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The Third Choice: Harmonic Evolution

By Richard Merrick

To find our deepest connection to nature, we need look no further than the geometry of the human body. It is at the apex of creation, reflecting the beauty of the cosmos and embodying the order of its physics. Yet in spite of this self-evident truth, we still have very little understanding about why our bodies are shaped the way they are and how that might be connected with the evolution of human consciousness and society.

The contemporary Darwinian view from the fields of biology and anthropology hold that the appearance of life on Earth was driven by chance from the molecular level up, then adapted over time to survive better in a hostile environment. Indeed, the theory of evolution depends exclusively on natural selection and 'survival of the fittest' (with the occasional random mutation) to explain the shapes of the tiniest plants and organisms up through the largest animal. This theory is summed up with the oft-repeated phrase: 'If we could somehow restart life on Earth (or another planet) from the beginning, it would probably turn out completely different.'

Counter to this is the belief in 'Creationism' or 'Intelligent Design' (ID) whose proponents claim life was created by divine intervention (perhaps only a few thousand years ago) without need of any organic process on Earth. Considered by most scientists to be a blatant disregard or misreading of the archeological evidence to serve religious purposes, its popularity reveals a deep-seated desire by many to find meaning and purpose in a seemingly random universe.

Harmonic Evolution

As things stand today, Evolution and ID are the only explanations we have for life on Earth. Without a better explanation, most of us choose Darwin's theory as is, defending it without question in spite of the fact that it cannot tell us, for instance, why we have five fingers instead of six or a wave-like spine rather than a straight one. Everyone knows instinctively that something is missing in evolutionary theory to answer such questions, but what could it be?

Rethinking evolution
Consider the possibility of a third choice - one compatible with evolution but leaving the door open for a spiritual connection. What if there is a less obvious but universal property in Nature that physically guides evolution from somewhere beneath the environmental process of natural selection to carve the basic shapes of life? As radical as this may sound to modern ears, there are a number of good reasons why this may be the case. Common sense alone would tell us that for natural selection to be the only explanation for why life appears as it does, the fossil record should have many times the variations found.

For instance, since eight legs work so well for a spider, shouldn't we find fossils of higher organisms with eight legs capable of outrunning, outmaneuvering and even out-boxing their four-legged predators? Or how about only three legs, which might have enabled a more efficient cardiovascular system? Where are all the animal fossils with entirely different appendages, rearranged internal organs, extra joints that offer greater flexibility or even eyes in the back of their heads? Wouldn't some of these have been more survivable than animals today?

Yet for some unexplained reason fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals and even dinosaurs all ended up with the same basic skeletal structure consisting of a wave-like spine, cardioid-shaped rib cage, single head and four limbs. While natural selection does imbue each of these creatures with a particular anatomical variation, or morphology, this basic 5-fold archetype was the one and only internal skeletal template that emerged as life evolved in and out of the sea.

Similarly, insects are a morphological adaptation of a single 3-fold exoskeleton template comprising a head, thorax and abdomen. These too appear to have occurred during the transition to land and air from simpler sea creatures.

As for invertebrates like jellyfish all the way down to bacteria and viruses, all are a morphology of simple periodic geometries such as spheres, rings, toruses, tubes, helixes, stars and even icosahedrons. Plants and fungi are much the same, branching as groups of about 62% and 38% into the extruded regular geometries of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

But for natural selection to favor survivability, shouldn't we expect to see fossils of plants that once branched randomly (or equally) or land animals with much more diverse features? Shouldn't the animals alive today have descended from more efficient and fiercely competitive anatomical archetypes? The fact is there is nothing in the theory of evolution and the fossil record that can explain any of this any more than it can explain why leaves are not square or why fruit is not in the form of, say, randomized irregular blobs. So what else could be at work to guide the evolution of life?

Atomic resonance and damping

All life on Earth is composed mostly of carbon-12 and water. This is the case because carbon-12 bonds or resonates with more simple elements than any other element in the universe. It is for this very reason that carbon-12 is the international standard for atomic weight and all other elements are measured against it. With 6 protons + 6 neutrons in its nucleus and 6 electrons orbiting in two shells, carbon-12 exhibits the lowest possible energy of all the elements and is said to be 'unbound,' thereby creating the most stable atomic geometry possible. When mixed with water, carbon-12 creates endless chains of sticky amino acids capable of crystallizing into life.

This idea of life as a crystallization process is a good one because just as minerals align under pressure into lattices, coils of amino acids fold into three-dimensional protein structures and align into the familiar helical lattice of DNA. It is the geometric bonding pressure of hydrogen atoms in water that help create the lattice and give DNA its twist.

In recent molecular studies of water, biochemist Martin Chaplin found that water organizes itself naturally into a lattice of icosahedral clusters, just as Greek philosopher Plato suggested more than two millennia ago. Water really does resemble the 12-pointed, 20-faceted geometry of an icosahedron.

The water lattice begins as 4-fold tetrahedral units of 14 water molecules, each aligning into 20 icosahedral clusters of 280 molecules. This structure then assumes a variety of stable geometric sub-structures, such as its complementary opposite dodecahedron, which form into larger 'superclusters.' At this mesoscopic scale of water, molecules arrange themselves into a 2-dimensional connectivity map of a regular 5-fold pentagon. [Chaplin 2009]


But water is only half of the equation of life. While it never made the news, another recent study found that the first step of enclosure needed for a single cell to live is actually a geometrical folding of carbon molecules.

A 2006 publication of the American Chemical Society entitled Tb3N@C84: An Improbable, Egg-Shaped Endohedral Fullerene that Violates the Isolated Pentagon Rule reported that a large Fullerine carbon-84 allotrope constructed its own egg-like cage when two adjacent pentagons in the carbon molecule became fused together in a reaction with terbium.

Discovered by a combined team from the University of California, Virginia Polytechnic and Emory and Henry College, this was the first indication that the regular soccer ball geometry of hexagons and pentagons in a large carbon Fullerine could wrap itself into an egg-like cage by reacting with another atom, thereby producing a uniquely organic geometry known as a quasi-crystal.

This discovery could answer a lot of questions. For one thing, it tells us that it was probably the egg that came before the chicken. No seriously! This is how amino acids could have 'learned' to form cells around themselves and even offers a reasonable explanation for why ribcages form around vital organs in all vertebrate animals. It also shows how the harmonic balance between pentagonal and hexagonal molecular geometry could self-organize into life.

In each of these studies, we can begin to see how evolution is guided by geometric harmonies at the mesoscopic scale of carbon-water bonding. The 5-fold damping geometry of water fuses with the resonant 12-fold geometry of carbon-12 atoms, growing into living harmonic crystals out of inanimate matter. Music harmony works the same way.

Musical scales usually divide a circular octave into twelve steps called semi-tones. This 12-step octave is then divided into two scale groupings - one 7-tone major or minor scale and a remaining 5-tone pentatonic scale. This is found on a piano keyboard as seven white keys comprising a C major (or A minor) scale and five black keys of an F# pentatonic scale. When applied to the human body, life can be described in musical terms as a repeating carbon-12 octave resonating against the pentatonic damping geometry of water which creates the twisting 7-step 'diatonic' framework of our body. It is no coincidence that the musical term 'diatonic' literally means 'through the body' and that the ancient Hindu chakra system indicates seven locations in the body. This is really a very old idea.

The theory that life grows as kind of musical geometry has provenance with Pythagoras at least 2,500 years ago. Known as musica universalis (or in the body as musica humana), it was the ancient world's Theory of Everything. Greek philosophers personified musical forces in nature as gods and goddesses, such as the god of music Apollo and the counterbalancing goddesses Harmonia and Eris (Roman Concordia and Discordia). Discarded long ago by Western science and abandoned in our schools, we are now finding solid evidence to support the idea that musica universalis could well be true. Life really does appear to be the result of some kind of musica atomica bubbling up from infinity.

From the perspective of atomic resonance, Darwinian evolution can be seen as a veneer of adaptation that depends on a preexisting and universal harmonic system intrinsic to all nature. Simple life resonates into uni-body and 3-fold carbon-12 shapes while more complex forms succumb to the 5-fold damping effect of water, branching out at approximated golden sections into pentagonal clusters, such as roses, starfish and the human anatomy. As the most resonant life form of all, we humans exist at the razor's edge of atomic harmony, perfectly balanced by nature to achieve consciousness and ponder our own existence.

Perhaps it is time we update Darwin's 19th century theory of evolution to include atomic resonance acting in concert with natural selection. And maybe the first goal for this new theory of harmonic evolution should be to explain how 12:5 atomic geometry came to be preserved in the genetic code.

The hidden geometry in DNA
A recent paper by physician and independent researcher Mark White entitled The G-ball, a New Icon for codon symmetry and the Genetic Code proposed that the codon table of the genetic code follows the shape of a 12:5 dodecahedron or 20:12 icosahedron.

Since there are exactly four nucleotides in DNA that combine in sequences of three to produce sixty-four codons (4^3 = 64), White suggested that the genetic code organizes itself into the shape of tetrahedrons which then combine into the shape of a spherical dodecahedron or icosahedron - exactly like clusters of water molecules.

Following the equilateral genetic structure predicted by Russian physicist and cosmologist George Gamow, White explains how the twenty edges of a dodecahedron (or twenty triangular faces of its dual icosahedron) can be used to represent the 20 standard amino acids in DNA. The amino acids are then assigned locations in the geometry according to their water affinity (how much they like or dislike water).


From this, protein bonds into sequences of amino acid tetrahedrons, forming into a dodecahedron that is then twisted by hydrogen around a fixed polar backbone into the 10-step spatial symmetry of the DNA double helix. [White 2007]

Another study by Chi Ming Yang at Nankai University in China claims to have also found a quasi-periodic egg geometry in the human genetic code that parallels Mark White's G-Ball model.

Derived from the same building blocks of 20 standard amino acids and 64 tri-nucleotide codons in DNA, Yang found a cooperative vector-in-space addition principle that stretches into an ellipsoid or egg-like shape called an icosikaioctagon. Not surprisingly, this geometry was determined to have originated as five 'stereochemical' growth stages over a period of millions of years. [Yang 2003].

C M Yang

So when we combine Yang's geometric model with White's G-ball model, we have the universal archetype for all life - a 5-fold 'egg' with a 12-fold 'yolk' inside. Through the harmonic physics of atomic resonance and damping, nature has engineered DNA with its own eggshell container to protect the geometric evolution of life over time.

While the idea that DNA is encoded geometrically as an egg is surprising, this knowledge appears to date back even before Pythagoras. As a symbol of balance in life, early philosophers seem to have understood it as an instance of the golden mean - cubed in its length and doubled in its width - derived from the square root of 5 in a pentagram.

As example, Aesop's fable of The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, based on a much older Egyptian story, probably has more to do with how life grows harmonically inside a golden proportioned egg than it does the precious metal. In an ancient worldview based on the physics of music, the 5-fold pentatonic eggshell could have been seen as a container for a 12-fold octave yolk, therein producing the 7-fold diatonic balance of life.

But even with growing evidence for harmonic structures in DNA and all life, one last puzzle must be solved to fully understand how atomic resonance guides evolution. In particular, how do carbon and water atoms 'know how' to arrange themselves into larger and larger harmonic structures? And while resonance in amino acids appears to start the crystallization process at the mesoscopic level of life, what can we say causes this to continue outward into the macro structures of highly evolved organisms?

Space as a cymatic 'egg' container
It is a well-known fact that sound will produce regular geometric patterns when particles of powder are vibrated on plates or inside liquid containers. Known as cymatics (from the Greek word for 'wave'), researchers such as Ernst Chladni in the 18th century and Hans Jenny in the 20th century have shown how harmonic waves reflect inside containers to form circles, triangles, pentagons, hexagons and other more elaborate mandala-like patterns.

These patterns are produced by stable standing waves reflecting inside a container, automatically forming additional harmonic waves that interfere geometrically. It is really the harmonics that 'know how' to create cymatic geometry by simply crossing one another at whole number proportions. The same thing appears to happen between atoms and in DNA as harmonics guide the formation of life with the only difference being space itself acts as the 'golden egg' container.

According to quantum theory, space is not actually an empty void but instead a very fine cubic lattice of tiny vortices, often described as a Schwarzschild lattice. Usually modeled as a recursive multi-dimensional Hilbert space, atoms always center around one of these spiraling vortices inside a cube. Since atoms can only exist inside one of these cubes at a time, all material objects - including planets and people - must blink on and off in tiny 'quantum steps' as they move through space. Light and other electromagnetic energy also blinks on and off, but is able to flow freely as alternating currents in between these cubes in the lattice by spinning off the edges (or event horizons) of the atomic vortices. This explains how x-rays and cosmic rays are able to pass right through solid objects.

So, when we now consider carbon and water atoms resonating together inside the container of the quantum Schwarzschild lattice - pressurized into spherical bubbles by gravity - the atoms and molecules in living tissue would naturally entrain and resonate together into larger and larger cymatic patterns, exactly like powder vibrated inside a spherical container of water. For life, it is the cubic structure of space and the pressure of its gravitational 'egg' that have the 'know how' to arrange vast numbers of harmonically resonating molecules into life-size crystalline structures.

In the human body, resonating atoms, molecules and cells have little choice but to 'intelligently' self-organize into the 24 vertebrae of our spinal column that ripples outward with less and less energy to the tips of our 10 fingers and 10 toes. Here again we find the body described as a (24 / 10) / 2 or 12:5 carbon-water crystal resonating into the cymatic container of the quantum lattice. It is not a matter of metaphysics to say that life is frozen musical light formed by spherical harmonics in a structured space.

But life is not the only thing shaped by resonance and damping in the framework of space. Harmonic physics were at work millions of years ago in our solar system to create an egg-like environment within which life could begin evolving in the first place. As our solar system formed out of a cloud of swirling plasma, the same pressure differential and gravity bubble guiding harmonic evolution on Earth can also be used to describe the evolution of the planets.

Stabilizing into a golden spiral around a central axis, twelve calm rings began to form out of interfering waves of hot plasma as they bounced back and forth from the Sun to the 'eggshell' of the outermost Kuiper astroid belt. With the Sun rotating around itself in the center of our solar system, the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, asteroid belt of Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris each resonated into position like an enormous solar keyboard. Spaced by spherical harmonic plasma waves resonating inside the gravity bubble of space, they settled at near quarter turns on the Sun's spiraling arms, still remaining today as the heliospheric current sheet.

Music of Spheres

Like a resonating plate of swirling plasma inside the nurturing egg of space, the planets had no choice but to resonate into concentric golden orbits according to the same 12:5 cymatic geometries found in the human body. Harmonics create the same patterns in all things.

With this we must finally admit that the evolution of life was not only guided harmonically from the inside-out but also from the outside-in. The outside-in resonance of our solar system set the stage on Earth for the inside-out atomic resonance of carbon-12, meeting in the middle waters of Earth to create the perfect balance needed for life and consciousness to evolve. Coherent standing waves, defined mathematically by the Schrödinger wave function and harmonic oscillator of quantum mechanics, have been working at every scale of nature since the beginning of time to guide the geometric crystallization of energy into matter - large and small, inanimate and animate.

Harmonically guided social evolution
As life slowly resonated into the reflective self-awareness of consciousness, human society also began to evolve into coherent, purposeful civilizations. Guiding this social evolution was the ancient wisdom of harmonic science and philosophy, translated into the mythological gods that brought purpose and order to people's lives. As a grand scientific musical theory of everything, this was the golden age of musica universalis.

But in modern times, this musical theory of everything has totally disappeared. The harmonic models of nature no longer guide our understanding of how things came to be as they are. Instead, natural selection and divine intervention are the only reasons we are given to explain the magnificent order and beauty we see around us. We live in a world now guided by theories of creation and life that completely ignore the central role harmonic physics plays in all things.

If mankind is to survive, the truth of harmonic evolution must one day be rediscovered and accepted. When it is, the walls between biology, anthropology, psychology, acoustics, quantum physics and all other fields of science will come crumbling down like the Berlin wall. Life will be seen as part of a whole and harmonically unified universe, falling under the purview of quantum physics. The quantum effects of subatomic harmonic systems will then become the driving force behind all biological and medical research, leading to any number of unimaginable scientific advancements.

As society's thinking shifts, Western religion will change too, transforming into temples of natural learning. The Gnostic study of sacred geometry and musical proportions will once again infuse our culture with a new respect and appreciation for nature. Everyone from the staunchest atheist to the most dogmatic fundamentalist will no longer struggle to deny the truth of a coherent musical universe.

Today's conventional wisdom that 'restarting life on Earth (or another planet) would turn out completely different' would be replaced by the deeper understanding that 12:5 geometry is as much a universal constant as the circular resonance of Pi or the square damping of Phi - woven into the very fabric of space itself.


With the acceptance of universal harmonic laws, we will be certain that life is also evolving in other harmonically balanced solar systems and that it cannot be too much different than our own. We will finally understand the cosmos as the purpose-driven incubator for life that it really is.

In a world once more described by musica universalis, an empathy and deep appreciation for all life will take root, guiding us to peaceful coexistence through the inevitable next step in nature's harmonic progression -- human spiritual evolution.

To Read Part 2 click here

Selected bibliography

• Chaplin, M. F., (2009) 'Structuring and behaviour of water in nanochannels and confined spaces, In Adsorption and Phase Behaviour in Nanochannels and Nanotubes,' L. Dunne and G. Manos, Ed. Springer, Article in press.
• Chaplin, M. F., (2008) 'Roles of water in biological recognition processes,' Wiley Encyclopedia of Chemical Biology, , Ed. T. P. Begley (John Wiley & Sons) DOI: 10.1002/9780470048672.
• Chaplin, M., (2007) 'The memory of water; an overview,' Homeopathy 96 (2007) 143-150 [Abstract]; Chaplin, M., Reply to Comment on 'The memory of water; an overview', Homeopathy 97 (2008) 43-44.
• Chaplin, M. F., (2000) 'A proposal for the structuring of water.' Biophys. Chemist., 83 (3), 211-221.
• Chaplin, M. F., (2006) 'Water structuring at colloidal surfaces,' In. Surface Chemistry in Biomedical and environmental Science , Ed. J. Blitz and V. Gun'ko, NATO Security Through Science Series, Springer pp 1-10.
• Darwin C., (1859) 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,' John Murray, London; modern reprint Charles Darwin, Julian Huxley (2003) 'The Origin of Species,' Signet Classics. ISBN 0-451-52906-5.
• Fisher R.A., (1930) 'The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection,' Clarendon Press, Oxford.
• Merrick, R.S., (2009) 'Interference: A Grand Scientific Musical Theory,' ISBN: 978-0-615-20599-1.
• White, M. (2007), 'The G-ball, a New Icon for codon symmetry and the Genetic Code.'
• Williams G.C., (1966) 'Adaptation and Natural Selection,' Oxford University Press.
• Yang, C.M. (2003), 'On the 20 canonical amino acids by a cooperative vector-addition principle based on the quasi-20-gon symmetry of the genetic code,' Neurochemistry and Physical Organic Chemistry Program, Nankai University, Tianjin, China.

Further Reading

Interference - A Grand Scientific Musical Theory
, By Richard Merrick

Content courtesy of Richard Merrick
Copyright (c) 2011. All Rights Reserved.

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