An author presents a revision of neo-Darwinian evolution and a new understanding of human life.
Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking work on evolution still casts a wide-reaching shadow over contemporary science, but in many ways to its detriment, argues Ambrose Mitchell (Student Manual, 2016, etc.). Darwin overemphasized the inheritance of superficial traits like color and, by extension, assumed that anatomical traits were passed on in the same way. In the last quarter of the 19th century, advances in microscopic technology led to the detection of chromosomes, and it was assumed that what Darwin meant as inheritable traits were transmitted through these. And since chromosomes come from both male and female parents in sexual reproduction, it was always thought that the entirety of evolution is a consequence of the male and female union. In the 1950s, this view was revised so that the inheritable traits were understood to be contained within the DNA molecules of the genes out of which chromosomes were constructed. Therefore, genes were the fundamental building blocks of all life. The celebrated scientist Francis Crick called this the “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology.” Ambrose Mitchell counters that the evidence strongly suggests that the elemental particle of evolution is really the ATPase, an enzyme found in the mitochondria of every known life form. The author also makes the case that all evolution is female and that all anatomy is ultimately generated from the female, a fact obscured by the misplaced focus on chromosomes. This is a remarkably rigorous and erudite study, painstakingly written over a decade. Ambrose Mitchell is refreshingly dismissive of prevailing intellectual conventions and makes a convincing argument that Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s theory of evolution is superior in certain decisive respects to Darwin’s. He also explains the ways in which the reliance on a genetic interpretation of nature has been not only intellectually misguided, but also practically damaging (for example, with respect to experts’ understanding of disease). And in one of the more philosophical chapters, he discusses the uniqueness of the human mind—“we are the life form with issues”—with admirable nuance and accessible lucidity.
A bold and persuasive alternative to contemporary evolutionary theory.