By Roger Childs

The exploration of just about everything

This is a bold and brave book. Kapiti writer Andy Oakley puts forward a theory on how life on Earth began, how it developed through to the present and how it has gone through phases of human flourishing and periods of decline.

The working title was TACHEE – The Alien Cell Hypothesis Exploration and Experimentation, and the last three words stress what should be happening for people today to achieve their potential. His examination covers the development of human existence world-wide, but understandably with a particular focus on New Zealand and its manifold present problems.

The remarkable Andy Oakley

Andy Oakley was brought up in a low income household in Cannon’s Creek and is now a company director living in Raumati Beach. As a young person he enjoyed the company of friends from various backgrounds at a time when race and ethnicity were not issues. He did get into trouble with the law and became a father at 16, however he later got a job in a steel fabricating business starting at the bottom and is now one of their top managers.

Later in life he became curious about history and read every book he could find on the country’s story.  He was mystified as to how the Maori elites had gained so much power, influence and wealth, and this led him to write two books: From Cannon’s Creek to Waitangi and Once We Were One. (Both are available from Tross Publishing.)

The fact that New Zealand has declined socially and economically in the early 21st century having had some of the highest living standards in the world and been one of the most successful economies in the 1950s and 1960s, is a development he comes back to a number of times in TACHEE.

What’s wrong with everyone?

This is the title of his first chapter and sets the scene for what is to come. A lot has to do with our politicians, the loss of democratic freedoms and general apathy about what is going on. As the author observes:

For too long, the West has been plagued by divisive identity politics and the erosion of individual freedom. Our politicians have failed us, replacing a humane economy with top-down control and authoritarianism. Amidst broken promises and anti-human rhetoric, the crisis runs deeper than any one political party’s failures.

In the 2020s, New Zealand is one of the worst case scenarios in a world where there are plenty of authoritarian regimes. Unfortunately many people, possibly the majority, are happy to accept the authoritarianism and being told what to do.

The sweep of the history of life on Earth

The author postulates that about 13.5 billion years ago the “alien cell” arrived from out in space and is now in all of us and other living things. He goes on to trace the impact of the alien cell on human development and emphasizes that the natural objective of humans is to use their consciousness through experimentation and exploration to turn potential into reality.

Using a technique known as ‘Big History’, in this book I have tried to offer a fresh perspective on the enigma of human existence. I explore the notion of purpose (telos) and dive into the profound question of what it truly means to be human, along with the potential of our ultimate destiny. I take the reader on a journey to unearth profound truths about ourselves, our relationship with the divine, and our significance in the world.

Along the way he covers a vast range of topics based on thorough research and his own experience.

  • The nature of consciousness.
  • Historical periods which have encouraged human flourishing, and other that have led to decline.
  • The importance of free will to explore and experiment, and the need for human activity to be generally free of restrictions.
  • The role of developing technology in human achievement.
  • The limitations of Darwinism, mysticism, neo-Marxism, a belief in a God and the concept of race.
  • Issues affecting New Zealand such as social problems, Maori tribalism, the one-size-fits-all programme of dealing with Covid, climate change, educational indoctrination and threats to freedom of speech. He also outlines what our government could do to promote positive human activity to allow people’s potential to become reality.
  • The lack of political understanding of the workings of an economy which should fundamentally work for people and not the other way round.
  • The role and mechanics of banking and the value of modern monetary theory.
  • What the New Zealand government needs to do encourage human flourishing/
  • Details on the academics and theories he quotes.

Fundamentally, he argues that we should all have a purpose in life and a philosophy that is useful, substantial and logical.  In The Alien Cell Hypothesis Andy Oakley covers a tremendous amount of ground on human evolution, development and the meaning of life. This is thought-provoking material which is very perceptive and thoroughly researched. Highly recommended.

Available on Amazon Kindle here