[Paleopsych] Re: Paleopsych

Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Sun May 22 22:15:19 UTC 2005

Val, this is a fascinating contribution. Did you cc it to Lipton 
himself? I read the book a few months back and found it stimulating, but 
I was out of my depth, so I appreciate your adding such background.  The 
story about Goldschmidt's books being removed was particularly 
disturbing but all too familiar.
Lynn Johnson

Val Geist wrote:

> Dear Howard,
> Steve in a recent posting pointed to Dr. Bruce Lipton's work and book 
> on the Biology of Belief. And Stephen is right in judging this an 
> important development. I have not read the book, but opened up 
> Lipton's website, read an essay and heard an interview, and I think I 
> understand what Lipton is all about. Three cheers for his emerging - 
> however, I found absolutely nothing new in principle, only in 
> particular. He is in a line of brilliant "epigenetisits" to emerge, 
> and he has apparently gotten much the same treatment eminent 
> epigenticists before him have received. And that is what I want to 
> deal with first.
> I was disappointed looking into his list of readings that none of 
> these eminent men were cited be they Richard Goldschmidt, C. H. 
> Waddington (who coined the word epigenetics over half a century ago) 
> or more recently Soren Lovtrup. All challenged the conventional wisdom 
> that heredity is deterministic, all challenged the conventional 
> Neo-Darwinian wisdom - most shamelessly championed currently by 
> Richard Dawkins - and all suffered severe rejection by Evolution's 
> elite, none more than Richard Goldschmidt (1942).  When I looked for 
> that book, having heard all along how terribly mistaken Goldschmidt 
> was, I could not find it in my universities library. I discovered that 
> his books had been systematically removed. That this should happen to 
> one of the centuries truly great cytogeneticists, was puzzling. At 
> that time I suddenly ran into a fresh edition of Goldschmidt's book, 
> reprinted at the behest of Stephen J. Gould. It is highly instructive 
> to read from his pen just how the great Richard Goldschmidt was 
> suddenly shunned. It boils down to three young turks going after him 
> and destroying him: Ernst Mayr, George Gaylord Simpson and Bernhard 
> Rensch. The means of destruction was ridicule using phrases out of 
> context. There was little attention paid to the possibility that a 
> great mind using his enormously rich experience and background at the 
> end of a long life and prolific publication record was struggling 
> trying to tell us something that he considers vitally important, but 
> which clashes with conventional wisdom. To expedite matters: 
> Goldschmidt's denigration robbed all but a few of us of the idea of 
> flexible gene expression controlled by environment as fundamental to 
> understanding speciation and thus evolution. And without that, there 
> is no way that flexible environmentally controlled gene expression 
> could enter into other fields - such as medicine!
> Next in line to be denigrated was the great embryologist, scholar of 
> evolution and during WWII father of operations research on behalf of 
> the British defense establishment C. H. Waddington. That's the father 
> of Epigenetics. Note the title of one of his books: 1957 The Strategy 
> of the Genes. If my memory serves me right, he was haughty and did not 
> mince words and was openly contemptuous of Neo-Darwinism where 
> Goldschmidt tried to be polite.  When during a conversation with Enst 
> Mayr  I mentioned Waddington, Mayr became irritated, in fact 
> noticeably so and dismissed Waddington as someone who would not fit 
> in. That is remarkable as Mayr cites Waddington repeatedly in his own 
> magnum opus, but in a remarkably limited way. The huge irony is that 
> Mayr then writes in one of his last books on the Great Synthesis that, 
> tragically, the embryologists have been left out of this great 
> evolutionary synthesis. Having read Waddington, Ernst Mayr, a mind not 
> to be trifled with - but also Dawkins and Stephen J. Gould could not 
> see what Waddington saw, namely that phenotype plasticity was 
> profoundly important to explain much of evolution that neo-Darwinism 
> did not. I am totally puzzled by that conceptual blindness.
> Next in line is the great Swedish epigeneticist Soren Lovtrup. He 
> wrote 1974 Epigenetics: A Treatise on Theoretical Biology and The 
> Phylogeny of Vertebrata(1977), and Darwinism: The Refutation of a 
> Myth, (Sören Lövtrup, Soren Lovtrup) 1987 Croom Helm
> ISBN 0-7099-4153-6, 469 pages. He is a vociferous, but highly 
> substantive opponent of Neo-Darwinism, and it totally ignored! I had 
> the pleasure of meeting him a number of times and spending together 
> nearly a fortnight in South Africa and Botswana's Okavango Delta. He 
> has given up trying to communicate with the older generation, pinning 
> his hope on the younger - which is also ignoring his excellent 
> scholarship - see Bruce Lipton! Unfortunately, Lovtrup is not the best 
> communicator, as well as being a very angry old man. However, taking 
> time and effort to read him is rewarding.
> Lipton is a re-discoverer of epigenetics, as was I. He is dead on, but 
> his discoveries are in principle not new and it's a pity he does not 
> integrate his discoveries with earlier findings, strengthening his 
> case and given due credit where credit is due. As I age I see again 
> and again the same wheels being reinvented under different names - and 
> Lipton is a case in point. I was delighted to hear that he in the are 
> of health identified some of the same processes that I did and 
> reported on in my 1978 Life Strategies.. book. After all the subtitle 
> of that book is: Towards a biological theory of health. Independent 
> re-discovery greatly strengthens the case for epigenetics, as this 
> concept is played out with different facts. And I am delighted that 
> Lipton pulled this concept into the area of health. In short: bring 
> epigenetics into our understanding of Paleopsychology and quality of life.
>     ----- Original Message -----
>     From: HowlBloom at aol.com <mailto:HowlBloom at aol.com>
>     To: paul.werbos at verizon.net <mailto:paul.werbos at verizon.net> ;
>     paleopsych at paleopsych.org <mailto:paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
>     Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2005 9:51 PM
>     Subject: [Paleopsych] Paul--is this yours?
>     I ran across the following today while doing research for a
>     national radio show--Coast to Coast--I'm about to do in 70 minutes
>     (2am to 5am EST the night of 5/21 and morning of 5/22).  It's
>     exciting and sounds like the space-borne solar array you were
>     talking about in an email several days ago.
>     Is it one of the projects you've helped along?  Howard
>     Modules of the USC School of Engineering's Information Sciences
>     Institute (ISI) proposed half-mile-long Space Solar Power System
>     satellite self assemble with what the researchers call "hormonal"
>     software,.funded  by a consortium including NASA, the NSF, and the
>     Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
>     ----------
>     Howard Bloom
>     Author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the
>     Forces of History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind
>     From The Big Bang to the 21st Century
>     Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York
>     University; Core Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute
>     www.howardbloom.net
>     www.bigbangtango.net
>     Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; founding board
>     member: Epic of Evolution Society; founding board member, The
>     Darwin Project; founder: The Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New
>     York Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement
>     of Science, American Psychological Society, Academy of Political
>     Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International
>     Society for Human Ethology; advisory board member:
>     Youthactivism.org; executive editor -- New Paradigm book series.
>     For information on The International Paleopsychology Project, see:
>     www.paleopsych.org
>     for two chapters from
>     The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of
>     History, see www.howardbloom.net/lucifer
>     For information on Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from
>     the Big Bang to the 21st Century, see www.howardbloom.net
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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