of the evolution puzzle
introduction to teem theory
flawed theory of Lamarckian
inheritance claimed acquired 'pangenes'
accumulate in sperm cells and are inherited.
theory of acquired characteristics
physical traits acquired during the life of
an individual could be inherited to offspring.
firstly, do we need new theories of evolution
Although Darwin's theory of natural
selection elegantly explains microevolution, Darwin himself
realized his theory didn't explain how new instincts are formed, or
how the external environment is able to shape those instincts. During
the voyage of The Beagle, Darwin observed countless instances where
instincts appeared to have been influenced, (or 'instructed') by the
In 1868 Darwin published his 'Pangenesis'
theory (see Sidebar) to explain how
environmental information could be inherited and used to create
environment- specific instincts. Although pangenesis, which was based on
'Lamarck's theory of acquired
is now known to be incorrect, to this day no viable explanation for the
evolution of instincts and innate behaviour has emerged.
the last two decades, over 1900 scientific papers,
dissertations have been published critiquing aspects of NeoDarwinian
theory, so that today, evolutionary biology remains arguably the most
incomplete of the life sciences.
Gregor Mendel's brilliant theory of genetic inheritance
elegantly explains how genes regulate the inheritance of physical
traits, it doesn't
explain the evolutionary function of noncoding
makes up over 98.5% of the human
genome. Nor does it adequately explain how emotions, instincts and
innate behaviours are first acquired and inherited.
second evolutionary process emerges
am fascinated by theoretical
biology and have been working
problems now for
about ten years. My research suggests that for the first 3.2 billion
years of evolution, Darwin's 'selectionist' process (natural selection)
exclusively regulated both physical and behavioural evolution.
Originally though, the first inheritable proto-instincts were simply
reflex actions. Then
about 543 million years ago, a second 'instructionist,' (but
emerged which 'took over' the evolution of
innate behaviour, instincts, emotions and personality in
This second process,
which I call teemosis,
emerged because it filled a niche function - it provided a means by
which the environment could 'instruct' the genome with adaptive
facilitated the creation of environment-specific
instincts that could
be inherited by offspring.
Without these new 'instincts,' biological complexity and
diversity couldn't emerge in
any systematic form.
These new teemic instincts were a vast improvement over the old reflex
actions that were basic stimulus-response behaviours.
teemosis process came on stream 543 million years ago, it precipitated
a dramatic and unprecedented increase in both behavioural and physical
evolution that is graphically revealed in the fossil record as 'the
Cambrian explosion' -
arguably the most concrete and telling proof of the emergence of a
second evolutionary process.
contains both protein coding nucleotides (called 'genes') that code for
the proteins used to build cells, organs, bones etc. plus innumerable
noncoding nucleotides that don't code for proteins. Till now, the
function of ncDNA has been a mystery.
anagram derived from "Trauma
Encoded Emotional Memory"
|the teemosis evolutionary process
'teem theory' argues that in multicellular animals, powerful,
traumatic emotions generated by
stressful environmental circumstances (like predatory attacks, sexual
encounters, accidents, etc.) can be genetically encoded into an area of
an organism's DNA called 'noncoding
Once encrypted in
these traumatic emotions can be
inherited to offspring, providing them with an emotional memory of the
Each Trauma Encoded
(or 'teem') has the
potential to transfer adaptive information (in the
form of an emotional memory) from one generation to the next, thus
building up a repository of emotional memories of the ancestral
environment. These emotions form the basis of all instincts and innate
behaviour in multicellular animals.
completely different evolutionary process
natural selection which uses random mutations of
protein-coding genes to code for physical traits, the teemosis
evolutionary process uses directed
(non-random) mutations of non-protein-coding (so-called 'junk') DNA
to code for emotional and behavioural traits in animals.
Significantly, because the teemosis process requires emotions and
sensory organs to work, only animals possessing a CNS (necessary to
generate emotions) and sensory receptors (eyes, ears etc.) can acquire
the teemosis evolutionary process. Bacteria, plants and simple
animals (like sponges) that don't possess a CNS or sensory organs
evolve exclusively by the natural selection evolutionary process. Their
behaviour is limited to simple reflex actions.
This effectively divides the biosphere into two new distinctions:
teemic and nonteemic kingdoms.
|why does nature need two
reason why natural selection came up with a second evolutionary process
is quite simple. To create adaptive physical traits using random
mutations, it's imperative to prevent environmental factors
contaminating the germline (sperm cells). In biology, this is what is
called the 'central dogma' and it's necessary to prevent individuals
inheriting things like their father's lumbago or their mother's skin
ailments the parents acquired during their lifetime.
By comparison, to create adaptive inheritable behaviours that include
environmental information, like what a particular predator looks like,
(information that can only be acquired during its lifetime from the
environment) then it's
essential to provide a means by which acquired environmental
information can be encoded into an individual's DNA and inherited via
sperm cells to its offspring.
The only solution to this dichotomy was for natural selection to come
up with a second instructionist (but nonLamarckian) evolutionary
processes that could be incorporated within the same DNA molecule.
What nature came up with was a brilliant solution - divide the DNA
molecule into two separate parts. One part (the coding genes) would be
subject to natural selection and would regulate physical evolution in
accordance with the central dogma. Meanwhile,
the noncoding part of the DNA molecule would regulate
behavioural evolution via the new instructionist
Almost precisely 543 million years ago, the second evolutionary process
came on stream and from then on, life on earth has been regulated by
two distinct evolutionary processes, (natural selection and teemosis)
both housed within the same eukaryotic DNA
2005-2010 by Danny Vendramini
THEM AND US
predation created modern humans
Available in paperback and EBook
"It has been a long time since I read
a book about human evolution that I enjoyed so much."
Professor John Shea, Stony Brook
University, New York
don't think I've enjoyed a book more than 'Them and Us' in my life."
Don Burke. Radio
2UE. 24th September. 2009
it takes an outsider to cut through the routines of interpretation in
the most intractable problems in science. That is what
approach offers the reader in his daring claims about the interactions
between humans and their most famous evolutionary relatives, the
Neanderthals. In doing so he provokes lots of new thoughts for
professional and lay reader alike."
Iain Davidson, Emeritus
Archaeology, University of New England. Visiting Professor of
Australian Studies, Harvard University, Massachusetts