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Book Review of: The Theory of Natural Systems
Genetic Immunity and the Cure of Cancer and AIDS
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The Theory of Natural Systems, by Maria L. Costell Gaydos (Paperback, 2004)|
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Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
Over the past few years, I've read several books that discuss quantum mechanics and related physics. As I read The Theory of Natural Systems, it became obvious to me that the author, Dr. Gaydos, has read more extensively on those subjects than I have. Plus, she has a doctorate in chemistry and significant experience in that field.
The goal of her book, The Theory of Natural Systems, is to prod the medical research community to explore an alternative to the standard protocol of "burn you, poison you, cut you" that conventional medicine follows in response to cancer and AIDS (and most other ailments). About half the book lays the foundation for getting to the logic from which springs the conclusion.
Dr. Gaydos covers some heavy material without making the reader's eyes glaze over. Maybe her explanations seem straightforward to me because I have a quantitative background and am used to seeing concepts expressed via the methods she uses. If you don't have a quantitative background and you don't have an interest in science, then you may find this book a bit daunting. If so, then you will also find the effort to read it does not go unrewarded.
Dr. Gaydos followed the traditional thesis format of presenting facts, then arguments, then conclusions, then recommendations.
This is in stark contrast to the increasingly common practice of peddling fiction as nonfiction (e.g., An Inconvenient Truth, which was inconveniently untrue) to push a personal agenda. Too many authors (and speakers and screen-writers) cherry-pick facts and/or present false assertions as fact to support a presumptive conclusion, regardless of overwhelming evidence refuting that conclusion.
In addition to playing fair in the intellectual realm, good science books educate the reader. This one is no exception. By reading The Theory of Natural Systems, I received a several well-presented lessons in the fascinating fields of quantum physics, astrophysics, chemistry, and biology. Any one of these, by itself, is worth the "price of admission."
The concept of evolution is a cornerstone of science, and most disciplines of science are impenetrable unless you grasp this concept. Reading The Theory of Natural Systems helped deepen my understanding of the evolutionary process, and it helped me see how it applies to systems of all types--even star systems. Consequently, reading this book has improved my ability to understand and enjoy other scientific texts I will read in the future.
Side note: I was distraught when the Kansas legislature caved in to people who are highly vocal about their sixth century beliefs. Kansas undermined education in science by making it public policy to deny the Theory of Evolution. In scientific parlance, the word "theory" does not mean "maybe." Fortunately, the damage of this bad policy soon became clear and the legislature promptly repealed it. Unfortunately, some of that damage was permanent. For example, prominent researchers in Life Science relocated to Europe out of concern for their school-age children.
Providing a summary of this book is challenging, to say the least. That's not because of some deficiency in the text, but because the text is so rich. So, I will make do with comments on selected chapters (there are sixteen of them).
After discussing the concept of identity and its relation to reality in Chapter One, Dr. Gaydos postulates in Chapter Two that the universe itself has identity and can make decisions. Chapter Two builds to its conclusion that elemental particles have free will.
Chapter Six explores general and universal laws. Here, Dr. Gaydos lays the groundwork upon which she later mathematically shows the absurdity of the idea that our orderly universe got this way by chance. In this chapter, she uses the social order of bees to illustrate several important points.
Up to Chapter Ten, Dr. Gaydos has taken us step by step from elemental particles to successively more complicated systems. For example, elemental particles combine to form atoms, which combine to form molecules. This combining continues: complex molecules,organic acids, organic proteins, cells, organs, body systems, man (she also discusses the inorganic progressions, including crystals). Each member of each system subordinates its will to the system (just as bees submit to the will of the hive). This all congeals in the Chapter Ten discussion of internal control.
With Chapter Eleven, Dr. Gaydos moves into discussing cancer in terms of the concepts she provided in the preceding ten chapters. The next several chapters move that discussion forward, as she makes and supports two central ideas:
Dr. Gaydos brings some interesting facts to bear in her arguments supporting these central ideas and other conclusions. Consider, for example, her mathematical analysis of the relative energy and information levels of errant DNA versus normal DNA. In that discussion, she makes us wonder, "Trillions of healthy DNAs, and one DNA goes amok? How can that one DNA overwhelm all of the others?" She provides some insights to help answer these and other questions.
In Chapter Fifteen, Dr. Gaydos brings us back around to her earlier discussions of the intelligence of matter (at various levels of succession and stages of evolution), decision-making, the structure of things, how the universe manages information. In Chapter Sixteen, she then makes the case for addressing problems in these very areas as the causes of cancer and AIDS.
She proposes that there are opportunity costs (not her wording) involved in sinking all of our efforts into the traditional "burn you, poison you, cut you" protocols that don't cure either disease. She proposes that we use some resources to develop instrumentation that can be used to pursue a genetic cure. That cure would consist of voluntary control over the genetic machinery.
One of the startling facts Dr. Gaydos presents in her "it really is possible" arguments is the documented experiment in which a person controlled one brain cell (there are 10 billion cells in the brain), using clinical feedback. She provides a reference for this, so the skeptical reader is free to investigate the veracity. Dr. Gaydos presents other startling facts, as well. Many of our common notions about our limitations are simply wrong.
Dr. Gaydos makes a compelling case that it's time to set some of those notions aside. She closes with a plea for government and private funding. We already have a $9 trillion debt that is growing by over half a billion dollars a day and a tax load that stretches the very meaning of "obscene." The USA spends more on its military than the next nine nations combined. What if we spent only as much as the next eight nations combined and used the leftover funds to facilitate this research? Don't hold your breath; the pharmaceutical industry, which would naturally oppose this research, has two full-time lobbyists for each member of Congress. The money will come from the private sector if it comes from anywhere.
I give this book my "must read" rating and label it a keeper.
A note on the language "bumps" in this work
Dr. Gaydos' ideas flow very well from her chemist mind. But if you're not used to authors whose native language is something other than English, the way she says some things will sound strange. Dr. Gaydos, while now living in the USA, is from Spain and spent considerable time in Italy.
As a manager in an international company (Mindconnection, LLC), I work with people all over the world. As an American, my knowledge of other languages is poor (I can dabble in half a dozen, but am fluent only in English). Using an electronic translator helps, but people in other countries carry most of the translation load by speaking English. When they do, I notice little things like the missing articles (e.g., "the") or word variations that are logical but incorrect. You will notice such things when reading this book.
But, let's take this in context. Give a random sampling of American authors a test of Standard Written English (American, not Oxford), and most will fail. An example is John Grisham, a wildly successful author. While Grisham does tell a good story, he doesn't tell it in good English. To the typical American ear, the errors go unnoticed because those particular errors are so ubiquitous as to be normal.
In the nearly 400 pages of this work by Dr. Gaydos, there is not a single misplaced modifier or a single sentence of parallel construction. Few American-born authors can say that about their books.
About these reviews
You may be wondering why the reviews here are any different from the hundreds of "reviews" posted online. Notice the quotation marks?
I've been reviewing books for sites like Amazon for many years now, and it dismays me that Amazon found it necessary to post a minimum word count for reviews. It further dismays me that it's only 20 words. If that's all you have to say about a book, why bother?
And why waste everyone else's time with such drivel? As a reader of such reviews, I feel like I am being told that I do not matter. The flippancy of people who write these terse "reviews" is insulting to the authors also, I would suspect.
This sound bite blathering taking the place of any actual communication is increasingly a problem in our mindless, blog-posting Webosphere. Sadly, Google rewards such pointlessness as "content" so we just get more if this inanity.
My reviews, contrary to current (non) standards, actually tell you about the book. I always got an "A" on a book review I did as a kid (that's how I remember it anyhow, and it's my story so I'm sticking to it). A book review contains certain elements and has a logical structure. It informs the reader about the book.
A book review may also tell the reader whether the reviewer liked it, but revealing a reviewer's personal taste is not necessary for an informative book review.
About your reviewer
About reading style
No, I do not "speed read" through these. That said, I do read at a fast rate. But, in contrast to speed reading, I read everything when I read a book for review.
Speed reading is a specialized type of reading that requires skipping text as you go. Using this technique, I've been able to consistently "max out" a speed reading machine at 2080 words per minute with 80% comprehension. This method is great if you are out to show how fast you can read. But I didn't use it in graduate school and I don't use it now. I think it takes the joy out of reading, and that pleasure is a big part of why I read.