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Richard Dawkins
Book Review with commentary

Updated 14 May 2010

Dawkins combines science with storytelling as few writers can. He brings evolution to life in its beauty and depth, its probabilistic meanderings, yet certain of some direction, even to a non-competitive dead end.
Patriarch, Prophet, and Progenitor of prophets

Monotheism as we know it, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, began formally with Abraham even though he did not claim there are no other gods but God. He did claim that God is supreme.
Second Edition - 1993
Phillip Johnson
Book Review with commentary

Johnson brings a legalistic perspective to the issue of evolution. To the fundamentalists it provides some comfort in that he questions evolution. To the biologist it may be mostly rubbish for reasons we get to below. To those who really want to understand this conflict, Johnson provides a sharp view of how fundamentalism permeates both sides of the argument over Evolution.
Revised Feb 2006

"With the monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its adolescent morals. Our knowledge of science has clearly outstripped our capacity to control it...Man is stumbling blindly through a spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious secrets of life and death. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living." Omar Bradley
Revised 17 Apr 2006

Scientists and Fundamentalists Debate.

This hot issue has been boiling for a century and a half, over a moving target. The intellectual argument is: "Where does logos leave off and mythos begin?" Emotionality blurs the issue on both sides.
Updated 22 Jan 2013

Beginning as bacteria, life in the "cool" deep-sea vents around hydrothermal vents deep beneath the sea evolved some billion or so years after the earth first formed. Its spores evidently migrated to the "hot" smoker vents, also of hydrothermal origin. Although they shared the same physical organization, DNA, their genes were mostly different. This second branch of life is comprised of archaea. Then, through some process not yet entirely clear in detail, the bacteria and archaea combined their genes to form yet a third branch of life called eukaria. Evolution then took over with a vengeance, creating all the "visible" life forms was see today. By 530 million years ago most of the major phyla already existed. The so-called Cambrian explosion come suddenly, in geologic time. The eukaryotes, having learned how to incorporate calcium into their structures, began leaving skeletal remains for us to find and wonder over. It was simple life at first, worms, crustaceans and the like. But it was really well endowed; it was multi-cellular, able to sense and move out of danger or search for food. These critical features of life were apparent early on in most of the animal kingdom.

Many essays from Voltaire’s hand were published anonymously. This is one of them where he writes on the role of a society president who leads the prayer and preaches the sermon. For brevity, we excerpt and paraphrase:

    “My brethren, religion is the secret voice of God speaking to men. It ought to unite men, not divide them; hence every religion that belongs to one people only is false.”
The Great Charter of English liberty was granted (under considerable duress) by King John at Runnymede on June 15, 1215.
Updated 27 Feb 2010

Most of the basic literature we have relied upon to find a road map for peace can be found in the references below. To briefly summarize: Our genetic endowment contains genes for violence, aggression, and conventionalism. Countering those expressions are genes for parenting and altruism. The latter are vital for only they can save humanity from perpetual violence and war.
Latest Revision: 17 June 2010

Our jungle/savanna heritage plays a role in human violence. This page provides that backdrop.

Most Recent Update: 14 Mar 2010

Return to Natural History

Natural history, evident at first only from fossils of earlier times, became more readable with the advent of the scientific method. Social evolution evolved apace among the more advanced eukaria, in that survival of a species depended in part upon its behavior.
Rev: Oct, Dec 2005 Feb 2007

We live in a confounding world. The curiosity of humankind is never satisfied.
Since much of our factual information was generated by others publishing important books we list them all here for your convenience.
This fatwa was a tightly reasoned declaration of war, but not widely recognized as such, or even widely known. It was more than that: Only faith is more important than expelling America and Israel from the Holy Land. This was no instant cure. It was a promise to dig in and do what it takes for however long. Is this not a lesson for the future? There was enough truth in the tight reasoning alone to ring alarm bells.