BOOK Evolution Stands Faith Up Reflections on Evolution’s Wars

NOVA Publishers NY announces “Evolution Stands Faith Up: Reflections on Evolution’s Wars”

Author: Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C.

Book Description

Book_Evolution_Stands_Faith_Up_G_Paz-y-Mino-C“…Shot-gun marriages between evolution and faith have never worked, despite the tradition of pointing the barrel at evolution’s head. The truth is that evolution likes it single. Free, with no stoppers of thought or restrains on logic. And when lured unknowingly into the altar by those who see facts and fiction compatible, evolution has consistently stood belief up and walked away, sometimes run, toward its secular turf… [The] dream of arranging evolution’s wedding with belief will remain dormant for as long as evolution is awake.” Provocative, intriguing, a contemporary and concise analysis of the clashes between science and faith: In this book, Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C examines the societal sequels in public education, the future of America’s science and academia of believing in a deity. For this evolutionary biologist, educator and public speaker, “science is [the only] refined device for resolving ordinary curiosity and a powerful liberator of superstition.” He thinks of science as “the subsistence kit to defeat re-emerging fundamentalism” in the world. With a journalistic style in short, yet documented essays, Paz-y-Miño-C encourages the reader to question “faith healing,” the “silly” forecast of Armageddon on two occasions in 2012 (after postponing the first engagement), or the “wrongly called” The God Particle, which scrambles fiction with facts. He considers “belief” to be a “disruptor,” which delays and stops the correct comprehension and acceptance of evidence. He alerts us about the threats of rejecting science, our African and ape evolutionary ancestry, and the epidemic growth of anti-intellectualism among decision makers, whose interest in replacing “curiosity-driven science” with profitable laboratory-bench work to secure sales of “science products” will drive the “culture of discovery in America” to vanish. But this author also contrasts his inner “frustration in attempting to reverse, at least around [his] immediate circle of influence, such trend…” with essays in which his contagious passion for science emerges. In his prose, Paz-y-Miño-C ignites our imagination to “take off from the roof of the Boston Museum of Science and its Charles Hayden Planetarium, while flying in a helicopter that, after metamorphosing into a spaceship, leaves Earth to immerse us into galactic infinitude.” Or to hike among sea lions, while they rest on the Galapagos shores, and feel as Darwin did the magnificence of nature. Or to contemplate the night sky from the top of the largest volcano in the World, Mauna Kea, in Hawaii, and accept the fact that, one day in the distant future, all its telescopes —or their remains— will drift away on their carrier, the late “Big Island,” and sink in the Pacific when the summit of Mauna Kea succumbs to erosion, hence following the drowning fate of the Hawaiian Islands. This open-ended book assures: “Once embraced by all, this truly universal language —scientific rationalism/empiricism and evolution— shall lead us to a more cohesive understanding of nature and of our amazingly diverse human condition. Humanity’s ultimate challenge will be to collectively embrace reality, with no stoppers of thought or restrains on logic.”

Table of Contents:


Essay 1. Evolution Stands Faith Up: On Francis Collins’ & Karl Giberson’s “The Language of Science and Faith”

Essay 2. Faith Healing vs. Medical Science

Essay 3. Wrong at Forecasting Armageddon

Essay 4. Unforgettable Galapagos, a Summit, and Why Evolution Matters

Essay 5. Conservation Behavior in the Galapagos

Essay 6. Mauna Kea Telescopes to Sink in the Pacific – Hawaii

Essay 7. Boston’s Charles Hayden Planetarium

Essay 8. On the Wrongly Called “the God Particle”

Essay 9. A Stationary Ark on the Isle of Jersey

Essay 10. On Whales and a Whaling Museum

Essay 11. Denying Rome, the Exquisite Colosseum and Evolution

Essay 12. Lisbon’s Lesson: Honor the Value of Discovery

Essay 13. Can We Forecast the Fall of Today’s Empires?

Essay 14. All History is Black History

Essay 15. American Exceptionalism Built on Backs of the 99%

Essay 16. Rejection of Science Threatens to Be Epidemic

Essay 17. New England Professors Accept Evolution, but They are Religious

Essay 18. Massachusetts Gets an A- in Science Standards

Essay 19. Americans Want Candidates to Debate Science

Essay 20. Darwin Day Awaits Designation by the US Congress

Essay 21. Can Atheists Be Our Leaders?




Science, Evolution and Creationism

Pub. Date: 2013 – 4th Quarter

Pages: 6×9 – (NBC-C)

ISBN: 978-1-62948-447-1

For information go to Evolution Stands Faith Up: Reflections on Evolution’s Wars by NOVA Publishers, New York Soft Cover

Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.comAmazon UK

Review of Evolution Stands Faith Up: Reflections on Evolution’s Wars


by Dr. Greg M. Stott, Canada


This is an inspiring, readable collection of 21 essays of reflective value to everyone. You can dip into any of these well-crafted and thoughtful essays at leisure without concern for order. The layout of each essay is appealing, beginning with a quote extracted from the essay, which summarizes the key insight, and finishing with a list of suggested readings and resources. The essays, mainly written within the past 4 years, are taken largely from the author’s contributions to local newspapers and his online blog, Evolution Literacy.

The author is an evolutionary biologist and an atheist who originally immigrated to the U.S. as a graduate student from Ecuador. His preface to the book provides a rationale for these essays arising from his training as a scientist and the need to address the breadth of irrational thinking around us. Notably, he points to the vain attempt by many to try and accommodate scientific rationalism with supernatural beliefs. They are simply incompatible. To emphasize this point, his first essay, from which the title of this set of essays is taken, is based on his critical book review in of “The Language of Science and Faith” by Francis Collins (former head of the Human Genome Project) and Karl Giberson. Francis Collins, a widely respected genetic researcher but devout Christian, demonstrates a cognitive dissonance between one’s scientific skills and the emotional need for an ineffable, “spiritual” connection to something greater outside of oneself. This latter sense of connection with the natural world devolves into an inborn tendency to take mental shortcuts and default to “unseen” supernatural causes, a common impediment to critical thinking.

The essays address a broad range of topics, including faith healing, astronomy, physics, nature, archaeology, the curiosity-driven urge to discover, and the serious threat from the arrogant ignorant who equate opinion with knowledge, especially those in positions of power to further corrode education. As the author counsels, “Escort out of office those who see fiction and facts compatible, or worship ignorance-based opinions as rightful views of equitable value to the empirical truth.”

The author has a marvellously eloquent style of writing, full of inspiring metaphors and lateral observations that reinforce connections to the foundations of scientific inquiry and to biological evolution in particular. These thoughtful essays are accessible to the general public and an inspiration to all of us who should write an occasional essay for our local newspaper or an online blog to help clear the fog in our own communities and arm our neighbors against theistic anti-science, medical quackery and other irrational nonsense.

Evolution Meeting in Lisbon Raises Concern

Evolution Meeting in Lisbon Raises Concern

Dr. Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C — © 2013

Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

[click on title to be redirected to The Standard Times]

“…Lisbon taught us a lesson: its beauty and history, museums and palaces, cathedrals and monuments all honored the value of discovery, the irrefutable foundation of true civilizations.”

     There is a connection between Portugal’s cultural and historical commitment to explore the unknown and what just happened at the XIV European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) meeting held in Lisbon August 19 to 24, 2013. But a preamble here is merited before I address the conference’s substantial outcomes.

     Portugal’s and Spain’s leadership during The Age of Discovery (1500s-1600s) is undeniable. The Treaty of Tordesillas, signed in 1494, aimed at sharing between both kingdoms the geopolitical control of the world, as much as it could be explored, conquered and, inevitably by post-Crusade-invasion practices, Christianized. And so it was.

Monument to The Discoveries with Henry The Navigator leading it, Lisbon, Photo © 2013 Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C.

     Exploration and discovery did nurture Europe’s curiosity for sighting the “planet’s final frontiers” in the 16th and 17th centuries, starting with the uncertainty of Earth’s shape and its implications for circumnavigation. But trade and profit were the vested motivators for the monarchies to “globalize” their understanding of the world which, 500 years ago, was not even conceived as a globe.

     In a classical Type One error effort —to use modern science terminology— Christopher Columbus, a Genoese explorer sponsored by Spain, failed at arriving to Asia via the Pacific, and instead bumped into unfamiliar terra firma in 1492. Columbus was conceptually wrong and died, in 1506, unaware of the mistake, but his maritime adventure brought, nonetheless, unprecedented wealth to Europe.

     The Portuguese Vasco da Gama tested with success, from 1497-1499, an alternative proposal: that India could be reached if sailing around Africa, relying, of course, on the Earth’s roundness, plus novel technology, instrumentation, and vessel design.

     In retrospect, Columbus and da Gama quests seeded today’s world interconnectedness. But it was science inspiring mere pursuit of knowledge —equivalent to research programs— which led to the prosperity later harvested. Both Columbus and da Gama thought the former arrived in the “West Indies.” Yet, it took additional expeditions (1499-1504), by cartographer Amerigo Vespucci, from Florence, to conjecture the existence of an entirely new continent in the Pacific, a major “paradigm shift” not unusual in science considering it relies on seeking the truth via skepticism.

Tomb of Vasco da Gama in the Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Photo © 2013 Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C.

     And science, materialized for its intrinsic significance, curiosity-driven and respected for advancing knowledge and debunking myth —rather than for amassing fortune when its applications expedite income for entrepreneurs— was the spirit of 1,500 international delegates gathered at ESEB 2013.  

     Lisbon was ideal for a conference about ancestry and change, legacy and improvement, the essence of evolutionary biology. At 34 symposia and 74 plenary talks, 360 speakers and authors of 900 posters discussed genetic and non-genetic (cultural) inheritance of traits, animal behavior, mechanisms of species recognition to avoid hybridization, natural and sexual selection, host-parasite interactions, human evolution, aging and senescence, emergence of drug resistance, conservation of wildlife, online resources and quantitative simulations to teach evolution, and climate-change impacts on ecological and evolutionary processes.    

     A sense of “fundamental research is what matters, not the sheer application of science for revenue” resounded during the conference. The concern that funding for basic science is scarce worldwide, the disinterest among benefactors in sponsoring “why questions” in studies, and rather favoring the “how much return will that generate for the industry, the patenting system, the biolabs, the administrative overheads,” and the uncertainty about the future of exploring ultimate queries —the reason for science’s existence— were at the heart of small talking during the conference. 

Splendid exhibit “Forms and Formulas” at Lisbon’s National Museum of Natural History and Science, Photo © 2013 Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C. 

     But ESEB 2013 was not alone in this respect. During this summer, US researchers had specifically addressed the importance of sponsoring significant investigations. The Animal Behavior Society (ABS), for example, organized at its 50th anniversary meetings in Boulder, Colorado, July 28 to August 1st, the discussion “Time to Step Up! Defending Basic Science,” under the premise that behavioral research has been “ridiculed” and caricatured by elected officials as “wasteful government spending.” Ironically, behaviorists are the “role models” who continue to inspire worldwide interest in science, and ABS provided a list of them: Edward O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, Judy A. Stamps, John Maynard Smith, and William D. Hamilton, among 15 others.

     Likewise, the American Society for Microbiology featured in Denver, Colorado, May 18 to 21, the President’s Forum “Curiosity-Driven Basic Research: Laying the Foundation for Discoveries and Application of the Future,” where “the critical importance of basic investigations and the need to articulate why discovery is so essential” was the consensus. And it cannot be otherwise at times when trivialization of reality, fed by entertainment, belief in the supernatural, disrespect for education, and self confidence nourished by how much is in the pocket, rather than in the schooled mind, can lead the populous to applaud emptiness.

     But Lisbon taught us a lesson: its beauty and history, museums and palaces, cathedrals and monuments all honored the value of discovery, the irrefutable foundation of true civilizations. — © 2013 by Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C. all rights reserved.

Related Articles:

Unforgettable Galapagos, a Summit, and Why Evolution Matters

Galapagos Evolution Conference Adds to Understanding Part II

Can We Forecast the Fall of Today’s Empires?

To Deny Evolution is To Deny History