One of the biggest problems biologists have faced to solve is why animals are divided into male and female and plants into pistil and stamen? They call this phenomenon ‘sexual reproduction’. Many biologists, west or east, have challenged to bring up answers but they all have failed. Interestingly, a South Korean family lawyer attorney has brought up an answer to this. The name of this amateur biologist is Sunghee Kwon. She says that she has found the mechanism of sexual reproduction and the speciation cannot be discussed without knowing the evolution of sex, and asserts Darwin is wrong and Lamarck is right. Thus she gained a nickname ‘the daughter of Lamarck’. She explained her findings and reasons of her assertions in her book <The Evolution Of Sex Through The Inheritance Of Life History And Speciation As A Result Of The Use And Disuse Of Organs> (August 2021). While she is preparing her findings to be evaluated by those who have profound knowledge in the field, monthly <PowerKorea> sat down with her and learned about her findings.
Q. First of all, you are a family law attorney. It’s interesting that you published a book about biological evolution rather than law. What’s the story behind this?
A. I’ve dealt with a lot of divorce cases and many of them complained about personality clash. One day, I was struck with a question: why did they get married anyway because they knew they were different at first hand? During the course of my curiosity, I myself faced a divorce. Then I thought that there might be some biological reasons behind this. So, I sampled 100 couples of my clients. To my surprise, 65 couples had stark differences in personality. I then started digging books about biology and evolution. And I came to a conclusion that humans evolved into two types in personality: rational and emotional. The rational uses frontal lobe and the emotional amygdala each dominantly. And I thought the reason a male (or female) marries to an opposite personality comes from a natural desire to make up for one’s weak point. I approached this with biological principles and applied them to me and my husband’s case first. We still remain together happily, and highly likely, ever after.
Q. Very interesting. So, your book contains your experience as an attorney and biological findings?
A. Before publishing the book, I read about 400 books about biology and evolution for 5 years. During the course of my study, I encountered Darwin’s natural selection and sexual selection but with great doubts: those whom nature favors survive and thrive, and those whom nature disfavors likely to disappear; the splendid feathers of a male peacock were evolved as such because a female peacock chose him? I think this idea of him is against the essence of life. Lamarck’s theory of use and disuse of organs by inner will at least is better than this as it backs up ‘independence’ of individual organisms that serves survival and reproduction which is more closely related to the essence of life. My doubts in Darwin’s grew as much as my support to Lamarck’s. So, the book contains these stories and my own findings.
Q. We learned that you found ‘the mechanism of evolution of sex’ and ‘the mechanism of speciation’. Please enlighten us.
A. This might be a difficult part for ordinary people to understand but I’ll try my best. In the order of evolution, organisms are divided into prokaryotes, protists and multicellular organisms. Protists emerged from prokaryotes eating each other and lived communally in division of nucleus and mitochondria. Multicellular organisms emerged from protists acquiring multicellular factors in the course of evolution. What I found is a phenomenon that protists and multicellular organisms inherit life history of prokaryotes according to the structures of their body and dielectric. A good example of this is asexual reproduction (a reproduction that does not need the union of sex cells or gametes unlike in sexual reproduction where male and female gametes are needed). Protists often form cysts when the environment is harsh and the same can be found in cysts of moss and fern, seeds of angiosperm, and fertilized eggs of insects getting through the winter. I understood this as inheriting life history of bacteria’s endospore. I also found that sexual reproduction has walked the same path as this that evolved by creatively using life history of ancestors in order to better survive and reproduce. Prokaryotes replicate, forms endospore, and does horizontal gene transfer. Protists forms reproductive cells to join and fuse cells into the solid survival structure in harsh winter and proliferate when warm spring comes. In other words, protists use these three life histories of prokaryotes to evolve sexual reproduction. This is a revolutionary method that organisms on Earth survive and thrive in hard times. Among multicellular organisms, animals and angiosperms are diploid gametophytes which have reproductive organs that produce sperms and eggs. When they produce sperms and eggs, they cross their parents’ chromosomes which are the same in application of the prokaryotes’ horizontal gene migration according to the systems of multicellular organisms once more. Genetic diversity comes from this application. The key to understand evolution of sex is that the descendants still have the factor of prokaryotes, thus the factor works when necessary. In order to understand the mechanism of speciation, we need to understand the mechanism of evolution of sex first. Speciation is but the principle to decide male and female in species. Protists make two germ cells simultaneously to prevent deformity or infertility. Multicellular organisms also make sperms and eggs simultaneously. In multicellular organisms, gametophytes like male and female are to produce sperms and eggs. Therefore male and female evolve simultaneously. This simultaneous formation is the principle of speciation which we can observe in hermaphrodites or gonochorism. The findings of ‘the mechanism of evolution of sex’ and ‘the mechanism of speciation’ occurred to me intuitively after years of extensive reading and close observations.
Q. Ok. We also learned about your ‘the survival first and reproduction later principle’ as a new theory of evolution. Can you tell us about it?
A. Survival is the top priority of all living things on Earth. All of their actions including reproduction do not intend to go against survival. Gathering all of my knowledge and observations, I can say that all living organisms including prokaryotes, protists and multicellular organisms follow this principle. I call this ‘the survival first and reproduction later principle’. This survival first and reproduction later principle applies regardless methods of reproduction whether it is parthenogenesis, incest, monogamy, polygamy or polyandry. An example is that bees, naked mole-rats, and clark’s anemonefish reproduce by representative females in order to survive and to maintain the order of the system. Without the reproduction of the queens, the members of the species even cannot have chances to survive far from reproducing. And this survival first and reproduction later principle is combined inseparably with Lamarck's law of use and disuse of organs in order. For example, species decide the ecological niches to avoid competition, the survival organs are made first among male and female simultaneously as a result of survival first behaviors and reproductive organs are made separately for both male and female subsequently as a result of reproduction later behaviors. Thus the sexual dimorphism is exactly the result of the survival first and reproduction later principle. We can observe this principle in many living things in many living environments: female hyenas are stronger than male, male sea dragons getting pregnant instead of female, etc. The reason feathers of male peacocks and birds of paradise are extremely beautiful is because their habitats are well provided and females can rear offspring, males focus on seducing females. The secrecy of speciation is that multicellular organisms remain as protists when multicellularity is removed. The germ cells of protists are produced from the somatic cells. The sperms and eggs of multicellular also come from somatic cells which they get the traits by the use and disuse of organs based on the survival first and reproduction later principle. For example, the human antibody is formed in somatic cells.
The Darwin and Dawkins’ genetic determination treat all living organisms as ‘passive’ machines dragged by genes. But in fact, living things on Earth inherited life history of their ancestors, evolved through securing ecological niche and lived on the survival first and reproduction later principle on which I assert that they are ‘active’ beings. If my theory of evolution and Lamarck’s law of use and disuse gain academic recognition, all living things that have neurons and brains will recover their disvalued independence.
Q. At this point, we are curious about how your findings can be related to our real life.
A. The human race is just a species that lives on Earth, eat and release, the quintessential desire of all animals. Yet, they are the only species who try to find meanings of life through reaching out to God. This phenomenon, I think, is the ‘ultimate of science’. God is our marvelous scientific companion who raises existence of our beings to a different dimension, and thus the creationism is the highest praise devoted to God from us, the humans. How can we, therefore, assert that this creationism is a mere delusion built based on unscientific facts? Darwin’s theory of evolution is causing conflicts among biologists, evolutionary psychology, divine creation of the world, and feminism. It doesn’t give biological answers to homosexuality and abortion either. But ‘the survival first and reproduction later principle’ and the Lamarck’s law of use and disuse of organs can explain all of these phenomena. For example, survival traits like intelligence get equally first for both male of female and therefore feminism (gender equality in economic and social activities) lays its principle at this biological survival first. In other words, human society has responsibility to systematically take care of pregnant female workers from any possible discrimination and disadvantages. For another example, homosexuality is a phenomenon that intelligent humans value relationship more than reproduction and rearing offspring, while abortion can also be explained as an act of surviving first because giving a birth can be survival threatening to women.
Q. You are an ardent supporter of Lamarck’s and a resistance to Darwin’s. What do you think are the respond of the academic world at the moment?
A. Well, I’m an amateur biologist with only 5 years of study in the field. I published the book only 2 months ago and I’m expecting to see how the academic world will respond to my findings and assertions. So, I’m actually looking forward to hearing it.
Q. Are you frequently engaging with scholars in the field?
A. I read hundreds of biology books. Sadly, most biologists seem to take sides with Darwin. So, I lost motivation to engage with them as I have great doubts about his theory. However, I wrote a paper <Hypothesis on Personality Types of Frontal Lobe Dominant and Amygdala Dominant>. I was invited to present the paper at the HBES conference. Then my father passed away and I couldn’t make it. But I can say that the paper is one of a kind try in the field. It is also hopeful that as inheritance of acquired characteristics is being recognized again among academic circles through epigenetics, Lamarck is also coming into the center of attention.
Q. Lastly, what is your next move as a biologist?
A. I’m greatly interested in Homo sapiens as evolutionary beings. I didn’t untangle much of my thoughts about humans, their biometrics and characteristics in the book. So, I want to make them all in my next book. I’m also thinking of writing a book about God and creation viewed from scientific perspective. One thing I would like to ask <PowerKorea> readers is that my findings of ‘the mechanism of evolution of sex’ and ‘the mechanism of speciation’ must be good news to the scientific world and I encourage you to spread the news to as many biologists as possible around you. <PowerKorea>
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