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In this episode, you’ll find out:

  • How “science” often makes things worse—and how this endangers your health. (5:42)
  • Why the next health breakthrough might come from farmers—and why scientists need to listen to them for the next discoveries. (12:07)
  • How “skin in the game” causes most errors in the health system. (18:28)
  • What to do if you’re disillusioned with the conventions of the health system. (19:46)

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Get to the bottom of what's truly healthy in this crazy complex world, so you can take back what is rightfully yours. Welcome to the Health Sovereign Podcast. This is your host, Logan Christopher.

Logan Christopher: 00:19 Welcome back, and in a moment we will be joining back into the conversation with Perry Marshall, author of Evolution 2.0. If you missed last week's episode, you want to make sure you listen to that first for the understanding of DNA, what we really understand about it these days, which is far different from the kind of high school learning most people got, and what Perry calls “Evolution 2.0,” how evolution is actually working.

This is good background for what we're going to get into today and it leads in because science knows this stuff. Yet still most people are caught up in this neo-Darwinist mindset. So, why does science take sometimes 200 years to correct problems? Let's dive in.

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Logan: 01:26 So, we talked about this with Barbara McClintock, them not accepting her work, and she just kind of put her head down and continued working on it, and 40 years later or so she was recognized for it. But we see this as a pattern in science over and over again—and one of the longest things we can talk about or have been talking about is Lamarckism, which is kind of a different word for epigenetic saying that inherited traits will get passed on, and that mainstream is still not quite accepted or most people aren't aware of this. It's been some 200 years since the Mark wrote that originally, right?

Perry Marshall: 02:01 Yes. So, Lamarck said, if an organism learns or adapts to something in its life, in its environment, it will pass that onto its offspring in those in the early 1800s. And Charles Darwin accepted that.

Now, of course, Charles Darwin didn't know anything about genetics, and Mendel and his genetics only came along at the very end of Darwin's life, but around the beginning of the 20th century, Lamarck’s idea was soundly rejected. They said, That is ridiculous. Not true. Oh, silly guy, well-intentioned, but ridiculously wrong.

This is kind of what tipped me off. Lamarck would be derided in ways that … Look, there's a gazillion theories that turned out to be wrong. Very seldom do we just mock and people who had the theory, you know what I'm saying? Come on. But the people would mock an insult Lamarck, and then, within the last 20 years, we have found out that he was right all along. In fact, we don't even know how right he was. This is huge. Huge. Epigenetics is just growing by leaps and bounds.

Logan, in business we talk about star businesses and growing markets. Man, epigenetics is a growing market, for sure. And so, it took literally 200 years for that guy to be vindicated, and in evolutionary biology in particular, I have seen a tendency for obsolete theories to last a long, long time, and I think there is a larger systemic problem in the way that we actually do science. I think we have systemic problems with the way the publishing system works, the way the peer-review system works, the way the grant system works, and we need to do some work in those areas.

Logan: 04:10 Yeah, absolutely. I 100 percent agree with you. One of the things you described in your book is an earlier case of this same. It's really a pattern that we see in science, and I'm not sure if I'm pronouncing the guy's name right, but Semmelweis.

Perry: 04:25 Oh yeah.

Logan: 04:28 Semmelweis reflex, and this was the guy that through experimentation figured out that women were dying in one hospital a lot more than other one, and basically it was because this was before we knew about bacteria or microbes and doctors were not washing their hands, and they would go from an autopsy to delivering a baby and a lot of people ended up dying this way.

So, he had this theory. He kind of proved it out, if they washed their hands with chlorine, essentially, then the death rate went down. But he just got laughed at to the point where he ended up in a mental institution as an alcoholic and then died a bit later, and the doctors laughed at him because they did not understand the mechanism of how this happened. So, they laughed at this idea of cadaverous particles transferring from one place to another. But we see this again and again.

For example, going on right now, most people don't recognize that electromagnetic frequencies, there's problems with EMFs causing damage. For a long time, they were saying, no, this can't possibly do because we don't know the mechanism of it. Lo and behold, I forget how recently this was, but Dr. Martin Pall came out and he provided a mechanism, how it changed up the voltage-gated calcium channels in the body.

So, one of the things you mention in your book is the science should not be so concerned with how, at least in the beginning. Right? If you can't explain why something works, that doesn't really matter if you see that it is working. Yet, oftentimes, things are thrown out because it doesn't fit the paradigm of the scientists in question.

Perry: 05:57 Yes, what we can observe is always far ahead of what we know how to explain, and there is a persistent tendency to look at things that we can't explain and just pretend that they don't exist. And this is true in psychic phenomena. This is true with evolutionary mechanisms. It's even true in dark matter. We still don't know how to detect dark matter in the universe.

Dark matter is a postulated explanation for why the universe seems to be expanding at certain rates. It's like it's inserted in there to make the math work. And you know what? That's fine as long as you tell everybody what you're doing while we don't know what's making this happen, but it acts like a different form of matter with some other characteristics. So, we're going to put that in as a placeholder until we figure it out until later.

Logan: 06:57 Right, and that’s 90 percent of the universe or something like that, dark matter [crosstalk].

Perry: 07:01 That’s what they're saying right now and it could be completely wrong 40 years from now, but -

Logan: 07:06 It probably is. That’s right.

Perry: 07:06 - that's where we're at, right. Or string theory. From what I'm told, string theory is starting to get tough sledding now. There’s a growing consensus that it's not actually right, but it seems like it's been fairly represented as well. This is one possible explanation. I don't think most people were made to believe that it was definitely the explanation. And so, okay, that's fair.

So, I had a conversation with a physicist the other day and I said I was referring to this problem of old models hanging on way too long and science being too politicized, and I said, “How bad is this problem on a scale of one to 10?”

He said, “Well, it depends on what field you're in.” He said, if you're in physics, it's probably a three. And he said, in biology, it's probably an eight.

And I said, “Why is it a much worse problem in biology than it is in physics?”

And he said, “I think it's because the foundations of physics are pretty well agreed upon and understood. Nobody's arguing too much about the real core, what really makes physics tick.” He said, “We still don't have a foundation set of principles for biology, even though people pretend that we do. We don't know what makes biology tick. We don't know why biological things know how to heal themselves and non-biological things don't.”

Erwin Schrodinger, in the 1940s, he called it negative entropy. He said organisms turn chaos into order instead of just order in the chaos. And he said they don't appear to be violating any laws of physics, but we don't know how they do it.

Well, guess what? The same is true now. We still haven't figured it out. That is exactly what my prize is about. How do you reverse entropy? And I don't mean thermodynamic entropy. I mean how do you turn chaos into order with information? Because that's exactly what biology does.

Logan: 09:19 And, too, what you're saying as far as the program, I'd say in health and medicine, the problem seems to be a 10, unfortunately. And I think there's probably two parts to this with you get more of the hard sciences, right? So, you talked about there's this concept of physics envy, right? So, biologists were jealous of physics because physics is so exact. You do the math and things will work. That doesn't happen in biology.

So, really it does seem we need to separate out different sciences and recognize that they're different. Some follow more linear cause-effect things, while other things are much more vast, complex systems that we cannot get there. But then, there's also the profit that gets in there.

Just recently I was doing some research on the opioid crisis that's going on. I haven't really dug into that and know you have a personal story. Someone you worked with had some problems of how the opioids ended up destroying him. So, what I found -

Perry: 10:16 Yeah.

Logan: 10:16 - really interesting here is, a) basically, it was a five-sentence letter, got published in a journal that talked about, Oh, in our hospital we saw this many patients on opioids and only a few of them were addicted. So, this wasn't even a study. It was just some numbers thrown on there. Yet, this paper then got cited 608 times over 70 percent -

Perry: 10:38 Wow.

Logan: 10:39 - of which were positive, meaning that they were using this, and I have to think it's intention[al]. I think there's some doctors that just got hoodwinked. It's hard to get to the bottom of the swamp in science, but some of them were and definitely the companies behind this were using it intentionally telling their salesman to say, Oh yeah, addiction rate is less than 1 percent, so this falsifying –

Perry: 10:58 [crosstalk]

Logan: 10:58 - of science was used in order to create this thing, which, as we see many years later, blows up, a lot of people dying, all kinds of problems from it. So, science is tough.

Perry: 11:11 Science is tough. Maybe if I could play devil's advocate a little bit, sometimes it does take 200 years to figure out if a theory is right or wrong. Sometimes it just does.

Now, I think I was giving a talk one time in the UK and somebody said to me … I was talking about Lamarckism and epigenetics, and the guy says, “Oh yeah, my dad's a farmer. He could have told you that learned characteristics are passed to offspring decades in. He knew that a long time ago.”

So, this is another pitfall, let's say. It’s that people get so narrowly into their specialties and into the dogmas of a particular sub-profession that they don't even leave their office and go walk around. What would happen if you went and talked to a farmer? What could a farmer tell you if you asked him the right questions? And, of course, a molecular biologist and a farmer speak two completely different languages, but that is precisely the need, to cross disciplinary boundaries and have conversations that don't normally happen, because an outsider can see a flaw much easier than you. Right?

It's the old proverb that Jesus said. You fool, take the log out of your own eye and then you will be able to see the speck in your brother's eye. And we're all guilty of it. I'm not pretending to be immune to this.

Logan: 12:47 I agree with that and it does seem like it's more important. We can't have 200 years longer of us not understanding this stuff about DNA, as we begin to amp up the genetic engineering that's going on.

I was just poking around. Some of the things that they've done is they were editing rabbits to get leaner, and somehow in doing this, they ended up with larger tongues. They were editing pigs for the same reason and they grew an extra vertebrae.

And then, even with CRISPR, which has been described as, oh, you can change single base pairs in the DNA, they're finding that outside DNA is getting in. So, Stuart Newman from a New York Medical College, cell biologist, founding member of the Council for Responsible Genetics, he said, “I have little doubt E. coli DNA has been inadvertently incorporated into many CRISPR targets, and it is likely to cause problems, as it has in the horned cattle.” So, cattle, they edit them to get rid of the horns and they're finding all this errant DNA that should not be there. So, as we are doing this stuff, it seems if we don't correct, we might just cause some big problems.

Perry: 13:58 So, people have this idea that an organism is … DNA is like a blueprint for a factory. It's like, okay, so these are the instructions for the HVAC system and these here are the instructions for the water cooler. And these are the instructions for … It doesn't exactly work that way. In biology, genes are part of networks and one gene can be used by dozens or hundreds of different systems in the body in different ways.

Okay, here's a crude analogy. You're reading a novel and the word she could refer to somebody who is named 14 pages ago and you know who they're talking about because of the context, and the context is 64 different things. That's kind of how genes work, and so it's not at all surprising that if you modify genes in order to get leaner rabbits that all of a sudden you'd get a fatter tongue, or that if you edited the DNA in order to get a certain change in a pig, you would get an extra vertebra.

It's because nobody understands the genetic protocol. It would be like if Microsoft had some programming language that was proprietary, and we only understood 5 percent of it and the rest of it was a complete mystery. That is where we're at with genetics, and so we're a bull in the china shop. I'm not seeing … We can't put the genie back in the bottle.

You can buy a CRISPR gene-editing kit on Amazon for $169. Whether that's a good idea or not, it's not going to change. So, we’d better darn well have a lot of respect for biology and we’d better understand, hey, people, we barely understand this at all and we can make some horrific, horrific, irreversible mistakes if the wrong people get careless with us.

Logan: 16:08 Yeah, I agree. It seems with kind of with science it's often goes to sound like an arrogant path of thinking. We know a lot more than we know. For instance, with junk DNA, you mentioned just labeling it junk when we clearly do not understand its role or what it possibly does. It’s like, Oh, that's all junk.

I mean, the real reason is they didn't understand it, but they had their theories. Neo-Darwinism. Oh, it's just random leftover stuff from random mutations, was the idea. But that if you carry this arrogance forward—I'm just reminded of this quote I heard from a guy, Daniel Schmachtenberger, recently. As we begin to have the power of the gods, say, with genetics, with nanotechnology, AI, even without the real artificial intelligence, just machine learning and that's going to revolutionize things, so as we begin to have the power of the gods, we need to have the wisdom of the gods to handle that or else for somewhat screwed.

Perry: 17:03 You're exactly right. And you know what? I think the key to all of this is skin in the game. The reason that every single one of us is willing to get in a taxi with a complete stranger is, if the taxi crashes, the other guys in the car with us, right?

Perry: 17:22 Yup.

Perry: 17:22 Okay. You imagine getting in a taxi or an Uber and there was a laptop sitting there. There was nobody in the driver's seat and there were these ears and cams attached to the steering wheel, and some guy in India looked at you through the screen and said, Hello, my name is Pradesh and I am going to be driving your taxi today. You and get out. You're like, Well, you can crash me and you're sitting in your comfortable office in Hyderabad. Right?

You know what I like to say. There's still a few people out there that say that the 97 percent of our DNA is junk. You know what I say to them? I say, I’ll tell you what, I'll buy you a plane ticket to Thailand and we'll use a CRISPR gene-editing experiment, and you tell me which of your DNA I am allowed to delete. I've never gotten a taker. They always back down a little bit. Or your children. Let me. Are you getting ready to conceive? Let's take those embryos and delete the junk DNA. How's that? Right?

A lot of these people, they don't even believe it. They're happy for somebody else to take the risk, but they're not going to take the risk, and this is a signature of bureaucracies where the buck just gets passed on to other people. We'll let the taxpayers bear this burden. We'll let somebody else pay for it. No. No. You’ve got to pay you. You use your own money.

And so, I think if the people doing CRISPR experiments, if we can hold to the standard that they bear the consequences of whatever mistakes they make personally, then I think we're going to have a whole lot fewer mistakes.

Logan: 19:07 So, what would you recommend? We've kind of established here that there are issues with science and there's numerous ones, ones we haven't even talked about here that make it so false theories. Fifty percent of our science is wrong. We just don't know what 50 percent it is.

Perry: 19:22 Right.

Logan: 19:24 And, yeah, 50 percent in the studies--

Perry: 19:25 It’s like advertising.

Logan: 19:26 Yeah. So, with that in mind, what can the average person do? Because to actually get to the bottom of something, I mean, most people aren't reading science papers like you and I happened to be. So, what can the average person do with that in mind, knowing that so much of the science is wrong and leading us down wrong paths?

Perry: 19:48 If you have listened to this conversation, and if you found it interesting and you want to know more, I would suggest that you read the people that I have found illuminating.

I'll tell you a quick story. Three years ago, I went to a conference in London at the Royal Society. It was a meeting about all of the new theories of evolution. It was fascinating. And I met a guy named John Hands who wrote a book called Cosmosapiens. Cosmosapiens by John Hands. It is a 700-page book. It starts, literally, with the birth of the universe and it goes all the way through 14 billion years to the future of consciousness, and the question of consciousness and humans, and all of these different things. And he and I had never had any form of contact, and he's got a whole section in his book on evolution. He came to virtually identical conclusions about evolution as I did.

There's another guy named Bill Miller who is a radiologist who has written books about evolution. Came to nearly identical conclusions.

Denis Noble, who's one of my prize judges, is a physiologist. Came to nearly identical conclusions.

You know what’s funny about all these people? They're all outsiders. So, I was an electrical engineer. John Hands is, essentially, let's call him a historian. Denis Noble is a physiologist. James Shapiro got his bachelor's degree in English at Harvard University before getting a genetics degree at Cambridge, and has been a Renegade in evolution for the last 40 years. All of these people came to nearly identical conclusions because the biology profession was not allowed to tell any of us what to think.

So, first of all, I want you to notice the general pattern here of interdisciplinary explainers, people who go outside of their normal profession and they try to understand other professions under a common rubric of principles.

And then, I want to specifically say that if you want to go read books about this that are, that can be trusted, read John Hands. Read my work. Read Denis Noble. Read Jim Shapiro. Read Bill Miller; William Miller is actually how he's authored on Amazon. And you'll see this remarkable consilience.

And then, I imagine you've probably … I know you're familiar with the Paul Stamets interview on Joe Rogan. You realize he says almost the same thing I'm saying, except he's coming from mycelium in mushrooms, but yet their overall biology is almost identical.

And I just got off the phone an hour ago with Joel Salatin. I don't know if you know who he is. He's like a renegade agriculture guy.

Logan: 22:58 Yeah.

Perry: 23:59 Almost has an identical view of biology as all of the other guys that I just talked about.

And so, I see a convergence of thinking across a whole bunch of fields where we might disagree about little details, but what everybody seems to agree on is that nature is self-aware and nature itself is intelligent down to the cellular level that--

Bonnie Bassler, his Ted talk called How Bacteria “Talk”. Everybody should watch that. Go to YouTube and type in “how bacteria talk” and watch this Ted talk by Bonnie Bassler. There are themes they keep coming up over and over and over again.

And so, if you start thinking of your body as a living thing that has some form of self-awareness kind of like your dog does, rather than thinking of it as a mechanical machine, machines, if you're ball-bearings in your bicycle stop working, they don't heal, and when you talk to them, they don't respond. See, living things are an entirely different matter. We don't know what makes it tick, but we don't have to know to understand that it does.

And so, I think there's a return to more traditional views of nature that long predate Darwin or the industrial revolution, or modern agriculture, and I think this is extremely important.

Logan: 24:28 Yeah, absolutely. I think that's good, that idea of looking for the outsiders. So, if you want to generalize this to other topics, instead of listening to doctors for your health, which obviously they have their place, but listen to outsiders like myself. That's might help you out.

Perry: 24:44 Yeah. That is why I have a regular doctor. I always also have a Chinese medicine doctor. I go to the Chinese--

Logan: 24:50 Yeah. I like that. You get [crosstalk] advisory have like multiple people with different perspectives for health issues.

Perry: 24:57 Yes. Now when you have people with multiple perspectives, of course, it's hard for them all to talk to each other. Right? The easiest thing is they all went to the same school and they all got the same degree, and they all bang the same drum and they all get along great. Okay, yeah, but they all have blind spots. Right? And so, there's more work in a plurality of perspectives.

But I think as a general life philosophy, Logan, you've said to me, one of my goals in life is to be a Renaissance man. Well, that's what a Renaissance man does. A Renaissance man goes, and you do this—I mean, this is why you we’re talking—you go around to all kinds of different fields and you say, I'm in a room full of chiropractors right now. What can I learn from them? And I'm in a room full of real estate agents. What can I learn from them? I'm in a room full of hedge-fund managers. What can I learn from them? You can learn from everybody and then you start cross-pollinating the things you learned from other disciplines. You will know things that literally no one on earth knows, and that's a really special thing.

Logan: 25:58 Yeah. Excellent. Well we're coming up on the end time here. Perry, where would you like people to go to find out more?

Perry: 26:05 I would like you to go to evo2.org and subscribe to our podcast or in all the major podcasting channels, and you can get three free chapters of Evolution. 2.0 at evo2.org, E-V-O 2 [dot] org.

And, boy, if this conversation stimulated your thinking, I want you to know there is so much more to learn. It is so fascinating and nature is not this blind, vicious, selfish machine. Nature is cooperative. Nature is symbiotic. Nature is self-aware. Nature is self-modifying and we are. And I think as we embrace these things, we are going to be sick less often. We're going to live longer. We are going to make technologies that are more harmonious with the planet.

So, Logan, I really appreciate what you're doing. I'm one of your customers. I buy stuff from you. Thank you for doing what you're doing, and I hope people keep listening to your podcasts.

Logan: 27:13 Thank you very much, Perry. And let me say I've read Perry's Evolution 2.0 book two times now. I've listened to every episode of his podcast. It's one I regularly listen to, so highly recommended to check it out.

Thanks everyone for listening, and thank you, Perry.

Perry: 26:25 Thank you.

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