Last night’s guest on Coast to Coast Radio was theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, who came on the show to discuss the future of medicine, computers, quantum physics, and space travel. However, one of the most entertaining segments of the program was the final hour when George Noory opened up the phone lines for callers.
A theoretical physicist is someone who uses math to attempt to explain natural phenomenon. Very basically, they create mathematical formulas to define fundamental laws and principals and then use those formulas to derive conclusions beyond those laws and principals. It sounds confusing and perhaps the best way to explain what a theoretical physicist does is just to point to a current celebrity in the field, Dr. Sheldon Cooper of ‘The Big Bang Theory.’
While Dr. Michio Kaku exhibits none of the obsessive compulsive behaviors as his famous counterpart, he is equally as entertaining to listen to. If you missed last night’s program, I highly recommend you pick it up in the archives if it’s still available.
One caller asked Kaku what part of the human body was best for harvesting cells for the purpose of cloning. Kaku said that every day we each shed thousands of cells from all over our bodies and any one of these cells would contain all of the necessary genetic material necessary to produce a clone. He did say, though, that so far, scientists haven’t even been able to successfully clone a primate so don’t believe it if you hear someone say they’ve cloned a human.
Earlier in the show, Kaku discussed the possibility of human cloning and used Elvis and Hitler as examples. He said, while it may someday be possible to clone these specific individuals, we’ll never be able to exactly duplicate them because part of what makes up the Elvis we all know and love is his environment and upbringing. The same is true for Hitler. Were we to clone Hitler today he’d probably be a pretty nice buy because it’s a completely different era now. Cloning someone simply means duplicating their genetic material and has nothing to do with duplicating their personality or mental or physical abilities.
Kaku also said that they have a sample of DNA from Hubert Humphrey, Nixon’s opponent in the 1968 presidential race. That small bit of DNA, preserved in a urine sample, reveals that Humphrey had a P53 mutated gene which indicates a cancer. He also said that testing DNA from John F. Kennedy reveals that he had deformed adrenal glands and other diseases that he had kept hidden from public knowledge. Kaku says he can see where, in the future, we may require presidential candidates to undergo DNA testing before they run for office so we can determine if they have any life threatening illnesses that might prevent them from serving their full term.
But the most provocative question of all came at the very end of the show. The last caller asked, on behalf of everyone in the world, which came first – the chicken or the egg? And who better to ask than a theoretical physicist?!
This next paragraph answers the question – Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If you’re not quite ready to accept a definitive answer then please stop reading here!
According to Kaku – drumroll please – the answer the whole world has been waiting for. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Kaku says they appeared simultaneously.
Theoretically speaking, which only makes sense since Kaku is a theoretical physicist, to answer this question you’d have to trace evolution all the way back to the time that single celled organisms reigned supreme. As mitosis occurred, or, as they split in half in order to multiply, at some point evolution took over, and one half became male and the other half female. And because they were only single cells, obviously the female cell was an egg.
Michio Kaku is the author of “The Physics Of The Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny And Our Daily Lives By The Year 2100.”