Seldom has the hand of providence been more evident to me than in the life of Perry Marshall. His eclectic expertise has uncannily suited him to write a ground-breaking book on evolution that will be equally shocking to both atheists and Christians.
As a Christian himself, he has a dogged focus on knowing how God has made the world—on knowing what is true—in the best tradition of science’s founders. This means he is fair and honest in his treatment of evidence which most people find difficult to assess calmly.
As an electrical engineer, he has experience in relying on scientific theories that actually work to design functional systems. This means he can comment on the genetic mechanisms that “design” organisms, from a position of authority—without falling prey to arguments from ignorance as many neo-Darwinists do (“The eye is a terrible design!”)
As the man who wrote the book on Ethernet, he is perfectly suited to discuss the characteristics of code and digital language. Thus he ably demonstrates the one-to-one correspondence between DNA and computer code.
As the world’s leading AdWords expert, he has first-hand experience of a technology which mimics key genetic mechanisms, including transposition and natural selection. So he has a unique perspective on explaining these complex evolutionary systems using clear and understandable illustrations.
As a copywriter and marketer, he is skilled at crafting an engaging and persuasive narrative. Evolution 2.0 weaves seemingly dry, technical, even incomprehensible topics into a tight, fascinating story that fits around Perry’s own scientific and spiritual journey—revealing along the way empirically validated and truly astonishing facts about what DNA is and how it works.
These are facts that, with no exaggeration, turn mainstream evolution on its head.
Perry persuasively proves that evolution not only occurs, but that it occurs far more rapidly and successfully than neo-Darwinists expect, because it is not a blind, random process that relies on lucky mutations over millions of generations. Rather, it is an intelligent, goal-seeking process that can produce radical new designs in even a single generation. He demonstrates beyond doubt that the development of new attributes and species is a staggeringly sophisticated system, directly comparable with computer code and languages…only far more advanced. He documents how organisms can acquire new code from others via a common language; predictively reorganize it on the fly to create new functionality; selectively enable or disable parts of it to change characteristics in response to environmental pressures; and even combine code with other organisms to create a new species.
All of this is extensively referenced for readers who want to verify his claims, or just learn more about the amazing capabilities of DNA that have been discovered—but not publicized—in the past 50 years.
Perry also suggests a convincing, experimentally-tested mechanism by which genetic information can increase over time—thus laying a foundation for plausibly explaining the Cambrian Explosion, as well as the development of irreducibly complex designs.
The picture he paints of DNA is of a genetic programming language so advanced that its programs can intelligently communicate with others and upgrade themselves repeatedly, even writing entirely new programs—all without crashing, without losing data, and while fitting their code into a space 30,000 times smaller than our best hard drives. The greatest nerds in computer history couldn’t even guess about how to start imitating these features.
Which begs only one reasonable explanation about its origin: an extraordinarily brilliant designer.
But Perry’s focus on scientific data does not come at the expense of discussing other critical issues. Unlike certain other popular books on science and religion, which shall remain nameless, he ably canvasses key issues like the hard problem of consciousness, the philosophical underpinnings of science, the show-stopping presuppositions of neo-Darwinism, and science’s history with faith. Although the chapters on these topics are brief, he handles them well. He is commendably straightforward, and presents the central ideas clearly—even to people with no prior knowledge of them.
Any Christian who cares about how creation glorifies God—and how evolution is actually an apologetic arsenal waiting to be unleashed on neo-Darwinists—should add Evolution 2.0 to the extreme tippy-top of their reading list. Evolution occurs, it occurs rapidly, and it is intelligently designed to be inventively goal-seeking in ways we are only beginning to understand.
Get Evolution 2.0 on Amazon
A note for clarity: I remain highly unconvinced about the earth being ancient—thus I don’t agree with Perry on the extent to which modern life can be traced through evolution to a single-celled common ancestor. Nonetheless, I find his overall presentation absolutely compelling. See my comment directly below this review, and also my clarification on the Evolution 2.0 Facebook page.