Preface to the First Edition
By a curious turn of events I found myself the producer-writer of a documentary film series that examined the ongoing debate between Creation and evolution. Although unrelated to my profession, metallurgical research, the venture turned out to be far more exciting. Viewer response was unexpectedly positive, a surprising development since the most sacred tenets of evolution had been exposed to studio light if not actual daylight. Interestingly, less than five percent of the letters were negative - hostile might be a better description. Most of these writers were careful to emphasize their credentials, giving away the fact that their belief system was rooted in a vested commitment to evolution by reason of profession. For the other viewers, among whom were physicians, businessmen, and high school students, there was no such commitment - indeed, I suspect a proper survey would find this to be so for the man in the street today.
The many hundreds of letters showed that public interest in the programs lay beyond mere iconoclasm. Rather, it was due to a deeper and more subtle impact on the human psyche. Basically, the writers expressed the view that although they knew Creation to be somehow "religious", they had always had reservations about the idea of evolution as "scientific". Many indicated that the programs confirmed their suspicion that the education system has not been entirely honest and scrupulous about providing all the facts.
The programs presented sufficient information to enable previously unformulated questions to be properly focused and even sharply honed. The dry-as-dust matter of Charles Darwin's pigeons and fossils took on new significance as the viewer realized their relationship to the great social issues confronting us today. For it became clear that evolution is not now confined to biological evolution, to which Darwin's name is attached, but has become an ideology that extends into virtually every area of human activity, including politics. As the programs continued to reveal further details generally kept from the public, the Creation account as an alternative began to take on the credibility that had been lost in the face of today's orthodox explanation - evolution. In short, armed with all the facts, the viewers were now jury members who could make a proper and personal choice of their worldview.
One thing had become clear: a great need among the ordinary uncommitted people of this world for all the facts and information and not just what has been filtered through the minds of committed humanists, many of whom are educators and members of the media and who thus in a very real though perhaps not conscious way virtually control all that enters the human mind.
In the Minds of Men has been written expressly for the majority of the public, those who feel "uneasy" about evolution and in a broader sense are aware that history, science, religion, and politics must surely share common principles. They do indeed. Although there are books on these individual subjects, so far as is known there is no one volume that combines them all between two covers in such a way that the common evolutionary thread becomes abundantly plain. I have attempted to put together such a volume. Documentation from orthodox scientific sources has been made more than generous so the reader may be as certain as the author that no statement has been taken out of context.
The book may be read on three levels. A reading of the straight text will provide more than enough to whet the appetite of the average reader. The more adventurous reader may delve into the footnotes, in whose depths he will find many gems of information not generally known. And, finally, the appendices will provide the home computer enthusiast with data to play with. But this is not to mention the value of the illustrations. A more diligent approach than using the hackneyed portraits supplied by the picture agencies has brought forth many beautiful engravings not generally seen in this century.
This book would not have been possible but for the help of good friends. My gratitude goes to Robert Simpson ... [and others, and] ... special thanks to Faithe Frew who, good as her name, had sufficient faith in me to keep typing the chapters, notes, the dreary list of references, and the endless rewrites - all in her spare time.
My hope is that through the minds of honest men this work will help make the world a better place.
Preface to the Fifth Edition
The first four editions of In the Minds of Men found many good friends among a wide spectrum of readers in Australia, Canada, the United States and Russia. Interestingly, the Russian edition was translated into the Russian language by the Russian Ministry of Education in Moscow. I would particularly like to thank those readers who have sent encouraging letters and snippets of information to confirm observations made in the book. Especially gratifying have been those occasions when a perfect stranger has approached me to express their thanks for having written a book that has led them to an entirely different world-view. It is also pleasing to know that In the Minds of Men was long ago accepted by the Canadian Public Library system and it is being used by a number of colleges and even seminaries as a textbook. In more recent years the book has entered the American trade book market and has been regularly sold by Barnes and Noble, Borders Books and amazon.com. Readers may be interested to know that there were two reprints for each of the first four editions resulting in a total of twenty-five thousand copies. There has been no paid advertising for this book and, for the most part, copies have found their readers by word of mouth recommendation.
Over the years, In the Minds of Men went from hardback to softback
while each new edition was up-dated wherever possible. The content is mostly
historical however and few changes were necessary. Of course, typographical
corrections were mostly all completed by the second edition. When new and
relevant discoveries were published, this information had to be compressed
in order to squeak it into the text without adding more pages. However,
the production of the fifth edition as a CD has enabled new information
and even three more illustrations to be added without difficulty. The detailed
list of contents and full index has been retained to make quick and easy
access to any topic while the "Find" device under "Edit" available in most
computer programs makes it very simple to locate the exact word being sought
within the page. I trust that this fifth edition as CD (or on-line HTML version)
will prove to be
as helpful as the first four editions were in book format while any further
suggestions and comments from readers are, of course, most welcome.