Science-Engaged Entrepreneur: Who is Bill Cole?

@colewd can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

If I’m gathering this together correctly, you appear to be biologist, or at least doing biology experiments. You are are also doubtful about common descent. You also are a frequent commenter on an ID blog.

Did I infer this correctly?

  1. Are you an ID supporter?
  2. What are your religious beliefs?
  3. What are your scientific credentials?
  4. Why is this topic important to you?

Thank you for bringing your perspective here. I’ve very much appreciated your respectful engagement with us. I just want to get to know you and your motivations better. Thanks.

Hi Joshua

Here is my story. I am a retired electronics executive and now a private equity investor/owner of three different business. I was fortunate to retire at a young age and turned into an investor about 20 years ago. My first study of cell biology was to understand investments in cancer and other disease related research.

Fast forward to about 4 years ago I was at my fathers memorial service and I was in a conversation with my youngest son and a close friend about the possibility of life on another planet and the statistical possibilities. During the conversation my son mentioned the improbability of a protein forming randomly in nature. This caught my attention and I started to research it. To my astonishment his claim appeared to be true and implied that a theory that I always assumed to be true may not be. This lead me to write a friends and family paper on what I had bumped into.

One of my friends cousins was a famous cancer researcher and was bothered by my paper and wanted me to follow it up with a real scientific paper. His cancer theory was based on evolutionary theory. I wrote this in collaboration with him and actually used Hunts article as one of my references. This eventually moved to a research project trying to explain his epidemiological data and what actually was happening in the cell other then evolution. The results were fascinating but this took the better part of a year.

During that time I started posting on Dr Morans blog with the intent of finding a partner who could help with a background in evolutionary theory, was skeptical, and had a background in molecular biology. As it turned out I did both projects on my own.

To answer your questions.

  1. I think the ID argument is interesting however I would not consider myself as a supporter in the actual movement.
  2. I am a Christian at this point and you are partly to blame for this :slight_smile: Your comments at UD sent me on a journey.
  3. I don’t have any scientific credentials. I am a UC Berkeley graduate in applied math and economics. I worked in the semiconductor industry and supervised several technical organizations over the years including complex system design. There I became versed in the scientific method.
  4. I find the topic interesting as a theory that is widely accepted appears deeply flawed. It also appears to be a secular indoctrination tool and I find that troubling. I have been studying and discussing this for the last 3 years now mostly at TSZ, however I think you may have an equally interesting forum at this point. Thank you for starting this.

We have a lot in common. I am enjoying talking with you.

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Thanks Patrick. I am also enjoying our conversations.


Thank you for sharing about yourself.

This is really interesting. I remember talking to you in the comments of UD during my exchange with @vjtorley and @Agauger about common descent in 2016. Can you share more about that journey?

That is interesting too. Can you point us to some papers? As you know, I’ve done some work on cancer and evolution too: Cancer and Evolution

I see how this is an important part of your personal story now. Thank you for giving that insight.

Sure. You were the first to say you believed in evolution and your faith was grounded in the resurrection of Christ. We disagreed somewhat on the evolution discussion and also found common ground. What I became interested in is your belief in the historical evidence.

I had determined that God was real at the end of college where before I was agnostic and often argued with my Christian friends. The connection was a feeling that hit me after my Grandfathers death. Although I attended Christian Episcopal church with my wife (she was just ordained BTW) My connection was with God and I never thought much about the historical validity of the divinity of Christ.

Your arguments and another discussion on TSZ lead me to start to study the evidence for the resurrection and to look at experts like Strobel, Habermas and others. I realized this evidence was pretty compelling. I also found the challengers arguments (Bart Erhman and others) weak as I looked at several hours of debates. This caused my to realize the Christian story was probably true and put Christ front a center to my faith.

The professor I worked with is Dr. Cedric Garland. If you google him you will find several papers and youtube presentations. The results of my work is included as part of some of his latest presentations.

He has over 120 published papers so I will just link the most recent.

This is specific to breast cancer but the mechanism is ubiquitous to almost all cancers. This deep dive of research I did for Cedric is why I understanding the eukaryotic cell to the extent I do at this point.

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Can you articulate what our common ground was in your view? I remember working very hard to establish common ground with you all. I was very glad to see it emerge at the time. I am even more pleased to know it has been durable.

I’m not sure how this is a replacement of an evolutionary account of cancer.

Now you’re challenging an old mans memory :slight_smile:

I think we agreed that there is evidence that supports the concept for common descent. Our disagreement was the strength or existence of contradictory evidence.

The other common ground is that we agreed that design was a limited argument. If we infer design what do we with that scientifically?

The mechanism that caused both initial unwanted cell division and unwanted vascular growth (metastasis) was up regulation of the WNT pathway in one case and up regulation of VEGF in another. These are specific cellular mechanisms and have nothing to do with evolution.

His prior theory had evolution taking over after cellular adhesion failure due to low amounts of e cadherin in the cell. It turns out that e cadherin was binding beta catenin at the cell wall and keeping it away form the cell nucleus. Beta catenin is a promoter of cell division. We can explain how vitamin d reduces cell division without evolution. It is a down regulator of beta catenin and an un up regulator of e cadherin.

Cancer can be explained in certain cases by a loss of functional information. This is probably not a point of debate.

The point of debate is how functional information is gained. This is what is required for evolution to be feasible.

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I had a chance to read your article and I have a slightly different view. I think cancer is the result of the need for variable cell division in multicellular organisms. When a mature cell goes out of regulation and starts to behave like an embryo cell this when the problem occurs. Low vitamin d levels can initiate this action as it is a down regulator to the WNT pathway.

What you say about WNT and D is almost true, but D deficiency is not sufficient to initiate cancer. You don’t think mutations are important?

Anything that can cause the WNT to go out of regulation can cause cancer including vitamin deficiency. The pathway is controlled by the ubiquitin system specifically the destruction of the beta catenin protein. If there is mutation in this pathway that can also cause cancer. The APC gene that helps target beta catenin for destruction is an example of a protein when mutated that can cause cancer.

Not everyone with D deficiency gets cancer. Not every cell in those that get cancer becomes cancerous. It seems clear that usually multiple hits are required.

Sure we know that the process going out of control can initiate mutations but given the evidence of extremely high risk of cancer due to vitamin deficiency and understanding the mechanisms regulating the WNT it is likely that low levels of vitamin d can initiate the action.

All these discussions on the Resurrection remind me of this:

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I couldn’t help but notice that your profile fits unequivocally another very active contributor at sandwalk few years back? Did you ever use another username?

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Hi Quest
I did post at Dr Moran’s blog using my own name.

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