Wave Patterns, and Evolution
Thompson’s lecture begins with a discussion of three-dimensional holograms produced by the interference patterns of light waves. Thompson postulates: suppose scientists could similarly manipulate quantum waves? In principle, this could produce tangible forms in a series of events suggestive of Visnu’s maya potency, a faculty that manifests form by manipulating elemental structures identified within Vedic literature as “ether.”
In the second half of the presentation, Thompson plays a video presenting a critique of contemporary biological theory. The talk closes with a question & answer session exploring the concept of the “knowledge filter” examined in the video.
TRANSCRIPT: Wave Patterns, and Evolution 1. Radhadesh, Belgium - 1988 / (204)
Introduction by Yadunandan dasa: You are listening to Radio Krsna on 87.6 MHz, a deeper dimension in radio... [music] In the one and a half hour to come we shall hear a lecture by our scientist, Sadaputa dasa. He speaks to an audience in Belgium, in a temple called Radhadesh. This is part of a larger seminar from down there, and here we’re specifically dealing with two things: firstly a discussion on how wave patterns can create various shapes based on mathematical calculations, and how this relates to the theory in modern physics that atoms and elementary particles are nothing but wave patterns. You may need to get through the first five minutes, wherein Sadaputa outlines a mathematical phenomenon on the blackboard, that we can’t see, but it’s possible to follow, listening attentively. By carefully understanding this description, one will be able to understand the following presentation in the first part of the show. In the second part, after the music, we will hear about evolution. We will hear about how fossils are being misrepresented. We have discussed this before in Radio Krsna, but here we get more details, and we will also hear a sound track from a video on the topic, including the following discussion and questions. Your host and engineer is Yadunandan dasa. Welcome to Sadaputa.”
RLT: . . . Sabom’s out-of-body study that I mentioned yesterday because perhaps some of the implications weren’t completely clear. The main implication of that study that makes it interesting is that it indicates that the mind can function at a time when the brain, according to medical understanding, is not functioning. So the setting there was as follows: This represents time. Let us say a person has a heart attack beginning at this time and at this point he’s successfully revived by the resuscitation methods that they use. So according to [unclear 1:37] during this interval the heart is not beating and there is no blood circulation. So according to medical understanding when the blood is not circulating the brain has no supply of oxygen or nutrients and so very quickly the brain ceases to function. So in particular, during that period, there would be no brainwaves, if you use an electroencephalograph to measure activity in the brain. So the brainwaves would die out to nothing. Then later, once you revive the heart, they would build up again, assuming that there’s been no brain damage as is typical true in these cases were the person was successfully revived. So the idea is that during this interval the brain is not functioning. There is no organised neural activity. So this would be comparable, if you want to make an analogy between the brain and a computer, this would be comparable to the situation in which you have a computer disconnected from its power supply.
So the testimony that people reporting out-of-body experiences have given, for example to this Dr Sabom, was that they could observe the events involved in their own resuscitation. They would say that they found themselves hovering above their body from some vantage point observing what the doctors were doing. And the whole point that Sabom made was in a significant number of cases they were able to give correct descriptions of the specific things the doctors were doing. These were particular medical steps that are not necessarily carried out in the same way in every case. They vary. So the persons were able to give specific details, say, in this period of time when the brain was not functioning. So let’s suppose for the sake of argument that these reports are as they seem. What are the implications? Well it would seem that first of all in this period in which the brain was not functioning you had sense perception, because they said that they could see and hear. They were able to think. They had feelings. Typically these patients reported that during this period they felt a cessation of pain because of course, since they were cardiac patients, usually they had been experiencing a lot of pain. So this pain was notably absent during this phase of their existence. And then the third thing that was going on was that they were forming memories which they were able to recall later. And so you might ask, “Well, where was the memory being recorded?”, because the brain is supposedly not functioning. So later on when the body and the brain are functioning again one might suppose that the memory gets recorded in the brain, possibly. But in this interval right here the memory had to be existing in some form independent of the brain. So it would seem that you have to postulate some kind of system distinct from the brain that can record that memory. So that was the significant point in those studies.
There’s a further general lesson to learn from this, because many people may argue that we can deduce from different empirical studies that memory is stored in the brain. For example it would be pointed out that if you damage certain parts of the brain you can impair a person’s memory. There is even a famous case of a man, only referred to as ‘H’, who had bilateral removal of the hippocampus of the brain; and the result of this was that he was unable to form any memory that would last for more than 15 minutes from that point onward in his life. So he lived in a perpetual sort of window of 15 minutes. It’s described that he lived in a room in his parent’s house reading the same Reader's Digests over and over again and it always fresh to him, because he had no memory that he had read them time and time again. So this would certainly seem to indicate that the brain is necessary for memory. Yet here we have evidence suggesting that memories can be formed independently of the brain. So perhaps one solution to the problem is that when the mind is functioning it uses the brain for storing memories; but it's capable of storing its own memories. Of course according to Vedic literature the subtle body consisting of mind, intelligence and false ego carries all the karmic information concerning the conditioned soul and carries this in transmigration from one body to another.
Of course in this connection you can mention another body of evidence, namely, the reports of childhood memories of previous lives, reported for example by Ian Stevenson. Because there you have a large number of cases in which a young child who is just learning to speak will describe details of a previous life and in a substantial percentage of these it was possible to verify that that previous life history did in fact exist. That is, the person who was being described actually did live at an earlier time. Stevenson reports that at this point he has about 2500 cases from around the world and he has studied perhaps 30 or 40 percent of those. So it’s a substantial amount of material. So I thought I would just mention that. So today what . . . yeah?
Answer: Well it’s interesting. Skills were not impaired so his ability to read wasn't affected. But . .
A: Yeah, it’s curious. Brain damage, you know, seems to produce what you might call ‘specialised defects’. Some forms of brain damage, for example, make it impossible for the person to speak. But he can still sing. So if he wants to talk to you, if he sings it, he can do it. But if he tries to just talk an ordinary way he can’t. There are some forms of brain damage that make it possible for the person to write but he can’t read. So if he writes something and tries to read his own writing, it’s meaningless to him. But yet he knows what he’s writing. So these various things take place.
So today what I was going to talk about was the theory of evolution. Yesterday I was presenting some empirical evidence regarding theories of human evolution. But beyond that there is a more general theory of how evolution is supposed to take place. And the theory of evolution occupies a rather central position philosophically and scientifically. Basically the fundamental premise of modern science is that the absolute truth is very simple in nature. You might enquire into the motives for this fundamental assumption. Partly it is the same philosophical motive that lies behind monism, or the philosophy that all is one. And partly there are pragmatic reasons for wanting everything to be simple, because if the ultimate absolute truth is very simple in nature then there is some possibility that we will be able to understand it by scientific investigation. Whereas if it’s extremely complex then it becomes much more difficult to understand, perhaps impossible. So for various motives scientists have adopted the idea that the absolute truth ultimately is very simple. So in the world we see many complex forms that are highly organised, including in particular, the bodies of living beings. So the question then arises, “How did all these complex forms arise if the absolute is something very simple?” It's basically a question of getting something out of nothing, or getting a lot out of very little, which amounts to the same proposition. So in Western science the theory of evolution is postulated to account for this appearance of complex variegated form, in particular the forms of living organisms, starting with the situation in which you don't have these complex forms.
Of course in modern cosmology the idea is that you begin with what is called ‘the Big Bang’. So after, of course the Big Bang starts with a mathematical singularity, that is, mathematically undefinable conditions. So you can’t say what the conditions are then. You can only say what the conditions are some fraction of a second after the Big Bang. So if you start a certain fraction of a second after the big bang, then according to modern cosmological ideas, reality consists of a plasma. An example of a plasma would be what you have inside a fluorescent light - glowing gas in the state of uniformity. So the idea is the whole universe was one uniform glowing mass of gas made up of subatomic particles. So there was no variety whatsoever.
So this early state of the universe is in some ways comparable to the idea of the Brahman which you find in certain forms of impersonal philosophy because the Brahman is described as a uniform white light. Although the more sophisticated philosophical accounts will say that even the idea of light is inapplicable because that involves the duality of light versus dark. Therefore we can’t even apply that idea. But in any event, at least on a somewhat naive, level you find modern science and the Mayavadi philosophy postulating a similar initial basis for the universe, which they take to be the total reality. So in the Mayavadi philosophy there is also difficulty in accounting for variegated form and the ultimate answer given in the Mayavadi philosophy is that variegated form doesn't exist. And so one can try to comprehend that. Actually it's quite incomprehensible, and the final proposal that is made is that “it's all beyond words”. So after speaking many words on the subject one then says it's beyond words. So that's the answer given in the Mayavadi philosophy to the problem of variegated form. So the corresponding answer given in Western science is that starting with this perfectly uniform undifferentiated plasma a physical evolutionary process took place and as a result of this physical process all the different forms that we know of came into being. So this leads ultimately to the idea that you had a primordial soup at some point on the surface of the earth in which various chemicals were present in solution. There were different sources of energy such as lightning and ultraviolet rays from the sun, different chemical reactions took place in the primordial soup, and as a result of this, primitive living organisms came into being and these began to reproduce. And through a process of natural selection and mutation, namely the Darwinian mechanism of evolution, these organisms gradually evolved and diversified until you have all the different species on the earth today including human beings. So that's the basic picture.
So in presenting this theory of evolution the scientists are engaged, I would propose, in a fundamentally fallacious mode of reasoning, which is very similar to the fallacious type of reasoning used in this whole area of artificial intelligence. And the fallacy is that you successfully explain one rather limited phenomenon, and then without really doing the work to give a detailed explanation that goes beyond that, you generalise this universally and then you make propaganda to convince people that the general version is the actual truth. So in particular the Darwinian mechanism of evolution does work in certain limited circumstances, but in general it hasn’t been shown that that mechanism is capable of giving rise to all the different variegated lifeforms that you have on the earth. The necessary work to show this hasn't been done. So when propaganda is made to induce people to accept this theory as the actual explanation of the origin of life then this is not actually proper scientific presentation. It’s essentially dishonest. So nonetheless at the present time this theory is very widely propagated and Srila Prabhupada asked the early members of the Bhaktivedanta Institute to refute this theory. Now I should say a few words as to why that's important from the point of view of Krsna Consciousness.
Basically, for example, on two or three occasions in which I was with Srila Prabhupada, he actually expressed very deep feeling in this regard, because he pointed out that people are being misled by this false propaganda and as a result their access to spiritual understanding is closed off. Because inasmuch as one adheres to this completely impersonal and atheistic way of understanding reality, he is unable to come to a proper spiritual understanding to make spiritual advancement. So therefore these theories have the effect of blocking people's spiritual progress and since the real purpose of the human form of life is to make spiritual progress, that means that these theories essentially sabotage the human form of life. So Srila Prabhupada was quite concerned about that and, as he put it, he wanted us to show that life comes from life, not matter.
So the point of that phrase is that life actually, with its complex form and so forth, originates from an antecedent form of life; and there is an ultimate primordial form of life which is Krsna. So essentially the fundamental difference in philosophy between Krsna Consciousness and the modern scientific viewpoint is that, although both of them accept that there is a fundamental absolute truth underlying all of reality, in modern science the idea is that absolute truth is simple and impersonal in nature, whereas the fundamental premise of the philosophy of Krsna Consciousness is that the absolute truth is unlimitedly complex and is of the nature of conscious life, namely the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So that's the fundamental difference there.
So in approaching this whole question of the theory of evolution there are many different considerations that need to be made. One is to explain how in fact the different material bodies and so on originate according to the Vedic scheme. And to relate that to our scientific theories so that was partly what I was talking about the day before yesterday in explaining creation by sound vibration. The idea there is to give a plausible presentation of the basic Vedic description of the creation. And another aspect that’s important in dealing with these theories is a somewhat negative one, namely to point out why the theory runs into difficulty. Because after all, if the scientific theory is in fact an adequate explanation of the phenomena of life then one can say, “So why not accept that theory?” In fact it has great inadequacies. So I'm going to say a little bit about that today; and I have some more video material here which is a little bit technical. It’s essentially a presentation of a lecture that I gave at a conference on evolution in Budapest last year. Actually I came through England on that occasion, also. There was an international conference on evolution there attended by many evolutionists from Europe and a few from America also. So I presented this particular material to them.
This deals with looking at mathematical models of organisms or of aspects of organisms. One fundamental feature of physical science is that it's based on the analysis of specific models. Essentially what you do is you make a model of the phenomenon that you are interested in and then you compare the behaviour of the model with reality and see how well it fits. That’s, for example, what Newton did with his model of the solar system and his gravitational laws and so forth. So in the theory of evolution one approach is to make a sort of vague statement of what you think are the basic principles governing the evolutionary process and just say, “Well this is how it must have happened.” However, this does not allow further scientific exploration. You either accept the story or you don't accept it, but there is nothing you can do because it is essentially vague. However, if you make a specific working model then you can investigate the consequences more in detail. So that’s what this is about. So what I've done is made some models of biological structures on a molecular level, on the level of cells and viruses and so forth. In particular, what we have here is a study of a kind of virus called bacteriophage. It’s a kind of virus that infects bacteria. Biologically speaking this is a very simple structure so it's relatively easy to understand how it works. It’s also been studied extensively for the last 40 years or so. So by studying this one can gain some insight into the theory of evolution. ,
The first thing that you're going to see is a protein molecule; that’s a three-dimensional model of what a protein looks like. Proteins are the building blocks of organisms on the molecular level. There are a number of other important building blocks also such as RNA and DNA and so forth. Essentially a protein is made of many amino acids which are these different coloured groups of balls here and they have a complex surface structure as you can see. Now this, here we see a virus assembling out of component parts inside a bacterium. This of course is a model - it's not the real thing. It’s more than just art however; the different parts, these little oval things, represent protein molecules. They are interacting according to laws analogous to those that govern the interaction of real proteins in actual living cells. So they assemble together here to form a complex structure. This is our particular model of a virus. What this virus does is break through the wall of a bacterium and in a moment here you'll see how this model actually functions. It will break through a simulated bacterial wall. It’s going to attack this bacterium now, at this section here and drive this central tube through this wall. That’s the way the virus breaks into the bacterium. It has a sort of hypodermic syringe that it pokes through the wall of the bacterium, then it injects its DNA through the bacterial wall. So now I’ll show you this video. [Models of Natural Selection is played]
To many, evolution seems to involve little more than a continuous change in shape and function from one life form to another. Early in the 20th century D'Arcy Thompson superimposed a coordinate grid on a human skull. He showed that a simple curvilinear transformation would map the human skull to the skull of the chimpanzee. If we apply the inverse of the transformation to an adult chimp’s profile we find it changing into a form similar to a young chimp. This form looks somewhat human; but we are left with the question of how a youthful chimp might be transformed into human being. One key human feature is the large brain which might attain human size through the prolongation of infantile growth rates. However the brains of intelligent people range over a factor of two in size and the real question seems to be how did the billions of neurons in the brain become organized to manifest unique human abilities.
In the 1860s Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-inventor of Darwin's theory of natural selection, noted that people of primitive societies have abilities as great as those of technologically advanced society. He suggested that these abilities and the talents of unusual geniuses, such as Mozart, would not be favoured by natural selection, and also could not be haphazard by-products of the natural selection process. This lead Wallace to supplement evolutionary mechanisms by divine intervention, a step which greatly shocked his friend Charles Darwin. Darwin declared that if it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. To illustrate his approach to explaining the origin of complex organs, Darwin proposed that the vertebrate eye began as a nerve connected to a light-sensitive spot. He then proposed a series of plausible intermediate eyes stressing that extremely slight variations can take one continuously from the light-sensitive spot to the eye of an eagle. These rough sketches may seem superficially plausible but one might wonder whether well-defined models of the eye could be constructed that would actually show Darwin’s series of finely graded intermediates. Such models would have to show how neurons and photosensitive cells gradually became hardwired to perform sophisticated image processing and transmit the resulting data to the brain.
The problem here is similar to the problem of brain evolution. We are dealing not with smoothly varying shapes such as the human skull, but with discrete interacting subunits that fit together in a complex combination. Even the lens of the eye, far from being a simple smooth shape, contains complex layers of cells sutured together by zipper-like, interlocking tabs. To gain greater insight into the Darwinian theory of evolution we proposed to study precisely defined mathematical models of the natural selection process. To do this we first need to define complete working models of the biological systems we wish to study. To help elucidate the effects of mutations and natural selection, these model should demonstrate the operation of the biological system, and they should also demonstrate how the system forms, or self assembles, under the direction of genetic coding. Once we have operation and self-assembly in our model we can define the life cycle of the biological system. Natural selection is simply the change in gene frequencies that automatically occurs as the life cycle takes place and some organisms leave more descendants than others. Under the heading of mutation we lump together all processes which change genetic coding in a random way. The effect these changes have on biological structures will depend on the self-assembly process.
We begin by introducing a simple model for the evolution of the eye lenses of a particular kind of trilobite, an ancient marine organism. Although trilobites have been extinct for millions of year’s, lenses from their eyes still exist since they were constructed from the mineral calcite. A remarkable feature of these lenses is that they are corrected for the optical defect known as spherical aberration. By dividing the lens into two regions of slightly different refractive index it is possible to cause light rays emanating from focus F1 to converge accurately to focus F2, thus allowing for a sharp image. This can be achieved if the interface between the two regions follows the ideal curve shown here. This curve was discovered in recent times by Descartes and Huygens but it is closely approximated in the eyes of ancient trilobites.
In our model we will first assume that the interface curve can undergo a certain kind of random change as a result of genetic mutations. The curve to the right of randomly chosen point is raised or lowered by a randomly chosen amount. We begin with a straight line as an interface and allow these random changes to occur. If the changes decrease the average divergence of the rays from an exact focus, then they are preserved; otherwise they are rejected. With this process of mutation and natural selection we see that the interface does evolve to the ideal Cartesian curve. Now let us suppose that mutations affect the curve in a different way. Now randomly placed short segments can be raised or lowered by randomly chosen amounts. Starting again with a straight line and the same selection rule, we find that the evolution process does not converge as quickly to the ideal Cartesian curve. Here we see the result of evolution by this mutation rule after 2000 cycles of mutation and selection. For comparison, here is the result of the first mutation process after 2000 cycles. The first type of mutation has its main effect on single segments of the interface curve and thus it allows different segments to evolve more or less independently of one another. In contrast, the second type affects pairs of segments and thus interface segments are forced to evolve in an interdependent way. This interdependence tends to slow down evolution and it can lead to what students of nonlinear optimization called local trapping. As we shall see, trapping due to interdependence can have a profound effect on evolutionary processes.
Thus the self-assembly process, which was not explicitly considered in the model, has an important role to play in theories of evolution. To properly introduce self-assembly into our models, it is necessary to consider the cellular processes of heredity. Unfortunately this is difficult to do since the cell, which in Darwin’s day seem to be a simple bag of chemicals, is now known to be formidably complex. For the sake of developing a manageable and yet realistic model, we will therefore consider the evolution of the T4 bacteriophage, an entity that exhibits heredity and reproduction but is much simpler than a full-fledged cell. The T4 phage consists of an icosahedral head and tail segment to which is attached a baseplate with tail fibres. The phage operates by attaching to the wall of a bacterium with its tail fibres, and then fastening the baseplate to the bacterial wall. Once the baseplate is attached, the tail contracts and drives a central tube into the bacterium. The phage DNA, stored in the head, then enters the bacterium through this tube. Once inside the bacterium, the phage DNA takes over the bacterial machinery of protein biosynthesis. Phage proteins are generated, and these automatically join together to produce new phage’s. This process involves the combination of protein subunits in a fixed order along fixed assembly pathways. The subunits making up the T4 phage are protein molecules similar to this one, the enzyme carboxypeptidase. Such a protein consists of a long chain of amino acid molecules that maintains a specific folded configuration under the influence of molecular forces.
In these diagrams the amino acids are color-coded, and the sequence of amino acids in the chain is shown at the bottom of the pictures. Although the surfaces of proteins look random they typically exhibit specifically patterned binding sites which enable proteins to interact or join together in a controlled way. Here the sites involved in the joining together of alpha and beta hemoglobin are shown. The specific molecular patterns on these sites allow for the joining of these two molecules and no others. It is important to note that a binding site on a protein molecule may consist of widely separated parts of the underlying amino acid chain. Here this is shown for the active site of carboxypeptidase. It is therefore possible that two sites on a protein, shown here in green and blue, will be interconnected by several parts of the chain. Thus there is great interdependence among the parts of a protein, and changes in the structure of one part are likely to affect the whole.
In making a model of the bacteriophage, we will abstract from real proteins the features needed to represent phage operation and assembly. A three-dimensional model can be made by representing proteins as ellipsoids with numerically coded binding sites on their surfaces. We can also consider two-dimensional models in which proteins are represented by rectangles with similar binding sites. An important feature of these model proteins is the process of conformational change. In this example subunits A and B joined together. The change is then induced in the upper bond site of B which causes a further change to occur in its lower bond site. This change in turn allows B to recognize and join with C which was previously not possible. Available evidence suggests that the rigidly specified order of assembly in the T4 phage is achieved by means of many conformational change linkages of this kind.
Here is a three-dimensional bacteriophage model. Since the self-assembly of the T4 phage head is poorly understood we have tried here only to simulate the tail and base plate of the T4 phage. The long DNA strand of the real T4 phage is replaced in the model by a short rod which runs from the base to the top of the phage. This DNA rod is surrounded by a coil of subunits which corresponds to the syringe like tube of the real phage. The coil in turn is surrounded by a sheath of subunits which can be triggered to contract and drive the coil through a simulated bacterial cell wall. The self-assembly and operation of the phage are controlled by a network of conformational change linkages. As we can see from these two-dimensional schematics, this network is quite complex, with each protein subunit interacting with several of its neighbours. Here we see the self-assembly of the phage model starting with the DNA rod and randomly positioned phage subunits. Subunits collide randomly with the growing phage and are added to it in an orderly way by the action of conformational change linkages. The operation of the phage model is also based on conformational change linkages which trigger contraction of the sheath once the phage has attached itself to the simulated cell wall. The wall was modeled to simulate an elastic substance that breaks after being stretched beyond a certain limit. Both the phage and the wall satisfy a principle of free energy minimization similar to that required in real systems by the second law of thermodynamics.
What can we say about the evolution of a system such as this model bacteriophage? We can define a lifecycle by allowing phages to self-assemble and break a variety of simulated cell walls. Phages that succeed can be selected for future life cycles, and random mutations can be introduced in the genes specifying phage subunits. What evolutionary transformations will arise from this process of natural selection and mutation?
The answer to this question is that the strong interdependence of the phage subunits places severe restrictions on the ability of the phage to evolve. To see why this is so we will analyse a simpler, two-dimensional bacteriophage model. This model is also capable of self-assembly and it operates by attacking a two-dimensional flexible barrier breaking through it and placing a small test molecule on the other side. This model is considered to have functioned successfully if the test molecule is transferred to the other side of the barrier and set free to wander randomly. The rectangular subunits of the two-dimensional phage are encoded by strings of symbols, S, B and K, where S stands for a neutral site, B stands for a bond site, and K stands for a corner. A string is required to fold to form a complete rectangle. A bond site consists of 18 bits and an optional sign which allow bond sites to recognize and interact only with specific bond sites on other molecules. Any symbol in a bond site string is allowed to mutate with the probability of 10-6 per phage life cycle. Other allowed mutations include insertions and deletions of sites which also occur with a probability of 10-6 per lifecycle. This probability is based on known mutation rates in living cells.
Here is a two-dimensional phage design that successfully breaks through a barrier that is three units thick. However it is unable to break through a barrier that is four units thick. If we redesign the model by adding an additional subunit and making other related changes we find that it is able to successfully handle both three unit and four unit barriers. In an environment containing both three and four unit barriers, a phage that can penetrate both will have a strong selective advantage over one that fails on four unit barriers. In this environment will the three barrier phage on the left be able to evolve to a four barrier form such as the one on the right? Analysis shows that to make the phage more powerful it is necessary to add a new driving subunit. This can be done by duplicating the gene for one the old subunits and modifying a minimum of two bond sites on the duplicates. This is the minimal change needed to add the new subunit.
And this addition is only possible if the bond sites of the duplicated subunits are aligned one above the other. Without this prearranged alignment, additional mutational changes would be needed to add the new subunit. Taking into account the rate of mutations and the need for prearranged alignments, the highest possible probability for adding a new subunit is about 5×10-19 . If a new subunit is added the resulting phage will fail to function unless the two side pieces of the phage are simultaneously elongated. This requires adding sites to the side pieces by site insertion mutations. The probabilities for these elongations come to about 10-32 per side piece given the assumed mutation rates. The transition from the three barrier to the working four barrier design requires that all of these mutational changes must occur simultaneously. The probability is therefore less than about 6×10-84, a prohibitively small value. Actually similar transitions in real complexes of interacting proteins are likely to be far less probable. For example, many simultaneous changes would be required to change the shape of a protein while preserving existing bond sites needed for interaction with other protein. One might argue that exponential growth rates of microorganisms allow transitions of such low probability to occur; however, the earth is not large enough for this. For example, the maximum number of E. coli bacteria that could live in a global ocean 8 km deep is less than about 2×1034. Many other phage models can be studied. For example, consider this design, which operates by uprooting sections of the flexible barrier; such designs can be readily created within the mind. However, it is difficult to see how they could originate or evolve significant new capacities in an environment where successful operation is required for survival. In general, models involving many strongly interacting parts tend to require prohibitively improbable simultaneous mutations in order to evolve new functions or improved capacities. One might suggest that this limitation is an artifact of our model and not true of real systems such as the T4 phage. If this is so, however, it should be possible to formulate phage models which are amenable to evolution, and this should be a topic for further research. Without explicit models of biological systems, the theory of evolution becomes simply an exercise in imaginative storytelling and not a proper scientific theory.
We will end by briefly noting some examples of biological machinery to which this model building approach could be applied. One example is provided by the E. coli bacterium. This bacterium is propelled by spiral flagella that are rotated by motors of molecular dimensions built into the bacterial cell wall. Can one make a working model showing how these motors might have evolved? To model the evolution of these bacterial motors, it is first necessary to understand how they work. Here is a model of the E. coli motor based on the work of Howard Berg. The model includes a wheel attached to an axle. There are several movable subunits around the wheel; each subunit is mounted so that it can oscillate back-and-forth parallel to the wheel rim. Each subunit has an opening to the inside of the cell membrane represented by the vertical tube. The subunit also has an opening underneath that faces outside the cell membrane and a channel along the rim of the wheel that links the two openings. Because there is a difference in hydrogen ion concentration between the inside and outside of the cell, hydrogen ions tend enter the subunit’s channel more on one side than on the other. When they enter the channel, the hydrogen ions tend to bond to the wheel rim. The random oscillation of the subunit causes the sides of the subunit to strike the bonded hydrogen ions and give a push to the wheel. Since the ions tend to bind to the rim on one side of the channel, this side tends to hit the attached ions more often than the other side. As this happens with all the subunits, the net effect is to rotate the wheel in a particular direction.
Our question is: How could a mechanism like this arise by mutations in the cell lacking such a mechanism? What would be the useful intermediate structures leading up to such a mechanism? Another example is provided by the cell walls of bacteria. These walls are made of sheets of cloth like material. Each sheet is composed of a rectangular array of complex molecular subunits which are assembled outside the bacterium by the action of special enzymes. Can one make a working model of bacterial wall formation and show through what stages this complex system may have evolved? In the cellular reproduction of DNA, the DNA strands can become entangled. An enzyme called the DNA gyrase, envisioned here is a molecular robot, is able to grasp two crossing DNA strands. By breaking one strand and reconnecting it on the other side of the other strand this enzyme can tie or untie knots in DNA. Since this enzyme is essential for cellular reproduction it would be interesting to make a model of its operation and its origin. Finally we consider one of the many examples of higher organisms with features that seem to require many simultaneous steps in order to evolve. The statocyst, or balance organ, of this crustacean depends for its function on a small grain of sand inserted by the animal when it molts. For this arrangement to work, both the complex statocyst and the complex instinctive behavioural pattern seemed to be required simultaneously. How did this come about?
This lecture was first given in Budapest in 1987 at the international symposium entitled “Organizational Constraints on the Dynamics of Evolution.” The models and analysis presented here are discussed in detail in the textbook Computer Simulations of Self-organization in Biological Systems, by N.S. Goel and Richard Thompson. [video ends]
What I'm doing here is considering the case of something we can analyse on the cellular level, namely this virus. The reason for picking the virus is that it’s simple enough to really understand what it's doing, at least we think we can understand. If you look at the simplest independent living organism - viruses, you see, are parasites; they’re not independent - but the simplest independent living organism would be, say, a bacterium. The bacterium is so complex that we really don't know how it works. Even though the E. coli bacterium, for example, has been studied for many years now by biochemists, still there are all kinds of things going on there that nobody understands. So if you don't understand how a given system works, how can you explain how it originated? First, to explain a series of evolutionary steps leading up to that organism you would have to, if you were really going to give an explanation, show how each step was viable and how each step would replace the step before it. But if you don't even know how the organism works, how can you know what a viable step is going to be or not. So it's essential to know how the systems work before you can say how they evolve. Otherwise you don't have a scientific theory of evolution. So that's one point here. So we’re taking a virus and asking, “Could that evolve a slightly more powerful function?” We took this example of the thickness of the barrier that it’s able to penetrate. So could it evolve from a form that penetrates a barrier of one thickness to form that is slightly more powerful and can penetrate a thicker barrier? The answer turns out to be that this could not happen because the mutational steps required are too improbable. So in general what you find is that in structures which have complex interacting parts evolution is practically prohibited.
Now there are other situations in which evolution is possible and that was the point of that trilobite eye example. That lens shape could evolve by a Darwinian mechanism and the reason it could evolve is that it’s possible to mutate the lens in such a way that the different changes are independent of one another. The question of independence versus dependence is the important issue here. So if you have a mechanism in which there is great dependence among the different parts, then if you change one part you automatically have to change other parts in order for the system to still work; and this means that the mutations that are required are very improbable because you have to make one change, and another change that matches that perfectly, and another change that matches that, and so forth. So therefore you find that evolution is highly improbable.
Now I should make a point concerning these probability calculations for anyone who's ever interested in saying anything in a university about these topics. Typically Christian creationists will give the following argument regarding probabilities in evolution. They’ll say: you take a protein molecule like one of those that I was showing here. So you can represent the protein molecule as a stretched out chain of amino acids. So you have a long chain and along this chain there are successive amino acids. So in a given protein you may have, say, 300 of them. That’s a typical number actually. So they go from 1 to 300. So each amino acid can be one of 20 different types. So you say, “Okay, here let us put the amino acid indicated by the letter ‘A’. That’s one of the 20. Here you can put one indicated by the, say, letter ‘G’ for Glycine. That’s one of the 20.” So at each point you have 20 choices. So in total how many different proteins could you make? Well, 20 choices here times 20 for the 2nd one gives you 400, times 20 for the 3rd one, that’s 20 cubed, times 20 for 4th one. You just keep multiplying 20 all the way out till the end. So there are 20 to the 300th power different proteins you could make.
So assuming that you just combine these things together at random with equal probabilities, what is the probability that you'll get this particular protein? Well, it is one out of 20 to the 300th power. Now 20 to the 300th power, well you can see that there’re at least 300 zeros in this number, in fact. Then there’s the 2300 so - what the heck - it’s, you know, if you wrote the that number, you know, you couldn’t write on the blackboard; you’d have to bring in several hundred blackboards in order to completely write the number basically. So it’s a ridiculously small number, or large number rather, so 1 over that is the probability of hitting one of these proteins. It’s ridiculously improbable. So that would never happen. So this is often advanced as an argument against the possibility of forming living organisms by chance because this is what's involved in forming one particular protein. Well, scientists love to tear this argument apart. They’ll say it’s completely fallacious. There are so many things that can say about it. For example, they can point out that you don't have to get one precisely defined sequence of amino acids. It's known that in actual proteins many of the amino acids can vary quite a bit and the protein still works perfectly well; and many similar objections of this kind are raised. So they tear this this argument apart.
Not too long ago I went to a debate between one of the Christian creationists named Duane Gish and a member of the biology department at San Diego State University. So they debated one another. So in this debate instead of Gish giving this argument, the professor who was opposing him gave this argument, and he just held it up to utter ridicule, and thus Gish didn’t even have an opportunity to give it. So the point then is that one has to be a little bit careful about the arguments that one presents. Actually there are valid arguments involving showing that the evolution of living systems involves steps of exceedingly low probability. However in order to show this in an adequate way you need to take something more along the lines of this model building approach that I was showing here.
Basically the whole point of all this analysis here is to say, “Alright, if you have a model and you understand how it works, what changes are needed to convert it into a form that will perform some additional function?” So you can analyse then, say well, to do the additional function I need to add this and if I add this, then I have to change that and so forth; and these changes will have such and such probabilities. So then you try and find a way of making the changes that will give you the largest possible probability. And you can see in, for example, in this case that the largest possible probability is still 10-84 which means a 0% probability of happening essentially. So that kind of analysis can be presented. So the basic point then is that the process of evolution as understood by the Darwinian theory is not adequate to explain the origin of significant features of living systems, and you can see that definitely in simple examples. In more complex examples it’s very hard to see what's going on because it's difficult to analyse the complex system. People have been to a certain extent mesmerised by this idea that things can happen by chance. I once gave a lecture at Johns Hopkins University on this kind of subject matter and pointed out the very low probabilities of some of these evolutionary steps, and the students there seem to be pretty well agreed that, “Yes, we are simply products of chance, what's wrong with that?” But the point to make there is that what one is saying if one says “it’s just by chance” is that there is no scientific explanation. A scientific explanation is one that posits a large, a reasonably large, probability for the indicated event. If you have an explanation which gives an exceedingly small probability and you say, “Well, it just happened by chance”, then what you are in effect saying is that you have no explanation. It seems as though you're explaining it by saying ‘by chance’. But this word ‘by chance’ doesn't really add anything substantial to what you're saying. It’s merely a sort of soothing sound that gives the impression that you're explaining something. But an actual scientific explanation has to give a large probability for whatever the phenomenon is that is being explained.
So what it amounts to then is that there is no scientific explanation that anybody has for the origin of living systems. And this is a very significant thing because this idea of evolution is the sort of basic foundation stone of the scientific attempt to understand the universe as a whole. If you eliminate that then what you're left with in science are particular explanations of certain limited phenomena, such as electromagnetism or certain properties of chemical bonds or something like that, but you no longer have a universal explanation that encompasses everything. But that's actually the situation in science. Valid science only gives you certain limited explanations of things. There is no Universal Picture actually.
A: Yes this idea tends to be very unpopular amongst established scientists. There is one interesting example though. There is a man named Walter Elsasser. He’s very old man now. He's a physicist that became a biologist, and he presented a theory in which you have absolute detailed information existing in nature to specify living systems; but he stated this in such an abstract way that I think nobody criticised it because very few people ever read it or understood it. I finally understood it myself after that lecture I gave a Johns Hopkins. In fact this Walter Elsasser actually came to the lecture and a he mailed me a reprint of one of his papers later on and so I was able to grasp his point at that stage. But he was approaching biology from the point of view of the physicist. Now physicists posit natural laws. So if you ask a physicist where the natural laws come from the physicist will answer that, “We don't explain where the natural laws come from; they're just the starting point for all other explanations, they are, so to speak, the uncaused cause of everything.” Janmady asya yatah. So what Elsasser proposed was that the information defining biological systems has the same status as the laws of physics, namely it’s uncaused. There is no question of giving an explanation of it. It’s just absolute information, just as we can say that the law of gravity is absolute. We don't say where that comes from. We just start with it. Similarly the complex information defining living organisms is absolute.
This is what Elsasser proposed, but he did it in an extremely abstract way. So no one seems to have objected particularly. So that's interesting because you can use that as a starting point for a line of reasoning - which we actually have in the Origins magazine - namely to say, “If you propose that there is absolute information somehow in nature defining living organisms, then what is the nature of that information? And how does it exist outside of the bodies of the organisms themselves? After all we see that matter is always in flux, things are always breaking down. We don't think that anything in this world is permanent. So the information, if it’s absolute, could not be embodied in these physical forms, because then how could it be absolute if these forms are so transient? So it must be in some other form then. So what form is it in?” So you can consider that question. Then you can consider another line of thought and discuss the whole question of consciousness. One can argue that consciousness is an absolute feature of reality, and we do observe that consciousness tends to be connected with life, at least in our case. So if you then propose that the consciousness, the absolute consciousness, is linked together absolutely, with the absolute information defining life, you at least approximate some idea of a sentient being which is the absolute cause all the different living organisms. So you can proceed step-by-step in that way. At least it’s a reasonable sequence leading to the idea of an absolute person from whom the different organisms and so forth had become manifest. So you can actually do that if you start with Elsasser’s idea and simply add the ingredient of consciousness. So these different lines of reasoning can be presented
A: No I’m not withdrawing anything. What we presented in the Origin, that was in the Origin magazine, and we presented specifically Fred Hoyle's version of this. This, by the way, is an example of a scientist who came up with one of these ideas and was ridiculed. This Fred Hoyle was a very famous British astronomer, an astrophysicist, so somehow or other he came up with the idea that, well I guess he approached by stages, but he finally came up with the idea that there’s God, and God is creating life on the earth. He proposed a somewhat curious method for this. He suggests that outer space is filled with bacteria which carry genes for successive evolutionary stages and these are put there by God from some central dissemination point. They drift down through the atmosphere and when you get sick, being infected by these bacteria, the genes carrying the new evolutionary information get incorporated into your cells, and in this way the evolutionary process takes place. Perhaps he should have been ridiculed for this idea! But anyway, at least he had some idea of an absolute source of the biological information. So anyway, Hoyle made an argument concerning the possibility of having a bacterium evolve, and so he asked for the probability of a single protein to evolve and he gave a very, say, conservative probability estimate allowing the fact that you could have many different substitute amino acids and so forth. And considering the number of proteins you need in a bacterium he came to a figure of 1 over 10 to the 40,000th power for (11040,000) the probability of this coming together. However this also was considered with scorn by the scientific community.
A: Basically at this point they practically have a Pavlovian reflex against any probability argument of this kind. Hoyle actually met many of the standard objections because he allowed for the fact that you can have many substitute amino acids in different positions and so on. Of course they will say that, “Well they didn't all come together at once to form a bacterium, but there is a series of stages”. This is the basic rebuttal they would give. The answer to that is that if you say the evolution occurred through a series of stages you should be prepared to tell us what the stages are. Not that you just say ‘there’s a series of stages’ and were supposed to believe that and the question is settled. And what evolutionist do not do is specify the stages that are supposed to have taken place; but that would be there basic answer to Hoyle.
A: The way they would argue it is to say that you have natural selection acting at each stage so as to increase the probability. However you run into real problems because that means you have to have at each stage a self-reproducing organism. And what is the minimum thing that you need for a self-reproducing organism? There is reason to think that a minimum self-reproducing organism will be highly complex. So how do you get that to begin with, so that it can then evolve further? This is a real problem.
A: So basically what is needed to discuss the original origin of life is some model that really shows step-by-step how it's supposed to happen, and basically the models haven't been proposed yet.
A: What I was saying, evolution is possible in some circumstances and in others it is not possible. And the basic principle behind it is that if the changes involve relatively independent alterations then the evolution is possible, but it there’s a lot of interdependence then it's not. Just to give an example, a real simple example of evolution in which you have independence, let us suppose that, suppose you talk about moving along a line. Say you start here at 0 and you go to 1, and you make small steps and you have, say, a three quarters chance of going this way and one quarter chance of going that way. So if you look at this you’ll see that sooner or later you're going to reach this point, if this is your rule for movement. Now suppose you have many such lines and this is happening independently on each of them, so you start with all your points here. Well, since each one individually is going to go from 0 to 1 in a certain length of time, since all of these are independent, they will all go from 0 to 1 in basically the same length of time because they are just duplicates of the same thing .So if you think of this as some kind of structure, looking like a graph like this or something, then this graph will definitely evolve from the 0 position to the 1 position. So here’s a case where a kind of evolution involving chance and selection, the selection here is shown by having 3 fourths instead of 1 fourth, that’s the selective part; and the fact you’re making a random choice, that’s the chance aspect.
So here you have a case where an evolutionary process will definitely take you from one stage to another. Now that trilobite eye example is similar to this, but not quite that simple, because there you’re taking the surface of the lens and making changes in its shape, and it turns out if you look at the model, the changes are more or less independent of one another, not completely but nearly so. So it’s like this situation. So the lens shape can in fact evolve until you get the ideal curve which focuses the light rays properly. In effect each light ray has its own little separate lens segment that it goes through; so you’re only concerned with that segment for that light ray and you’re concerned with a different one for the next light ray and so forth. So you have independence. So in cases where there’s independence you can have Darwinian evolution. So that includes, you know, changes in, say, the flu virus, which make us susceptible to new waves of flu. You see, we have antibodies against certain flu viruses so if a slight change occurs in the structure and surface of the flu virus then our antibodies won’t react to it any more. So then we get sick from that virus and so then you have a new flu epidemic and so forth. All these things are possible. But when you're talking about a structure with many parts that fit together in a coordinated way, then you have problems with the evolution. So that’s the basic theme here.
A: Well, they’ll try to argue that actually you don't wind up with a huge figure. Their arguments also failed to show that the development of these things should actually be probable; but of course if you defeat the main force of somebody’s argument that’s usually sufficient to weaken that person's position. So that's what they do in attacking the creationists’ argument when it’s presented in this form. They essentially weaken their position and they don’t bother to carry it further. So it's good if you're going to put forward an argument to put forward a strong one that can’t be easily discredited; and so therefore this particular argument is not so good because it's easy to point out flaws in it. So it's a fact that in dealing with these topics it can get fairly complicated, but that's the way it is with these things. Of course one thing you could propose to people is that instead of trying to figure all of these things out, it might be better to adopt the idea of faith in, you know, higher revelation and so forth. But many people are trained to think that that is an outmoded way of approaching things. So the idea is that one can explain some of these problems with the prevailing theory of evolution and then suggest that in fact a reasonable alternative to this is that some kind of intelligent engineering is behind all these myriads of highly complex mechanisms and so forth that we see in nature; and if some kind of higher intelligence is going to the trouble of building all these machines in nature, then perhaps we can also get some more direct communication from that higher intelligence. At least on a theoretical level that possibility is opened up.
A: Well, if you grant this higher intelligence, then it would be possible to have evolution in a coordinated way directed by the higher intelligence, and some people propose a theory like that. So that is, you might say, an intermediate position between the positions of the evolutionists and, say, the philosophy of Krsna Consciousness. Now as it happens, according to the philosophy of Krsna Consciousness, you don't have a generation by generation evolutionary change. Instead you have a process of transformation going from subtle forms coming down to gross forms. Actually that is a generation by generation process in the sense that you have descent from one family member to another. I gave the other day that the example of descent from Vivasvan, the sun-god, to Iksvaku, who is a human being. So Iksvaku is the grandson of Vivasvan. So you do have transformation in a generation by generation fashion. However it's not like the transformations proposed by the theory of evolution because there you’re gradually improving primitive organisms and making them more complex and all the organisms are on a gross level from start to finish. But according to the Vedic idea you're going from higher organisations on a more subtle platform and coming down to grosser levels on a lower level organisation.
The basic picture given by the Srimad-Bhagavatam for the, say, origin of the human species is as follows: You can start with the manifestation of Brahma within the universe coming from the lotus flower from the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Visnu. The body of Brahma in one verse of the Bhagavatam is described as an incarnation of transcendental sound. It's a rather interesting verse, but there’s a whole description, especially in the Third Canto, of Brahma. So Brahma is imbued with all kinds of information coming from Visnu including the seed forms for all the different living species. So Brahma is compared to a gardener. He doesn't create anything in the sense of actually making something new himself, but he just takes seedling forms which are given to him, or actually are part of his body, and he, so to speak, plants them in the fertile soil of the universe and they proceed to grow in a natural way. And Brahma is concerned with tending the garden, so to speak, and making sure that the conditions for growth are suitable. So Brahma generates different high-level demigods called Prajapatis. These Prajapatis in turn produce different demigods. At a certain point, actually at the initial stage, Brahma is doing this by generating forms directly from his mind. So he has different mental sons. But from a certain point onward the process involves sexual reproduction between the different beings that have been produced at that stage. But in this process of sexual reproduction, instead of one form giving rise to something identical to it, or basically similar, you find that one kind of demigods can give birth to a completely different life form.
Also as a corollary to this we have the fact that the demigods have the power to assume different forms. So this would suggest, from the point of view of the modern way of thinking, that in the body of one demigod the information for all kinds of different biological forms is there, whereas in our body you only have the information for a human body and nothing else. So they have more information and the power to manifest different shapes and forms. This is what you see described in the Vedic literature. So it’s described in the Bhagavatam, in various places, that different demigods, such as daughters of Daksha for example, give birth to different species of life and these then propagate sexually from that point. So the essential process in producing that form lies in the ability of the demigod to transform from one shape or form to another. So that much is described the in the Bhagavatam. When they say this sounds very mythological but at the same time, at least in a broad sense because we certainly don't understand the details of how that works, but in a broad sense you can see how, if in the subtle form of the demigod which is basically the ethereal - actually Srila Prabhupada said all the different elements are there in the bodies the demigods but the concentration of the different elements is different from what you have in, say, the human body, so their bodies are primarily ethereal - so if you propose that in this ethereal body you have information stored there that can define all kinds of different forms and that within the system that the demigod has for controlling its body, its equivalent of a nervous system or whatever a demigod has, it can call upon that information and manifest these different shapes, then one can get a fairly reasonable picture of how such a thing would be possible. So then all you have to do is propose the demigod can produce limited shapes that can reproduce from thereon in just one particular limited form. Of course the idea is that ultimately all the information and the power to manipulate that information is coming from Krsna. So he can empower one with different capacities or else restrict the power that one can exhibit. So it’s all under Krsna's control.
A: My understanding is that refers to the universe and the 400,000 human forms would include demigods and also many other humanlike forms.
Q: Such as . . . ?
A: Well there are all kinds of different beings. There are Gandharvas, Siddhas, Caranas, Yaksas, Raksasas, Guhyakas; you know, there are lists of them mentioned in the Bhagavatam. Interestingly enough the Bhagavatam refers to ape-men. The Kimpurusas are humanlike and apelike, so they are ape-men in effect. And the Sanskrit term Kimpurusha means “is it human?”, so apparently when you look at one of these you say “is that human?”, So therefore they are called Kimpurusas.
A: That’s another similar thing, Kinnaras, it’s the same thing, “is it human?”. Nara also means a human. When we read of 8,400,000 forms in the Vedic literature, it's not obvious what is meant in the Vedic literature by a particular form. For example, take dogs. Is it that dogs in general are one form, or is it that German Shepherds and Dachshunds and so on are different forms? We have no idea. It’s been suggested from time to time that these forms refer to different states of consciousness, but then where would you draw the line in discussing different states of consciousness? So we really don't know what is meant by the 8,400,000 forms. As far as biological species are concerned, as defined by the scientists, scientists adopt the rule that organisms belong to the same species if they can mate and produce fertile offspring and if they either cannot mate at all, or if they produce infertile offspring, they are said to belong to different species. So that’s how they define it. This works well with animals but it doesn't work very well with plants, because you can cross breed a lot of highly different looking plants which you would like to assign to different species. So this is their method of counting.
However it's a fact that scientists have shown difficulty in discriminating among species in this way because sometimes they’ll say there's 100 species of snail in a given place, then later they'll discover that what they thought were five different species of snail are different stages in the growth cycle of one snail. Then they rename them. So there’s a good deal of confusion as to the actual number of species. The current estimates are about 2 million plant and animal species according to the scientific counting.
Srila Prabhupada was explaining to us, actually in Washington DC, that there are different categories of annihilations and species get wiped out during these annihilations. Then they’re recreated. So human beings have been created, annihilated, created, annihilated and so on many times. So human beings on the earth don't have any one particular origin from the demigods but this process of production of human forms has occurred many times. So we can read of human beings on the earth during the time of Svayambhuva Manu because apparently, at at least one point, Svayambhuva Manu was reining in Brahmavarta in India and at that time Kardama Muni, the great sage, was meditating on a lake which Srila Prabhupada said is apparently near the Indus Valley region. So then there's the whole story of how he married Devahuti who was the daughter of Svayambhuva Manu and Lord Kapila was born and so forth.
So in more recent times there is a description of the creation of necessary living beings in the Caksusa manvantara by Daksha in his appearance as the son of the Prachetas. What happened was in Svayambhuva manvantara Daksha appear as the direct son of Brahma, but then he offended Lord Shiva and his head was replaced with the head of a goat and so forth. And it’s explained that he was a bit embarrassed to live in that way, so he shortly died. Later he appeared as the son of the Prachetas is in the sixth manvantara period and created different categories of living beings. Some of his daughters also produced human beings. And another example is given, in the, well Srila Prabhupada, in the purport and verse in Bhagavad-Gita describing how Krsna spoke the knowledge of Bhagavad-Gita to the sun-god, he points out there that this knowledge was communicated to the sun-god a hundred and twenty million years ago and the sun-god spoke this to his son Vaivasvata Manu. But in the Treta-yuga of this yuga cycle, King Iksvaku was born to Vaivasvata Manu. So you have a period of 120 million years practically on the demigod level and a couple of million years in this case on the earthly level. But of course demigod lifespans are so enormous that this is feasible. For the demigods a hundred million years for them is just like a few years for us. So that's some information from Bhagavatam and so forth concerning origin of the human species. You see this evidence we were presenting concerning the fossils and so forth would be consistent with the Vedic view, at least in the sense that it indicates the presence of human beings at various at time periods
Yadunandan dasa: Thanks to Sadaputa dasa and his audience. You have listened to a broadcast by Radio Krsna. Your host and engineer was Yadunandan dasa. Thanks! and until next time, Hare Krsna.