The International Journal of Astrobiology and NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine Publish Innovative Solution to the Evolution of Form, Providing Missing Initial Steps in Path from Egg to Human Skeleton

September 29, 2010

NEW YORK, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The International Journal of Astrobiology, a peer reviewed scientific journal published by Cambridge University Press, has published “The Origin of the Vertebrate Skeleton,” submitted by Synthetic Life Lab of New York City. It has been reprinted in Astrobiology Magazine, an official organ of NASA. The paper describes the origin of the human skeleton and the shapes of the component bones in sequential animations beginning with the fertilized egg. A mathematical reconstruction recreates the initial steps of embryological development that have been lost over eons as part of the evolutionary process.

How life originated and evolved is arguably the greatest unsolved problem facing science. Thousands of scientists and scores of organizations and scientific journals are dedicated to discovering the mechanisms underlying this mystery. In the journal’s letter of acceptance the reviewer states, ” . . . the article should be published, so that as many scientists as possible can participate in the discussion on this new important subject.” Simon Mitton, prominent Cambridge scientist and IJA editor-in-chief, calls it “a groundbreaking concept.” Mt. Holyoke paleontologist Mark McMenamin has called the discovery “a seismic event in science.”

The model is based neither on a genetic code nor on natural selection, thus contradicting the orthodox Neo-Darwinian Synthesis, the paradigm that has dominated evolutionary biology for seven decades. It offers an alternative theory that can account for the origin of natural form without recourse to creationism or supernatural intervention. If it should gain widespread acceptance, this model would negate the creationist argument that science has no theory for the origin of complex life.

Laboratory director Stuart Pivar states that evolution progresses by adding steps at the end of embryological development while the initial steps disappear, in the phenomenon called condensation. Embryologists today are walking in on the second act of a complicated two-act mystery play. This paper is the publication of the first act.

Synthetic Life Lab began its investigation with the study of the known structure of the cell membrane as a phospholipid bilayer. Experimental models led to hypothetical constructions based on the configuration predicted by the expansion of a bilayer surface. The paper describes the steps leading to a toroidal bilayer, mimicking the vertebrate egg. The rotation of the interior surface of the bilayer with respect to the outer surface produced a model of the generation of the vertebrate skeleton, including such details as the subsurface implantation of the notochord and nerve chord and the development of the limbs. The first stage after fertilization in observed embryology, called cortical rotation, offers corroboration of this theoretical model. Medical practitioners, anatomists and paleontologists know the shape of the skeleton’s 200 bones by rote. But hitherto science has been ignorant of how their shapes came about. This paper is tantamount to an accurate blueprint for the formation of the skeleton.

The science of astrobiology was established by NASA in 1998 to study the origin and evolution of life. Currently thousands of NASA astrobiologists worldwide are engaged in this research. Pivar says that credit for the discovery of the new paradigm for biology is due to the many scientists and science illustrators who partook in the project for over ten years. Considerable controversy has arisen around the premise, mainly from geneticists whose lifetime belief systems are challenged by the new model.

The following is the ABSTRACT from the International Journal of Astrobiology:

The Origin of the Vertebrate Skeleton


The anatomy of the human and other vertebrates has been well described since the days of Leonardo da Vinci and Vesalius. The causative origin of the configuration of the bones and of their shapes and forms has been addressed over ensuing centuries by such outstanding investigators as Goethe, Von Baer, Gegenbauer, Wilhelm His and D’Arcy Thompson, who sought to apply mechanical principles to morphogenesis. But no coherent causative model of morphogenesis has ever been presented.

This paper presents a causative model for the origin of the vertebrate skeleton based on the premise that the body is a mosaic enlargement of self-organized patterns engrained in the membrane of the egg cell. Drawings illustrate the proposed hypothetical origin of membrane patterning and the changes in the hydrostatic equilibrium of the cytoplasm that cause topographical deformations resulting in the vertebrate body form.

The Origin of the Vertebrate Skeleton (full text and illustrations) may be viewed at: http://journals.cambridge.org/repo_A787SZ4p

Astrobiology Magazine may be viewed at: http://www.astrobio.net

For further information, please visit: www.syntheticlifelab.com

SOURCE Synthetic Life Lab

Source: newswire

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