COSMIC ANCESTRY | Quick Guide | 2007 - Replies Index - 2005 | by Brig Klyce | All Rights Reserved
...The claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. ...Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough — Michael Crichton at the California Institute of Technology, 17 Jan 2003.

Replies to Cosmic Ancestry, 2006

Information entropy and thermodynamic entropy | from Philip Dorrell | Tue, 26 Dec 2006

21:07:30 +1300: Brig, I saw your article about thermodynamics and evolution. However I think you are quite wrong about there being different kinds of entropy, and your proofs that "informational entropy" is different from "thermodynamic entropy" are rather weak:
* You can't find anywhere in a book by Feynmann where he discusses them as if they are the same.
* You can't find anywhere in a book by Shannon where he discusses them as if they are the same.

The whole point of Boltzmann's development of statistical mechanics is that he discovered that the two types of entropy *are* equivalent, and the only difference between the two types is that the thermodynamic entropy has been defined in units of Boltzmann's constant (except, as I understand it, at that time the word "entropy" was only used in the thermodynamic context, and Boltzmann's equation related thermodynamic entropy to probability). Boltzmann's constant only exists because temperature was defined before anyone realised that the two kinds of entropy are equivalent. If we define Boltzmann's constant to be 1, then this forces temperature to be defined in "natural units" of energy per log 2 e bits. (I presume this is what Shannon was talking about with regards to K being a "choice of units".) In a similar manner one can define velocity in "natural" units by deeming c (the speed of light en vacuo) to be 1. But that doesn't prove that there are two different kinds of velocity.

You state that /Entropy in a closed system can never decrease. /This is unfortunately incorrect, because actually it can decrease by a little bit. This slight exception is critical to explaining why evolution doesn't contradict the second law, because evolution by natural selection turns out to be a natural example of Maxwell's demon. A beneficial mutation is a decrease of entropy in a closed system. I give a detailed explanation in my article "The Second Law of Thermodynamics Does Not Prohibit a Decrease of Entropy in a Closed System" at Also, although you quote a book by Adami, you fail to quote his newer paper "The Evolution of biological complexity" at (which I refer to in Yours, Philip Dorrell.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is the related CA webpage.

Tagish Meteorite Article on CBC Website | from Lawrence Hearn | Thu, 11/30/2006

12:35 PM: Hello from Vancouver, I thought you might interested in this article which appears on today's CBC website headlined "Meteorite may hold secret to life outside earth" - it's at: - slowly but surely the origin of life on Earth paradigm is if only mainstream astronomy dumped the ever failing gravitational cosmological model, the Big Bang, and recognized the electrical nature of the plasma universe in which we live. ...Best Wishes... Lawrence Hearn | BCPOETRY.COM

1 Dec 2006: It's not from around here. It's from somewhere else. — Mike Zolensky

astrobiology Thank You Brig! | from Sheila Sasselov | 10 Nov 2006

Dear Brig, Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness connecting me to Rob. Meeting you the other night and talking about interesting ideas was a great delight. Enclosed is a copy of a large mosaic I did four years ago on my version of astrobiology. It's nine feet high and is installed in a local school lobby. Best Wishes, Sheila

9 Nov 2006: Dimitar Sasseov is the leader of Harvard's Origins of Life program.

Re: Thanks | to brian peltonen | 11/10/2006

10:40 AM: Dear Brian -- I enjoyed speaking before your GreyThumb group in Cambridge about panspermia and the Evolution Prize Monday night [6 Nov]. From the discussion it seemed that everyone was more than mildly interested. I hope someone will followup with comments about some of the unresolved issues, like defining "innovation." Thanks also for your subsequent email thanking me, which I would like to post here with your permission. Best regards. Brig

The Evolution Prize

TV Documentary on Panspermia | from Chandra Wickramasinghe | Mon, 6 Nov 2006

23:01:42 -0000: Dear Brig, A documentary on panspermia, focusing on our work, is to be broadcast at 9pm on BBC2 on their high profile "Horizon" series. I am putting an advance copy of a DVD in the post. Best, Chandra

14 Nov 2006: Chandra Wickrammasinghe is featured on BBC's Horizon series.

Red Rain in 1361 | from Robert Temple | Sun, 22 Oct 2006

15:19:14 +0100: Dear Brig, Here are the details of the mediaeval red rain, ...From THE CHRONICLE OF LONDON FROM 1089 TO 1483 (published in London in 1827):

1361. Also in this yere, in the kal' of Juyn, fell a blody reyne in Burgoyn, and a blody crosse apered in the eire from the morwe unto myd day at Bologne, the whiche afterward moved hym and fel down into the see. ... And in this yere was the seconde gret pestilence, in whiche good Henry of Lancastre deyde....

Translation into modern English: Also in this year, in the kalends of June (i.e., in the beginning of June), a bloody rain fell in Burgundy, and a bloody cross appeared in the air from dawn until noon at Boulogne, which afterwards shifted position and fell down into the sea. ... And in this year was the second Great Plague, of which good Henry, Duke of Lancaster, died. (Note: Henry of Grosmont, first Duke of Lancaster and a member of the royal family, died 24 March 1361.)

...The same Chronicle (which I think astronomers have not consulted before) mentions comets appearing in 1337 (in June and July, 'in diverse parts of heaven'), and in 1367 (in March). It also mentions two novae or supernovae. The first was in 1456, and the second was in 1473: 'This year after Christmas appeared a blazing star, and it continued for more than 5 weeks.'

I hope all is going well with you. Best wishes from Robert....     Robert Temple | London

The red rain of Kerala is our first notice of the phenomenon, 23 Oct 2003.

Tiny Tampa Bay Fish Key To Evolution | from Stan Franklin | 6 Oct 2006

09:04 PM: "...Scientists studying a tiny primitive fish that makes up 70 percent of the biomass in Tampa Bay now say they have found the "missing link" marking the point in evolution that led to the development of the modern-day human immune system...."

Tiny Tampa Bay Fish Key To Evolution Of Immune System, University of Florida, 5 Oct 2006.

7 Oct, 09:49 AM: Dear Stan -- Thanks for this alert. The article states, "...scientists say they have found the 'missing link'...."

But it also states, "This is the first organism below the level of jawed vertebrates that expresses the type of proteins we use in our own complex adaptive immune system." And, "We were surprised how similar the molecules are to our immune response proteins...."

From the posted text, I cannot see how the studied system is the "missing link" to the immune system of jawed vertebrates. Rather, it seems to be an example of a species more primitive than jawed vertebrates that has immune-system components quite similar to our own. It is surprising because we thought only jawed vertebrates possessed these components.

The question that darwinists do not answer is: How are the genetic programs for new features composed? As usual, that question goes unaddressed in this study. The interesting thing revealed here is that the programs now appear to have been available even before the evolution of jawed vertebrates.

I'll try to get the actual article. Thanks. Best regards. Brig.

We owe the repertoire of our immune system to one transposon insertion... is the related What'sNEW article of 25 Aug 1998.

[31 Dec 2005, you wrote] ...I would like to ask you if I have overlooked some research that supports the standard source for new programs more convincingly. If so, would you tell me about it? In any case, may I ask you what your current opinion is on the original question, and what biological (or computer-model) evidence supports it?

I believe that the work we were doing together would have answered your questions, had we continued it. However, our first study was a test of the challenge that you made in the NASA poster, and our test rejected your view. You later accused me of having done nothing, because you ignored and forgot about the report I prepared for you.

I believe that the continuing expansion of the genome databases, especially the increasing number of species for which we have complete genomes, makes it possible to study evolution on the molecular level in a way that can answer your questions. Whenever I point you to a study that supports the standard Darwinian process, you respond by saying something like "I would need to know more about that", but you don't pursue it. ,You simply choose to ignore evidence for the standard process.

I can not tell you if you have overlooked some research that supports the standard source for new programs, because since the end of our work together, I do not spend my time reviewing that literature. ...Tom

to Thomas Ray | 08:50 AM 19 Sep 2006: Dear Tom -- I think your response to the issue raised in our NASA poster was hasty and superficial, your long review of protein evolution papers notwithstanding. You wrote:

The most important point that I learned from this review, is that protein sequences can and do evolve all the way to random similarity (~8%), while retaining the same structure. If we are to test between Darwinism and Strong panspermia as described above, based on evidence of changes in protein sequences, then we must absolutely reject Strong panspermia. --
But even hypervariable proteins are not properly characterized by your expression, "random similarity." In fact, even they are astronomically unlikely to be derived from wholly unrelated ones by darwinian trial and error:
Consider a protein of 300 amino acids, of which only 25 are fixed. Assume that the remaining 275 may differ without harm as long as they remain either hydrophobic or hydrophylic. Assume that life's twenty amino acids are equally divided into these two categories, meaning that any of ten residues could occupy each of the 275 variable positions. Under these relaxed, over-simplified constraints, the theoretical number of functional sequences of this protein would be 10^275. Sounds like a lot! Meanwhile, the theoretical number of all possible proteins of this size is 20^300, or about 10^390. Within that confined sequence space, what is the chance of selecting any functional example of this protein in one trial? It is about 10^(275-390), or 10^-115. In other words, no plausible number of trials makes success likely, even for proteins as hypervariable as this one. To rescue the mainstream account of new proteins, darwinists make additional untested assumptions, like, 1) there are functional stepwise pathways through sequence space connecting all the proteins in life, and 2) these pathways are easily found and followed often enough during evolution. -- Chandra Wickramasinghe introduces this analysis
Of course I welcome and will publish any considered response, but I recognize that you are weary of this subject. I assume that you are grateful for the support you received from the Astrobiology Research Trust.
Best regards. Brig

Is sustained macroevolutionary progress possible in a closed system?: our open email, 31 Dec 2005.
New genetic programs in Darwinism and strong panspermia: the referenced NASA poster of 7-11 Apr 2002.
Human Genome Search at University of Oklahoma: the research project announcement, 18 Nov 2001.
Correspondence with Tom and others, beginning 2001, concerning the research project.

NEW Functional Sites Induce Long-Range Evolutionary Constraints in Enzymes by Benjamin R. Jack et al., doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002452, PLoS Biol, 3 May 2016. Corresponding author Claus Wilke referred us to:
The tangled bank of amino acids by Richard A. Goldstein and David D. Pollock, doi:10.1002/pro.2930, Protein Science, online 29 Mar 2016, and:
The Relationship Between Relative Solvent Accessibility and Evolutionary Rate in Protein Evolution by Duncan C. Ramsey et al., doi:10.1534/genetics.111.128025, Genetics, 2011. In real proteins, it may well be that at one site 3 amino acids are preferred and 17 unpreferred, while at a different site 5 are preferred and 15 unpreferred. ...Amino acid distributions were strongly skewed toward hydrophobic residues at low RSA and toward hydrophilic residues at high RSA. ...At any given site, only a small number of amino acids are actually permissible.

Kerala rain | from Jim Galasyn | 02:17 PM 8/16/2006

Hi Brig,... I just read the interview with Chandra Wickramasinghe on the Red Rain of Kerala. There's no mention of isotopic analysis. Wouldn't that be the gold-standard for rejecting the extraterrestrial hypothesis? I recall you were involved in attempting a similar analysis for the Indian stratospheric balloon experiment. Seems there's plenty of material to analyze, in this case. ...Jim

12:41 PM 8/17/2006: Right you are. But time on the dozen or so machines (NanoSIMS) in the world that can do isotopic analysis on a single cell is in very great demand. I have tried to get someone to do this analysis on the red rain without success. As you mention, there may be enough sample to do bulk analysis, which easier to obtain. Chandra is looking into that, I believe. Meanwhile, India has ordered a NanoSIMS. ...Brig Klyce

The red rain of Kerala is our first notice of this phenomenon, 23 Oct 2003, with links to later news.

EPrize at ALife X | to Evolution Prize mailing list
from Brig Klyce | Mon, 5 Jun 2006 22:51:45 -0400

At the ALife X Conference in Bloomington IN, at a workshop cochaired with Mark Bedau the evening of June 4, I promoted a question, "Is Open-Ended Evolutionary Innovation in a Closed System Possible?" I also posed a followup question, "Can it be demonstrated?", and I proposed a cash prize of $100,000 sponsored by the Astrobiology Research Trust for a successful demonstration in an ALife model.

The workshop generated a high level of interest among the 50 or so workshop attendees and panelists. Some expressed important reservations about the terms of the question, prizes in general, the sponsor's affiliation with panspermia, and other issues. Most of those who spoke agreed that the issue was important, but needs more work.

Eleven interested people met over lunch on Monday to pursue the subject further. With the leadership of Jordan Pollack, we seemed to agree that the prize is too embryonic (Janet Wiles' term) to be simply announced to the world. Needed first are steps that would lead to clarification of the question behind the prize. For these steps, papers could be solicited, with lesser prizes (such as could be funded by the interest on a principal of $100,00) to be awarded for the best paper on a regular basis, such as annually, or biannually.

We discussed scheduling another meeting, but meanwhile we agreed that some kind of internet presence that would allow us to interact easily and frequently would be useful. To facilitate this I have, hopefully, secured the domain name "". More on this as it develops. [The acquired domain name is (Abandoned c.2014; now:]

As mentioned in the June 4 workshop, the EPrize (although it may not yet be a prize) needs a Board of Directors to guide its development. I will ask Jordan Pollack and Mark Bedau to help with nominations, and hopefully there will be a Board of 5 or 7 members within a couple of months. Of course I welcome all who are interested to remain as collaborators and friends.

In summation here is what I am now proposing for further discussion and refinement:

A prize of approximately $3000 to be awarded annually to the best paper pertaining to open-ended evolutionary innovation in a closed system that either 1) advances our knowledge, or 2) further delineates and clarifies a question along that theme.

This prize will be awarded by a jury comprising a board of directors of 5-7 scientists who have credibility and standing in the ALife field. These directors will be chosen in a manner to be determined. The [Evolution Prize] and its board will have no affiliation with the topic or website "panspermia." Perhaps the first such prize could be awarded at ALife 11.

Let me know what you think. Thanks again for your interest and your support of this inquiry. I appreciate your hospitality and your willingness to provided education and insight into this challenging area.

Best regards, Brig ...(To be removed from the [Evolution Prize] mailing list, reply with "Please Remove" as the subject.)
Brig Klyce | The Evolution Prize | phone [901-489-2222]

The Evolution Prize is the related CA webpage, with a link to The Evolution Prize website (no longer updated).

...Evolutionary Scrap-heap Challenge: Antifreeze Fish Make Sense Out Of Junk DNA
FYI forwarded by Stan Franklin | Mon, 17 Apr 2006 07:59:23 -0500

Scientists at the University of Illinois have discovered an antifreeze-protein gene in cod that has evolved from non-coding or 'junk' DNA. Since the creation of these antifreeze proteins is directly driven by polar glaciation, by studying their evolutionary history the scientists hope to pinpoint the time of onset of freezing conditions in the polar and subpolar seas. Professor Cheng will present her latest results at the Annual Main Meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology in Canterbury on Tuesday the 4th April [session A2].

Fish such as cod that live in subzero polar waters have evolved to avoid freezing to death by using special antifreeze proteins that work by binding to ice crystals to prevent the crystals growing larger and causing problems. Most of these antifreeze proteins evolve by natural selection from existing proteins when the DNA coding for them duplicates itself and changes over time to give new functions. However, Professor Christina Cheng and her group have found the gene for the cod antifreeze protein has come from a non-coding region of their DNA known as "junk DNA".

"This appears to be a new mechanism for the evolution of a gene from non-coding DNA", says Professor Cheng, "3.5 billion years of evolution of life has produced many coding genes and conventional thinking assumes that new genes must come from pre-existing ones because the probability of a random stretch of DNA somehow becoming a functional gene is very low if not nil. This cod antifreeze gene might be an exception to this because it consists of a short repetitive sequence that only needs to be duplicated four times to give a fully functioning protein". ...Full Text at ScienceDaily (original article from the Society for Experimental Biology).

Comment: Does this mean that junk DNA is the toolbox or parts store for the construction of new working genes? [from Stan's correspondent]

Antifreeze Fish Make Sense Out Of Junk DNA, ScienceDaily, 4 Apr 2006.
The Origin of Antifreeze Protein Genes is a related section of "Neo-Darwinism: The Current Paradigm".

Re: itinerant Japanese guitar player who never showed up | from Chip Morrison | 01:08 PM 4/14/2006

...I've been getting deep into classic R&B, trying to learn horn lines for Aretha, Etta, James, Motown standards, others like Eddie Floyd "Knock on Wood." Am actually playing in wierd pick-up band benefit performance (American Heart Association) this Sunday in Brockton, MA, featuring, among others, JB Jr. who claims, and I have no reason to doubt, to be cousin of James Brown. And who does pisser James covers. Sex Machine, Man's World, Super Bad, Feel Good, Please, Please, Please.

By the way, I take this music as further confirmation of CA. No way Darwinians can account for something as perfect as Sex Machine. "Get on up!" indeed....


My compliment to you | from Anonymous | Sat, 1 Apr 2006 15:53:36 -0500

Hi Dr. Klyce, I was flattered to see that you put my compliment to you on the web, however, could you remove my name and place of work from your website? I would appreciate it very much. I am in the process of a job hunt and hope that prospective researchers will see links relating to my research rather than others when they "google" my name. Thanks so much for understanding, ...
Anonymous, Ph.D. | Unnamed Department | a Major Midwestern University

Sunday, c. 4PM: Given the date, I first thought you might be kidding. Anyway, OK, done. I hope some day you feel confident enough to "come out" as the open-minded person you really are. Best regards. Brig
PS: If you check "all reviews by Brig Klyce" on Amazon, at least two gush about certain X-Man games ("Fantastic!"), posted by my impersonating, then-minor son. What will people think?!

Thanks for your webpage is the related "Reply," 21 Dec 2005.

Red Rain of Kerala | from Ian Goddard | Tue, 28 Mar 2006 21:24:41 -0800 (PST)

Hello Brig Klyce, Thought you might be interested in my report on the red rains of Kerala that have been touted as evidence of extraterrestrial life ....What I found is that the Govt of India commissioned a study that concluded in 2001 (two years before Louis & Kumar's first paper) that the rains were colored by spores from a local algae. Follow my references to access that full official study. I'm not trying to refute panspermia, which is in my view an attractive hypothesis, I just think this case isn't an instance of it. ~Ian Goddard
Possible Causal Mechanism of Kerala's Red Rain, by Ian Williams Goddard, 22 Mar 2006.
A dust storm couldn't have caused the red rain of Kerala is our latest related posting, with links to earlier ones, 6 Jan 2006.

Species jumping Virusus | from Klaas Dantuma | Thu, 16 Mar 2006 17:46:28 +0100

Hello Brig, Today I found this article about Viruses infecting different animal species. Sounds interesting to me ! ...Regards, Klaas Dantuma
Viruses and Other Gene Transfer Mechanisms is a related CA webpage.

Left-handed chirality explained? | from Jerry Chancellor | Sat, 25 Feb 2006 11:30:05 -0500

... "Meir Shinitzky and colleagues at the Weizmann Institute of Science believe the humble water molecule to be responsible. ...Shinitzky dissolved polymers of left- and right-handed amino acids in water, and measured the pH at which they denatured from helices to random coils. This was 0.2 to 0.3 units higher for the right-handed molecules, which implied they were less stable. The effect disappeared when heavy water (D2O) was used."

The differences seem to arise due to the "different interactions between the weak magnetic field of ortho-H2O and the magnetic fields of left- and right-handed amino acids". If this is true, would left-handed chirality be a verifiably Earth-centric phenomenon? I don't think so; cometary bacteria could be expected to display the same preference. Of course, if any right-handed life were found, it could be immediately assumed to be from somewhere other than Earth. Controversial, but it seems more promising than anything else I have seen. ...Jerry Chancellor | President | VisionTech Training Solutions

BBC Article... | from Sean Underwood | Mon, 13 Feb 2006 16:20:36 +0000

Brig, I've been an avid reader of your website for more than three years and watch the mainstream media slowly but surely come around to the theories you subscribe. I'm not an academic scientist but find all your work easily accessible. Thanks for all your hard work! As a case in point I found this BBC article which you may be interested in linking to

What I find totally bizarre from the article is the prevailing view that comets bearing "life molecules" seeded the earth, but the prevailing view fails to consider that the earth is constructed from these comets and space material, therefore life must have been here from the very beginning of earth's formation. Still that is the obvious next conclusion which links in nicely. Again, thanks for you incredible efforts! Regards; Sean Underwood

Hello Brig, I found this news item today, maybe it is of some interest for your fascinating site !! I think Panspermia will be fully accepted in 10 to 20 years !!.. There is no other choice im my opinion... more and more scientifi results are pointin in that direction. ...Klaas Dantuma, The Netherlands

13 Feb 2006: Origin-of-life theory comes up short — the resulting What'sNEW item.

Replicable and predictable | from Ron McGhee | Wed, 1 Feb 2006 09:07:38 -0500

...If so, yes, evolutionary innovations would be replicable and predictable, and life elsewhere would resemble Earthly life.

My thoughts exactly from reading your website. I have often read in astro-bilological articles, that we may not even recognize life on other planets when we see it. This doesn't fit my perspective on strong panspermia. In fact, my thought is in regards to SETI, take a look around us, because with only minor evolutionary innovations, that is what you will find 'out there'. -Best Regards, Ron ...PS Keep up the great work!

28 Jan 2006: Important aspects of the history of life are replicable and predictable — the related What'sNEW item.

Paper on Punctuated Equilibrium | from Jerry Chancellor | Fri, 27 Jan 2006 13:18:03 -0500

Brig, Here's an interesting look at why evolutionary change is not gradual.

"Determining the mechanism that causes those delayed expressions of change is Schwartz's major contribution to the evolution of the theory of evolution. The mechanism, the authors explain, is this: Environmental upheaval causes genes to mutate, and those altered genes remain in a recessive state, spreading silently through the population until offspring appear with two copies of the new mutation and change suddenly, seemingly appearing out of thin air. Those changes may be significant and beneficial (like teeth or limbs) or, more likely, kill the organism."

It seems to me that this explanation also fits with Cosmic Ancestry. Rather than mutations, however, whole working genes are shifted between species by viruses and then are expressed when conditions are right. This explanation has the added benefit of not killing the organism since the jumping genes are good, working genes. ...Jerry Chancellor | President | VisionTech Training Solutions

COSMIC ANCESTRY | Quick Guide | 2007 - Replies Index - 2005 | by Brig Klyce | All Rights Reserved