Genetic Entropy

Laura

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#1
I've just finished J. C. Sanford's book "Genetic Entropy." It's not a long book, and he really does make things pretty simple, but the end result is a satisfying understanding of why all the recent genetics/evolutionary science books have such big gaps in them. It's not even gaps, it's more like out and out lies.

He starts out by stating the Primary Axiom that underpins probably all academic intellectual activity in our world today: Life is life because random mutations at the molecular level are filtered through a reproductive sieve acting on the level of the whole organism.

And then he destroys it methodically and completely in about 150 pages, not densely typeset either, and with several easy to understand graphic images, and a number of little story examples to make it all very clear. At the end of the book he writes:

The Primary Axiom is arguably the foundational belief shaping the modern intellectual community. Among today's intelligentsia, the Primary Axiom is believed to "explain it all". It is the "unified field theory" of modern thinking. Most scholarship is built upon this premise. ...

Despite all this, the Primary Axiom is demonstrably wrong...
If the Primary Axiom is wrong, then our basic understanding of life history is also wrong. If the genome is degenerating, our species is not evolving. There appears to be a close parallel between the aging of a species and the aging of an individual. Both seem to involve the progressive accumulation of mutations. Mutations accumulate both within our reproductive cell lines and our body cell lines. Either way, the misspellings accumulate until a threshold is reached when things rapidly start to fall apart. ...

Information theory strongly suggests that information and information systems arise only through intelligent means and are only preserved by intelligence.
He doesn't speculate about any of that at all, he sticks strictly to the science. But he does make the intriguing remark:

Logically we should conclude that if all of this is true, then at some time in the past there must have been a time when there was less genetic damage in the genome, and thus longer lives, and less deleterious effects form inbreeding. Is there any evidence of this?
He doesn't answer this question, even speculatively.

This book is really a must read for any of the science minded peeps here. It's short, easy, and a show-stopper IMO. I thank the person on the forum who mentioned it in a thread, though I can't remember who and a search didn't bring it up.

You want your faith back? Read this one.
 
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whitecoast

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#3
Thanks for the suggestion Laura. I see on Amazon they have a vanilla version and a “classroom edition.” Which one did you read and would recommend? Would it be worth reading Evolution 2.0 beforehand or could it be read after? 🙂
 

Laura

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#4
I read the "classroom edition" because I didn't see the other option when I ordered.

I guess it doesn't matter the order in which you read them, but you will be better armed to catch the deceptions by reading "Entropy" first.
 

luc

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#5
Thanks for the recommendation - just ordered mine too, looking forward to it!

Me too I saw the 2 editions (classroom edition and original edition). The original edition is only available on the used market for extremely high prices, at least here, so I went for the classroom edition. As I understood it from the blurb, the original edition contains some more speculation/information about intelligent design and such, while the classroom edition sticks strictly to accepted science, leaving out any religious/metaphysical things.
 

Gandalf

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#6
Thanks for the recommendation - just ordered mine too, looking forward to it!

Me too I saw the 2 editions (classroom edition and original edition). The original edition is only available on the used market for extremely high prices, at least here, so I went for the classroom edition. As I understood it from the blurb, the original edition contains some more speculation/information about intelligent design and such, while the classroom edition sticks strictly to accepted science, leaving out any religious/metaphysical things.
I have just ordered the Kindle original edition and I am going to have a good tea while reading this new book.
 

aragorn

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#7
Very intriguing!

The newest edition is from 2014, and is the only one I found that's available also on Kindle:

Genetic Entropy 4th Edition
November 7, 2014
270 pages {previous ed. has 248 pages}
"This new edition of Genetic Entropy includes numerous new lines of evidence supporting Dr. Sanford's thesis. Much of this new evidence is from recently published scientific papers that are now part of the scientific literature."
Paperback: http://a.co/d/iGs1ugF
Kindle: http://a.co/d/0nXCTI6
 
#9
thank you Laura for the recommendation! I will have to wait about 10 days because it is shipped from the US. Doesn't matter cause i still didn't finish Collingwood... which is super interesting, but a slow read for me.
 

Voyageur

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#12
Have ordered the book which sounds like a interesting read. In reviewing Sanford, he also seems to presents a few red flags for me, yet will keep open about it.

For an interview with the author J. C. Sanford about his book posted in 2012:
Dr. John Sanford: Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome
I get what he is saying, this downward spiral. However, he opens up with his training being an agra research scientist - generics and crop improvements; the genetic engineering of crop plants, he said. A brief discussion follows with Sanford saying he personally thinks that (genetically engineered crops) are "crucial to feeding a hungry world" (this is of course what we often hear) - yet he has not been involved with it for ten years and has stepped back. Maybe he brings this up in the book, not sure, yet that is the industry that likely provided some of his research grants, and this seems to also be implicated as part of the downward genetic spiraling.

At the end, after discussing the entropy of genetics being passed along to our children (with a biblical slant which might indeed have some basis), he says that our only hope is with Christ.

He is mentioned as first devising the gene guns: How Roundup Ready Soybeans Rocked the Food Economy
This 1980s-era “gene gun” fired the shot heard around the world -
Smithsonian Magazine


Though the 1986 gene gun on display at the American History Museum gave rise in subsequent years to a much safer model—a “cabinet on wheels,” as McCabe describes, “with everything embedded in it and a nice shelf to work on”—scientifically speaking, the basic mechanism of the device never changed. “The physical principles are absolutely the same,” Brian Martinell says of today’s technology.

McCabe and Martinell drew their inspiration from the work of John Sanford, an eccentric Cornell geneticist who in 1983 spent his Christmas break firing a tungsten-loaded .22-caliber pistol into raw onions. Sanford was attempting to affect the genetic makeup of the large-celled bulbs by peppering them with “microbullets” bearing genetic material—a decidedly brute-force approach. His technique stood in stark contrast to the then-de rigueur method of Agrobacterium mediation, wherein DNA was carried into plant cells via plasmids naturally released by bacteria. Sanford’s radical idea is said to have occurred to him while taking potshots at squirrels in his backyard. In any event, it was successful.
 

latulipenoire

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#13
At the end, after discussing the entropy of genetics being passed along to our children (with a biblical slant which might indeed have some basis), he says that our only hope is with Christ.
Sincerely speaking, I was shocked to hear him saying this, ending the interview like this. I mean, would Christ (his idea of Christ) be able to fix this downward spiral of genetic entropy, accumulating over eons and being transmitted like the plague to our descendants? What could possibly alter the fact that we are a dying species living in a dying world? Just some questions that came up. This doesn't change my impression of him being very articulate and knowledgeable about the subject, and I want to thank you for suggesting one more fascinanting book about this fascinating topic. I finished reading Frank Ryan's Darwin's Blind Spot yesterday and it was wonderful to know at least something about how our evolution could be something more than just chance mutations and survival of the most aggressive and fittest individuals ever since the first organism appeared. I can't wait to read his Virolution and Perry Marshall's Evolution 2.0. I will also read Sanford's book as soon as I can.
 

Altair

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#15
I haven't read the book yet but according to Wikipedia he is a Young Earth creationist:

Formerly, according to his own account, an atheist[18] from the mid-1980s, Sanford has looked into theistic evolution (1985–late 1990s), Old Earth creationism (late 1990s), and Young Earth creationism (2000–present). An advocate of intelligent design, Sanford testified in 2005 in the Kansas evolution hearings on behalf of intelligent design, during which he denied the principle of common descent and "humbly offered... that we were created by a special creation, by God".
Which doesn't mean of course that his book isn't based on some solid science. I'll start reading it next.
 
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