01 May 2018

Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory of the Origin and Evolution of Life by Karo Michaelian. A review by Gert Korthof.

Karo Michaelian
'Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory
of the Origin and Evolution of Life',
12th printing, March 2017

What if somebody told you that a deadly substance such as radioactivity or UV light  actually was involved in the origin of life? 

We all know that a small amount of UV-C light could instantly kill most present day micro-organisms and viruses [27, 32, 37]. We all know that the ozone shield is vitally important to life because it absorbs biologically harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun [24]. We all know that melanin in our skin absorbs the energy of UV light and shields our cells from the radiation’s harmful effects [31]. Geneticists know that Ultraviolet light can damage DNA [25,26,36]. If we know all this, how on Earth could somebody think that UV light plays a role, let alone a key-role, in the origin of life? You probably think such a person is ignorant or a genius.

There is such a person in Mexico. It is physicist Karo Michaelian. He called his theory Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory of the Origin and Evolution of Life. His view of life is a radical new theory about life and evolution based on the theory of dissipative systems. A dissipative system is a thermodynamically open system which is operating far from equilibrium in an environment with which it exchanges energy and matter. Examples of dissipative systems are hurricanes and living organisms. I am intrigued. I want to know more about it. Even if the theory only partially solved the origin of life, it would be a great contribution to science.

UV-resistant RNA and DNA

Michaelian applies the theory of dissipative systems to the origin of life with interesting results. He points out that [1] both RNA and DNA are exceptionally strong absorbers and extremely rapid dissipaters of ultraviolet light UV-C (230–290 nm) [2]. They do this within a picosecond, which is extremely fast (one millionth of one millionth of a second). There are no known other biotic or abiotic molecules that have this property, he claims. UV-C light from the sun could have penetrated the prebiotic atmosphere 4 to 2.5 billion years ago. The reason is that the ozone-layer (ozone shield) did not exist at the time [3], so UV-C light could not be absorbed by the ozone layer. This is before the origin of life. So, Michaelian suggests that DNA and RNA have those exceptional properties because they could resist the UV-C light of those days. In other words: DNA and RNA (especially the 5 bases) were thermodynamically selected. They were stable under those harsh conditions. If DNA and RNA have indeed those properties it makes sense that they were selected. Not only DNA and RNA: "There are also many other vestiges remaining in the fundamental molecules of life pointing to a UV-C environment at, or very near, the beginnings of life which would also have to be considered as mere accidents or coincidences..." (p. 307). This all makes sense and this is one of the potential valuable contributions to the Origin of Life field [28].

So, the explanation of why DNA has been 'chosen' as the hereditary molecule, is that it has been thermodynamically selected at a time 4 to 2.5 billion years ago. A relic of the past. This seems plausible because all molecules of those days must necessarily have been very resistant to UV light. One cannot call it natural selection, because we are talking here about non-living non-reproducing molecules. I guess other molecules were destroyed, but Michaelian does not tell us much about what happened for example with amino acids, peptides, proteins, lipids, sugars, etc. in those days.

Now we have short sequences of DNA or RNA. But that is not life. DNA should be replicated. Michaelian has ideas about that too ('Ultraviolet and Temperature Assisted Replication'). Still, this does not amount to life. But all other Origin of Life researches face the same problem. Michaelian is not the only scientist claiming a role for UV light.  John D. Sutherland reports that his team created nucleic acid precursors starting with just hydrogen cyanide (HCN), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and ultraviolet (UV) light [4]. I don't know what the specific role of UV is in their scenario.

I am not an expert on these matters, so I have to rely on the opinion of Origin of Life researchers. I found a few isolated remarks which seem to support Michaelian. For example Koonin et al (2006): "... suggest that photosynthesis originated in the cyanobacterial lineage under the selective pressures of UV light and depletion of electron donors". That is similar to the main claim of Michaelian. There is a short supporting remark in Leslie Orgel (1973) [5]. However, these are a few isolated remarks. Almost universally, when in the Origin of Life and evolution literature UV light or the ozone layer is mentioned, UV light is harmful. For example: "the damaging effects of solar UV, which was orders-of-magnitude stronger in the absence of the ozone shield than it is now" (source). And: "Skin cells that produced a pigment called melanin were advantaged because melanin is a natural sunscreen; it absorbs the energy of UV light and shields cells from the radiation’s harmful effects." ( source ).
Famous origin-of-life researcher Cairns-Smith wrote: "It is being realised too that ultraviolet sunlight is even better at destroying middle-sized organic molecules than at making them" [6]. On the other hand, if UV creates ozone O3 from O2 that seems to be a creative process. Maybe that is a clue [17].

UV induces thymine dimer lesion in DNA ©wikipedia

Returning to our remarks at the beginning of this blog. How is it possible that DNA and RNA are UV-resistant and yet are damaged by UV? It still remains puzzling that UV light causes mutations [22], [23], causes skin cancer [7], [20], skin aging [33] and is widely used as an sterilization method (anti-bacterial, anti-viral [29]), is implicated in mass extinctions [8], and at the same time  –according to Karo Michaelian– is instrumental in the production of the first molecules of life and at the same time according to mainstream science small amounts UVB radiation help synthesize vitamin D. How does this all fit together? Is it possible that proto-life was not damaged, but life today is damaged by UV? [19].

I would like to see experimental results with UV-C induced DNA and RNA synthesis published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Such an experiment would not be too complicated I guess. If successful that would be a major breakthrough in the origin of life field.


Poor Photosynthesis

Now the most remarkable claim of all. Applying his theory to photosynthesis: Karo Michaelian observes that photon dissipation into heat accounts for 99,9% of the free energy in sunlight and only 0,1% is used for photo-synthesis (p.70, p.312) [9]. This is a crucial fact in his thinking:

"This represents an extremely poor efficiency for a photosynthetic system that has had the opportunity to evolve for at least 3,500 million years considering that humans have developed systems capable of converting up to 40% of the free energy in sunlight into usable electrical energy within only 40 years of technological innovation." (p.312)
Michaelian concludes from these data that not photosynthesis, but photon dissipation into heat has the highest priority of plant species. It is not natural selection that rewards plant species with the highest photosynthetic efficiency, but it is the law of dissipative systems that selects plants with the highest dissipation [10], [11]. Needless to say this is completely against the common sense and evolutionary biology [12], [35].

His entire argument hinges on the assumption that it is possible to distinguish optimization of biomass production from optimization of the conversion of visible light into infrared light (heat). He claims thermodynamic dissipation is optimized and photosynthesis is not. However, if both processes are necessarily connected, then it is not possible to distinguish between the two, let alone to point to the one that is optimized! I think that they are two aspects of the same process. Two points of view that can not conflict and are both true.
Obviously, Michaelian would counter that the number 0,1% is decisive. It is just too small to be an optimum [18]. But the number alone is cannot be decisive. We need to know whether is physically, chemically and biology possible at all to have a significantly higher efficiency. How can we know this? Comparing photosynthesis with solar panels is certainly no good. The purpose of solar panels is electricity production and nothing else. Plants do not produce electricity. In contrast with solar panels, photosynthesis means synthesis of carbon compounds (sugars) using CO2 + H2O + photons. Solar panels are not in the business of synthesizing carbon compounds. So, that comparison is wrong.

The conclusion that 0,1% is too low, is just as wrong as concluding from the fact that 98% of the human genome is non coding, that the function of the human genome is garbage collection. Or conclude from the high energy consumption of the brain that the purpose of the brain is heat production. Or conclude from the inefficiency of light bulbs and fossil fuel cars that the main purpose is heat production [16].

If the percentage 0,1% is true (it is not: 30), it clearly would be enough for all life on earth. More than 7 billion people and as many of cats, dogs, cattle and wild animals depend on photosynthesis. 

A better idea would be comparing natural photosynthesis with artificial photosynthesis [21].The highest reported efficiency for artificial photosynthesis lab prototypes is 22.4%. However, plants are efficient in using CO2 at atmospheric concentrations, something that artificial catalysts still cannot perform (wikipedia). (Plants cannot control CO2 in the atmosphere!). So, until now natural photosynthesis still outperforms artificial photosynthesis. 
Even if humans could significantly improve artificial photosynthesis, it would be comparable to improving milk production in cattle. It would not prove that milk production of wild cattle is inefficient. There are evolutionary and ecological reasons for this.

Improving Photosynthetic Efficiency for Greater Yield
In modern evolutionary theory the definition of fitness is reproductive success. (I will return to that and what Karo Michaelian writes about it in the next blog). If photosynthesis would be the only factor determining reproductive success it is expected to be optimized or even maximized. But photosynthesis is not the only factor. For example Nitrogen availability is an important factor for growth (source). And there are other ways to enhance biomass production. Plants can make few bigger leaves, or many smaller leaves. It at all depends on the design specifications: for a shadow environment or the bright sun? Also CO2 is a limiting factor for photosynthesis and is out of control of a plant. Life history theory aims to explain the facts that different organisms have different strategies for growth and reproduction. Weeds (annuals) have fast growth and short lives, trees have slow growth, live long and invest heavily in non-photosynthetic wood en root system [13]. Bamboo is a famous fast growing plant [14] (whatever the photosynthetic efficiency).

Even if photosynthesis were the only factor in evolutionary fitness, it would not necessarily mean that the efficiency would be high. The reason is that there is enough sunlight. Literally more than enough. Whenever there is more than enough of a resource, there is no reason to have high efficiencies. "Crop leaves exposed to full sunlight absorb more light than they can use. If they can’t get rid of this extra energy, it will actually bleach the leaf. Chemical changes within the leaf allow the excess energy to be dissipated as heat, in a process called nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ)" (source). I think this is  an important reason why the efficiency is 'low'. See also: Photo-inhibition, photoprotection.

Thermodynamic Limit. There is an intriguing reason why photosynthesis is not 100% efficient: thermodynamics! (see figure above). There is a Thermodynamic Limit: "At the reaction centers, thermodynamics limit the amount of energy available to do photosynthetic work."! (source), (source). I would like Karo Michaelian's comments! As a physicist he should be able to enlighten us.

Conclusion. The function of photosynthesis is carbon fixation: the most fundamental biological reaction which incorporates carbon atoms into organic molecules starting with carbon dioxide. Without carbon fixation no plants, no animals, no biosphere. We animals cannot live from the sun! We need photosynthesis because of the food it produces for us. We don't care if plants produce entropy when we are hungry. We cannot eat entropy.
However, his thermodynamic view is not wrong. All organisms are open thermodynamic systems that necessarily produce entropy: bacteria, plants and animals. Michaelian unnecessarily claims that Darwinian natural selection contradicts his 'thermodynamic selection', and natural selection should be replaced by 'thermodynamic selection'. More on that in the next blog. In this respect his views are over the top. He pushed it too far. That's a pity.

Michaelian cites another two experiments purportedly proving his theory. The first is 'A maximum hypothesis of transpiration in plants' (ref 392). This won't work in a hot, dry climate because plants would die if the tried to maximize evaporation. Second: 'Inactive Photosystem II Complexes in Leaves' (ref 47). However, the authors of the article conclude: "Although there are two few data to answer the question of whether inactive centers serve a useful role in photosynthesis, for example in photoinhibition, development, or otherwise, ..." (GK: 'two' must be 'too'). So, there is more research required to find out their functions.
    In the end reading his book is a pleasure and is not a wast of time. It contains many illustrations, more than 400 notes, a detailed index, glossary and is very cheap for a scientific book. His alternative view of life may be unusual, even weird, it highlights facts which are not yet well explained by Darwinian theory such as why plants devote resources to the synthesis of reaction centers that apparently do not contribute to carbon fixation (p. 312) and the red-edge effect. I was not familiar with these facts.

    Genetically modified plants are better able to make
    use of the limited sunlight available when
     their leaves go into the shade (source)

    Others about Dissipative Systems and Life

      To my surprise physicist Jeremy England [34] said "when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy". This is the same idea as Michaelian.
        Also to my surprise Eric Schneider and Dorion Sagan (2005) Into the Cool use often the same idea and wordings as Karo Michaelian. This one is beautiful:
        "Go out and observe trees, and you will see living dissipative systems stretching skyward to capture available solar energy. ... This process is the result of the thermodynamic imperative to degrade the quality of the incoming solar energy as completely as possible." "Plants are perhaps the most advanced instrument yet evolved for degrading incoming solar radiation." (p.220).
          Michaelian certainly would agree.

          Postscript: 100% quantum efficiency

          "Photosynthetic light harvesting can achieve a quantum efficiency that approaches 100% (that is, the conversion of 100 photons of light into 100 chemically available electrons), and yet it displays notable robustness in the face of ever-changing external light conditions. (...) revealed the first hints of a simple, seemingly universal set of rules that define the robustness of natural light harvesters. These rules should inform the design of future solar technology." Science  26 Jun 2020

          So, humans can learn from a 3,5 billion year old invention called fotosynthesis! Quite the opposite of what Karo Michaelian claims!


          PART 2:

          Review of Karo Michaelian's Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory. Darwin and Natural Selection

          Review of Karo Michaelian's Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory, PART 2. Darwin and Natural Selection, 16 May 2018


          1. He points out that: See wikipedia article 'Abiogenesis'. The wording, the language, the style of the section 'Thermodynamic dissipation' are the same as in Karo Michaelian's book. So, probably Karo Michaelian wrote that section. It is a summary of the theory that only its author could have written. Or: it is a copy&paste work of somebody else.
          2. UV-C: Today UV light is used to kill bacteria! See: wikipedia article Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and Germicidal lamp.  On the wikipage DNA there is nothing about DNA's exceptional resistance to UV-C. On the contrary: wikipedia tells us that UV-B damages DNA and causes mutations.
          3. Ozone layer appeared when oxygen levels were high enough (Great Oxygenation Event)
          4. Common origins of RNA, protein and lipid precursors in a cyanosulfidic protometabolism Nature Chemistry volume 7, pages 301-307 (2015)
          5. L.E. Orgel (1973) The Origins of Life,  p. 117: "However, it has been shown that if hydrogen sulfide or formaldehyde were present in sufficient quantities in the atmosphere, they could have absorbed a much larger amount of ultraviolet energy and made it available for the synthesis of organic compounds." but also here: "ozone absorbs ultraviolet light strongly ... otherwise men would be subjected to very harmful doses of ultraviolet light."(p.117). There there seems to be universal agreement  (1) there was no ozone layer at the origin of life, (2) UV light was hitting the earth surface, (3) UV is harmful. (added 2 May 2018)
          6. A. G. Cairns-Smith Seven clues to the origin of Life, 1985, p. 42.
          7. "No type of UV radiation has been shown to be safe – cancers have developed after exposure to UVA (alone), UVB (alone), and UVC (alone)." Source: Does UV radiation cause cancer? from the website www.cancer.org of the American Cancer Society. So, this is a serious source. Further, see the website of the Skin Cancer Foundation: UVC isn't a concern for skin cancer.
          8. See chapter 4: An ancient ozone catastrophe? in: David Beerling (2007) The Emerald Planet. (my review).
          9. p.70: KM quotes the lowest Photosynthetic efficiency. But it ranges from 0,1% – 1% to 2% (crops). Nonetheless: it seems to be low. KM emphasizes that everybody ignores this fact (p. 283). This is not true: "a surprising small amount of that energy is turned photosynthetically into biomass." (Eric Schneider, Dorion Sagan (2005) Into the Cool, p.221) however these authors don't draw very dramatic conclusions from this fact.
          10. "Instead, if plants and other photosynthetic organisms have evolved to optimize dissipation rather than photosynthesis ...". (page 234).
          11. Plants could not exist without carbon fixation. If carbon fixation is against universal law of dissipation-maximization then photosynthesis could not have originated in the first place.
          12. The 'purpose' of photosynthesis is the synthesis of carbon-compounds as glucose and ATP. Carbon-based life could not exist without photosynthesis.
          13. Photosynthetic efficiency is not a fixed number. For example the photosynthetic efficiency  of oak forests drops from 1.5% - 1.7% at ages between 20 - 40 years to 0.4% at the age of 200 years (Schneider and Sagan, 2005, p.221).
          14. Growth pattern and photosynthetic activity of different bamboo species growing in the Botanical Garden of Rome.
          15. The tile of this blog 'The Origin of Species by Means of Thermodynamic Selection' is of course a paraphrase of Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection'.
          16. added May 2 2018: I couldn't believe when I first heard that the fuel efficiency of a fossil fuel car was only 25%! An invention some 100 years on the market! 
          17. remark added May 2 2018
          18. If you believe in intelligent design: the extremely low efficiency of photosynthesis is an insult to the Creator. Creation is perfect. So, it must have happened right after the fall. Before the fall plants had a maximum efficiency only constrained by the laws of physics. (added 3 May 2018)
          19. In an email 17 May 2018 Karo Michaelian wrote: "in the book I do in fact "explain why in contrast to mainstream opinion UV is not harmful". I do that particularly in sections 4.2 (Of Pigments and Protectionism) and 19.13 (Pigments Provide Protection) and in many other places throughout the book."  [added 17 May 2018
          20. "By 1964, the biologists Robert Painter and Ronald Rasmussen had discovered that UV irradiation of mammalian cells led to a phenomenon that they interpreted as excision repair" (Nature, 31 May 2018). See also: UV-sensitivity disorders, Photosensitivity, Cockayne syndromeXeroderma pigmentosum (= inability to repair damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light). [added 31 May 2018]
          21. I blogged earlier on the efficiency of photosynthesis: Bas Haring over de ineffici├źntie van fotosynthese (4) in which I discuss Robert E. Blankenship et al (2011) Comparing Photosynthetic and Photovoltaic Efficiencies and Recognizing the Potential for Improvement, Science 13 mei 2011. [added 7 Jun 2018]
          22. There is too much literature on cellular responses to ultraviolet-C radiation to summarize here. For example: p53 becomes activated in response to myriad stressors, including but not limited to DNA damage (induced by either UV, IR, or chemical agents such as hydrogen peroxide). [17 Oct 2019]
          23. Lethal and Sub-lethal Effects of UVB on Juvenile Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca: Pulmonata). UVB (290–320 nm). Wild-type (pigmented) snails are less susceptible to lethal effects of UVB than albino snails. [23 Oct 2019]
          24. "Some of the most notorious are the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) coolants used for refrigeration and foam production. These destroy the ozone layer, the shield that protects life on Earth from damaging ultraviolet light." The chemists policing Earth’s atmosphere for rogue pollution, Nature, 22 Jan 2020
          25. Antonio Conconi, Brendan Bell (2017) The long and short of a DNA-damage response, Nature volume 545, pages165-166 (2017): "Ultraviolet light can damage DNA, triggering a general shutdown of gene transcription – yet some genes are activated by UV light." Added: 26 Mar 2020
          26. "The coronavirus, 2019-nCoV is sensitive to ultraviolet rays and heat" from: General questions COVID-19. Prevention and Control. 13 Apr 2020
          27. "Far-UVC, which has a very short wavelength, cannot reach or damage living human cells. But the narrow band wavelength can still penetrate and kill very small viruses and bacteria floating in the air or on surfaces." quoted from: Carla Cantor Could a New Ultraviolet Technology Fight the Spread of Coronavirus? Columbia University in the City of New York, April 21, 2020
          28. In 2020 researchers "identified a network of reactions promoted by ultraviolet light that resulted in the synthesis of two of the standard nucleosides found in RNA: uridine (U) and cytidine (C), which are collectively known as pyrimidines." Furthermore, UV has a role in "producing only the biologically relevant isomers of the purines." from: How DNA and RNA subunits might have formed to make the first genetic alphabet, Nature 3 Jun 2020
          29. Researchers compared influenza rates in patients in TB buildings with and without UV lights during the 1957-58 pandemic. In the rooms without UV, 19% got the flu; in rooms with UV lights only 2% became infected. Michael Greger (2020) How to survive a pandemic. page 726/2247. [20 Jun 2020]
          30. In: Optimizing Antenna Size to Maximize Photosynthetic Efficiency: "The theoretical upper limit for the operational efficiency of plant photosynthesis has been estimated from a detailed stepwise analysis of the biophysical and biochemical subprocesses to be about 4.6% for C3 and 6.0% C4 plants. (These estimates assume a leaf temperature of 30°C and an atmospheric [CO2] of 387 ppm and were calculated relative to the full solar spectrum at the earth’s surface. These efficiencies would be slightly more than double if calculated relative to only the photosynthetically active radiation [i.e. 400–700 nm.]." that would be: 9.2% and 12.0% respectively. Karo does not mention these numbers. He sticks to 0,1%! That is up to 120 times lower! 25 Aug 2020 
          31. "The epidermis is the skin’s outermost layer. Just 0.1 millimetres thick, the epidermis is battered by mutation-promoting ultraviolet rays over a person’s lifetime, and is the origin of the vast majority of skin cancers". Seeds of cancer in normal skin, Nature 07 October 2020 
          32. New species of water bear uses fluorescent ‘shield’ to survive lethal UV radiation, Science 13 Oct 2020. "a germicidal UV lamp dose of 1 kilojoule per square meter killed bacteria and roundworms after just 5 minutes"  "It’s likely, scientists say, that the tardigrades evolved fluorescence as a means to tolerate the high doses of UV typical for hot summer days in southern India."
            13 Oct 2020
          33. Photoaging is a term used for the characteristic changes to skin induced by chronic UVA and UVB exposure, see wikipedia article: Photoaging 16 Oct 2020
          34. Jeremy England has now published about this: 'Every Life is on Fire. How Thermodynamics Explains the Origins of Living Things' 92020), Basic. 8 Nov 2020 
          35. However, an article 'Soybean photosynthesis and crop yield are improved by accelerating recovery from photoprotection' Science 19 Aug 2022 writes: "Plants protect themselves from too much sun by dissipating excess light energy."  and: "Crop leaves in full sunlight dissipate damaging excess absorbed light energy as heat. This protective dissipation continues after the leaf transitions to shade, reducing crop photosynthesis." So, plants adjust photosynthesis and dissipation according to light intensity. The study proves this adjustment is under genetic control. Karo views plants just as dead things. 19 Aug 2022. 
          36. Aziz Sancar - investigating how cells repair UV damage by Nobelprize organization. 2015. "The molecular machinery that excises UV damage from human DNA is more complex than its bacterial counterpart but, in chemical terms, nucleotide excision repair functions similarly in all organisms."
          37. "In her first experiment as a graduate student, Evelyn set out to generate mutations by treating E. coli strain B with ultraviolet light (UV). There was no previous information on the UV sensitivity of E. coli, so she selected a relatively high dose, which killed all but four colonies of cells." She demonstrated that the E. coli B/r strain was resistant to both UV and x-rays. Evelyn M. Witkin (1921–2023), Science 7 Sep 2023 [8 Sep 2023]


          1. impressive piece of work, Dr Korthof

            looking forward to the next blog
            that will wrap it all up!

          2. gert,

            zal je vast interesseren, denk ik:

            Origins of life: a problem for physics, a key issues

            Sara Imari Walker 2017 Rep. Prog. Phys. 80 092601

          3. Hi Karo, I presume it's you. Thanks for the compliments! I expected some criticism, maybe you are working on it?

          4. Harry, dank! Dit spreekt me wel aan:
            'One can best feel in dealing with living things how primitive physics still is’.
            (Einstein, letter to Szilard)
            en dat dus geschreven en geciteerd door een fysicus!

            Hier is de gratis, complete pdf:

            Er zitten een paar aanknopingspuntjes om Karo M te beoordelen. (90% is bekend, die 10% is nuttig!)

            over plm 2 weken de volgende blog...

            prettige hemelvaart!

          5. gert

            dezelfde quote sprak mij ook aan!

            - het probleem speelt al sinds Democritos vs Aristoteles!

            ik had de pdf al, maar niettemin bedankt

          6. Thermodynamics by Ved Sir | Lecture 1 | CSIR-NET | GATE | IIT-JAM | Chem Academy | Digital Board This video contains Lecture 1 of Thermodynamics which is delivered by Ved P. Sharma Sir for CSIR-NET, IIT JAM and GATE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtZJumPMgCY

          7. update 3 June 2020: there is evidence that UV could have a beneficial role in the origin of two RNA building blocks. See note 28.

          8. Hi Gert, the previous comment was not mine but this is definitely me. Just a comment regarding photosynthetic efficiency; a typical leaf absorbs at over 90 percent from the UVC to the red-edge. What would be a valid Darwinian reason for absorbing so much light if a plant uses only 1 percent of this in the best of cases? It is after all very free energy intensive for the plant to create so many different pigments.

            I thank you for your interest in my work and will do my best to respond to any comments or criticisms.

          9. Hi Karo,
            Are you in good health? No covid-19 virus? Are you able to go the university and do your research on the Origin of Life?

            You wrote "the previous comment was not mine but this is definitely me". It's my comment! it is a quote. You see, when I encounter trustworthy information relevant for the question of the Origin of Life, be it supporting or contradicting the views I defend, I publish it on my blog or website. You quoted only note 28 which is supporting your views and ignore for example Postscript: 100% quantum efficiency (26 Jun 2020) which seems to refute your claims.
            Science is about weighting ALL the evidence for and against your favourite theory. Science is not about fighting for your own theory until the last day of your life, but about increasing our understanding of nature, about what really happens.

            About your 1% question: I wrote about photosynthesis in the blog above. The only response was: "impressive piece of work, Dr Korthof. looking forward to the next blog that will wrap it all up!"
            In stead, I expect a serious discussion of what I wrote. I put an effort in the research for writing it, so I expect you put a serious effort in dealing with what I wrote.

          10. Hi Gert, my family and I are fine. Thank you for asking. I hope that you are yours are also fine? The university has been closed since the middle of March but I keep working from home.

            It seems you misunderstood me. When I wrote that "the previous comment was not mine..." I was referring to the previous comment that you incorrectly attributed to me, "Impressive piece of work Dr Korthof ...". Sorry, but I am not the author of this comment, or else I have terrible Alzheimers! It is not even my style of writing, although I do find all your blogs impressive.

            My view of science is somewhat different from yours. I believe that there is no correct or absolute theory. All theories are eventually replaced with something more encompassing or more precise as human knowledge, and with it understanding, progresses. We, as scientists are all fallible, but science progresses through discussion and honest criticism and we should not hesitate in defending our personal perspective of nature as long as we have done our homework and are sincere in our beliefs. We can both present and defend a particular perspective and both never stop insisting that our perspective is the more rational, logical, or scientific, without ever coming to an agreement. That is perfectly fine. The history of science is full of such disagreements, and some, even after 100 years remain unresolved. The only thing is to remain sincere and be a gentleman/gentlewoman with your opponents and have faith that over time humans will, as you say in other words, arrive at a closer approximation to reality.

            I assure you that, time permitting, I will do my best to present my perspective and answer your questions and to criticize, where I feel competent, the Darwinian narrative which I believe you defend. Let me be clear that I am not anti-Darwinian, but I believe it is more descriptive than scientific and that not all the description is correct. What I attempt to do in my writings is to put on a physical/chemical basis all that I believe to be correct in the Darwinian narrative, and to address the origin of life, which has been notoriously difficult to do from within the Darwinian paradigm.

          11. Sorry, had to do this in two parts because HTML complained of the size.

            First, let me respond to what appears to be your most pressing query the "Postscript 100% quantum efficiency". You state, "So, humans can learn from a 3,5 billion year old invention called fotosynthesis! Quite the opposite of what Karo Michaelian claims!" This is a very unfair or very misconstrued statement of yours since nowhere in my book or in any other writing do I claim any such thing and, of course, learning from nature is exactly what I do for a living!

            What I mention in my book is that I believe that nature optimizes photon dissipation rather than photosynthesis and I give many examples to support this belief, one of them being that humans have learned how to convert the free energy in sunlight into useful electrical energy at an efficiency of about 30% as compared to the 1% efficiency of conversion of sunlight into chemical energy in plants. My conclusion was, therefore, that nature is not "interested" in optimizing photosynthesis, not that we cannot learn from nature.

            Having a high (obviously not 100%) quantum efficiency for charge transfer is not the same as having a high efficiency for conversion of sunlight into chemical energy. The photon-induced charge transfer reaction (either within the molecule, or to its solvent environment) is a process employed in many purely dissipative systems. (This occurs through conical intersections which I talk a bit about in the article which I link below). The so called "protective" pigments do this a lot. There is no getting away from the fact that, on average (over all plants), the efficiency for conversion of the free energy in sunlight which is absorbed at the leaf into useful chemical energy which permits plants to grow, is only about 1%.

            Here is a link to the paper I have been working on over the pandemic which I think you will find interesting;

            I would be grateful for comments or criticisms.

          12. Gert, let me add one more thing. To clear up any misconceptions your readers may have concerning the originality of these ideas since you have posted quotations of others which appear to say similar things as I say in my book. That living systems can be recognized as thermodynamic dissipative systems should not be assigned to me, nor to Kay and Schneider, nor to Prigogine, nor to many, many others who have said basically the same thing before. It belongs to the genius of Boltzmann who in 1875 wrote;

            “The general struggle for existence of animate beings is not a struggle for raw materials – these, for organisms, are air, water and soil, all abundantly available – nor for energy, which exists in plenty in any body in the form of heat Q, but of a struggle for entropy, which becomes available through the transition of energy from the hot sun to the cold earth.”

            The "transition of energy from the hot sun to the cold earth" is, in today´s language, "photon dissipation". Many have claimed responsibility for these ideas, but the original idea is really due to Boltzmann. The only thing that I believe I could claim responsibility for is being the first (as far as I am aware) to apply this principle of Boltzmann to the very origin of life itself and outlined a consistent theory. I have also filled in some of the details like associating early life with the dissipation of the UVC region of the solar spectrum that was arriving at Earth's surface during the Archean, and outlining the exact mechanisms of the microscopic dissipative structuring of the early pigments like adenine, fatty acids, and some amino acids, as well as other details which help to make the thermodynamic dissipation theory of the origin of life plausible.

          13. Dear Gert, I could not access the Postscript: 100% quantum efficiency (26 Jun 2020) paper by Arp et al, but I did read the review by Duffy. If you have access to the paper, please send it to me. My email address is "my first name"@fisica.unam.mx.

            I hate to comment on the paper after only reading a review of it, but its seems that Arp et al. agree with me that nature does NOT optimize photosynthetic efficiency. Duffy relates that Arp claims that it optimizes "robustness" which Duffy coveys as being related to "reduction of noise" (somehow related to the variation of intensity and wavelength of the incident light) in the photosynthetic system. This all sounds rather stretched and artificial to me, especially since, viewing things from the Darwinian perspective, there was no indication by Duffy of how Arp et al. related "noise reduction" to Darwinian fitness.

            As I said in a previous comment, photon-induced charge transfer is a common mechanism for dissipation used in a large number of so-called (but incorrectly called) "protective pigments". Here is a reference to just this for the carotenoids. Note that when the authors use the word "quenching" they mean "dissipation of the absorbed photon energy into heat" (what I claim nature optimizes). So having almost 100% quantum efficiency for charge transfer, and considering that only 1% of this electron energy is used for photosynthesis, the rest being quenched (dissipated) into heat, it seems obvious to me that nature is optimizing dissipation, not photosynthesis, and not some kind of robustness. But, like I said, I would have to see the original article before making a more definitive statement on it.

            Pinnola et al.,"Electron transfer between carotenoid and chlorophyll contributes to quenching in the LHCSR1 protein from Physcomitrella patens", Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics, Volume 1857, Issue 12, 2016, pp 1870-1878,
            ISSN 0005-2728, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbabio.2016.09.001

          14. Karo,

            1) Sorry for misattributing the anonymous comment to you. This mistake is a strong argument against anonymous comments in general. So please use your own name if you add comments.

            2) If you are not the author of ""Impressive piece of work Dr Korthof..." it means you did not respond to the above post at all. That means I wrote the above blog in vain!? And further, you did not correct my assuming it was you.

            3) About your photosynthesis question: I wrote about photosynthesis in the blog above. Please, first read that section. I want to know what parts you agree or disagree with before we can continue the topic of photosynthesis. I am not going to repeat here what I wrote above.

            4) I think our views of science do not differ very much. The problem here is not your view but practice. There is no real exchange of views, that is to say: you largely ignore or did not digest what I wrote about photosynthesis and repeats your question about photosynthesis. So, not trying to understand each other is the problem here. That comes above the fact we are in (very) different scientific fields!

            5) It is always important to separate Origin of Life OOL questions and Darwinian evolution. OOL largely is pre-Darwinian, yet an evolutionary process.

            6) you wrote "This is a very unfair or very misconstrued statement..." I did not intent to be unfair.
            What I wrote is this: "Karo Michaelian observes that photon dissipation into heat accounts for 99,9% of the free energy in sunlight and only 0,1% is used for photo-synthesis (p.70, p.312)"
            etc etc etc. About further remarks on photosynthetic eficiency see my blog above.

            7) It is good to point out what is new and what is not new in your views. As readers do not know the history of the subject it is good to point it out.

            8) If UVC plays a crucial role in OOL than all chemical compounds included in the first forms of life must be UVC tolerant. No exceptions. I did not digest your new article, the subject is important, but a lot of it is undigestible for me because of being a biologist.

            9) If you have contributed something new to the OOL field it is absolutely important that you get it published in a respectable scientific journal.

            so far for the moment.

            greetings, Gert

            PS it is a good idea first to compose a comment on your own computer before adding it to blogger in case of any failure of blogger.

          15. Replies
            1. Dear Gert,
              1) No problem, but please, always ask me first rather than attribute false assertions to me, unfortunately something you do rather frequently in this blog.

              2) I remember having an email exchange with you and then reading your blog when you first posted it, but then it fell off my radar simply because it seemed that you did not take into account any of the clarifications that I wrote in our initial email exchange and because you attributed many false assertions to me. Perhaps this had to do with our speaking different languages coming from different disciplines. However, for example, the photosynthesis efficiency question I answered you very clearly and carefully 2 years ago in our initial email exchange. I have not read any of the comments on this blog until a few days ago and therefore it was impossible to correct that particular false attribution to me until now. I don't think that you wrote the blog for me, but rather for your readers and therefore I don't understand why you say that it was "in vain". Anyway, I have selected the "Notify me" button and will try to respond as rapidly as possible in the future.

              3) Here are the parts I disagree with, respect to your assertions concerning photosynthesis: a) Photon-induced charge transfer occurs in both photosynthesis and in dissipation so high quantum efficiency for this cannot be used as a proxy for high photosynthetic efficiency. b) I disagree with the first half of the following statement of yours "Michaelian unnecessarily claims that Darwinian natural selection contradicts his 'thermodynamic selection', and natural selection should be replaced by 'thermodynamic selection'." I do not say that such a contradiction exists, rather only that the Darwinian description is not very helpful for understanding the foundations of biological evolution from a physical/chemical perspective. Your statement puts me into the group of anti-Darwinist which is not very fair. The Darwinian description is relatively good for those who do not want to get into the physics or chemistry, but such a description leads to paradoxes and enigmas (like the non-optimization of photosynthesis) and others that I have pointed out in chapter 19 of my book. c) You write "Michaelian cites another two experiments purportedly proving his theory. The first is 'A maximum hypothesis of transpiration in plants' (ref 392). This won't work in a hot, dry climate because plants would die if the tried to maximize evaporation." First, I never claimed that these two experiments could be used for "proving my theory". I rather suggest that they provide evidence for the assertion that nature does not optimize photosynthesis. Secondly, I never say that plants try to maximize evaporation. That is what the authors of the citation claim, but only under certain conditions, obviously not at all costs to the plant (did you read the article?). What I say in my book is that the global biosphere tries to optimize photon dissipation. Again, obviously, nature could not optimize photon dissipation in the biosphere by killing off all of the plants. Viable pigments are needed for the absorption of photons.

              I will respond to the rest concerning photosynthesis and to the rest of your points when I have a little more time.

          16. In the meantime while you are preparing the rest of your reply, a few important remarks of mine.

            Karo wrote: "b) I disagree with the first half of the following statement of yours "Michaelian unnecessarily claims that Darwinian natural selection contradicts his 'thermodynamic selection', and natural selection should be replaced by 'thermodynamic selection'." I do not say that such a contradiction exists..."
            You say such a thing on page 341 of your book:
            "The implicit but unjustified assumption of an organismal "will to survive" in the Darwinian theory can now be REPLACED with an explicit and physically grounded "will to produce entropy" (...) in the thermodynamic dissipation theory of the origin and evolution of life."
            (my emphasis)
            So, if you want to replace a central part of the Darwinian theory you are at least a non-Darwinist, or: reject Darwinism as an explanation for the origin and evolution of life.

            you wrote "I rather suggest that they provide evidence for the assertion that nature does not optimize photosynthesis."
            How is this evidence? Could you explain that? It won't help to state that photosynthesis efficiency is very low, etc. It equals saying since the energy efficiency of a fossil fuel car is only 25%, and the heat production accounts for 75%, the purpose of a car is to produce heat, and we can neglect that the 25% is used to move the car. Or: Incandescent bulbs convert less than 5% of the energy they use into visible light, therefore the explanation of their existence is heat production.

            Further you say "What I say in my book is that the global biosphere tries to optimize photon dissipation."
            This is an enormous claim of a magnitude one rarely sees coming from a biologist.
            You need to explain the real causes of all these features and show that your theory explains all this better than modern evolutionary theory.
            Your theory needs to explain also the evolution from first life, to prokaryotes, to eukaryotes,
            invertebrates, vertebrates, mammals, primates, humans, etc. and show that the real driving force behind all this is "to optimize photon dissipation" (or your preferred explanation).

            If you could do that in such a way that your theory is far more illuminating than everything evolutionary biologist have come up with, and also explains all biological phenomena on a more fundamental level, than there is hope that biologists would be interested in your theory.

            So it is not enough to show that you have a physical/chemical perspective on biological evolution. That has been done before. You have to come up with a theory that it better explains life and evolution than evolutionary biologists have done; explain all facts that evolutionary biology explains.

          17. Gert: "So, if you want to replace a central part of the Darwinian theory you are at least a non-Darwinist, or: reject Darwinism as an explanation for the origin and evolution of life."

            Karo: Einstein replaced the 1/r^2 central part of the Newtonian dynamics theory but he did not become for that a "non-Newtonist" or "anti-Newtonist". He only realized that Newton's theory was an approximation to reality that worked well in some situations, but not in all, and further, left out some important fundamentals, like how material could deform space-time and how matter was related to energy.

            Gert: "It equals saying since the energy efficiency of a fossil fuel car is only 25%, and the heat production accounts for 75%, the purpose of a car is to produce heat, and we can neglect that the 25% is used to move the car."

            Karo: Just change the word "purpose" for "thermodynamic function" and you got it perfect! Obviously nature is not interested in your trip by car to the Grand Canyon, nor the family pictures you took there, she is interested in dissipating chemical potential, which you do for her by getting in your car and driving.

            Gert: "Your theory needs to explain also the evolution from first life, to prokaryotes, to eukaryotes, invertebrates, vertebrates, mammals, primates, humans, etc. and show that the real driving force behind all this is "to optimize photon dissipation" (or your preferred explanation)."

            Karo: We are working on it Gert, some is in my book and others are published in peer reviewed journals. Give us time. The Darwinists are still working on some of these problems more than 150 years after evolution through natural selection was first proposed as a theory. If you would like to see what we have published so far (and this goes to your previous comment that we "should publish in peer reviewed journals"), you can find all our published papers on my ResearchGate page;

            I'll get back to your remaining points shortly.

          18. Karo, in the mean time I did some thinking.
            What is the maximum photosynthetic efficiency above which your theory does not apply anymore or is falsified? Can you calculate a percentage above which your theory is falsified?
            For example would 50% efficiency falsifiy your theory? would your theory be compatible with 90% efficiency? If so, what does your theory tell us? I have a dim feeling that your theory is always right no matter what happens precisely in nature. If you can't give a percentage it means your theory is not falsifiable.
            Every natural process in every living organism, every energy conversion in nature goes always with losses. So your theory is by definition true. Which means it has no empirical content.

            PS thanks for your link to researchgate.

          19. As I already said above Gert, the question of photosynthetic efficiency neither validates nor falsifies the dissipation theory of the origin and evolution of life. What it does, if photosynthetic efficiencies are so low (1%), is it provides strong evidence that the idea that nature optimizes plant growth over dissipation is most probably false. As I asked you before, and am still waiting for your answer by the way, is why would nature bother building all these accessory pigments to absorb the whole solar spectrum if it uses, at most, 1% of the light from this spectrum to grow? Even if nature was using 95% of the light for photosynthesis, I would still ask you why does it bother with absorbing the remaining 5% of that light? It would be much easier simply not to make pigments for this wavelength region and the plant would be transparent or reflective to this region, as it is in the infrared. I would be grateful for your thoughts on this.

            Now if you want to falsify the dissipation theory of the origin of light, here are some ways you could do it;
            1) Show that life originated at very cold temperatures, as most of the origin of life researchers currently believe. Hard evidence is wanted, mind you.
            2) That there exists some regions on Earth's surface barren of life that dissipate sunlight more strongly than regions covered with life.
            3) That evidence can be found which shows that the rate of energy dissipation per unit biomass has been decreasing over time.
            4) That the strong absorption and rapid dissipation of light in the UVC by many of the fundamental molecules of life has nothing to do with its origin and is only a curious accident.
            5) That there exists a simple (no complex biosynthetic pathway) to synthesizing fundamental molecules from more simple and common precursor molecules which is more efficient than photochemical dissipative structuring.
            6) More generally, that there exists another physical/chemical principle which leads to the organization of material in non-equilibrium systems which is not dissipative structuring (i.e. the auto-structuring of material to increase the dissipation of the imposed thermodynamic potential).
            7) I could go on for a long time, but these would be some of the most strongest nails in the coffin to the dissipation theory.

            You have given me the idea for a new article, and you are welcome to collaborate, I thank you for that!

          20. "why would nature bother building all these accessory pigments to absorb the whole solar spectrum?"
            I am not a photosynthesis expert. The answer would require a lot of time and effort. Maybe, no evolutionary biologist asks the questions you ask, so no answers might be available. Maybe, it is hidden somewhere in the literature. Maybe something interesting could come out of these questions. But I am not sure that it could help you. Don't base your theory on photosynthetic efficiency, I would say.

            It's nice that you found use for the falsifiability criterion for a new article. If your potential falsificators are genuine and really risky, it seems worth to invest time in the project. I cannot advice you in this matter, because this all physics and pre-biotic chemistry.
            You should ensure that the falsificators are realistic, and be open to investigation now, and not questions that can only be answered in the next 100 years or never. Even better, if data are available now.

            About your article "Entropy Production as the origin of information encoding in RNA and DNA":
            you write: "Information related to which nucleic acid – amino acid complexes provided most efficient photon dissipation would thus gradually have begun to be incorporated into the primitive genetic code."

            If your theory depends on the direct interaction of a codon with one amino acid, then have a closer look at a Transfer-RNA molecule (tRNA). You see, there is no direct contact of the amino acid and the RNA triplet in tRNA. The body of the molecule separates both 'codon' and amino acid. The amino acid links to the tRNA molecule at the opposite end of the tRNA molecule, that is opposite of the site where the triplet links. This is not really secret information!

          21. Concerning the copious production of pigments not directly involved in the photosynthetic system:
            Gert: "The answer would require a lot of time and effort. Maybe, no evolutionary biologist asks the questions you ask, so no answer..."
            Karo: I spent the time looking for answers from the evolutionary biologists, but the only ones I found suggested that they should be assigned as "protective pigments". However, as I explain in Section 19.13 of my book, careful experiments show that there is no such "protective" effect for these pigments. Evolutionary biologist shy away from asking the tough questions if it appears that such questions challenge the Darwinian perspective. Are there no evolutionary biologists on this blog willing to offer an answer?

            Regarding your comment,
            Gert: "The body of the molecule separates both 'codon' and amino acid. The amino acid links to the tRNA molecule at the opposite end of the tRNA molecule, that is opposite of the site where the triplet links. This is not really secret information."

            Karo: Our article treats the very beginnings of the genetic code, not the code when viewed after the development of complex biosynthetic pathways, such as the translational mechanism. Most molecular biologists believe that at the beginning there existed a stereochemical era in which aminio acids had direct chemical affinity to their codons or anticodons. Our article is an attempt from within the dissipation theory framework to answer the question of Carl Woese (1967);

            “I am particularly struck by the difficulty of getting [the genetic code] started unless there is some basis in the specificity of interaction between nucleic acids and amino acids or polypeptide to build upon.”

            Our answer is that specificity arose through nature selecting (through thermodynamic mechanisms) associations of nucleic acid-amino acids fomenting photon dissipation. It is extremely interesting for us that those amino acids with strong specificity to their codons/anticodons, also have strong UVC photon absorbing and dissipating characteristics.

          22. Karo,
            Most of the research in photosynthesis is aimed at improving crop yields, including artificial photosynthesis. That is where the money goes. Maybe, removing certain pigments could improve crop yield, but I am afraid that does not have high priority.
            If these pigments are completely useless, they are a burden, and then they should disappear over evolutionary time.
            Do you have evidence that they are not "protective pigments"?
            What's wrong with protection? You think plants don't need to protect themselves against (too much) solar radiation?
            A possible attack would be to create deletion mutants: find the genes for those pigments; delete the genes one by one and in combination,and see whether there is any effect on the plant as whole, and not only in the lab, but also in its natural environment in different conditions. In theory this is easy, but in practice it could take 4 years. If you demand instant answers: forget it!

            Karo said: "Evolutionary biologist shy away from asking the tough questions if it appears that such questions challenge the Darwinian perspective." [it's not a 'perspective'!].
            There are millions of unsolved questions, because nature has created those for us: millions of species, with complex interactions, and with enormous complexities at the molecular and genetic level. This complexity is a few orders of magnitude higher than anything in physics and chemistry.
            We don't know the function of every piece of DNA in our own genome. We don't know what the genes in SARS-CoV-2 are doing precisely (and that genome is only 30k!).

            Don't let your thoughts be driven by conspiracy theories: don't fool yourself. Don't imitate the creationists. From your perspective this specific lack of knowledge (if true!) is highly significant. But consider this: would the discovery of the function of a few pigments be rewarded by a publication in Nature or Science? Furthermore, it would be too easy to interpret lack of knowledge as evidence that you are right. That would be misleading yourself.

            yes I know the opinion of others, and the research. The specific associations of amino acids with certain 'codons' is very interesting: it could be no accident (?). But the next question is: how to go from there to tRNA? Do I ask questions you don't like?

            Karo: "Our article treats the very beginnings of the genetic code, not the code when viewed after the development of complex biosynthetic pathways, such as the translational mechanism."
            Yes, I know. However, you should say: "beginnings of the 'genetic code'". At the time of the OOL, there is no 'genetic code'. Only associations of molecules! Similarly: "direct chemical affinity to their codons or anticodons" is misleading, because without tRNA and ribosomes there are no 'codons'. But I do agree that those associations could be an important clue. If you have a thermodynamic reason for the existence of specific associations, that would be very helpful indeed. Make sure you are right. Don't be too greedy. Be honest to your self.

          23. Gert writes "A possible attack would be to create deletion mutants: find the genes for those pigments; delete the genes one by one and in combination,and see whether there is any effect on the plant as whole, and not only in the lab, but also in its natural environment in different conditions. In theory this is easy, but in practice it could take 4 years. If you demand instant answers: forget it!"

            It seems as though you get some great ideas from my book but then forget about what exactly was said and where it came from. On p. 307 of my book (Sec. 19.13) I write "Anthocyanins are Flavonoids which absorb strongly over the UV-B and UV-C and also in the visible (they are pink, purple, and red pigments, see Figure 4.13) and are also commonly assumed to be protective plant pigments. However, Stapleton and Walbot (1994)[394] have found that in Field trials of corn plants induced with a defective gene for producing Flavonoids, there was no measurable
            increase in the amount of DNA damage in the form of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs are the most common form of light-induced DNA damage, a result of UV-induced dimerization of adjacent pyrimidines on the same strand of DNA) with respect to the controls with the intact gene for Flavonoid production."

            I understand that the thermodynamic perspective may be very confusing and the tendency when confronted with something we don't understand is normally to reject it. In fact, the physicists working in this field don't even consider publishing in biological journals because, with few exceptions, the biologists simply are not trained to think in terms of symmetries and fundamental laws, as physicists are. In many universities there are new graduate studies in Biophysics where these themes are common. Biologist want simple answers that can be written out in a single paragraph, with learning as little mathematics as possible, and they found one in the perspective of Darwin (and, of course it is a perspective and nothing more). It works as a nice description for some things, but it is only a poor description of reality and misses completely at understanding the fundamental function of life. The physicist wants to know what is behind this Darwinian description and this thermodynamic view opens a completely new paradigm with a much richer and profound understanding.

            I wrote my book avoiding the technicalities of the physical aspects (there are almost no equations) and using simple biological language in the hope that some biologists would make an effort to understand the physics and chemistry behind life. I have not failed completely however, because some biologists have expressed their interest in my work. In fact, I was very delighted when one biologist Alex Simeonov from Macedonia became my collaborator after reading my book and together we have published various well cited articles together. Something tells me that you also want to go deeper and have questions concerning the Darwinian perspective but it is like taboo, you are flirting with the devil, and Darwin and his disciples are looking over your shoulder at what you are reading, and it makes you nervous. I would like to suggest that you read my book again, but now much more carefully since you have opened up somewhat from your initially very reactionary state of mind. This is important because I have been correcting so much that you have written about my work and my book in this blog and this is really not fair. I believe that both your readers and I deserve that you do a good job on this blog.

          24. Karo, today I posted a new blog about the difference between physics and biology.


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