In a recent book, Science and Art Are Based on the Same Principles and Values (2020), Lima-de-Faria worries that “a wave of obscurantism is spreading over Western countries affecting both science and art in a deadly way.” Mazur writes,
I first became aware of A. Lima-de-Faria’s work through his 1988 landmark book: Evolution Without Selection.
Lima-de-Faria lives on top of a Swedish fjord and in his latest book describes himself as “a lonely wolf howling against an immense sky.” But it is because after a long, distinguished life in science, and at age 99, he sees the enormity of a crushing of humanity without sufficient public outcry. He thinks the dumbing down of our civilization by technology and its cut & paste digital world has now reached a critical point. However, he argues that we can “stave off” this deadly wave if we urgently look to the principles that have historically enabled human ingenuity.Suzan Mazur, “Antonio Lima-de-Faria: “Stave Off” Deadly Obscurantism” at Mind Matters News
He was an early non-Darwinian evolutionist (1988 is pretty early). In Evolution Without Selection, he argues,
It is well established that evolution has occurred, but the mechanism responsible for it is unknown. A distinction must be clearly made between the phenomenon of evolution and its mechanism. Few phenomena in biology are so well established as evolution, but few are so poorly understood. Nearly every discipline of biology has helped in vindicating the occurrence of evolution. But the demonstration of the occurrence of evolution is not tantamount to the demonstration that its mechanism is based on selection. A radically different approach to the phenomenon of evolution was introduced by Lima-de-Faria, A in 1988. This is republished here with a new preface. The central thesis of this work is that: “Biological form and biological function are the products of the mould of form and function already present in quarks and leptons, or any other of the elementary particles”. This conclusion was based on a vast body of information available at four levels of organization: (1) Elementary particles. (2) Chemical elements. (3) Minerals. (4) Living organisms. The data assembled supported the notion that nothing fundamentally new occurred when the biological level emerged during the evolution of matter. Three evolutions had taken place before the cell arrived.
Lima-de-Faria might have some things to discuss with Michael Denton. This sounds so very structuralist.
And, sure enough, something Mazur has written about Lima-de-Faria before, “Osaka Group Structuralist, 97, Publishes New Book (2008)”, makes clear that he is a structuralist.
That 2008 book was Periodic Tables Unifying Living Organisms at the Molecular Level: The Predictive Power of the Law of Periodicity
About the obscurantismhe worries about: It is surely headed for a head-on collision soon with the “Trust the Science” mantra. When science is represented by a dozen contradictory voices yelling and threatening (cf government policy re COVID-19), it’s no longer a question of trust. It’s how to deal with a crazy colossus.
Mazur is herself the author of a number of books on controversies in evolution, including Royal Society: Public Evolution Summit which recounts the events and discusses the figures behind the 2016 attempt to evaluate realistically what Darwinism is and isn’t doing for biology.
See also: At Oscillations: Suzan Mazur wonders what’s got into Eugene Koonin and Dieter Braun. Readers may recall Eugene Koonin as not particularly a Darwinian. As of 2018, Dieter Braun was more ambivalent. But Mazur notes that something has changed. Is it some light they have seen or has someone warned them to be more submissive?