Ep. 17 Anne Tanner- How God Acts as Our Master Scientist

Ken Krogue: Hello everybody. Ken Krogue, Thom Harrison with Eternal Core. We’re here today with Dr. Anne Tanner. We’ve been so excited. I don’t even know if I can fully pronounce the degree and the background. PhD in macro and microbiology.

Anne Tanner: Micro and Molecular, yeah.

Ken Krogue: Micro and Molecular. See, I knew I wouldn’t even make it through the first minute or two.

Thom Harrison: You got it. It’s good.

Ken Krogue: I’ve got to abdicate right out the gate. But wow, I got a chance to get to know Anne. And she has got a beautiful spirit, a very piercing mind, and very humble. She keeps saying she’s only going to take five minutes. Those are the kind of people we keep on for an hour just so that you know. So tell us a bit more about your background, what got you into this? And what have been some of the course of your studying?

Anne Tanner: Yeah, so I never actually thought I would be a scientist. So it’s been quite the path. I thought initially, when I started college, I was going to do nursing. So I was in pre nursing classes, and it just didn’t settle with me. And everyone, all the time in college the first question they ask is what’s your major? Right. And every time I said nursing, it just kinda, it didn’t feel settled. I had one of my brother’s friends, who was also at the university, register for all of my classes one semester. Because he was a super senior, so he could get all of my classes really early. So I could have this sweet schedule set up. He ended up dropping the classes before I could pick them up. The plan was that we were just going to sit down on side-by-side computers and kind of he would drop it, and I would pick it up. And I’d have a really good schedule.

Anne Tanner: There was a miscommunication, and he ended up dropping all the classes, but I did not pick them up. I didn’t know he had dropped them. So then, I was four days before the start of the semester, and I had no classes. I had this thought come, “You should see if microbiology is a major.” I didn’t even know if it was major. So I got online, looked up the majors at the university, and I thought, “Oh, it is a major.” And I had one course in microbiology. It was with a professor that I had really liked. And that course was just kind of an overview of different diseases, so the study of a whole bunch of diseases. I thought it was pretty interesting. And it just, it felt right. I looked to see what courses I needed, and I could get every class at the time I needed it four days before the semester, which is pretty unheard of.

Anne Tanner: Usually, at that point, you’re waitlisting everything right? And it’s pretty stressful. So, did that, kind of didn’t look back from there. I just, I felt like that’s where I needed to be. I don’t know that my… Well I guess I should say, initially, it was pretty hard for me to see how my kind of God-given talents played into science. Because I could see a lot of my peers in science had really sharp memories, really good with facts. So they could just see something, learn it, memorize it, and do well on the tests. That’s not so much how my brain works. But over the years, God has been able to teach me how some of the gifts he’s given me, really do lend well to doing research. So it’s been a process in getting there, but I come at it from a little bit of a different approach I think than some scientists.

Thom Harrison: Last year, I found it really interesting when you and I were in Arizona together. And we were looking at fossils. We were looking at rocks. We were looking at the world. And it was so fun to get your doctoral idea and take on the earth, and how it was formed. And to just understand, from your educated point of view, a very different idea about how the world was formed, and how it was developed. So it was really fun to be able to look at those things, and interact with those things, and find out, you know, your take on that from an educated point of view. So that was a really fun experience for me to have that opportunity.

Anne Tanner: Yeah, that was a great trip.

Thom Harrison: So when you think of science, before you got your PhD, did you think of a scientist differently than you do now? How has that changed in your mind of how you saw scientists then and how you see one now? Could you talk about it?

Anne Tanner: Yeah, that is an interesting question. So I think pre being a scientist, I would think about it more as kind of the general public views scientists. “They’re so smart,” right? “Oh Wow. You have a PhD, you’re so smart.” And, “You studied this. I can’t even pronounce what you’re talking about”

Ken Krogue: Which I did, right at the beginning.

Anne Tanner: But that’s just kind of the… I think that’s a little bit of the mentality of people outside of science. Where there’s this reverence almost and this great respect and kind of deference for scientists. And I think that’s one of the things that need to change honestly. That’s one of the things that’s changed for me, having gotten a lot more into the field, is scientists are people, right? These are the people that you went to high school with. These are your next-door neighbors. These are the people that live in your community. They’re not superheroes. We don’t wear capes. I may have left mine at home. We’re just people, and we can make mistakes. We don’t have a corner on the market of truth. Right? So I think there’s often too much deference given to a scientist. And then to science, where science takes on almost this like entity. It becomes an entity, right? It takes on this identity of its own. Science is what a scientist creates. So that’s… What I create, my ideas, can become science. Whereas your ideas are like the ideas of a therapist.  And because my ideas can become science, now they’ve moved into kind of this almost protected sphere of you can’t argue with science, right? Like, “But, can you?” Like, “Can’t you?”

Ken Krogue: That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Anne Tanner: Yeah, exactly.

Thom Harrison: At the university, during my graduate studies, I found it very difficult that many of my colleagues, and many of the individuals that I was studying with, and then later teaching, thought they had to have the right answer for anything. And that you never could say, “I don’t know.” But I look at science as we only know what we know. And why we do good science is to find out what we don’t know, and to understand what hypotheses maybe are not accurate. Or maybe, what we thought was going to be the outcome, is certainly not the outcome. I’ve found that really exciting, to be able to say, “Okay, I know this much about this, but boy, when I get over here into this realm, I don’t know a lot about that.” So, I’m only guessing, and it’s difficult to then try and portray—which I think many scientists do inappropriately. They try and pretend like they have that down, or they understand that. Where, I think it’s much more appropriate to stay within the framework of what you know from what you figured out, or what you’ve done the science on. Any comments on that?

Anne Tanner: Yeah, I mean I think that’s true. Just going back to it like people hear that I have a PhD, and then they’ll start asking me about stuff that I have no idea about. I haven’t studied it. But they automatically assume that I am going to know.

Thom Harrison: That you know everything about everything? It’s ridiculous.

Anne Tanner: No, this isn’t how it is. But if I wanted to, and sometimes I like to mess around with people a little, I can be like, “Oh yeah,” and just go off and make something up. You know, and then I’ll start laughing. That’s not true. I just made that up, you know? But, people will believe me for the most part.

Thom Harrison: But that’s always been your strong suit, to be able to mess with people. It was kind of fun though.

Anne Tanner: But yeah, I think… I mean I just, I see that a lot. And you mentioned we only know what we know. And I think even that, I think a lot of what we know in science, is not what we know.

Thom Harrison: Well, I look back at it all those years of undergraduate and graduate school. And, as I said once in an earlier podcast, I think what I learned about the brain when I was going to school, I’ve had to forget about 80 percent of that or maybe even 86 percent, because it’s just not accurate anymore. What we were told about the brain in the seventies and the eighties, now that we have all these mechanisms to understand it much, much better than we did then. We still understand such a minuscule amount about it. But, what we understand now about it, is much more helpful than what we did before, because most of it then was just theory. You know, we just supposed. That’s one thing I love about science is we’re continually moving forward, and developing, and learning new things.

Thom Harrison: It’s like the brain. What we’re learning about the brain is that the brain is wonderfully plastic. That it can change and it does change over time. And that doesn’t mean it’s made out of plastic material. It’s malleable and, you know, that we can add new things to it. And we can stretch it, and move it to function in different ways. That’s one thing I love about you, Anne, is your capacity to have that inquisitive nature of, “Let’s see what we can find.” Or, one thing I really love about you, is the willingness to say, “This could be a possibility” even when maybe some of your colleagues might say, “No, we’re not going there.” You say, “No, I want to go there. I want to discover what those microphage do or what this does or what’s going on.”

Ken Krogue: Tell us a little bit about the journey you’ve been on recently. Some of the research you’ve been doing has been pretty groundbreaking. Would you mind giving us an overview, some of the things, the questions you’ve been asking and the work you’ve been doing.

Anne Tanner: So I’ve done some work on HIV. I’m still trying to do a little bit more work on that. I’ve designed a few experiments that I’d like to finish up. I’ve also been working with phage therapy, which phages it’s p-h-a-g-e-s. Those are viruses that kill bacteria. So working on that as an alternative.

Ken Krogue: Like heat seeking missiles.

Anne Tanner: Exactly. This is kind of like God’s solution for antibiotic resistant infections to some extent.

Ken Krogue: Yeah, that’s big.

Thom Harrison: And the research on that, we’re finding more and more that antibiotics were not the wonderful panacea that we thought they were, and that they’re really creating a real mix and a real mess. So, this is excellent research.

Anne Tanner: Yeah. So, antibiotics, I mean, that’s right. We’re finding more and more… I have a good friend who’s doing a postdoc on this very topic that I’m reading a paper of hers right now.  But, the gut micro biome is very important to our health, right? So taking antibiotics that are kind of like a bomb and just kind of…

Ken Krogue: Destroyed.

Anne Tanner: You really mess up your gut micro biome. And it’s gonna affect your health in a lot of different ways. And phages are interesting. They’re kind of like a sniper rifle, instead of a bomb, where you can target specific strains of bacteria. And they’re very specific to what they can hit and what they can’t. There’s some that are a little bit more broad, but most of them are pretty specific. Phages also cannot infect human cells, so it’s interesting. We all have phages in us right now, and we’re doing fine. So, it’s an interesting option for therapy that we’re still working on.

Thom Harrison: So hoping that maybe we can find a link to creating those phages that would go in and destroy this without damaging anything else.

Anne Tanner: Leaving everything else alone, yeah.

Thom Harrison: Wouldn’t that be lovely? It would certainly be a better movement than just bombing everything and killing everything, and then hoping that maybe we can restore what we’ve just damaged.

Anne Tanner: Which is actually, yeah, it’s pretty tough in some instances. People actually experience worse problems from the antibiotics sometimes than they do from the disease they were trying to treat.

Thom Harrison: Well, it’s interesting to realize the connection between antibiotic treatment and also the brain. Because they found that there’s some damage that takes place in the brain, that there’s this amazing brain-gut connection. That anytime that’s not working well, it affects this now working well too. And that’s something that, from my point of view, I find fascinating. That when we do some major damage to our gut flora and that whole environment, that whole ecosystem, we also are damaging how our brain can function and diminishing it’s appropriate functioning.

Anne Tanner: Definitely. I think if you pay attention to what you’re eating, you’ll notice. You’ll be able to pick up on it. If you are eating healthy, and you’re eating whole foods, you’ll be more steady. You’ll feel just better. And, when you’re eating maybe more sugars… It depends. Each person is different, right? So different foods are gonna affect you differently. For me, it’s sugar. If I eat sugar, I’m way more all over the place just with emotions. If I can eat healthy, there’s definitely the brain-gut connection.

 Thom Harrison: Yeah, I think a lot of people think, “Well there’s sugar in everything, and then the body breaks everything down to sugars, so sugar’s great,” you know. “Just keep pounding sugar.” But they really don’t understand that whole biological connection between how the body deals with all of that fructose, and sugar, and corn syrup that we put in ourselves and the damage it creates.

Ken Krogue: It’s very different. You know, bouncing back from this accident I’ve been through about three years ago, my health, my weight, everything all over the map. And I felt really strong I needed to research sugar. And there was an amazing book called, The Case Against Sugar. Now, I’m revealing my bias a little bit. I love sugar, don’t get me wrong. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, 50 pounds ago, I loved sugar.” But I’ve been amazed at the sugar industry. And, from a business perspective, and the amazing amount of marketing and cross marketing between almost every industry. I mean, you can’t buy meat; you can’t buy bread, without added sugar. And I’m talking refined, crystallized sugar. I’m amazed at the 50 or 60 names that the marketing department has come up with.

Anne Tanner: It’s crazy, yeah.

Ken Krogue: I love to go and find out pure cane, you know, maltose dextrose, anything. There’s like 50 some odd names for sugar, instead of just calling it sugar. And that’s marketing. That’s my realm. I know that. So, to help us understand where we’re going with this, to me, that the sugar industry is sort of the same path we’re talking about. In fact, the main thesis of this book, The Case Against Sugar is that sugar is a drug. Sugar is a refined drug with effects very similar. And it’s not, at least refined sugar, a food. Now, the good news is, for people who love sugar like me, it acts like a food, but it does things to you like drugs do. That was eye opening to me. Now, I haven’t broken my long-term addiction. I can break it in three days, and I’m off sugar again.

Anne Tanner: Right.

Ken Krogue: And then, I even learned to like Avocados, because it keeps me away from sugar. But, to me, that’s incredible. The amount of research that goes in from a scientific perspective that ends up becoming a marketing tool, you know, the addictiveness of sugar, and so on. Now, I’m going to shift gears a little bit though, because that was my high horse for just a minute there. Our whole initial conversation, you kept bringing up God. You’re willing to talk about God as a scientist. That’s pretty rare. I mean the whole peer review model doesn’t really allow God into the published journals. Have you found that to be a factor as you’ve been going through your studies? That your own personal values might not be able to be published in a journal and mentioned.

Anne Tanner: So I kind of just have decided, I don’t care.

Ken Krogue: Good. Wow. Rarity.

Anne Tanner: Because, who is more important, right? Is it more important to be on God’s side or have people kind of be like, “Wow, that’s kinda weird that you’re mentioning that” you know, or “That you’re putting that in there. That you’re talking about God in a scientific lecture.” Right? “That’s unusual.” It’s like, “Yeah, it is a little unusual.”

Thom Harrison: Well, if he’s the creator of the universe, I think we need to include him a little more.

Anne Tanner: It shouldn’t be unusual.

Thom Harrison: Because, if we include him, then I think we are open to understanding things that we don’t usually understand. I think of the scripture, you know, *”My ways are not you’re ways, neither are my thoughts, your thoughts. For the heaven is higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.”* You know, the bottom line here is the capacity to allow our minds, no matter how much education we’ve had, to realize that there is someone who knows a lot more than we do, and that there was a creator that had a great deal to do with things. When we include that, then maybe we can focus our research and our science in a more appropriate way than just leaving him out.

                  *This is not the full scripture—Isaiah 55:8-9*   

Anne Tanner: Yeah, I love that. I mean that’s… I think that’s what we need to do, right, if we’re going to get anywhere in science. Science is so broad. It’s so broad. And, as a scientist, you can go millions of directions, right? You can decide to look at a certain thing, and you’re coming up with your design. You start looking at it, and you’re gonna, you know, you can figure some things out. Then, you may be interpreting it a totally wrong way. For the longest time, we thought bacteria are just bad, bad, bad, right? Because, they make us sick and they’re bad. Now, we see, “Wow bacteria, we couldn’t live without.” So that whole paradigm has shifted.

Thom Harrison: Yeah, they’re nice parasites to have on board.

Anne Tanner: They will keep you alive.

Thom Harrison: Yeah, they will keep you alive.

Anne Tanner: They make you healthy, mentally and physically. So that, I think, is one of the huge issues in science right now is we get really fixated on things that we know to be true in science, that just aren’t true, or that we’re interpreting incorrectly. And that’s a huge problem because it keeps us from actually understanding and actually using it in the way that we want to, which is to help people, help sick people get better. And the only way to do that, that I can figure out, is through God. God knows. He invented it. He can teach us whatever he wants to teach us. It’s just a matter of us getting to a place where we’re ready, and prepared, to learn what he has for us to learn. And be in a place where…

Anne Tanner: Unfortunately, I think a lot of the time… We need to make money to live. But I think too often it becomes like we have a discovery or we have like a little, where you make some progress on something, and then what do we do? We patent it, get it tied down, no one else can use it, and then we want to make money on it, and lots of money. And, it’s fine to make money on stuff, but to make it so that people who actually need these treatments, and who actually need the science behind what you’re doing, can afford it and can have access to it. That’s my goal as a scientist is to be able to make discoveries that will help sick people get better, and that sick people have access to. Right? But I also just think it’s hard to tease away. That, once you get money involved, then I feel like the science gets affected, and you’re gonna say and do things that may or may not be true.

Ken Krogue: You know, I have several friends that I remember coming out of school, and we were all saying,  “What are you going to do,” you know? And I would say, “Well, I’m gonna go into the software and be an entrepreneur.” And they say, “Well, I’m going to go be a doctor.” “I’m going to be a chiropractor.” And they all started with this beautiful viewpoint that we’re going to go do good in the world. Then, a few years into it… You know, I went into marketing and sales, and I get calls from them all. “How do I sell more? How do I make more money? How do I keep my practice alive? How do I expand my business? How do I go find car accidents?” You know, “People who suffered, because they make me $6,000 instead of two or $300 dollars,” and you’re right. The model, that early ideology, sometimes suffers when we get stuck in the law of the jungle, the world of business. And we forget why we started sometimes. Do you see that happening out there?

Anne Tanner: Yeah, for sure. And that’s just… It’s a hard thing. You have to be really vigilant to try and steer clear of that, because you just get dollar signs in the eyes. Because, you can see, “Wow, this could be worth a lot of money,” right? And you have to constantly put that aside and be like, “That’s not why I’m in this.”

Thom Harrison: Because then science can be driven by the money.

Anne Tanner: Then the science is not going to be good. Right? There’s the temptation now that you’re going to tweak, and discard certain sayings.

Thom Harrison: And medicine has learned from very sad experience, that if you kill all the bacteria… Then we’ve created these superbugs. And now we have a whole different problem to deal with, instead of realizing that bacteria is good and there’s a healthy process to it. I really enjoy the idea of understanding that science can also have a God-centric structure. And we appreciate so much your willingness to come and just share that point of view with us. To help people see that the Eternal Core God-centric mental health is also a God-centric way of living. Of understanding that when we bring him in, we’re not limiting ourselves. I’ve had many people over the years, when I’ve spoken at conferences, say, “Boy,” you know, “How can you have all these things that you don’t drink and that you don’t do? Doesn’t that really limit, you? And I thought, “No, it really expands me, because I am not occupied with all the structure. And my mind and my ability can move into other things, instead of be occupied by all these other structures.” And I don’t see it at all as a limiting structure. I see it as an expanding structure when we include God in our concepts, and in our theory.

Anne Tanner: Yeah, definitely. I agree with you. I think having God in science… I just see a lot of the time that we’ve kind of do this, right? God can be over with religion, and then science will be over here.

Thom Harrison:                  Almost like the outhouse in the backyard. We’ll go there on Sunday, but then don’t bring him into the lab.

Anne Tanner: Yeah, they’re just separate. You can have him over there, but like don’t bring him over here. Because science is science, and you can’t argue with science, right? When, if you remember, where does science come from?

Ken Krogue: Totally

Anne Tanner: The scientist. And you can argue with the person.

Thom Harrison: And who’s the chief scientist?

Anne Tanner: Exactly. So, if we could kind of merge it back so it’s God and science.

Ken Krogue: I just moved into a new home. And, you know, the homeowner came by one day, and he says, “You’re going to need these.” I say, “What are they?” They were big blue pieces of paper. He says, “These are the blueprints for this house.” I’m like, “Whoa.” And he said, “Here’s another set for an add-on that I was going to do. I paid all the money. They’re ready to go.” They had even got the engineering stamp ready to go. I opened them up, and all of the sudden, it was so much easier for me to envision creating something new with the house I had.

Thom Harrison: Beautiful

Ken Krogue: Have you found God has left you some blueprints? Has he, you know, as you delve into something, that structure sort of opens like, “Oh wow, this is something that’s a little bit more than I presupposed” Do you ever find those signs along the way that he might’ve left you some clues?

Anne Tanner: Yeah, so there’s been moments for sure where I’ve had a hypothesis about something, and you have to make them. If you’re gonna do an experiment. You got to make your design and have something that you’re looking for and testing for. But, to be able to keep an open enough mind that you can go somewhere else if he’s taking you there. And I’ve had moments like that where, you know, I’ve been looking at something, I’ve been looking for something, but then I found something else. And it’s fascinating, right? Because you’re like, “Wow.” And you feel in those moments, where you’re being led and guided, and you realize, there’s so much more.

Ken Krogue: Yeah, than just on the surface.

Anne Tanner: There’s so much more to what we’re looking into then what I previously thought, right? Because our minds are so finite. We think we’re so smart sometimes, but we’re just not. And God knows everything. He can give us, you know, inspiration where our minds can be expanded in a way where we can start to consider other ideas. And then things open up, and we can start to look in different ways and in different places.

Thom Harrison: That’s beautiful. I found that in my clinical practice. If I became too rigid and focused in what I wanted, then often what happened is there wasn’t that creativity. But if I would bring him into that, and ask him to please help me see these individuals as he saw them, then the therapeutic hour could just be this wonderful discovery. And we would discover together. So I always tried to be flexible in that hour to allow that voice, allow that information in. And not become too rigid in where I, as the clinician, thought we should go, but opening it to where he thought we should go and what was the most beneficial.

Anne Tanner: Yeah. And I love that you were discovering together, right?

Thom Harrison: Well, I think that’s how he does it.

Anne Tanner: I agree.

Thom Harrison: He wants us to learn together and he allows us into that structure.

Ken Krogue: Now, we’re excited everybody, Anne’s going to be joining us March 29th and 30th, the Little America hotel, for a launch event of Eternal Core where our community comes together both online and live. We’ve got her scheduled to speak. You mind just giving us a couple of clues. Some of the things you’re going to be talking about.

Anne Tanner: We’ll be talking about some of this. So my topic is “God, the Master Scientist,” and going into a little more depth on some of these theories that we’ve accepted for so long as fact, and this is how it is. Where really, they may not be fact.

Ken Krogue: Oh, you’re going to stir the pot a little bit. You’re willing to do that.

Thom Harrison: Aren’t you excited about that?

Ken Krogue: Yeah, I’m in for that one.

Thom Harrison: I’m excited. This is going to be really fun.

Ken Krogue: Well, thanks Anne so much.

Anne Tanner: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Ken Krogue: Appreciate you joining us. Again, join us. March 29th and 30th at the Little America hotel Friday day, Friday night, and Saturday. We’re going to launch this thing, and you’re going to be joining us. During these podcasts, we’re going to meet a lot of our speakers. We’re bringing a lot of other authors and so on to talk about Eternal Core, exploring God-centric mental health.

Thom Harrison: Come meet Dr. Tanner in person.

Ken Krogue: Thanks everybody.

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