Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Quantum Evolution, How Physics’ Weirdest Theory Explains Life’s Biggest Mystery

The book Quantum Evolution, How Physics’ Weirdest Theory Explains Life’s Biggest Mystery, considers Quantum Evolution as an important factor influencing biological evolution and the human consciousness. A professor of molecular genetics, author Johnjoe McFadden provides a comprehensive account of the origins of life to the evolution of human consciousness. McFadden details how evolution, with an emphasis on Darwinian evolution, could not have occurred without the influence of quantum mechanics instigating specific molecular and cellular actions. He dismisses naturalism as the single cause of evolution and through a meticulous, well-researched account, details how cells contain order.

Dr. McFadden explains that Neo-Darwinism only illustrates evolution of species; it does not explain the origin of the first self-replicating subatomic particle. Neo-Darwinism only tackles evolution from life originating at the first single-cell, not the origin of the first rudimentary form of life. Using Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle as a source, McFadden articulates that a living cell measures its own internal state. According to McFadden, life is a cellular system engaging in internal quantum measurement for the purpose of replication.

With comical anecdotes, interesting insights into historical scientific scholars, as well as current scientists, Dr. McFadden explains the origins of life, its limitations, and how life has evolved to what we see around us. With easy to understand illustrations, and often taking complicated concepts and applying them to every day situations, the book details how particle manipulation in the quantum world could have boosted evolution, and explain the complexities of the mind, consciousness, and free will. As discussed in the book, the mind and consciousness is a very complicated subject. It would be interesting to see how quantum evolution affects our way of thinking. For example, how does quantum evolution fit in with innate behavior, learned behavior, how we distinguish between right and wrong, moral and immoral? That is, how does quantum evolution tie in with the study of psychology?

As the author points out, the theory did not originate with him. He acknowledges and explains how others within the scientific field arrived at similar conclusions concerning the function of the subatomic world and its role shaping the universe we see today. Although a few concepts and ideas put forth may be complicated to those with little or no scientific background, the writing and science is clear and logical with many compelling points discussed.

I highly recommend this book to high school students and college students with a passion for the sciences and a desire to understand how we got here and the role Quantum Evolution played.

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Paperback: 338 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (April 2002)
ISBN: 0393323102
Available: and
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