If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I often feel frustrated by press releases that are overhyped, misleading, and/or laden with buzzwords and cliches. Today I received by email the most over the top press release I have ever seen. It’s the sort of thing one might expect to see on a crank website, not in a press release from a major US university. Here it is, verbatim. Enjoy.
Radical Theory Explains the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life, Challenges Conventional Wisdom
Case Western Reserve Theorist Develops Incomparable Model that Unifies Physics, Chemistry, and Biology
CLEVELAND – Jan. 26, 2012 – The earth is alive, asserts a revolutionary scientific theory of life emerging from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The trans-disciplinary theory demonstrates that purportedly inanimate, non-living objects—for example, planets, water, proteins, and DNA—are animate, that is, alive. With its broad explanatory power, applicable to all areas of science and medicine, this novel paradigm aims to catalyze a veritable renaissance.
Erik Andrulis, PhD, assistant professor of molecular biology and microbiology, advanced his controversial framework in his manuscript “Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life,” published in the peer-reviewed journal, Life. His theory explains not only the evolutionary emergence of life on earth and in the universe but also the structure and function of existing cells and biospheres.
In addition to resolving long-standing paradoxes and puzzles in chemistry and biology, Dr. Andrulis’ theory unifies quantum and celestial mechanics. His unorthodox solution to this quintessential problem in physics differs from mainstream approaches, like string theory, as it is simple, non-mathematical, and experimentally and experientially verifiable. As such, the new portrait of quantum gravity is radical.
The basic idea of Dr. Andrulis’ framework is that all physical reality can be modeled by a single geometric entity with life-like characteristics: the gyre. The so-called “gyromodel” depicts objects—particles, atoms, chemicals, molecules, and cells—as quantized packets of energy and matter that cycle between excited and ground states around a singularity, the gyromodel’s center. A singularity is itself modeled as a gyre, wholly compatible with the thermodynamic and fractal nature of life. An example of this nested, self-similar organization is the Russian Matryoshka doll.
By fitting the gyromodel to facts accumulated over scientific history, Dr. Andrulis confirms the proposed existence of eight laws of nature. One of these, the natural law of unity, decrees that the living cell and any part of the visible universe are irreducible. This law formally establishes that there is one physical reality.
Another natural law dictates that the atomic and cosmic realms abide by identical organizational constraints. Simply put, atoms in the human body and solar systems in the universe move and behave in the exact same manner.
“Modern science lacks a unifying, interdisciplinary theory of life. In other words, current theories are unable to explain why life is the way it is and not any other way,” Dr. Andrulis says. “This general paradigm furnishes a fresh perspective on the character and meaning of life, offers solutions to protracted problems, and strives to end divisive debates.”
One debate swirls around the scientific merit of James Lovelock’s popular Gaia hypothesis. By showing that the earth is theoretically synonymous with life, Dr. Andrulis’ paradigm substantiates the Gaian premise that all organisms and their surroundings on earth are closely integrated to form a single self-regulating complex system.
Another legendary quarrel is that between biblical creationists and neo-Darwinian evolutionists. In demonstrating that the origin and evolution of life is a consequence of natural laws and physical forces, this theory synthesizes arguments and dispels assumptions from both sides of the creation-evolution debate.
To test his paradigm, Dr. Andrulis designed bidirectional flow diagrams that both depict and predict the dynamics of energy and matter. While such diagrams may be foreign to some scientists, they are standard reaction notation to chemists, biochemists, and biologists.
Dr. Andrulis has used his theory to successfully predict and identify a hidden signature of RNA biogenesis in his laboratory at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is now applying the gyromodel to unify and explain the evolution and development of human beings.
For more information, see “Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life,” Life, Vol. 2:1-105 (2012).
- I have looked at the original paper, and it’s even crazier than the press release would indicate. So I can’t blame the author of the press release as much as the author of the actual paper — but why this was promoted by the institution is a mystery. Seriously, this paper feels like a Sokal hoax.
- Jonathan Badger pointed out in the comments to my post that I am cited in the paper. Here’s what it says: “C-value enigma. The C-value enigma states that less evolutionary developed cell types have greater genome size than more complex cell systems .” Of course, the C-value enigma says no such thing, and I would never used a term like “less evolutionary developed”. *Facepalm*
- John Timmer provides a nice summary of the issue at Ars Technica.