The original press release announcing the new theory.
In 1994, Dr. Periannan Senapathy published his book, "Independent Birth of Organisms," that details a radical new scientific theory of the origins and diversity of life. This theory is based on 14 years of molecular biology research done by Dr. Senapathy into the origins of genes.
Most of the organisms we see today were born independently from the primordial pond through the random assembly of genomes from sequences of random DNA. Organisms have not descended from a common ancestor, but rather from millions of independently born organisms, whose genomes were all assembled from a common gene-pool of a single small primordial pond by using common biochemicals, genes and molecular biological mechanisms. Computer studies of genes that are split into exons (coding regions) and introns (junk DNA) show that such genes would have been easy to find in random sequences of primordial DNA. The similarities we see today are the result of the assembly of the genomes of the various organisms from the common gene pool, and the reuse of many genes of previously made, viable organisms -- these similarities produce "false" evolutionary trees. Short-term adaptations and artificial selection do result in variations and even some new species, but those evolutionary mechanisms have not been responsible for the wide diversity of life and the many unique genes now being discovered in organisms. For example, many different crab varieties and species have been produced from an original crab, and similarly many different snails from an original snail, but the crab and the snail originated distinctly from the primordial pond.
Modern molecular biology provides ample evidence for the new theory. Recent discoveries of many unique genes in distinct organisms that are totally absent in other organisms provide the best evidence. These discoveries have begun to be made only over the past decade or so, and make it impossible for molecular biologists to explain them based on the conventional theory of evolution. The mechanism of the multiple assembly of genomes from a common pool of genes, producing many distinct organisms with both similarities and distinctions, immediately explains the other kinds of scenario that have been hitherto enigmatic and elusive to evolutionary theory, namely zoological and fossil. The structural unrelatedness of many distinct organisms belonging to the various taxonomic categories such as the phyla and classes is known as "the problem of the origin of higher taxa," so far unexplainable by evolution for the past 135 years. The new mechanism of the multiple assembly of genomes is able to explain this. The sudden appearance of almost all the distinct organisms belonging to all the different phyla in a geological instant at the base of the Cambrian period, termed the Cambrian Explosion, has not been explainable by the theory of evolution. The new mechanism in fact predicts this scenario. Thus, the new theory is able to explain the scenario of life on earth based on all the major types of evidence -- genes, organisms and fossils.
The critics of this new theory argue that genes and proteins of different organisms have many patterns of similarity appropriate to descent from a common ancestor. But this is circular reasoning and, even if it were not, it would not disprove independent births. The techniques used to search for these similarities assume they have resulted from common descent since that is the only theory around and one which has been accepted on faith, not fact. Thus, the data sets used in these evaluations are unintentionally biased toward finding compliance with the commonly-held theory of evolution rather than in finding fault with the theory itself. Also, many of the patterns are seen simply because certain proteins are required for viability since omission or significant genetic change would result in death. The same patterns of protein similarities can come from independent births because of the reuse of genetic material from previously produced, viable organisms. The true test of the new theory will come from analyzing the many unique genes in various organisms where common descent cannot provide an answer.
Evolutionists say that a bacterium originally appeared on earth, but they do not have any scientific explanation of how it appeared. Even with all the modern information and knowledge of molecular biology and DNA sequences, they have never been able to explain the origin of even one gene -- because their assumptions are fundamentally wrong. They say that eukaryotic cells evolved from prokaryotes, but again they are unable to give a scientific explanation for this. They say that multicellular creatures evolved from a single-celled eukaryote -- again no scientific explanation. They say that multitudes of distinct creatures, with numerous distinct systems of organs and appendages, and systems such as blood, immunity, respiration, circulation, blood clotting, and so on, evolved from that simple creature -- but with no scientific explanation what so ever!
Numerous creatures, such as the crab, snail, octopus, bivalve, earthworm, and sea starts, are all distinct, unrelated creatures. But evolutionists simply state that all these evolved from a common ancestor -- through assumed changes that never happened and through imagined missing links that never existed! All these have always been only assumed to have happened, based only on the original theory of Darwin. Long-term evolution is a total assumption, full of scientific holes, with some seemingly convincing evidence, such as gene similarity. But these observations, and observations that cannot be explained even by the modern evolutionists, all can be clearly explained by the new independent birth theory with the fullest scientifically corroborating details, evidence, and validity.
A new scientific theory that explains the origin and diversity of life on Earth, and that contradicts the widely accepted fundamentals of Darwinian evolution, was announced today by the theory's author from his research facilities in Madison, Wisconsin. The new theory, a culmination of 12 years of modern genome research and investigations in molecular genetics, asserts that the overwhelming majority of Earth's life forms originated independently in the proverbial primordial pond, and that the natural-selection mechanism described by evolution theory could have produced only minor variations among basically similar species. These conclusions dramatically refute all of the prevailing theories of species evolution, first articulated by Charles Darwin in 1859, which hold that all species have evolved from only one or a few primitive single-celled ancestors in the primordial pond, and that the rich variety of life forms on Earth is a product of natural selection, a mechanism often characterized by the phrase "survival of the fittest."
Dr. Periannan Senapathy, a molecular biologist and genome researcher, announced the new theory in the form of a four-page synopsis released today, and noted that a book-length explanation of the theory, fully annotated with experimental data, computer-generated models and other evidence to support his conclusions, will be published next week by Genome Press, also in Madison. "Many of the premises that feed the theory have already been published, in separate pieces, for peer review in scientific journals," Senapathy said. "But the unified theory as a whole is entirely new, and more than a little radical, so naturally I'm eager to hear the feedback from my peers."
The new theory, titled "Independent Birth of Organisms," rests primarily on two newly acquired insights, both of which contradict orthodox evolution theory. First, the new theory asserts that the genome, or "genetic program," for every distinct organism is by nature permanently closed to any evolutionary-scale changes. And second, the new theory contends and explains how the random assembly of primordial chemical components into genes and complete genomes was in fact statistically inevitable, rather than highly improbable as previously believed.
All evolution theories rest on the assumption that only one or a few primitive organisms emerged from the random chemical reactions in the primordial pond. That critical assumption rests in turn on an assessment of the chances that any organism could have emerged from the primordial pond. Some researchers have claimed that, statistically, the random assembly of primordial components into even a single primitive genome would have been virtually impossible, and that the origin of the first organism therefore can be explained only by some fantastically improbable accident. But the new theory contradicts that assumption, on the basis of data obtained by the unprecedented application of sophisticated statistical-analysis methods and modern computer power to new insights into molecular genetics. "One dramatic finding of my research is that the primordial pond actually produced an abundant assortment of genes and fully formed genomes," Senapathy said. "The diverse assortment of chemical compounds in the primordial pond, combining and recombining under an extraordinary range of extreme conditions, and over geologic time, could have easily produced a full complement of gene segments." Moreover, according to the new theory, the abundance of genes in the primordial pond made the formation of multitudes of viable genomes statistically inevitable. "Those genomes that were meaningless perished instantly," explained Senapathy, "but the many organisms coded by viable genomes became the prototypes for all of the organisms that walk, swim, fly and flower over the Earth today."
The new theory also deviates from accepted evolution theories in its claim that the genome of every distinct organism is forever closed to evolutionary-scale changes. Independent Birth of Organisms" agrees that natural selection can produce minor variations of basically similar species, and notes that the dozens of species of snails, for example, may well have evolved by natural selection from a single snail ancestor. But the genetic mutation of one organism into an entriely new organism, even gradually over many generations, is virtually impossible, according to the new theory. "Recent advances in our understanding of genome mechanics, DNA sequences and genetic mutations tell us that the genome of any given organism is much more rigid than previously believed," Senapathy explained. "A few adaptive mutations are statistically plausible, but on an evolutionary scale genomes are essentially fixed and immutable."
Since receiving his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science in 1979, Dr. Senapathy has been engaged in molecular-level genome research, first at the National Institutes of Health (1980-87), and then at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1987-90), before launching his own genetics R&D firm in 1990. His work in molecular genetics and genome biology has included significant contributions to the Human Genome Project commissioned by the U.S. government, other advanced genome research, and numerous publications in prominent scientific journals.
"The doctrine of evolution carries such an obvious intellectual and even aesthetic appeal, and has become so ingrained in our culture, that many people, scientists included, tend to forget that the theory was never proven," Senapathy noted. "Evolution theory has prevailed simply because no better theory has come along to challenge it, but science has amassed plenty of evidence that evolution theories can't explain." As examples, Senapathy cited the obvious gaps in the fossil record, the sudden appearance of multitudes of new organisms all at once in the fossil record -- a phenomenon known as the "Cambrian explosion" -- and the complexities of advanced organ systems that most scientists agree seem unlikely to have evolved by natural selection. "Darwin himself conceded several inexplicable problems with his own theory that remain unresolved to this day," Senapathy continued, "but virtually all of the contradictions that have dogged evolutionists since Darwin are easily resolved by this new explanation of the birth of organisms."
Copyright 1994 by Periannan Senapathy, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.
[Hyperlinks lead to more details about each premise, below.]
New research and recent advances in our understanding of genome mechanics, DNA sequence structure and genetic mutations all indicate that the genome of an organism is much more rigid than previously believed. In fact, all genomes seem to be essentially fixed and immutable to substantive, evolutionary- scale changes, even over geologic time. A few adaptive mutations seem statistically plausible, but a distinct organism's characteristic morphology and biochemistry now appear to be permanently closed to the development of any new organ, appendage or biochemical process.
The implications of this hypothesis are staggering, since it refutes the fundamental premise of virtually all theories of species evolution, which have prevailed in one form or another since Charles Darwin articulated the original theory in 1859. All evolution theories hold that all species have descended from one or only a few primitive single-celled ancestors in the proverbial primordial pond, and that the rich variety of life forms on Earth is a product of natural selection. But if genomes are indeed fixed and immutable, then natural selection can produce only incidental variations among essentially similar species, and therefore can explain only a small fraction of the diversity of life on Earth. If genomes are fixed and immutable, then most of Earth's plant and animal species must have originated independently in the primordial pond.
This dramatic finding is clearly at odds with existing research that purports to demonstrate, mathematically, that the random formation of even a single gene from primordial chemical components would have been virtually impossible. But those statistical models predate the 1978 unveiling of the structural features of eukaryotic genes (those in plants and animals), and other, newer derivative insights into the molecular structure of DNA and genes. When this current data is processed by more advanced statistical-analysis methods and modern computing tools, the earlier assessments are seen to have suffered from invalid premises and fatally simplistic computations. New research and computer simulations now show that the interactions of increasingly complex chemical compounds in a rich primordial broth, under a broad range of extreme catalytic conditions and over geologic time, spontaneously produced an abundance of very long, random DNA sequences. And further studies based on these findings, and on our new comprehensive understanding of DNA and gene molecular structures, now confirm that indeed many fully formed genes almost certainly occurred naturally, entirely by chance, within the long, random primordial DNA strands. In fact, the total mass of DNA in the primordial pond seems to have been entirely sufficient to have made the natural occurrence of billions of genes statistically inevitable.
Meanwhile, other recent published studies have demonstrated that, contrary to what biologists had long believed, eukaryotic organisms actually preceded prokaryotes on Earth, despite the greater length and complexity of eukaryotic vs. prokaryotic genes. This new knowledge may at first seem inconsistent with an abundance of naturally occurring genes in primordial DNA, since the greater length and complexity of eukaryotic genes would seemingly make them less likely to occur by chance. But systematic analyses reveal, surprisingly, that the structural features of eukaryotic genes actually made them much MORE likely than prokaryotic genes to occur within random DNA sequences.
If genes did indeed form spontaneously, and abundantly, in the primordial pond, then we are free to return to the same astonishing conclusion: that most of Earth's plant and animal species originated independently in the primordial pond. A twelve-year investigation into this possibility has uncovered a strong likelihood that the random assembly of vast numbers of available genes in the primordial pond actually produced innumerable multi-gene DNA segments, which in turn combined and recombined to form billions of complete genomes. Of the multitudes of genomes thus formed, most were meaningless and perished instantly, but the millions of organisms coded by viable genomes became prototypes for the myriads of life forms that walk, swim, fly and flower over the Earth today.
Scientists have long been troubled by conspicuous evidence that contradicts evolution theories, including prominent gaps in the fossil record, the "Cambrian explosion," and the complexities of advanced organ systems, which many scientists concede are unlikely to have occurred by natural selection. But the basic theory has persisted, year after year, in the absence of any plausible alternatives. To be sure, scientists continue to debate various aspects of the theory, and some remain unconvinced that natural selection, at least as articulated by Darwin, is the sole or even the primary mechanism of evolution. But the critical premise of all evolution theories -- that all life on Earth diverged from a single primordial organism, or from just a few -- seems to be regarded as beyond reproach.
Given our cultural environment, it is understandable that much of the evidence that contradicts evolution has been simply ignored, while other evidence has been misinterpreted to falsely corroborate evolution theory. Taxonomists, for example, have long pointed to superficial morphological similarities among dissimilar organisms as evidence that they diverged from a common ancestor. Invertebrates contain body fluids that resemble vertebrate blood in both viscosity and function (if not color), and it is therefore only natural to assume that invertebrate "blood" is a very distant cousin to our own. Invertebrates also exhibit respiratory, digestive and endocrine systems, and structural features such as eyes, and what we call "mouth parts," and "arms" and "legs," so it seems entirely plausible that our own ancestors mutationally branched off from invertebrates not too far from the shores of the primordial pond.
But most taxonomists are not molecular biologists. And molecular biologists have now determined that the vertebrate genes and invertebrate genes for most seemingly comparable organ systems, structural features and biochemical processes are utterly dissimilar. The development, composition and functionality of human blood, for example, is governed by more than 600 genes, but not one of them has yet been found to be even remotely similar in molecular structure to any of the known genes that code for invertebrate "blood." If all life on Earth had descended from a common ancestor, then we would surely expect to find recurring patterns of structural similarities among different organisms' genes for comparable morphological and biochemical features. This expectation has become even more compelling in light of our newly sophisticated understanding of genes' molecular structures, and researchers have searched hard for this molecular evidence that would corroborate evolution theory. But much to the surprise of confirmed evolutionists who have tried, absolutely no evidence of evolutionary relatedness has yet been found in exhaustive comparisons of the structural features of dissimilar organisms' genes for "blood"; or for comparable biochemical processes such as coagulation; or for comparable metabolic systems such as respiration, immunity and other systems. Only a few isolated single-gene similarities have been identified, and these do not even begin to constitute the sort of systematic pattern that we would expect to find in organisms sharing a common ancestry. Indeed, the disjointedness of the gene similarities corroborates instead the "mix-and-match" scenario of random, independent genome assembly from a rich gene pool in the primordial pond!
These investigations into comparative gene structures have also helped to confirm an insightful new conclusion drawn from mostly existing evidence: that despite the enormous morphological differences across the full spectrum of life on Earth, the level of genomic COMPLEXITY varies very little among different organisms, even between single-celled eukaryotic microbes and the so-called higher multicellular organisms. Genomic complexity -- if measured by complexity of molecular structural features, or functional complexity of genomic expression in the developmental genetic (DG) pathway -- is remarkably constant among all eukaryotic organisms. Moreover, genome length simply does not correlate to morphological or biochemical complexity. We humans are clearly more complex than amphibians, for example, and yet many amphibian genomes are 50 to 100 times longer than the human genome. The random assembly of genomes for the simplest life forms would therefore have been no more nor less likely, probabilistically, than for morphologically complex organisms, and this finding notably eliminates any need to explain an incremental simple-to-complex evolution of organisms.
If Earth's contemporary organisms did in fact originate independently from genomes assembled in the primordial pond, then some mechanism must have facilitated the expression of primordial genomes into the first plants and animals. The recent revelation that Earth's first cells must have been unicellular eukaryotes, rather than simpler bacteria as previously believed, points to one such plausible mechanism, logically derived from what we know and can infer about the primordial environment. The development of the first organisms from viable genomes may well have been facilitated by intermediary "seed cells": eukaryotes whose structures and functions resembled the fertilized egg cells of contemporary multicellular organisms.
A generation ago evolution theory easily survived Watson and Crick's extraordinary revelations of DNA structure and function, and subsequent researchers' characterizations of genetic mechanisms at the molecular level. These insights, however, did not prove evolution any more than they debunked it; they simply coexisted with the still unproven theory. But evolution theory will not be so lucky in the wake of contemporary genome research. Independent Birth of Organisms easily explains all of the available evidence -- molecular, biochemical, organismal and fossil -- and notably accommodates all of the contra-evolution evidence that has dogged evolutionists since Darwin.
Every organism's characteristic morphology and biochemistry are manifestations of specific proteins whose structures, functions and chemical compositions are coded by the organism's genes. Moreover, specific gene-coded proteins also define, for every organism, a unique developmental genetic (DG) pathway that governs the selective and sequential expression of other genes in both the embryonic development of the organism and the ongoing maintenance of its biochemical functions. The evolution of any organism into a new, different organism would therefore require the genetic alteration of some proteins into entirely new proteins. But probabilistically, no known mutation mechanism can produce even a single new gene for an entirely new biochemical or biological function, or for a new organ or appendage, or for a new branch to the DG pathway.
Genetic mutations are known to occur at an extremely low rate: roughly one mutated DNA character per generation within a DNA strand of 10^6 to 10^9 nucleotides (that's "ten to the sixth power" to "ten to the ninth power"). Within a given gene, this low frequency of mutations can easily produce many normal variants without affecting the specific biological function of the corresponding protein. But the genetic alteration of a protein's function would almost certainly require at least a full 1% SPECIFIC change in the gene's coding sequence, and the low mutation rate combined with the required specificity make such a change astronomically improbable, even cumulatively over trillions of years. New research documented in Independent Birth of Organisms demonstrates that mutations affecting a protein's crucial amino acids can produce only protein defects, which in turn typically produce metabolic defects, congenital diseases and cancer. Such mutations cannot, however, alter the characteristic function of a given protein over any span of geologic time.
Chapters 3 and 4 of Independent Birth of Organisms provide detailed analyses of published and accepted data to assess the probabilities of various possible combinations and permutations of the nine primary classes of genetic mutations and rearrangements, and of mutation frequencies. These investigations all point to the same conclusion: that genetic mutations and rearrangements can produce only normal individual variations, changes in incidental characteristics such as coat color and stature, and metabolic and genetic diseases. The many variant species of snails, for example, may well have evolved by natural selection from a single snail ancestor. But the probability of one organism genetically mutating into an entirely new organism, even gradually over many generations, is virtually nonexistent.
All evolution theories depend on the premise that one or only a few primitive organisms emerged from the primordial pond. That fundamental premise rests in turn on a mathematical assessment of the chances that any organism could have emerged from the random chemical reactions in the primordial pond. Statistically, say evolutionists, the random assembly of primordial components into even a single primitive genome would have been virtually impossible, so the origin of the first organism -- even of the simplest single-celled microbe -- can be explained only by some fantastically improbable accident. But that assumption is contradicted by new evidence obtained by the unprecedented application of sophisticated statistical-analysis methods and modern computing tools to new insights into molecular genetics and the specialized field of chemical evolution.
Independent Birth of Organisms asserts that multitudes of complete genomes occurred spontaneously in the primordial pond, but this fundamental premise is actually a conclusion drawn from a three-link chain of evidence. The spontaneous formation of complete genomes would have required the existence of an enormous "gene pool": a pooled source of available genes and multi-gene segments that could combine and recombine to form the various genomes. The existence of a viable gene pool depends in turn on the primordial existence of an adequate supply of random DNA sequences that were long enough to contain, entirely by chance, a sufficient number of genetically meaningful segments -- what we call "genes." And the existence of such long, random DNA sequences in the primordial pond depends on the probability that such sequences formed spontaneously from primordial chemical compounds mixing over a specific period of time in the primordial environment. Each of these links in the evidence chain is explained separately and in more detail below, and is fully documented in the book-length articulation of the theory.
Recent research and consultations with world authorities in chemical evolution support an inference that Earth's primordial ponds contained enormous quantities of long, random DNA sequences. In fact, chapter 6 of Independent Birth of Organisms provides fairly simple mathematical calculations to illustrate how the primordial pond probably yielded and supported DNA strands totaling 10^26 nucleotide molecules. By contrast, the DNA of the human genome contains roughly 10^9 nucleotide molecules -- which is 10^-17 = 1/100,000,000,000,000,000 the length of the random sequences that probably occurred in the primordial pond.
Chapter 6 explains the chemical processes and primordial conditions that permitted and even encouraged the formation of these long, random DNA strands within the primordial pond.
Statistically, random DNA sequences extending to a combined length of 10^26 (100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) nucleotide molecules would certainly contain many billions of the genetically meaningful segments we call "genes." The probabilistic analysis appears in chapter 7 of Independent Birth of Organisms.
Analyses of the structural and functional features of multicellular organisms' genes and proteins, and computer simulations based on them, reveal that the natural occurrence of an abundance of fully formed genes within primordial DNA was not only possible, but probabilistically inevitable. The 1978 discovery of eukaryotes' split-gene architecture, and recent research showing that eukaryotic genes actually preceded prokaryotic genes (contrary to what biologists had long believed -- see below), both radically alter the equations used to determine whether fully formed genes could have occurred spontaneously within primordial DNA strands.
Previous attempts to assess that likelihood predated these revelations, and also failed to incorporate the degeneracy of amino acids in protein sequences, and the degeneracy of codons in genes as potent factors in the calculations. New computer simulations, documented in chapter 7 of the book, confirm that virtually any gene that codes for proteins with almost any biochemical function could occur directly in its split-gene form in the primordial genetic sequences. Moreover, almost all of the structural features of genes predicted by these probabilistic models and simulations are indeed found to exist in almost all known genes of living animals and plants.
The breakup of primordial DNA strands and recombination of segments to produce genetically meaningful sequences, multi-gene segments and complete genomes would have required a viable mechanism to induce and facilitate such recombinations. Chapters 6, 7 and 8 of Independent Birth of Organisms explain, specifically and in depth, the mechanisms by which individual genes and multi-gene segments in the gene pool could have easily combined and recombined to form multitudes of complete genomes. These chapters provide ample evidence to conclude that primordial Earth's rich biochemical environment provided all of the enzymes necessary to facilitate the combination and recombination of genes and multi-gene segments into complete genomes.
Biologists have long believed that prokaryotes must have preceded the "evolution" of eukaryotic organisms, since eukaryotes are morphologically more complex than prokaryotes, such as bacteria, whose cells contain no nuclei and whose genomes consist of short but contiguously sequenced genes. Even after the 1978 discovery of eukaryotes' split-gene architecture, biologists believed that the chance occurrence of eukaryotes' longer genes within primordial DNA would have been virtually impossible.
But exhaustive statistical analyses of all known gene sequences, in all organisms, have now shown that it was the split genes of eukaryotes that actually occurred first in the primordial DNA. As noted above, the structural features of eukaryotic genes actually made them MORE likely than prokaryotic genes to occur within random DNA sequences. This finding was published in 1986 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences. A continuation of this research, published in PNAS in 1988, documented how the genes of all plants and animals, including single-celled organisms, all exhibit precisely the same features of genes that were predicted by the original analyses. Still more research into this same topic, published in Nucleic Acids Research, Molecular Genetics and Methods in Enzymology, has yielded even more supporting evidence.
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