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Candace B. Pert

Candace: That’s a great question. Years ago I had to answer that question to get a big honorarium, so I participated, and what I said then is still relevant. It’s this idea that information is never destroyed. More and more information is constantly being created, and it’s not lost, and energy and matter are interconvertible. So somehow there must be some survival, because one human being represents a huge amount of information. So I can imagine that there is survival, but I’m not sure exactly what form that it takes. I think Buddhist practice is interesting. There’s this whole idea that you’re actually preparing yourself for death, and if you do it just right you can make the transition better.

David:   What is your concept of God, and do you see any teleology in evolution?

Candace: We don’t have to say that evolution is guided by an intelligence, but it’s very clear to me that the process itself–stars cooling, entropy, evolution–is always leading toward more and more complexity, and more and more perfection. So the actual physical laws of the universe are God. You don’t have to invoke anything beyond that. I mean, God is not incompatible with the laws of science. God is a manifestation of that. There’s no incompatibility. We’re not talking about The Bible; we’re talking about the true laws of science. So I guess that’s why I’m so in to truth-seeking–because truth-seeking is God-seeking at the same time.

David:   Do you think that the human species will survive the next hundred years or do you think we’re danger of extinction?

Candace: Oh, I don’t know about the next hundred years, but I’m very nervous about that. The estimates vary, but my understanding is we’re going to run out of fossil fuels between two hundred and five hundred years. God knows what’s going to happen during that point. We used to all be afraid of the nuclear threats, and all that, although I’m more afraid of this. But first of all let me say I’m an optimist. We’re going to escape it. It’s going to work. But people have to start paying attention. I think that before we have an extinction of our species we might have the extinction of advanced intelligence. We’ve got this terrible problem with our food, that I’m more and more interested in. I’ve actually bought a farm with a group of friends, and have this have this totally insane plan to turn it into some kind of learning, educational and research center to continue to educate myself and others more about food. 

So I’m concerned about this. Genetic engineering is only the tip of the iceberg. Forget genetic engineering. It’s the fact that the food we eat today is not chemically what it was even ten or twenty years ago. If you list every chemical found in an apple today, and make a graph, it takes only about three typed pages to write them all down. But if you compare this to an old apple, it would be would five pages long. The new apple is only three pages because of the chemical farming, the pesticides, the herbicides, the soil and the artificiality of it. Our food is lacking things. It’s not just poisons, toxins, and contaminants–things are lacking. Essential fatty acids that we need are not in animals now, and enlightened people who can afford it, like myself, are frantically buying the right Omega-3’s to add to our diet. 

But in the long term, what’s going to happen to everyone? In my life, having raised three children who are each nine years apart. I believe I’m seeing changes in their brain that are more than cultural, that might very well have to do with their diets–what people are eating and not eating. It’s easy to think of the nuclear winter and all that. But even before that, I could see in another fifty years, at the rate we’re going, the average I.Q. is going to be around 60, and people won’t even know it.

David:   Assuming that we do survive, how do you envision the future evolution of the human race?

Candace: If we’re going to survive there has to be (laughter) the dawning of the Age

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