An Unauthorized History

I am the first to admit that I am a 55 year old man that still acts like a two year old. There is a one word question that I ask over and over again, Why? It is a simple three letter word, and I have used it so often I am surprised that I have not worn it out. It is however one of the very best questions that anyone of any age can ask. Give it a try, pick any subject, and prefix it with the word WHY. You might surprise yourself with the answer.

Author James Strickling asks why? Not why do the bills keep growing, nor why do gas prices keep increasing. He asks a far bigger why? The cosmic why?

I have read books preaching Creationism, and I have read books that decry it in the name of Natural Selection, or the more popular term Darwinism. Both offer convincing arguments. If you explore either side of the argument you discover some most inconvenient issues.

I actually rather enjoy them. Watching Creationists and Darwinists go at each other is far more entertaining than any sporting event could ever be!

When I discovered James Strickling and his new book Man And His Planet I just knew that it was on my reading list.

James Strickling has created an interesting and thought provoking book. He has opted to tread in the no-mans minefield of exploring both sides of the argument. A position that puts him in the ‘cross hairs’ of both sides.

The is a very old saying, there are three versions to every story, there is mine, there is yours, and there is the truth which lays somewhere in the middle. It is that middle that Man and His Planet explores. Some of the themes at first seem well trodden paths, but James Strickling manages to take them in new directions.

What I find interesting in the contest between the Creationists and and Darwinists is how both sides take the same ‘data sets’ and interpret them for their own advantage. For example, I can not think of a single book on the subject that does not explore the life and times of the lowly Pepper Moth. It is so famous it should have its own Reality TV series!

Depending on how you use the Pepper Moth story you can debunk Darwin and the slow process of evolution. Equally you can use the Pepper Moth to bolster Natural Selection. In some ways it is the glass half empty, glass half full conundrum.

One area that James Strickling dares to broach in Man And His Planet is that of verbal, and written communication. It is a very complex subject, and one that certainly bothers me. There are numerous species that vocalize, however, the vocalization tends to reflect emotion, Pain, Fear, Happiness, Friendship, etc, rather than more complex constructs. How did man develop linguistics?

Equally baffling is the diversity of languages. It is easy, or at least relatively easy to understand the origins of English. Parts are borrowed from Latin, Greek, and some more contemporary cultures. But where did Latin come from?

If we assume the Natural Selection model we run into a bit of a problem. We should all be essentially talking the same language. Of course there would be regional differences, products and even concepts may exist in country A, but not in country B. But surely both would share common concepts, and common vocalizations. But we do not see that. So how did language evolve?

Man And His Planet is not one of those tedious 1000 page rambles, it is a compact 216 pages, with another 40 pages of references and index. But within the 216 pages James Strickling manages to cover an enormous amount of ground. Regardless of your position on Creationism or Darwinism this book is well worth reading.

I will end this review with a comment I made earlier, there are three versions to every story, Yours, Mine, and the Truth.

You can order your copy of Man And His Planet by using the Amazon link at the top of the page.

Simon Barrett

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