CHICAGO, Oct. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Chicago-based private equity investment group Natural Code LLC has announced a $5 million technology prize—the Evolution 2.0 Prize—to the first person who can answer the question: «Where did the information for the first cell come from?»

As the company’s Director Perry Marshall explains, «This is a search for the next Albert Einstein or Nikola Tesla. Their name will go down in history for having discovered a landmark of 21st-century science, and one of the most pivotal new technologies of our age.» He continues, «How do living things repair and heal themselves, adapt to any situation you can imagine, and make choices? The answer suggests staggering implications for medicine, technology and the environment.»

The contest, which runs through Nov. 17, 2026, aims to speed the search for the natural systems that led to the first DNA. The Evolution 2.0 Prize takes its inspiration from the Ansari X Prize for Space Flight, whose $10 million challenge resulted in successful launch of a reusable manned space capsule into orbit, twice in two weeks.

Of his own challenge Marshall says: «There is no industry that won’t be impacted by this; no human who won’t enjoy its benefits. Perhaps this will enable Siri to become self-aware. Perhaps it will enhance AI, making machines more human. But it must be a real experiment and it must produce a code—with nobody having to design one.»

Marshall has assembled an all-star panel of science judges. They include George Churchof Harvard & MIT; Denis Noble of Oxford; and Michael Ruse of Florida State University. 

Church is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and professor of health sciences and technology at Harvard and MIT. Church developed methods for the first genome sequence. One of the top 100 scientists in the UK and a Fellow of the Royal Society, Noble’s discoveries made the pacemaker possible. Ruse is well-known for his work on the relationship between science and religion. He directs the History and Philosophy of Science program at Florida State University.

All submissions must be received online. Details about the prize are available at

«Researchers in white lab coats have attempted to solve the problem of life’s origin without success,» says Marshall, an engineer, serial entrepreneur and author of Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design. «I know the field well. I believe the most popular approaches are wrong-headed and will never work. We need completely new models no one has thought of yet. Crowdsourcing can unearth those. We want everybody thinking about this.»

Natural Code LLC is a private equity investment group formed to identify a naturally occurring code. Its mission is to discover, develop and commercialize core principles of nature which give rise to information, consciousness and intelligence.


Perry Marshall


Natural Code LLC

(630) 474-4135

[email protected]


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