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Beem: Biological Emergence-Based Evolutionary
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Recent Releases > BEEM - an alternative to natural selection

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Louis (louisdresner) | 2 comments Hi all,

Just thought I'd suggest this book. It offers a hypothesis of an alternative evolutionary mechanism to natural selection.

Obviously evolution happens, and natural selection goes a long way to explain how/why, but I've always thought that certain evolutionary instances can't be fully explain by natural selection alone. When I came across this then, I found it pretty interesting. Just a hypothesis and needs some proper academic research to turn it into a bonafide theory, but found it an interesting idea nonetheless.

If you're sceptical I think his website explains the idea a little bit, and there's a few free kindle chapters available on Amazon too.

Let me know what you think!


message 2: by Kenny (last edited Jun 06, 2013 09:31AM) (new)

Kenny Chaffin (kennychaffin) What? Thanks for the post, but Evolution is true, explains the complete diversity of life. There is no alternative. It has been proven beyond a doubt. That's what I think.


message 3: by Karen (new)

Karen Roman I agree with Kenny. I'm satisfied with the science.


Louis (louisdresner) | 2 comments To clarift, of course I agree that Evolution is clearly true. But natural selection and evolution are not synonymous. I wonder if there are other mechanisms driving evolution forward, in addition to natural selection.


message 5: by Kenny (new)

Kenny Chaffin (kennychaffin) Louis wrote: "To clarift, of course I agree that Evolution is clearly true. But natural selection and evolution are not synonymous. I wonder if there are other mechanisms driving evolution forward, in addition t..."

No.


message 6: by Kenny (last edited Jun 07, 2013 10:49AM) (new)

Kenny Chaffin (kennychaffin) Well Bridget, the point of science is to have an open mind, but not so open that it falls out. Science is based on skepticism and rational inquiry. In particular, Evolution has been examined, tested, and criticized for over 150 years and has never been found to be in error. All features, species, abilities of living things are well explained by the theory (which btw is BOTH mutation AND natural selection). Darwin summarized it by calling it "Descent with Modification"

Is it absolutely and forever true? No. No scientific theory claims that, if a better theory comes along to replace and passes through the crucible of the scientific method that would be wonderful. And certainly possible.

The book described above is not it. What I'm seeing is pseudoscience and speculation. That's fine, but it's not science.


message 7: by Karen (new)

Karen Roman Hi, Bridget. Actually this is a very friendly group. I hope you'll consider sticking around, because every voice contributes something unique.

It this particular instance, I think 150 years have offered quite a great deal of opportunity to discuss alternate ideas and explore lots of other options. The problem with all those other options is that none of them have evidence to support them. The day I have solid evidence that contradicts the current science is the day I move on from the established science to the new idea.

Pseudoscience and speculation ask a lot of interesting questions, but those questions quickly become uninteresting when there isn't the necessary evidence.

This book referenced at the top is another example of someone putting out an idea without anything to support it. I don't think it benefits anyone to muddy the waters with speculation which can't deliver on any of its tantalizing promises.

I'm an evidence-based kind of gal. You got evidence? I want to hear it! You got hokum and woo-woo? You're not helping anyone and I'd rather not waste my time listening, thanks very much.


message 8: by Kenny (new)

Kenny Chaffin (kennychaffin) Karen wrote: "Hi, Bridget. Actually this is a very friendly group. I hope you'll consider sticking around, because every voice contributes something unique.
..."



AGREED. And I certainly didn't mean to imply otherwise.


message 9: by Angus (new)

Angus Mcfarlane | 71 comments I read a blog earlier this week discussing the idea of emergence as a capacity of the universe to produce something other than what strict reductionist materialism can achieve. Apparently from a respected scientist, despite the controversial opinion. Not sure if this idea is the same as that portrayed in this book - it seemed to be more about the rise of life in the first place rather than the evolution of it after it began. Hard to make a conclusion on the very brief review given.


message 10: by Frozenwaffle (new)

Frozenwaffle | 4 comments Well, this is suspiciously like a self promotion post - seeing as only "Louis" seems to have read it, rated it, or commented on it.


message 11: by John (new)

John Waterman (writerjohn) | 37 comments I just read the author's book description and editorial reviews on Amazon. It looks a lot like speculation about some ways for evolution to self direct natural selection towards more beneficial features in a given species. I think random mutations in DNA and the subsequent success/failure mechanism by survival explain evolutional advancement adequately. The best book on the subject is (IMHO) "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" by Dan Dennett.
Later, John.


message 12: by Kenny (new)

Kenny Chaffin (kennychaffin) John, I agree about Dennett - excellent book!


message 13: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 173 comments Frozenwaffle wrote: "Well, this is suspiciously like a self promotion post - seeing as only "Louis" seems to have read it, rated it, or commented on it."

Agreed, as it looks like he has started the same thread on many other groups here on GoodReads too.


message 14: by Kristoffer (new)

Kristoffer Stokkeland (kristofferst) Kathy wrote: "Frozenwaffle wrote: "Well, this is suspiciously like a self promotion post - seeing as only "Louis" seems to have read it, rated it, or commented on it."

Agreed, as it looks like he has started th..."

Well; 3. All geared at science. And no. Not self promotion: fan promotion. Feel fairly certain. Reasoning would go along the lines of far too long living and detailed profile for it to be fake.


message 15: by Kenny (new)

Kenny Chaffin (kennychaffin) Yep.


message 16: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Bridget wrote: "My, what open-minded explore-all-options scientist-types we have here!

The author of this book has the same degree as me - Civil Engineering - which I got without taking a single credit in Biology. When I look him up, all I find are advertisements about the book. Nothing from a scientific website, no peer reviewed articles, nothing.

Now I am all for non-scientists or people without degrees in traditional science fields writing books about science. Sometimes non-scientists do the best job of writing for a general audience. I am also all for non-scientists making discoveries or coming up with new scientific theories. However, when you do something like this your first step should be to vet it past someone who knows a lot about the subject and get your idea peer-reviewed and published somewhere with credibility. Writing a book instead with a controversial title and going all out to advertise it rings all kinds of alarm bells for me.


message 17: by Ibis3 (new)

Ibis3 | 23 comments Louis wrote: "Hi all,

Just thought I'd suggest this book. It offers a hypothesis of an alternative evolutionary mechanism to natural selection.

Obviously evolution happens, and natural selection goes a long w..."


There are other mechanisms such as genetic drift and artificial selection. But it's all just mutation, survival, replication all the way down.


message 18: by Frozenwaffle (new)

Frozenwaffle | 4 comments Kristoffer wrote: "Not self promotion: fan promotion. Feel fairly certain. Reasoning would go along the lines of far too long living and detailed profile for it to be fake. "

It may very well be, but doesn't it intrigue you that he is the one and only reader of this book?


message 19: by Kristoffer (new)

Kristoffer Stokkeland (kristofferst) Frozenwaffle wrote: "Kristoffer wrote: "Not self promotion: fan promotion. Feel fairly certain. Reasoning would go along the lines of far too long living and detailed profile for it to be fake. "

It may very well be, ..."


Not really. He is the Goodreads Librarian who added it. As a reader of a book that wasn't on Goodreads I can relate. It has no reviews on Amazon. Not a well known book, not really picked up anywhere. Google it and you'll mainly find the author trying to promote it.


message 20: by Frozenwaffle (new)

Frozenwaffle | 4 comments Oh, I hadn't thought of that. Well, I apologize if I was being unfair!


message 21: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (kevinhallock) | 24 comments Xox wrote: Usually, I would dismiss all "What if" stuff until a peer reviewed scientific paper with evidence is being presented.

I don't know that this is the best standard for judging things. There's a lot of crap that makes it throught the peer-review process, and some really good work that peer-review shuns. Peer-review tends to reinforce the status quo, and anything that doesn't fit that may not make it through peer-review at all, or get relegated to journals few ever read.

(Note: My comment has nothing to do with the OP's book, I didn't even look at it.)


message 22: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Joseph Bridget wrote: "My, what open-minded explore-all-options scientist-types we have here! So friendly, as well!

I'll be cancelling my subscription to this discussion group quickly."


Im cutting out of this group as well.There are many posts by people claiming to have open minds- I don't think so. True I don't have a peer reviewed paper to back up my assertion so just ignore it.lol


message 23: by Karen (new)

Karen Roman Jeff wrote: "Im cutting out of this group as well."

Jeff, I for one would be sorry to see you leave us without hearing from you what you have to say first. Amazing ideas come from all directions and all kinds of people. Innovation doesn't have any limitations except those which we choose to impose.

I would speculate that many of the posters who see the BEEM book as a waste of time perhaps share my point of view. When I see what could be an exciting new scientific idea presented to people who have the knowledge and the passion to pursue it, I'm excited. Can't wait to see what the exploration of this idea will produce. But when a new idea is presented to the general public instead of the scientific community, not as an attempt to further human understanding but rather as an attempt to make some money, I am heartily inclined to not want to waste my time on a purely commercial enterprise.

I like entertainment as much as the next, science-based or not, but if I'm going to spend money and time absorbing "scientific" information that has no science behind it, frankly, I'd rather do that by watching the new Star Trek movie, not reading a "science" book whose sole purpose is to make some quick cash for the author.

If I had been able to find any evidence online that BEEM was being studied with any seriousness, I would be fascinated. But all you find with a Google search is book promotion. Nothing that can enlighten me as to where this new "theory" might fit in our current knowledge base.

Sorry. It just bears all the earmarks of marketing and none of the earmarks of research. Might as well be a book about Ancient Aliens or how to make a Dowsing Rod. I don't have enough bandwidth to do everything I want to do AND pursue unfounded speculation. A gal has to choose what is important to her. It's isn't closed-mindedness, at least it isn't on my part. It's bowing to my limitations and accepting that I can't read everything, much as I would like to.


message 24: by David (last edited Jun 15, 2013 06:48PM) (new)

David | 844 comments Mod
This discussion about BEEM is very interesting--it points out the age-old dilemma of science. When does a hypothesis become elevated to a serious theory?

In the book's web page, the author readily admits that BEEM is just a hypothesis, not a theory. It is a very speculative hypothesis, and without reading it, I can't tell what predictions (i.e., falsifiability) are possible. The author definitely believes in evolution--he just does not believe that natural selection is fully capable of explaining all of evolution. (The author does not believe in a supreme being, and he is not proposing creationism or intelligent design.)

As Danielle mentioned above, the book was not peer-reviewed, so the "risk factor" is higher than it would be if it had been peer-reviewed. The book may deserve a read--it just depends on how much time you have, your ability to sort out science from pseudo-science, and your willingness to take a risk and read about an idea that could be a far-sighted explanation of evolution, or might be pure bunk.


message 25: by Karen (new)

Karen Roman David, you absolutely nail my objection, and mine is based purely on bandwidth.

I wish I had infinite resources for consuming all available human knowledge and creative work. Sadly, I don't. SO UNFAIR!!

I have to triage rather pitilessly when it comes to my science reading. Speculation is a luxury I can't really afford at this stage of my life, as deliciously recreational as it is.

What saddens me is that two of our number think this paints this community as closed-minded. I wold hate to think that being honest about striking a book from my radar is enough to bring that kind of discord. Feels pretty awful. Just because this book has no place on my own reading list it shouldn't follow that implies that the group is unfriendly or unopen to new ideas.

Apologies to anyone who feels they've been unfairly tagged by this discussion.


message 26: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 43 comments I have a question,
Would tool use be considered artificial selection or are they treated as part of the natural process or is how something ends immaterial to the whole process to get to that point?


message 27: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) David wrote: "This discussion about BEEM is very interesting--it points out the age-old dilemma of science. When does a hypothesis become elevated to a serious theory?

In the book's web page, the author readily..."


Thank you, David, for a rational post about this subject. Speaking as an atheist, it is annoying to see posts by rationalists who sound as one sided as the creationists.


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