Raju Pookottil

Raju Pookottil

B.Tech, MBA; Author, engineer, entrepreneur

Pookottil gained his degree in civil engineering from India and later his MBA from London. He currently runs an engineering firm based in London. Previously, he has tried everything from being a property developer to manufacturing chassis and carbon fibre propellers for microlight aircrafts. While he was always unconvinced about the idea that a supreme intelligence could have created all life on earth, life unquestionably carries the hallmarks of design. As a weeding out instrument, natural selection has a certain role to play in evolution. But it cannot be the fundamental mechanism and the creative force driving evolution.  Even after 150 years, there are only a handful of examples of selection in action; and they are not very convincing ones either.

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Evolution, he believes, is more of a Lamarckian process. In his book, Pookottil proposes a mechanism that could potentially explain how the whole thing might be working. Organisms do not need to depend on accidental mutations and selection. They have built in capabilities that allow them to interact with the environment and devise clever solutions. If a panda is in the process of generating a new thumb, it has worked out exactly where it needs one and how to build it. The emerging field of epigenetics is spearheading a comeback for Lamarckian evolution. There is now a rapidly growing list of examples that demonstrate that acquired characteristics can be transmitted for many generations. If Lamarckism is the future, here is how it could be working; right from forming the very first cells, to generating novel proteins, all the way to building whole complex organisms.

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"The beauty of emergence is that it starts working its magic right from when some of the simplest networks form. Throw in a bunch of certain complex protein-like molecules into a test tube and they start displaying selfish non-random life-like behaviour."

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