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Eugene Minard, MD

Extended Book Review

Minard’s research was thorough and well documented. His humility is evident from his acknowledgements: “My acknowledgements continue to the many writers who, unknowingly, did my research, and they are credited throughout. In my search for knowledge and truth, these are my current partial results.”

Quote from “Personal Prologue.”

“In my personal search for understanding of the great mysteries or existence, for a meaning and purpose in life, I have gone from unquestioning faith and inevitable disillusionment to a conviction that only the scientific method can truly enlighten, unite and perpetuate humankind in the face of extinction. In a fundamental way, this requires an understanding of the cosmic principle of evolution--the Great Moving Force.

"The truth can be very painful, sometimes excruciating. Emotions tend to override logic and verifiable evidence. I urge my readers to do their own research and then draw their own conclusions."

It could hardly be otherwise.

Minard is an accurate reporter of facts developed by others. Like this web site, he researched the broad spectra of natural history, human origins and history right down to the re-election of George Bush in 2004 and the state of the Iraq War in early 2005. His reporting of human history and weaving evidence together, from his medical background, parallel our methodologies from the physical and live sciences to a tee. Although to be expected on heuristic grounds, it is gratifying that his basic conclusion are essentially the same as ours.

He writes in popular language; for example, the psycho-sociopaths are simply “monsters” but he gets the point right--especially when describing how a few can act as tails-wagging-the-dog. Such people simply view the rest of us as a bunch of chumps. We know first-hand how these people think and behave. Most are simply irritants, but many rise to high office in organizations of any type, industrial, commercial, social, military, religious, and especially governments. These are the folks that cause most of the problems. They care only for themselves, not you or me. They scheme incessantly for their own benefit. Not only do they declare war or genocide as heads of government, but they lead flocks in religious sects, create Mafia-type criminal organizations, lead financial or other types of institutions, and even become serial killers. Psycho-sociopaths come in many varieties. Like leopards, they can roll in the mud and cover their spots, but they cannot change their behaviors. The worst of them fill our prisons.

Minard is masterful in documenting the various means people have for killing each other. And he rightly points out many things we can do to limit violence from each of its many quarters. He describers an important global concept: that of “Self-Directed human evolution.” Actively finding ways to feed everyone without resorting to violence. Unavoidably, the finite biosphere itself will limit the human population level possible. Recognizing that and doing something abut it is a most important element of peaceful living.

And this leads to the population control question. Paralleling the parable of microbes in a wine bottle dying in their own effluent, he points to microbes in a petri dish, or cancer cells metastasizing. In each case, the baddies die when the host does. The danger to humanity is ever present in today’s world. “Go forth and multiply” is a biblical adage that is not only out-of-date, but a most serious threat to humankind. In fact it is no longer an adage, for it is no longer a general truth. So why do we denigrate the only large nation that has recognized this threat to the point of doing something about it?

Minard believes strongly that human salvation will only come via the scientific method—if salvation comes. We would agree. Religion, as vital as it may be to on'e emotional health, has preached how to live the good life for two millennia with no real lasting effect on the history of violence. Life expectancy and healthful living only came with the advent of science. A new adage: "With understanding comes control" seems more appropriate in our days. Modern medicine, automobiles, television, air travel, the Internet, and in-vitro fertilization, not to mention science itself, attest to the truth of that adage.

This book is a classic and as relevant today as it was when published in 2005. It is a must for those researching violence and its possible cures.


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