Denis Noble is the guy who figured out the cardiac rhythm which made pacemakers possible. He was the first person to model a human organ on a computer - in 1960.
He did it on borrowed computer time at University College London at 2am using punch cards, after pedaling his bicycle through the dark streets of the city.
If you have a friend or relative with a pacemaker, they owe their life to Denis. He received a Commander of the British Empire medal from Queen Elizabeth. He’s a Fellow of the Royal Society and has a list of honors as long as your arm. He is surely one of the 100 most respected scientists in the UK.
Based purely on heart research, he concluded evolutionary biology had major, fundamental, foundational problems. (Picture building a 4-story house on swampland that floods twice a year).
This is because when Denis “knocked out” genes that regulate heart rhythms, what happened was entirely different than what “selfish gene” evolutionary theories predicted would happen.
As chemist Steve Benner likes to say, “If the airplane crashes, your theory is wrong.”
Denis concluded that the Modern Synthesis had literally gotten cause and effect backwards. By ignoring major aspects of systems biology, evolutionary biologists had shot themselves in the foot two ways:
First, they had exposed the field to relentless criticisms from people who doubt evolution itself.
Second, medical and disease implications of evolutionary theory were being misunderstood and mis-categorized. This has been a very expensive mistake. Not just financially but in terms of lives.
Denis is former president of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. At their international congress in 2013, he de-constructed the Modern Synthesis and proposed a path for re-inventing evolution.
Denis will be laying fresh foundations for evolutionary biology - and therefore cancer as well - during this remarkable 3-day online Cancer & Evolution Symposium: