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[Site note: The following article has been included for its informational and speculative content, and not because the site creator agrees with or wishes to promote the underlying evolutionistic paradigm.]

The Origami of the Species
by
Frederic B. Jueneman (Limits of Uncertainty, I-R, 1975, pp. 113-117.

The Japanese art of paper folding—Origami—shows how many beautiful complex shapes can be formed from an essentially two dimensional object.  One can appreciate the difficulties by attempting some of the more complicated patterns, where the paper convolutions almost seem to vanish within themselves in mobius-like fashion.

In somewhat the same way, the genetic structure of biological organisms exhibits a conformation that appears to be, fundamentally, a three-dimensional geometric pattern—with its chemical properties as a natural outgrowth of the physical topology.  Any changes in the molecular bits and pieces can radically affect the geometry, and this in turn would affect the chemistry through changes in molecular interactions.

These changes which give rise to mutations are known to be caused by thermal, radiational, or chemical agents, but there is one additional agency which has not been explored in depth and might be, either singly or in concert with the other effects, responsible for inheritable changes that would also increase the possibility of giving rise to new species.

Radiation incurs mutations by the absorption of various, but selective wavelengths, which may span the electromagnetic spectrum from direct current (zero wavelength) through the ultra-high radio frequencies to X-rays or gamma rays and beyond.  By a statistical relationship a gaussian (bell-shaped) distribution of mutations would be engendered, but only those in the narrow main sequence would have a chance for survival, while at either extreme the mutants which had been subjected to unregenerative or fatal damage could not survive or have progeny.  Similarly, organisms which have been exposed to potentially toxic chemicals, or to pathogenic microorganisms, would develop mutagenic strains.

Thermal effects, as mutagenic causes, could be relegated under the category of radiation, as heat is nominally induced by infrared or microwave frequencies as a by-product of radiative effects.  Unless the radiation is discriminatory and limited, as with an ultraviolet induced suntan or cooking with a microwave oven, the heat produced will itself prove damaging to the organism in most cases.

We must, however, be cautious of descriptions of mutations in absolute terms.  The contemporary definition of "species" rests on the principle that there must be a faithful reproduction generation after generation, with only minor changes due to inherited characteristics.  Yet it should be noted, and in very strong terms, that the species of mankind is made up of mutations.

We reproduce, begetting offspring who can repeat the cycle, while on occasion begetting teratogenic mutants which cannot survive or reproduce.  But the primary difference between individual members of the human species lies in the fact that we have a genetically inheritable xenophobia—a metabolic "fear" of that which is strange to our bodies. In no case, except identical twins, have organs been totally and successfully transplanted.  Even with blood transfusions a temporary stopgap is performed until the body is able to replenish its own supply.  Thus, each of us stands alone, an individual whose very life is limited by the number of cycles the cell-reproducing functions can regenerate faithfully.

There is a noteworthy example of a strange, new species of plant which was observed in a London bomb crater during World War II.  Two explanations come to mind.  Either the seeds or spores were carried to the site by the bomb, since the plant was unknown in the British Isles, or very old but still viable seeds were uncovered by the blast, or else the mutation was caused by the thermo-acoustical effects of the detonation.

Both the thermal and acoustical events in an explosion are highly transient, achieving high temperatures and pressures in an extremely steep gradient, with the heat effects tending to be degenerative, while that of the shock-wave would be one of displacement-disruptive molecular displacement.

Shock-wave forming of complex metal parts is well known, where intricate, stress-free shapes are made by subjecting the metal to a violent, but controlled pressure wavefront.  Several years ago I performed an experiment in shock-wave chemistry to observe the effects of a detonation on a slurry of magnesium carbonate trihydrate crystals, to see whether it would form one of the basic-carbonate structures.  It turned out to be a one-shot affair as the bomb capsule was irreparably damaged during the first go-around.

Under the microscope some of the crystals which were salvaged showed peculiar displacements which, using polarized light, also appeared to be stress-free.  And there were selective fragmentation of a large number of the crystals, just as if someone had taken small, uniform bites out of them.

At the University of North Carolina, experiments with plants grown near the thundering din of a busy airport showed that a species of turnip sprouted sooner than was seasonally normal.  This apparently wasn't a mutagenic effect, but unusual nonetheless, and was possibly caused by thermally induced stimuli.

By congruency, acoustically induced shock fronts could be, in a large part, responsible for selective mutations, and which might also give rise to new species.  Explosive shock-waves contain large energy potentials, and the wave fronts are rich in harmonics which themselves span the acoustical spectrum from some fundamental frequency well into the gigacycles-super high frequencies that we have normally come to expect as the private domain of only electromagnetic events.

For mutagenic effects to take place on a molecular-genetic-level, there would have to be selective absorption of energy from a rather narrow band of frequencies, depending on the geometry of the molecule being affected.  For entire arrays of molecular structures a wider spread of the frequency band would be expected in order to affect an organism, as well as the amplitude, or intensity, of the shock-wave.  Displacements would occur near-instantaneously, and could affect the whole or only part of an organism, dependent on its size and composition.

Lightning bolts or meteoric impacts in the atmosphere might account for local, small-scale mutations via shock-wave, along with accompanying radiation, such as inauspicious outbreaks of new strains of nu which might be correlated with such events.  So we might expect to continue having flare-ups of virulent microorganisms by any single or combination of agencies.

But for planet-wide changes affecting all manner of species, as suggested by Velikovsky, a world-shaking blast bels in magnitude would require the near collision of the earth with another celestial body and the exchange of Brobdingnagian electrical discharges, or the actual collision of the earth with a cometary body as described by Ignatius Donnelly in the 19th century.

One might well wonder what subtle effects are contained in the loud and sometimes incoherent properties of hard rock music to which our progeny seems to be psychologically addicted, and which in some measure may be the residuum of an ancestral acoustical memory of a tumultuous event.  But if indeed we are, ourselves, some manner of "missing link" between savage man and a future civilized man, then the origami of species convolutes in something less than predictable ways.

SELECTED REFERENCES

1.   Project Cyclops—A Design Study of a System for Detecting Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life, NASA-Ames Research Center CR 114445, 1971.

2.   Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, Doubleday, 1950.

3.   Ignatius Donnelly, Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel, 1883.

4.   George McCready Price, The New Geology, Pacific Press Pub.  Assn., 1923.

5.   William R. Corliss, Mysteries Beneath the Sea, Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1970.

 

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