Here is a short autobiography:
Born into a liberal-minded intellectual family, I attended a Quaker boarding school, where I became a convinced evolutionist when I first heard of it at the age of about 14 (as a consequence of this poem). Not only was I convinced; I was also keen. My decision to study Chemistry with Biochemistry at university was partly based on the desire to learn about the material basis of evolution. However, as soon as I did learn about genetics and cell chemistry, I started to doubt the orthodox neo-Darwinian theory. I remained totally committed to evolution, having become a devout adherent of Elaine Morgan’s Aquatic Ape Theory of human evolution. Over the years, my doubts about neo-Darwinism increased, despite regularly reading books by neo-Darwinists such as Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould and John Gribbin. By 1993, I realised that I would have to classify myself as an evolutionary dissident, having not only become a neo-Lamarckist but also a wavering follower of Rupert Sheldrake. Since then I have been almost single-minded in my quest to raise public awareness of alternative views of evolution.
My first book, “The Alternative Life”, was published in 1996, being a radical, scientific reappraisal of evolution theory. (See Publications) The essay, “An Evolution for Evolution Theory” is effectively a synopsis of the book, though it would be more correct to say the book is an expansion of the essay.
My second book, “Lamarck’s Due Darwin’s Luck or The History of Hearsay and Heresy in Heredity”, was first written in 1997, and has undergone frequent revision and updating, being as yet unpublished. It is an irreverent history of the evolution of evolution theory, from the Ancient Greeks to the present day. The biographical essays on this website are essentially extracts from it, though the Lamarck essay was adapted from an extract for the purpose of a biographical essay competition. Several other Essays are also adapted from the book. There is also a play concerning evolution, “The Origin of Modesty”, written in the late 1990s.
A much longer version of all of the above can be found in Chapters C, G, H and I of my autobiographical ABC, written in 1999.
The progress of my thinking since 1993 can also be discerned from my Letters to the Editor as well as in my essay, “My Personal Evolution” (at the end of “Six of the Best”) , together with its expansion, “Me and Patrick Matthew”. There is also a file of my Favourite Writing.
My family has always been bemused by my 29-year obsession with evolution theory, and one of them asked me several years ago what I actually believed. So I wrote My Belief, which I now share, but please do not try to use its content to discredit what I say elsewhere in this site. It is pure conjecture.