take on a non-random arrangement in foxes, molecules, why certain structures are stable that happen to look like small bacteria. Resonance is a stabilizer on the atomic level, the chemical, cellular level, and so on, as well as the organismic level resonance of the nervous systems. Yeah, I like that a lot. And culturally, too, in the form of music and ideas that resonate. 01:05:27 Yeah, and Luca Turin, there are some lectures by him. He’s a perfume expert, but his theory of psychoactive drugs or of hormones and so on, as well as odor molecules is based on the idea that it’s an electronic resonance. Between the molecule and the cell that accounts for the specificity. He gives many examples in which molecules that resonate have the same smell or the same biological effect, despite having a different shape. Or the molecules with the same shape, but a different vibratory frequency, are not experienced, don’t have the same biological effect. 01:06:34 Where did you run into him, Ray? Oh, reading about perfume, I guess. The Science News around 1951 had an article about the person who originated that theory, or actually a follower of the person who originated the theory. It started in the 1930s, but I saw this article in Science News in the early 50s. And Luca Turin is updating those lines of thinking. So I had a basic question about evolution. Are we basically made out of the material, the worlds made out of our bodies and everything on the earth? So are we basically just an evolution of the actual material that we’re made out of the elements of the earth? Or is it just a building of complexity of those materials? 01:07:40 Yeah, I think the legitimate properties that matter to us, and so we can substitute sometimes molecules that aren’t exactly the same in form or substance, but that have the same electronic way of interacting with us, the same resonance. And, for example, I would say, methylene blue has this remarkable range of biologically valuable functions, even though it’s something that would never evolve with, that it has an electronic property that fits in. 01:08:41 Okay, at this point we had a Skype fallout. The distortion got so bad Ray couldn’t hear me, and I had to call him back, so it goes away pretty quickly. But at any rate, I apologize for yet another audio problem. Hello? Can you hear me now? Oh, it’s better, but still pretty scrunchy. Still scrunchy? Gosh, I don’t know what’s going on. But I can understand you now. Okay. You had said something about methylene blue last. That’s correct, and I’ve heard you say that it’s a supplement you can take that will actually improve your cellular energy function. Yeah, yeah, even though it’s a weird molecule, it happens to electronically fit in, even though there’s no structural analog that’s exactly like it. 01:09:46 And do you think using materials like that is finding them out of the environment and using them because we find some benefit from them? Is that part of our evolutionary and probably all life’s evolutionary process? Yeah, I think so. I think things analogous to that have happened at different stages that something that is available and increases our efficiency give us sort of a stepping stone to do something else. I know there was a book, I think it was called Food of the Gods. I could have that wrong, but it was postulating that our consciousness did a radical shift and improvement sometime in ancient history when we discovered psilocybin mushrooms that went along with the cow plops that came out of following cow herds around the world or Africa. 01:10:52 And I was wondering what you thought about the evolution of consciousness. I think things such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, the amount of particular nutrients in the diet, the balance of amino acids and such very widely available things, are the main powers of increasing consciousness. But consciousness, I see, is simply one side of the metabolic interactive process so that anything that increases our quality of metabolism is increasing our ability to resonate with more complex and extensive systems. 01:11:59 Things like the mushrooms act as a lubricant that the organism might have a certain amount of energy available and with just a little lubricant it might find that it can slide up to a new metabolic level. Sort of a lubricant that will help you have epiphanies about the life around you. Yeah, and ways of new ways of interacting. For example, I think there’s a tendency of the offspring of the ruling class to not have the appetite for the crazy things that their parents and grandparents were committed to. 01:13:09 I see, so they’ve had a change of consciousness. Yeah, I think that there are bits of that happening over the last 40, 50 years. One of the things that you’ve written about a lot is Pavlov and Anokin, the Russian behavioral scientists, is that what you’d call them? And one of the things that you put down which I thought was interesting was Pavlov’s writing about that life has a biological urge for freedom. And I was wondering if you believe that and if that’s a powerful evolutionary force? Yeah, I think it fits into the idea of the noosphere. Pavlov’s reflex of freedom was also the exploratory reflex, or what is it, reflex. 01:14:19 Always wanting to find out more when the culture or planet evolves beyond the urge to accumulate and gain power and so on to the conscious noosphere level. Then that reflex, I think, will be fully activated and everything will become a question and an opportunity for discovery. So that instead of being an endpoint, it becomes an opportunity for creation of new levels of being. 01:15:23 Yeah, I like that. You also wrote that health can be seen as the coordination of the levels of evolution. And I know you do a lot of writing about health because that’s a good window, I think, you’ve said, to connect with people. And I thought that was very interesting. Maybe you could talk about the levels of evolution and what those are and why coordinating those equals good health. I don’t remember what I had in mind. Maybe something like Maslow’s steps of development, security, the need for enough food, 01:16:24 the need for social interactions and mental stimulation, and finally Maslow’s self-actualization. It might be analogous to the freedom reflex, the opportunity to live for creative action. And who was Maslow, Ray? Oh, Abraham Maslow, the Brandeis psychologist. One was Carl Rogers. He was the great step forward in psychology beyond Freudianism and behaviorism to humanistic psychology. Bringing us back to empathy. 01:17:25 Yeah. Carl Rogers was actually a sophisticated thinker with a phenomenological approach to science. And his understanding of therapy was that it’s the interactive attempt of the therapist to listen to and understand the client, which is therapeutic. But it’s the resonance in itself, which is therapeutic. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Okay, we’ve got a question taking you back to the methylene blue. It came in by emails from Duncan again. Considering higher energy levels, have you tried methylene blue? And if so, how does it feel versus progesterone or caffeine? 01:18:28 Were there any higher energy thinking abilities evident? I’ve only been using it transdermally, and that’s my approach to understanding new chemicals is to find what the smallest amount does and then work up in stages. And so far, I see it as just a good anti-inflammatory. Okay, so we’ll wait for a further report as that progresses. We’re going to say something else, right? No, but quite a few people are having very powerful antidepressant effects from it with just one milligram a day. But I think it’s probably going to be effective at those analogous to thyroid hormone 20, 30, 40 micrograms per day. 01:19:39 I think might be the optimal dose of methylene blue. All right, take something blue to get rid of your blues. It sounds like it’s, like you said, it’s raising your, if it works, it’s raising your energy levels, and that’s a common theme. It’s known that it can bypass mitochondrial defects, and I think that’s a big part of why it can cure very serious depression at such a small dose. Wow, that’s impressive. I have some, well, I wanted to talk a little bit, we have some time left, and I wanted to talk about Russian science. I know you’ve always been interested in that, and I was curious about your experience personally going to Russia. I know you went there one summer to talk to scientists, and they were all out at their, what do they call them, DACA’s? 01:20:43 Yeah. Yeah, DACA’s, yeah. DACA’s, and I was wondering if you speak Russian, have you learned Russian? No, I learned to read it, but I hoped that I would get to practice it, but I would go up to someone on the street and ask them directions or something in Russian, and every one of them said, I’m sorry, I don’t speak Russian. They were all from the other republics on vacation in Moscow. I see. Nice try, though. Did you meet any scientists when you went? Yeah, I went to Lysenko’s, the place where he was working, and it happened that I was there on the day he was. The day he wasn’t, but one of his assistants took me around, and Yuri Holodov was the person studying magnetobiology. 01:21:48 He called it, as opposed to biomagnetism, the influence of magnetic fields on the nervous system in particular. We just, this person, I guess, called him up and we went over on the bus and dropped in without warning, and he took the time to talk to us, after our questions, and his first question was, what are you studying and where? And I said, I plan to enroll at the University of Oregon in nerve biology, and he said, oh, are you going to work with a professor who just that quarter had left the university? But he was up to the present year, at least, in who was doing nerve research in the universities. 01:23:02 He didn’t know in advance that I was from Oregon, but just instantly knew who the professors would be at Oregon. Wow. And were you speaking Russian with him? I forget. Okay. I think we might have been doing a match of languages. Yeah. And so when you look into Russian literature, you’re reading it in the original form. Is that right? Yeah. Because it does seem like you have an awfully in-depth perception of what they’re talking about. Oh, yeah. The translations are sometimes very obviously ideological. That’s a great example of fraud in American science is how they translated Soviet things. 01:24:09 Israel did a lot of good translations of Russian research. That’s good. So some of the scientific literature is available through Israeli publishers? Yeah. I see. And maybe since Trofim Lysenko ties in with the subject matter of evolution, maybe you could outline for us what that was all about, and what primarily the Russian stance on evolution versus the Western stance. Lysenko never was the star of genetics. Even at the height of his power under Stalin, he was always criticizing the university genetics people. 01:25:10 He was basically like the state college research stations, the crop improvement stations, where a lot of good science is done out in the agricultural stations, not the universities. And the universities stayed Western genetics oriented right through Stalin. So we’ve been given a really false history of what Lysenko was doing. And his research, I think it was Luenton, an American Marxist biologist who examined the actual grain production records in the years under Lysenko’s influence. 01:26:14 And they were actually increasing grain production steadily when they were applying the work he did at the field research stations. And the university genetics departments weren’t producing anything of value. But what they did was to take the seeds he developed out in these practical research farm stations, take them to England, give them to the anti-Soviet genetics people to work with. The government learned that he was giving away the valuable seeds that Lysenko had developed. That was where the prosecuting them for working with the enemy came in. It was actually a concrete event of giving stuff away without permission rather than any ideal magical punishment. 01:27:29 And Lysenko was always ridiculed in the West, wasn’t he? His theories, and maybe you could, is that because he was advocating the inheritability of acquired characteristics? Yeah, he emphasized the predominant of the cytoplasm and the nucleus was a reservoir of useful stuff. But the changes and the adaptation was being done by the cell as a whole, but especially being led by the cytoplasm. The adaptation of the organism involved changes in the organization of the cytoplasm. People in the West were working on similar things with cloning experiments, 01:28:31 for example, where a nucleus would be removed or replaced by a nucleus from a different species or even a different phylum. And the cell would develop, if it was in an embryo, the embryo would develop according to the rules of the cytoplasm, the genus or phylum that the cytoplasm came from would govern the shape of the organism, even with a very remotely related nucleus. But, I’ll go ahead. The cloning experiments in which the nucleus, say, from a skin cell would be put into a frog’s egg. 01:29:34 Frogs were the first things cloned because they have such big eggs and are easy to do surgery on. But in the 1960s, western biologists were working on the changes happening in the cytoplasm that would be inherited, like with a paramecium, if you take a bit of the surface, turn it around so that the cilia beat in reverse. As that organism has descendants, they all have the reversed cilia in that spot, showing that you do have very clear inheritance of things that happen to the cytoplasm, which is all that was essential in Lysenko’s thinking. 01:30:38 The idea of stress increasing variability at the simultaneous, or maybe five or ten years after Lysenko was writing about it, Barbara McClintock was finding the same things in her work with corn, that stress increased the variability and adaptability of the organism, changing the chromosomes. So how is it that they were so intent on making fun of Lysenko, and basically they put him in the same boat as Lamarck, who we’ve hardly talked about in this whole show, which was going to be about Lamarck. But we said we’d be talking around him, so we’ve successfully avoided him. Barbara McClintock came so close to Lysenko and Lamarck 01:31:43 in showing that stress changed his heredity, and she was sort of hostily ignored by the profession for forty years, I guess it was, and then with genetic engineering, when people wanted to patent new genes, they realized that it would be good to have some actual scientific precedent to make them sound nicer, that they weren’t just changing DNA to make a profitable product. They resurrected from obscurity Barbara McClintock’s work and gave her, I think, first the MacArthur Prize, then the Nobel Prize, 01:32:49 but forty years later, roughly, than her actual discoveries. Wow, and let’s see, I should probably move on to some of the questions from other people. We’re getting about twenty minutes left. One other line of evidence related to Lysenko and McClintock and genes, you remember the Darwin proposed that, since he knew that farmers could improve their animals and plants by selection, he wanted to say something about acquired traits being passed on, and he had the idea of gemuels or pen genes, which were the idea that something that the organism acquired through experience 01:33:58 in a particular organ or all of the organs, that these were shed from a particular part of the organism and reached the gonads to be taken up in the term line as the evidence or the expression of the environmental modification that had happened to the organism. And that idea was too lamarckian for anyone up until Lysenko’s time that something could pass from the cytoplasm or the cell of the body and be taken up in the germ line to be passed on. That was where Darwin and Lysenko and Lark and lamarck were all put down totally. 01:35:05 But in the last ten or twenty years, well, it really can be traced back to a North Korean, Bong-un Kim, who in the sixties published his work, which was repeated only as far as I know by two Japanese. He showed that there were particles carrying nucleic acids through a lymphatic-like conductive system that he thought accounted for how acupuncture could cause changes in other parts of the organism. He thought these particles of nucleic acid were being transmitted along the meridians of acupuncture. But he demonstrated microscopically these particles and their chemical RNA content, for example. 01:36:17 But only in the last ten or fifteen years, people have bothered to look at the particles in the plasma or serum. Under an electron microscope, it looked just sort of like dust, undefined, very small particles, smaller than bacteria, like a tenth of a diameter of even a small bacterium. These little particles, just billions of them everywhere. You can find them in the blood, the lymph, saliva, urine. Every body fluid is full of these little particles. And they are now known to, in fact, carry RNA, proteins, cats, and even DNA. And it has been demonstrated that the DNA carried in these particles 01:37:22 can be incorporated into the germ cells and transmitted. So basically, Darwin’s gemmules now are called exosomes, or microvesicles, or ectosomes by different people. So he may have been a classist and racist, but he was pretty far-seeing. Yeah, he was an intelligent observer and sometimes a very imaginative thinker. And he did not rule out many of the mechanisms that Lamarck talked about for passing on acquired characteristics. Is that right? Yeah, in his Descend of Man, I think it was, in one of the introductions to that, he said, my opponents are saying that I’m all about the natural selection, 01:38:29 but in fact, here are the points that I believe in. He listed several inheritance of acquired traits and sexual selection, and several points other than natural selection. And Samuel Butler, in two or three books, while Darwin was still alive, was denouncing Darwin for neglecting to acknowledge his debt to both Lamarck and his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin. And I think Samuel Butler was very accurate in saying that Darwin was just too cowardly to be very public about his Lamarckism. Yeah, it’s amazing it carried such a stigma and still does. 01:39:32 I mean, people are still laughing at Lamarck, even though he seems he was in a large part correct about how things work. I have a quick question, I hope that it’s quick because we don’t have much time, but what was Blake, I know you’re a great scholar of William Blake, who lived, I think was a contemporary with Erasmus Darwin, and what was Blake’s opinion on evolution? He didn’t use any such language, but he obviously had read Erasmus Darwin’s and Emmanuel Swedenborg’s physiology, things that ordinary embryology and anatomy didn’t recognize until the 20th century. Blake, I’m sure, got them from knowing Swedenborg’s, writing Swedenborg lived in London in his old age, 01:40:35 and Swedenborg had identified the fine anatomy of the nervous system and its development, and seeing the nature of the developing embryo combined with Erasmus Darwin’s picture of all organisms developing from a single simple fiber, he said, or in one case he said everything from a seashell or a sea organism, a simple cell as the origin of all organisms was a current idea in London of the 1790s. 01:41:36 Wow, that’s pretty modern. You can see those anatomical, flexible ideas in many places in Blake. Here’s a question from Prana Rupa. Would you be willing to speculate about future evolutionary expressions both at the level of the biosphere as a whole and in relation to optimizing our own potentialities? Could you hear that? I think the environment, I think the increasing carbon dioxide is going in the right direction, and I think it increases adaptability, and so I don’t think we have to worry about carbon dioxide as contributing to extinction of species. I think it increases everyone’s flexibility and adaptability. 01:42:42 I think the tendency of this increasing carbon dioxide is to support the process of sephalization, so I think the direction will be bigger brains, further development of a lot of the abilities, especially the imaginative types of mental processes. A question from Todd Mudd. He says, are evolutionary steps really spontaneous? Do they happen in a single generation or are the changes gradual? Does an energy charge build up and then suddenly make a change? Would the next physical changes in humans to bigger heads, higher metabolic rates, or something else? 01:43:45 There’s a similar question there. Yeah, I think it’s happening intermittently. One woman will have remarkably advantageous pregnancy and will be sort of the forerunner of a trend. It can happen immediately in one lucky group of organisms and more widespread in the whole population when the whole situation is more fortunate. And here’s another question, I’m not sure if I have it right, but would another evolutionary step have something to do with being aware of sensory processes 01:44:46 and would it have something to do with thinking and images rather than words? The essentialist metaphysics, I think, is literally holding back physiological functioning and evolution. The organism is impaired when it gets stuck in these verbal formulas, which are the nature of the essentialist metaphysics, is that the brain loses energy and works on a low-energy symbolic set of interactions. And in Anokin’s terms, from a perspective analogous to Luca Turin’s, from this perspective there’s a conductive quality to the fluids of the brain and the cells, 01:45:51 which allows a holistic, more encompassing kind of functioning so that any concrete thought or image brings with it an interpretive context so that you see the meaning in all of its expanded qualities rather than a symbolic formulation with links to other symbolic formulations. What you see is like a simultaneous picture in three dimensions and moving so that the thought, when the brain is properly energized, Anokin and Luca Turin, as dimensions of how this is described, when the brain is properly energized, it forms these image complexes, 01:46:55 which bring with them the interpretive context. So the sense of meaning is always part of understanding the particular image. That’s fascinating. So the images, and especially a moving image, is such a powerful method of communication. You mentioned a talk by somebody called No More Secrets, and is that possibly where we’re evolving to, to telepathy? I think, yeah, he makes some good arguments, Michael Pursinger, the person, and he experimented with stimulating the brain in different ways and getting what he called the God Consciousness. I think that sense of overwhelming meaning, that’s just a natural brain process 01:48:03 when it’s properly energized so that when you think of an atom, you can’t think of an abstract atom out of time. Every atom has its own history. Imagine that family tree. I can hardly keep track of my own. Well, Ray, I’m afraid we’re out of time, I hate to do it, but that was almost two hours with Dr. Raymond Pete. Thank you so much for offering us your time and knowledge today here on WMRW. If all goes well, we’ll talk to you again next week about physiological implications of acid-base molecular electric charges and reduction oxidation and their relation to each other, and that’s a subject I’ve always gotten very confused by, so I’m looking forward to maybe getting less confused. 01:49:05 Okay. Okay, thanks so much, Ray. Okay, thank you. Bye-bye. And you are listening to WMRW-OP Warren, and we’re about to go to the news here. I want to thank everybody who helped participate and make the show more interesting. This is an archive edition of a Ray Pete interview done on the fourth of March 2015 with Ray. This subject ostensibly was about evolution, and if you’d like more information, you can go to raypeat.com where he has many, many articles there for you to read for free. I’ve been John Barkhausen, I still am, I hope, and hopefully do a few more interviews with Ray. So thanks for listening and thanks to everybody who made this possible. I apologize for the fact that there’s some distortion. 01:50:08 Obviously, I had some technical challenges during the show, which hopefully I’ll conquer next time around. Alright, thanks a lot for listening.

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