Quantum paramagnetic looping heme molecules shaped our morphology!


The other day, I was briefly harangued by someone named William Peters on Twitter. It was a strange comment that was simultaneously pro-evolution while trying to imply some peculiar doubts — it was just off a bit. He wasn’t rude or anything, but I was intrigued and curious, so I dug a little deeper. He says many things that are slightly off.

Like having a simple mathematical explanation for the evolution of humans from fish.

The world is spherical, not flat! Cartesian math = 19th C. Polar co-ordinate math describes evolution of fish to man

Uh-oh. I see trouble coming. This is a common attractor in crank biology, the idea that form is only superficially complex, and that underlying it all is an elegant mathematical formula that will explain all, and of course, the author has discovered the secret equation that will cut through all the shallow trivia pursued by his peers. We saw it in Stuart Pivar, in Vincent Fleury, in Erik Andrulis. I can sympathize with the seductive power of geometry, but at some point, you have to look at the data…and the data trumps all your abstract theorizing every time.

But at least Peters isn’t talking about toruses, the usual crank attractor. No, this guy is into vacuum cleaner hoses, magnets, electricity, and…

Quantum biology has arrived #persanguinemnostrum Enjoyed your talk in NZ 2014

We have “quantum”, mission control, I repeat, “quantum”.

If you’re in the mood for some grandeloquent strangeness, check out his website, persanguinemnostrum.info. The opening announcement is this:





There’s a short summary, too.

PER SANGUINEM NOSTRUM was published by William Peters, Auckland, NZ, October 2015.

The book details a mathematical model that maps the evolution of form, from fish to man.


The mathematical model qualifies both Charles Darwin’s notion of adaptation and Leonado da Vinci’s Canon of proportions (Vitruvian man). The model shows the progression of form, from fish to man, to be adaptive yet bounded by the simple laws of physics.

There’s something else that makes this theory special. It’s artisanal crackpottery.


was conceived, printed and bound by William Peters.

The hand-drawn pages are printed from relief etch copper plates. The images and words are drawn directly onto the plates then acid etched.

The paper is Arches 88. A Shin Nihon Zokei press (Model 5F) was used for copper plate reproductions.

Typeset pages are letterpress printed by Tara McLeaod. Typeset is Garamond.

There are 37 copies. Each copy is long-stitch bound into a hand-made motifed case (cover). Books are presented in a Solander-like box with the title and publishers initials embossed on the spine.

I’m sure it’s beautiful, each copy a handmade work of art. However, it’s only 32 pages long, and the screen shots show a lot of white space and illustrations set in with huge margins — I don’t think there’s a lot of depth here.

Also, he has only made 37 lovingly crafted copies. Why 37? I don’t know. He also has a page that lists where each individually numbered copy is. Three have been donated to libraries, 3 are reserved, and 6 are in private collections…which means 25 are still available. Get in line!

I have not read this book — I can’t, unless he wants to donate one to the University of Minnesota Morris library — but here’s an abstract.

This model demonstrates that evolution of the double-looped human circulation is a quantum switch from the simpler, single-looped circulation of fish. This ocurs via the transitionary, mixed circulation typical of reptiles.

The basic form of animals with vertebrae, and the cardiovascular system, arises from a biological electron-carrier archetype. The photo-electric properties of haemoglobin – which switches polarity with its oxidation state – shapes the circulatory system. That is, by polar transformation, the four-chambered human circuit is derived geometrically from a two-chambered fish circulatory system. By the nature of haem, a non-protein porphin compound bound to globin, streaming blood reverses its magnetic moment when it binds dioxygen from the environment. Oxygen is delivered via bi-segmental arteries to the peripheries and disassociates in the capillaries.

The magnetic moment of the haem stream flips again.

Standing waves are set by the alternating moment of the one-way, photo-electric carrier circuit as electrons are internalized, then utilized by the organism.

In fish, a spill-over stream of gill-oxygenated pharyngeal blood (diamagnetic) into the central deoxygenated stream (paramagnetic) creates a re-entrant loop-in-loop circuit. With favorable climatic change as a catalyst, the disparate cardiac loops pivot apart as they equilibrate toward a new parity and simultaneously roll about a central axis.

As the double-loop circuit unpacks, the interposed pulmonary pathway develops. Gill filaments involute to become alveolae. Bisymmetric segmental somatomeric perfusion is sympathetically maintained about the geo-magnetic plane. The sagittal deuterostome mouth-anus axis is retained.

In geometric translation, man evolves to stand. The ligamentum arteriosum of birds and higher mammals is the fibrosed remnant of this circuitry phase transition. It is an embryological fossil of the primordial fish circuclation from when we breathed under water.

So…he’s got some kind of idea that the double-circuit circulatory system has some electro-magnetic properties that induce, in some unspecified way, all the other developmental features of human, generating bilateral symmetry, converting gills to lungs, etc., etc., etc. It’s all so simple now!

But if you really want to see the details, there’s a long article in his hometown newspaper, the Gisborne Herald that rather enthusiastically promotes a lot of strange arguments. It’s written by someone named Mark Peters, which had me wondering if he was any relation.

From genetic studies to the fossil record, scientific evidence shows man evolved from fish. Dr Peters looked at his drawings and asked — how did a two-loop circuit evolve from a single loop circuit? And why the twists that keep everything on track?

The answer lay in the nature of haem, the complex molecule in red blood cells that binds and releases oxygen. When de-oxygenated, haem has unpaired electrons. The physical principle here is similar to that of a direct-current motor.

The electrically-charged, deoxygenated blood-stream in a geomagnetic field creates a moment of force perpendicular to the stream. That is, it wants to deviate the stream. This is known as a paramagnetic force.

Say what? But heme is present in almost all vertebrates, fish included. How can something ubiquitous be used to explain specific differences?

Splicing a second loop into the single loop is a gradual process, but environmental change helped facilitate the upright, human form.

His model pointed at a transitionary state, a mixed circuit, that is less efficient, yet retains its balance bilaterally. This is why all animal life is bi-symmetric, he says.

All mammals have the double-loop circuit, as do birds. Are cats and dogs bipedal? But their circulatory system is essentially identical to ours!

Not all animal life is bilaterally symmetric. Which side of your body is your spleen on?

The five limbs that sprout out of vertebrates’ trunks were determined by another evolutionary principle found in Dr Peters’ model.

Five limbs? I have five limbs attached to my trunk? I had to do a quick count, but I came up short.

In geometry, phi generates a five-pointed star known as the pentagram. Phi is also found in a mathematical principle known as the Fibonacci Series. This is achieved by adding each number to its previous sum of numbers.

For instance: 1+2=3, 2+3=5 and so on.

The logarithmic spiral found in the design of the heart radiates pentamerically. That is, the spiral evolves organically to configure itself at the extremities of the body in fives.

Oy. Phi/golden ratio lunacy is a special kind of numerology that simply doesn’t work. Some growth processes generate an approximation to the ratio, but it’s not magic, just mechanics. We are not built in a spiral, and while it is true that the ratio of the length of a diagonal to the length of a side of a pentagon is the golden ratio, it kind of misses the fact that humans are not pentagonal, do not have five limbs, and even five digits at the extremities is not required in all vertebrates.

I guess this is the kind of thing that can keep a person busy, but it’s seriously weird. I have to recommend, though, that you don’t email or tweet at me, or I might notice what you’re up to.


  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    2 arms + 2 legs + 1 head = 5 limbs.
    head being a limb due to the neck connector; must be what he’s trying to say, I guess.
    speaking of 5s, does he explain the penta-symmetry of starfish? I doubt it, as they lack a backbone and all.
    looks like one of those cranks who take bits and pieces of random fields of science and ries to fit them together into a hodgepodge secret formulae that only comes from ‘thinking outside the box’.

    We used to do these similar “amateur theses” during undergrad, hoping to get published in Irreproducible Results.

  2. Rich Woods says

    The sagittal deuterostome mouth-anus axis is retained.

    Although I’m pretty sure that in the author it has become paramagnetically looped.

  3. says

    The head is not a limb. Neither is the tail. These words have meanings,you know, and it’s clear that we are tetrapods, not pentapods.

  4. Rob Grigjanis says

    @jimalkhalili Quantum biology has arrived #persanguinemnostrum Enjoyed your talk in NZ 2014
    8:33 PM – 18 Jul 2016

    We have “quantum”, mission control, I repeat, “quantum”.

    Well, we probably do, but it has nothing to do with what Peters is blathering about, as far as I can see. Jim Al-Khalili was probably talking about entanglement and quantum coherence as possible explanations for light-harvesting in photosynthesis, and bird navigation. I see no link between that and morphology.

  5. Menyambal says

    I know I’m still a fish, because when I read this stuff I start flopping about and gasping.

    There is some serious fish in the embryonic development of the human heart, IIRC. It starts off making a fish loop, then reshapes that into the aortic arch.

  6. Nemo says

    That reminds me… I once read a science fiction short story where they “fixed” a crocodilian’s heart into a full four-chamber heart, and afterwards it grew into a dragon. Kinda silly, but I wish I could remember the title/author.

  7. cartomancer says

    I think Donald Trump’s head, at least, has a good claim to being considered a limb on functional grounds…

    Kudos for the egregious Latin title though – nothing quite says “trying too hard to be deep” like the language of medieval academia.

  8. Bob Foster says

    Whenever I hear the word Quantum being used outside of a book about physics I go the other way.

  9. cartomancer says

    On the other hand, scholastic medical thought tended to attribute these kinds of developmental processes in humans to astrological influences working on the matter of human tissue. Peters missed a trick there – bung astrology in and you double your crackpot audience at a stroke!

  10. Scott Simmons says

    @rietpluim #6: The original author lost himself somewhere around there as well, don’t worry about it.

  11. says

    Sometimes I think there needs to be a rule that new science terms should always be deliberately not-cool sounding to discourage abuse by purveyors of new-age woo. If instead of “quantum”, it was called “integerphilic”, we wouldn’t have this problem.

  12. Rich Woods says

    If it would have stopped ‘An Integerphilic of Solace’ being made, I agree.

  13. Ethran Ardlas says

    Nemo #7

    The story is probably “The Day of the Dragon” by Guy Endore, from 1934.

  14. unclefrogy says

    I thought alchemy was a thing from the past?
    They just added some new words but it is still leaning toward magic, juggling symbols . gods and spirits are not far away.
    there must be dragons!
    what is wrong with the “nature” we have evidence of anyway?
    uncle frogy

  15. rietpluim says

    In the Dutch language, the distinction between legitimate scientific use of quantum and woo is easy. Every self-respecting scientist spells it “kwantum”. To the woo believers, that’s not exotic enough.

  16. parrothead says

    Five limbs? I have five limbs attached to my trunk? I had to do a quick count, but I came up short.

    That’s what she said? (Sorry, my son’s at that age… it’s contagious.)

    I got a kick out of this:

    In geometry, phi generates a five-pointed star known as the pentagram. Phi is also found in a mathematical principle known as the Fibonacci Series. This is achieved by adding each number to its previous sum of numbers.

    For instance: 1+2=3, 2+3=5 and so on.

    Namely, the “and so on” part. Notice the visual deception here? You basically see 1, 2, 3, 5! Stop! Whoa, there’s five!
    Leaving out, of course, the infinite number of numbers greater than five that follow…
    (It’s actually worse than that… it leaves off the leading numbers too. Consider: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, …, the first zero and one are shaved off getting you to the magical 5 quicker.)

  17. hotspurphd says

    “But at some point, you have to look at the data…and the data trumps all your abstract theorizing every time.”
    Shouldn’t it be “the data trump?”. Just asking, not being pedantic. I know that data takes the singular in common parlance, but I was taught in my scientific education that “data are.” Has that changed or was ” trumps” an error?

  18. Rob Grigjanis says

    hotspurphd @23: Sure, it’s plural in the same sense that ‘agenda’ is plural. If you’re regularly using the words ‘datum’ and ‘agendum’, by all means use ‘data are’ and ‘agenda are’.

  19. Nentuaby says

    hotspurphd: Technically, the new usage of data is not singular or plural but rather a third thing, a “mass noun”– something, like “sand” or “water,” where the uninflected noun is understood to be an unspecified amount of a substance which doesn’t have a natural single instance. You can tell the difference gramattically because of the use of a special quantizing word when not speaking about it en masse: a grain of sand, a drop of water, a point of data.

    The evolution of “data” from a plural to a mass noun is actually really interesting, because it parallels exactly the penetration of computers into everyday society. Our way of thinking about information changed as an individual datum ceased to be something we interacted with in the usual case, and instead became part of an big database we use our machines to analyze.

  20. Nentuaby says

    D’oh, HTML fail. Only the name at the beginning of that post was meant to be bolded.