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Guy Hatchard
Guy Hatchardhttps://hatchardreport.com/
Guy Hatchard PhD is a statistician and former senior manager at Genetic ID, a global food safety testing and certification laboratory. Guy's book 'Your DNA Diet' is available on Amazon.com.

Guy Hatchard: What is life?

Life opinion

In 1953, the same year that DNA was discovered, Mount Everest climbed and Queen Elizabeth crowned, a graduate student in Chicago passed an electrical spark through a mixture of methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide in close proximity to water.

This was believed to correspond to a flash of lightning in earth’s early atmosphere. Within a few days the mixture contained some primitive amino acids—carbon-based organic compounds related to those the body utilises from our diet to build proteins. The media was very busy that year announcing that the mystery of life’s origins had been solved. According to these reports, life came about as a result of a random lightning strike.

Scientists thought they would very soon be able to recreate life, but it wasn’t until 2010 that biotechnologists announced they were able to chemically synthesise proteins. However, they were only able to do so by working backwards so to speak. By unravelling the structure or blueprint of a simple protein, they were then able to reassemble it using this blueprint. This is analogous to assembling IKEA furniture using the diagrams in the instructions. Assembling IKEA furniture doesn’t make you into a creator, someone else designed and manufactured it. IKEA furniture doesn’t randomly design itself and self assemble, nor do amino acids. 

The lightning strike hypothesis is unsupported by evidence. There are millions of types of proteins in the human physiology performing different functions. Proteins are such complex molecules that the chance of the amino acids found in nature spontaneously assembling themselves into proteins is so infinitesimally small as to be indistinguishable from zero, estimated to be around 1 in 10260, one followed by 260 zeros. 

The production of proteins in the physiology requires that the DNA transcribes them, whilst the transcription of DNA requires proteins. A chicken and egg situation. Proteins are made up of amino acids which come from our food sources which are also based on DNA—life is a WHOLE integrated ecosystem with many interlocking interdependent parts operating at different time and distance scales. They all depend on one another, and they also depend on food.

Food, Genetics and Health

A remarkable study of studies has just been published by the BMJ entitled Ultra-processed food exposure and adverse health outcomes: umbrella review of epidemiological meta-analyses and it has been widely summarised in the media. It found that 32 illnesses were linked to the consumption of ultra processed foods known as UPFs such as supermarket ready meals, sugary cereals, mass-produced bread, biscuits and cakes which are often high in fat, salt and sugar and low in vitamins and fibre.

‘UPFs’ refers to items which contain ingredients people would not usually add when they were cooking homemade food. These additions might include chemicals, colourings, sweeteners, synthetics that mimic natural compounds, processing agents and preservatives that extend shelf life. The study of 10 million people found higher consumption of UPFs was associated with a 50 per cent greater risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke. It reported:

“Overall, direct associations were found between exposure to ultra-processed foods and 32 (71%) health parameters spanning mortality, cancer, and mental, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and metabolic health outcomes”

The converse of this study is the fact that healthy diets including whole and fresh foods benefit health. Whilst UPFs may contain recognised nutritional elements such as vitamins, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, etc., these alone are insufficient to maintain health. Fresh whole foods based on DNA have the capacity to support health and fight off disease. Apparently the intelligence in the genetic structure of natural foods is an unrecognised but vital component of diet. My book Your DNA Diet expands on this theme. 

The nature of consciousness is in fact closest to ourselves

Notably, the study found adverse mental health outcomes including sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression and other common mental disorders were linked with UPF consumption. Our innate creative consciousness relies on a healthy diet, highlighting the close connection between consciousness, genetics, epigenetics and food. Yet the origin and mechanics of consciousness is largely shunned by modern science. Curiously, biotechnology, which is purported to be a focused study of life, has little if anything to say on the subject of consciousness—the striking characteristic of life. 

IKEA furniture may not be able to design itself, but we can think for ourselves. We have the remarkable self-referral property of being awake, we are conscious. We have creative intelligence. This property is supported by the functioning of the physiology as a WHOLE. The WHOLE is more than the sum of the parts. 

To understand this, let us imagine a jigsaw not with thousands but with trillions of pieces that form a single picture, just as the trillions of cells in the body support a person with a unique, conscious, self-referral identity. 

Biotechnology has evolved through a process of studying the parts of the physiology. It imagines that studying the parts will be sufficient to understand the WHOLE. It can edit or replace parts but it doesn’t understand the effect that might have on the WHOLE person, their consciousness. It does not understand the WHOLE. This is a huge mistake, but one that seems to be very easy to make. Why is this?

Coming back to the IKEA analogy, we are used to diagrams, plans and blueprints being separate and outside of the objects they describe. We think of causes being objectively identified. No house self-assembles from within itself, yet biological organisms do precisely that. The intelligence in the first cell of an embryo is sufficient to build the whole person. Unlike a blueprint, it comes from inside and expresses itself outside.

Biotechnology starts from outside and looks inside, it cuts and snips, grafts and replaces, aiming to find out how the intelligence of the cell functions or even to manipulate it. In doing so, it inevitably damages the HOLISTIC functioning of the organism. Biotechnology is probing in the wrong direction from outside to inside, whereas life operates from inside to outside.

You can replace pieces in a jigsaw and force them to fit, but this will inevitably distort and damage the integrity of the picture. Editing the internal structure and function of cells, as biotechnology does, amounts to editing the pieces of the jigsaw of life. If done on a sufficiently large scale, the holistic picture of life will look very different and function differently or it may not be able to function at all.

Cellular structure and function is of course completely different from a static two dimensional jigsaw. It has a self referral character that mirrors that of consciousness. It begins from the inside and creates from within itself. Its parts undertake multiple roles in coordination with other parts. Tens of thousands of genes in the DNA, and millions of proteins all operating in concert through a range of communication channels that we have described elsewhere (see here and here). All ultimately controlled by the abstract intelligence that characterises the cell

Where is the source of the HOLISTIC functioning of the cell?

It is not in the nucleus because the DNA in the nucleus requires the proteins in the cytoplasm to function, it is not in the cytoplasm because the proteins cannot be created without DNA. It resides where life begins with a single  WHOLE cell—Nucleus, Cytoplasm, and Membrane together. The characteristic of the whole cell is the abstract field of intelligence or consciousness which characterises the WHOLE person. This is not something that can be seen objectively and therefore biotechnology, being concerned with objects and components, cannot locate its abstract substance.

Yet consciousness is very easily accessible to everyone, it is our own SELF. Every culture in history has cherished means to explore consciousness, the SELF. In my book Your DNA Diet I collate the findings of several hundred published studies of the effects of transcendental meditation when individually taught as it traditionally was. These show that 45 key measures of health improve with regular practice. 

This resulted in reduced doctor and hospital visits. The findings include reduced incidence of cancer, gastro-intestinal, neurological, respiratory, cardiac and mental illness. The exact opposite of the effects of UPFs, but scientific findings confirm that the exploration of consciousness, the inmost field of life, also enhances positive characteristics of health including greater happiness, self-confidence, greater energy and creativity, improved memory and learning.

Mind and body, consciousness and matter, are two sides of one coin. Every disease has both a material and immaterial component. Both have to be handled properly. Handling the material aspect of life means handling diet and behaviour. Handling consciousness means handling the HOLISTIC basis of life from the subjective field of our own consciousness. Exploration of our consciousness is exploration of the nature of life. Without handling both consciousness and matter, health is always at risk

In complete contrast, editing DNA and RNA functions inevitably results in unintended mutagenic events—a distortion of life and a degradation of health. In whatever way the amazing structure of biological life was created, you certainly wouldn’t want to degrade it, but that is the unmistakable risk of biotechnology experimentation. 

Despite 70 years of investigation, there is no physical evidence to support the idea that DNA emerged as a result of random events nor does modern science have any deep understanding of how consciousness is supported by it. Yet biotechnology is mistakenly inferring from the unsupported random origin hypothesis that deliberate editing of DNA will be inherently safe and evolutionary. 

It seems clear that mankind’s recent experience of the outcomes of a laboratory escape and a novel medical intervention point in quite the opposite direction. Yet a trillion dollar expansion of biotechnology experimentation supported by governments and multinational commercial companies is under way. The inevitable final outcome of such a program if it is allowed to continue will not be the creation of life but its destruction.

If instead we seek greater understanding of life, this will not be through an expansion of the objective means of gaining knowledge which have already reached far into the microcosm and the macrocosm without uncovering the origin of life. A transition in society will come about if we also explore the subjective means of gaining knowledge, because the path of life is from inside to outside, from consciousness to matter. Retracing that path in our own self-referral awareness, as transcending does, sheds light on the nature of life and evolution.

Image credit: Sangharsh Lohakare

Guy Hatchard PhD was formerly a senior manager at Genetic ID a global food testing and safety company (now known as FoodChain ID). You can subscribe to his websites HatchardReport.com and GLOBE.GLOBAL for regular updates by email.

He is the author of ‘Your DNA Diet: Leveraging the Power of Consciousness To Heal Ourselves and Our World. An Ayurvedic Blueprint For Health and Wellness’.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. One can be sure we did not evolve from primordial soup, and modern science has revealed the cell to be vastly complex and most biological systems to be irreducibly complex. Michael Behe, a microbiologist, explains this in his book Darwins Black Box and uses the example of simple mousetrap, take away one part and it doesn’t work, so all the parts had to come together at the same time for it to function.
    So I guess creation implies a creator.

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