Reviews of Biohistory: Decline and Fall of the West

Praise for the Biohistory titles

The Biohistory titles by Dr Jim Penman PhD continue to win acclaim from both scientific contemporaries and by the media.

“Biohistory surpasses all existing efforts to explain the major patterns of history both in originality and scientific potential…”
Dr. Ricardo Duchesne
Department of Social Science, University of New Brunswick Saint John

See what both have to say about Biohistory: Decline and Fall of the West, and Biohistory, below.

“Biohistory surpasses all existing efforts to explain the major patterns of history both in originality and scientific potential, including Jared Diamond’s, Germs, Guns, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies  (1997), David Christian, Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (2005), David Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1998); Ian Morris, Why the West Rules — For Now (2010) and Daron Acemoglu’s and James A. Robinson’s, Why nations fail. The origins of power, prosperity and poverty (2012).

Current explanations assume that all people are alike in their temperaments and will respond in the same way to similar external frameworks and incentives. They explain history in terms of factors external to human beings, such as geographical location, the resources available, demographic pressures, the institutional frameworks within which humans perform their economic activities.Gregory Clark’s, A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World (2008) pays attention to the character and attitudes of the British population, arguing that the conditions for the industrial revolution were created when middle class values, nonviolence, literacy, long working hours and a willingness to save, spread down to the lower social levels of society in the 16th and 17th centuries. But Biohistory offers an an experimentally based approach to the study of temperament and how it acts as the underlying factor driving the course of history.  Temperament refers not only to the values of peoples but also to their  character, stress levels, loyalty and reliability as revealed in their parenting, sexual, and economic behaviors. Biohistory is a book worth studying, testing, refuting and elaborating. ”

“This is a thought-provoking work. It has an ambitious mission—to explain the rise and fall of civilizations from a biological perspective. On page 3, author Jim Penman says “Could the key to history be not economics or politics but biology?” This is a bold thesis, but Penman fleshes out his argument with an analysis of the rise and fall of differing civilizations. He discusses some of the key drivers of civilization.

He uses his theory to explore the paths of Rome (rise and fall), China and India, and the Middle East. In a chapter that will make many readers uncomfortable, he discusses the odds of the West declining. The most powerful books tend to challenge common wisdom and widespread beliefs. Jim Penman does that in this volume, and the end result is a book that makes the reader think. And that is a powerful contribution.”

“Occasionally a theory emerges that integrates diverse and traditionally separate fields of knowledge and leads to novel and significant reconfigurations of reality and inquiry.  This book presents such a theory which only the unwise will ignore.”

“If a fraction of the argument presented by Jim Penman in Biohistory is borne out in subsequent research, it will shatter mainstream political science and grand history. For he detects causal connections between the micro and macro of human affairs, between physiology and culture, psyche and environment, animals and humans, famine and character. Penman discerns rhythm and meaning in the upwelling and collapse of civilisation that portends a grim twilight for the West, though with hope for an enlightened dawn.”

Your opinion matters

Dr Jim Penman PhD and the research team welcomes feedback about the Biohistory titles. Your feedback and opinion counts. Please spare a moment to share your thoughts with us.