Sunday, 27 December 2015

New Book: An Unprejudiced Mind

An Unprejudiced Mind: Atheism, Science and Reason is my latest book - a sequel to The Light Of Reason: And Other Atheist Writing series - again consisting of carefully selected essays and articles from this blog, this time concentrating primarily of the science behind biological evolution and how it has led to biodiversity, and contrasting it with the pseudo-philosophy of theology. It is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. Buyers of the paperback can also obtain the Kindle version at a greatly reduced rate.

The title is a partial quote by one Patrick Matthews (20 October 1790 – 8 June 1874) who has a plausible claim to have been the first to published the idea of evolution by natural selection, in 1831, almost 30 years befor Darwin and Wallace published their idea to the Linnean Society. Charles Darwin himself acknowledged his prior claim but pointed to the obscurity of his chosen publication medium - in a book on arboriculture with a very small circulation. Matthews had even published his claim to be the first to describe natural selection in a letter to an obscure gardening magazine.

But the quote comes from Matthews' reason for his modesty at the time - he hadn't even considered it a discovery, merely describing something which seemed obvious:

To me the concept of this law of Nature came intuitively as a self-evident fact, almost without an effort of concentrated thought. Mr Darwin here seems to have more merit in the discovery than I have had - to me it did not appear a discovery. He seems to have worked it out by inductive reason, slowly and with due caution to have made his way synthetically from fact to fact onwards; while with me it was by a general glance at the scheme of Nature that I estimated this select production of species as an a priori recognizable fact - an axiom, requiring only to be pointed out to be admitted by unprejudiced minds of sufficient grasp. [My emphasis]

So, in 1831, a reasonably educated person with an unprejudiced mind of sufficient grasp could readily see that natural selection acting on natural variation would produce biodiversity which will eventually lead to speciation. The wonder is that there are still a very large number of people who lack one or both of those qualities and so are prey to any charlatan willing to sell them spurious confirmation of their prejudice and/or stupidity.

Hopefully, this book will do a little bit to help these unfortunate people overcome their prejudice and/or intellectual limitation as well as providing argument for those engaged in this 'debate'. Only through a deep understanding of the Universe and how it works can we hope to appreciate the true magnificence and majesty of the world we inhabit during this one brief opportunity that our life affords us. It's hard to understand why even people who need an imaginary friend and who are afraid of death would want to avoid that all-too-brief pleasure.


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2 comments :

  1. I looked for a link to books that can be purchased through your site. I was only able to find a purchase link for An Unprejudiced Mind by clicking on the image, but it was only available in hard copy. A list of recommended books with a PURCHASE NOW link for downloads from Amazon/Kindle would surely increase your commissions.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      The titles of the books are also links to the Kindle version. There are also links to all my books in the righthand panel of the page in the desktop version of this blog, but they don't show on a mobile.

      Delete

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