Monday, June 9, 2014

How the MGD hypothesis has been received by the literature upto May 2014

星星之火可以燎原(A single spark can start a prairie fire
-       Chairman Mao in a letter on Jan 5, 1930 in criticism of certain pessimistic views then existing in the party.

It is super hard to achieve a revolution in science, definitely harder than overthrowing a government of a country. We are working hard to use our theory to solve real world problems that challenge the existing framework. I promise that our best experimental work has yet to come. If our theory cannot do better in solving real world puzzles than the existing paradigm, we would consider it useless and non-scientific, period. 
Not surprisingly to anyone experienced in science, we still face considerable difficulty in publishing our work in Western mainstream journals. Perhaps also not surprisingly, we have no problems in publishing in flagship journals in China, which makes one acutely appreciate the value of a multi-polar world.  But real positive changes have been consistently happening. Here is a brief summary of how the printed literature have so far viewed our Maximum Genetic Diversity (MGD) hypothesis since its publication in 2008. Other than a minor criticism by the 2014 Prigogine Award recipient Dr. Mae Wan Ho, who has given a very detailed description and a glowing view of the hypothesis in her 2009 book chapter, there is not a single formal criticism of the main themes of the hypothesis. All five citations so far have been positive as shown in the following slides. I prepared these slides recently for an academic review committee made of mostly non-specialists in the field, who probably have to rely on others' views to appreciate our work.
Dr. Ho made this criticism: “I believe Huang’s hypothesis that epigenetically complex organisms are less tolerant of genetic or germ line diversity is incomplete, because the level of germ line diversity is actively maintained.” I however believe this is a minor misunderstanding. She was talking about things like RNA editing, splicing, somatic mutations, etc in generating sequence diversity in complex organisms. But most of these are either ordered processes rather than random or somatic events that cannot pass on to the next generation. The genetic diversity defined by the MGD hypothesis that must be suppressed during advances in complexity is on the contrary all generated by random events in the germ line, i.e., random mutations. The key concept here is that random entropy must be suppressed in order to evolve higher levels of ordered diversity/complexity. This is a priori sound intuition that no one so far has dared to risk one’s reputation and sanity to attack. As evidenced by all proven and settled laws of hard sciences, Nature does follow human intuitions in an uncanny and astonishing way, whether some people like it or not. The most brilliant minds of humanity like a Godel or Einstein all know this. Quantum mechanics may be the only exception but no one really understands quantum mechanics and it is far from certain that it is complete and proven. That the micro world may operate in a counter-intuitive way may eventually turn out to be merely a premature and primitive understanding of how the universe really works. 

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