Who is "Sherwood B. Nice?"
"Sherwood B. Nice" is -- obviously -- a pen name, stage name, internet name, or "whatever else you want to call it" name. It was chosen because it sounds exactly like the phrase, "Sure would be nice . . ." -- which is, pretty much, one of the basics of marketing anything (i.e., "Choose a name that people will notice, and remember").
I'm not going to try to hide my private identify; but, the two websites and the podcast I'm creating are enough of a project, for now, that I feel a need to reach THAT spot, and pitch my tent and get stabilized there, before taking on even more challenges.
For now, please just accept the following as true (because it is), and I'll add more, later.
I'm an environmental scientist and engineer (I.e., I have an "Engineering Sciences" degree (that is, indeed, exactly what it was called, since I custom-compiled it from both science and engineering courses) from a major university, with a GPA of 3.9. I then worked as an engineer, for three years, specializing in pollution control, and became a Licensed Professional Engineer. I then went to one of the nation's (and world's) best law schools. I truly thought I would become an environmental lawyer; but, I realized, during my first year of law school, that most lawyers who claim to be environmental lawyers are actually polluter lawyers -- for the simple reason that polluters pay cash, while the environment (sadly, in my opinion) doesn't.
So, falling back on my science/engineering skills, I became a patent lawyer, instead. It's interesting, fun, and challenging work; instead of suing people, I get patents for inventors -- which means, instead of preying on people who have problems, I get to work with creative and talented people, during some of the happiest and most exciting times of their lives (i.e., when their invention is finally working!!).
I'm in my 60's now, and have been happily married for more than 30 years. My kids are grown up, out of college, and into their own lives and careers. So, I have more freedom and flexibility now, than I did before, to do other things (like these websites and podcasts).
A few other brief things, about me:
1. I've lived on every salt-water coast in America (the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and the Pacific). But, for the past 35 years, I have voluntarily and happily lived in the Midwest. The people and the pace, in the Midwest, seem to suit my temperament, better than any where else I've lived; plus, I married into a truly remarkable extended family, which showed me forms, and depths, of support, tolerance, and love, that I had never encountered, before joining them as a true and real part of that family.
2. I was raised as an Episcopal, which was specifically designed and run (starting in England, soon after Henry VIII) to create a "bridge" between the Catholic and Protestant religions. For those who don't know it, a married Episcopal priest can even convert to Catholicism, and become a fully-ordained, married, Catholic priest. That is one of half a dozen factors that have come together, in my life, in ways that have led me to conclude that my fate, and role, is to try to help build bridges, between different things.
3. Despite being a scientist, I also am (very strongly) "a person of faith". I'll try to explain that statement, some day, and part of that explanation will be a written statement that tries to address and clarify a number of things about "the theory of evolution" as currently taught.
As just one example -- and, this comes from a scientist/engineer who specializes in biochemistry, genetic engineering, and medical technology, and who has read at least 30 books about evolution, and at least 30 books about religion -- I would suggest that the phrases "natural selection" and "survival of the fittest" need to be subdivided, into several major categories or components, to help people better understand, and be able to intelligently and productively discuss, those two phrases.
Although most non-scientists don't realize it, under current usage, biological scientists cannot even agree, among themselves, whether "sexual selection" should or should not be included in the phrase "natural selection". Accordingly, I would suggest that "natural selection" should be re-stated and clarified, to include at least 3 major components:
(1) "fitness/genetic selection", or some similar phrase, which would include most of the things most people normally think of as "natural selection";
(2) "sexual preference selection", which would focus on traits which veer away from "normal" fitness selection (which includes, for example, "looking strong and healthy"), but which nevertheless become "appealing" to members of the other gender, in any particular species; and,
(3) "predator and pathogen luck".
Evolutionary scientists don't choose to focus upon it, and don't discuss it in clear and direct terms, but the undeniable fact is that the course of evolution has been changed and altered, countless millions of times, by the fact of whether some predator, while searching for food, happened to choose to turn left, or turn right, during that search. That element of pure, random luck, has had a HUGE impact on the course of evolution, more times than anyone can even begin to guess at. So, it should be recognized, as such.
And, that factor also should be openly regarded, discussed, and debated as something which directly challenges, undercuts, and contradicts, every claim ever made, by any atheist who ever lived, that science has somehow PROVED that "God does not exist." Instead of simply accepting those statements of dogma, hubris, and arrogance by militant atheists, the question that should be asked is this: "Can science ever possibly prove, in any possible way, that some intervening entity -- which is called "God" (or various other names) by anyone who believes in an active, intervening entity which created and guided the fate of this universe and this planet -- did NOT somehow guide those predators to turn left instead of right, or right instead of left, in ways that protected new and vulnerable mutant species that God wanted to survive, and reproduce?"
The answer to THAT question which seems the most logical, defensible, and indeed "truly scientific" -- at least, to me -- is this: "No. Science will NEVER be able to PROVE that something like that did NOT happen. Inquiries like that are simply beyond the realm, and the reach, of science."
And, since science can never prove THAT . . . then, well, science can never prove that "God" does NOT exist.
And, therefore, in the opinion of this author -- who truly is a scientist who has learned to recognize and respect "good science" in largely the same way that he learned to recognize and respect "good inventions", . . . any and all claims -- by Richard Dawkins, William Provine, or any other militant-atheist-scientist -- are, to put it bluntly, just plain "bad science". They are expressions of dogma, which are able to masquerade as "science", since they came from "scientists" -- who, sadly, were as fallible as any other scientists. Claims, by "militant atheists", that science has somehow "proved" that God does NOT exist, are the type of "bad science" that science students should be taught to recognize, and avoid, since they are outside the realm of genuinely good science, and were not reached by a genuinely scientific method.
Final statements, for now, on the subject of "science versus faith":
(a) In my opinion, one of the greatest tragedies, in all of human history, has been the way that so many scientists have gone out of their way to needlessly offend, alienate, and antagonize people who believe in God, and/or "people of faith"; and,
(b) It is indeed one of the truly worst tragedies, in all of human history, for a simple reason, which is this: If human civilization is to going to have any realistic chance of surviving the coming onslaughts of climate change and population reduction, then the best chance humanity will have, to survive in a "civilized" manner on this planet, is if people of science, and people of faith, can somehow begin working together again. Instead of helping humanity reach toward that goal, "militant atheists" like Dawkins have made it much more difficult.
(c) As many people as possible, desperately need to begin trying to re-build THOSE bridges, as one of the most crucial and urgent needs of humanity, as we begin to seriously face the problems that will soon begin coming at us like an out-of-control freight train.
That's all the personal information (and beliefs) I choose to share, and post, for now. I want to focus on the work, instead of having people focus on me personally.