Introducing the author and his writing

THE MONOGRAPHS

The essays which make up this package were all developed from a single, disarmingly simple, premise: Everything that we know (or can know) about the universe in which we live is the result of the combinational [and subsequent] properties of matter. These properties are substantiated as responsible for the appearance of life forms (from lifeless matter) and for evolution itself in all its consequences.

This premise is taken as axiom herein.

The essays do not belong to any branch of philosophy that I know of, although there may be similarities here and there. They are not intended to be philosophical (there is, for example, no attempt to argue the truth of the premise in some philosophical framework). However, essays of this type cannot entirely avoid the label 'philosophy' because of the implications they have regarding future scientific inquiry and discussion of the human condition.

These essays grew out of a broad academic background and a large body of general scientific reading, but they are not, in themselves, hard science - i.e. there is no specific data gathered to develop individual points - be that as it may, the origin/method of the essays is more science and less philosophy.

THE LANGUAGE

Among the implications of the premise is the 'Matter of Forensic Integrity' (the subject of its own essay). Therefore, in an effort to establish a level of forensic integrity in the writing, and also for other reasons solely his own, the author has chosen a style of writing that is, in a word, difficult. Furthermore, because these papers were not developed in an academic environment where peer review and discussion would force some consensus on the terminology, some of the terms used will seem novel, perhaps even cult-ish.

To cope with this adversity I advise reading the introduction where some of the writing conventions (specifically his use of apostrophes) are explained, and asking questions (I personally found questions like 'What do you mean by this?' to be most fruitful; attempting to enter discourse without some kind of understanding about the point being made was almost never worth the trouble - unless you enjoy being dismissed.)

A SMALL WARNING

The premise stated above is being more and more widely accepted in recent scientific and philosophic writing (although it is sometimes watered down in ways and for reasons which are never clear -for a good discussion of this phenomenon, see D. Dennett, "Darwin's Dangerous Idea".) There is a 'fuck you' attitude awaiting any readers who attempt critique/discussion of the essays without a firm grasp of the premise.
-John Schnell -Long Beach, Calif. November 1995