The book is the first of its kind, perhaps creating a new genre. It is on the practical implications of evolution theory. In other words, I argue that evolution is not merely a matter of origins, and it is not “just a theory,” for the mechanism of natural selection is built of physical, logical, and mathematical principles and dynamics that apply to all material structures and their characteristics. Not only are humans not exempted from the related phenomena, they are in many ways supremely susceptible to them, which accounts for why they have advanced so quickly compared to other species over the last 6 million years.
It follows that, for humankind the comprehensive embrace of evolutionary principles can allow optimal policy solutions to be created from the ground up with little trial and error being required. This is while we can also use evolutionary benchmarks to assess the various policies of various peoples throughout the world, allowing us to make predictions of both policy and population survivability over time.
Tell us something about yourself.
I think the story behind the book is rather interesting in its own right. Born to and raised by a Jewish father and Catholic mother who opted to keep religion out of my upbringing to avoid family conflict, I fundamentally began the project at age 11. It was then that I dedicated myself to someday writing a book about evidence-based rules of interaction that could transcend the faith-based differences that were producing death and destruction all over the world. It was in 1990, nearly 20 years later that I began the research–after earning a B.S. in systems and engineering–using the history of religion as a jumping off point.
Much to my surprise, I discovered that the history of religion had all the earmarks of an evolutionary progression. Irony noted, I decided to turn to leading evolutionary theorists for further insights that might provide direction. After pondering the essence of natural selection for a year or more, suspecting this understanding would be key to constructing my thesis, I experienced a eureka moment. It dawned on me that nothing can logically be beyond the scope of natural selection, as natural selection is what occurs when some structures do not succumb to surrounding threats while others do as material self-organization runs it course. And by extension, all features species maintain must somehow contribute to the survivability of the species that possess them. From here I attempted to check my themes for compatibility with knowledge from all major established disciplines in time and space. This included nearly a decade of building up the thesis, and another decade of trying to destroy it. The result is what you see.
How did you choose the title?
I searched for a title that would grab attention while also being very descriptive.
In its simpler sense the title declares that humans as individuals and groups must adapt or die. But in a deeper sense it suggests that humans must learn to live with the fact of an evolutionary reality, including its principles and their ramifications. For those who make the best use of this knowledge will both outcompete others and will maximize the chances for long-term human-species survival overall. The subtitle emphasizes the universal and timeless nature of the evolutionary principles and greater developmental trends that result from them.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
As the book is over 600 pages long, unprecedented in its content, and highly controversial, and as I have no prior works and traditional credentials, large publishing houses were out of the question. I likely could have secured a small-to-medium-size publisher if I wanted to work at it. But for me self-publishing in this day and age was the best fit. Of course, all of this required a lot of due diligence, and I would say a fairly serious entrepreneurial streak as well.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I honestly don’t know. The entire project was an evolutionary progression, as I had no clue where the evidence would take me or what the end product would look like. I simply followed the trail and dealt with challenges as they came.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
Since beginning the research over 20 years ago I have only read books, magazines, etc., related to this project. My favorite authors are those who tend to present the facts most objectively. I have found even many scientists and historians tend to fashion the facts in ways that promote agendas, validate beliefs and/or have emotional appeal.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have begun to conceptualize it. But my priority is to promote my current book to establish the platform by which to launch the planned spin-offs.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Perhaps read a few books on the related subjects, but mainly just dig in. Then, do not become discouraged during times of little progress. Maintain discipline and focus; keep working at it. This is definitely one of those things: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
The perfect reader for my book is someone who wants to follow the evidence wherever it might lead, particularly when it comes to understanding how the puzzle pieces of reality fit together overall. The entire thesis is truly built from the ground up, showing how physics, mathematics and logic serve as the foundation for the purely chemical world, how the chemical world serves as the foundation for the biological world, and so on, with unbroken continuity throughout. Meanwhile, it is safe to say that strong “believers,“ on the political right and left, that merely want to protect their cherished worldviews will not be interested in this book.
As far as reader sophistication goes, most who enjoy reading about history or popular science will find my presentation in line with such products, albeit with a bit more depth and comprehensiveness than most. At the same time, my book could also be considered part of the self-help genre, for individuals and groups, as it is both informative and prescriptive when it comes to the evolutionary perspective.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?