The Ignoble Prize Book Publications Book Descriptions & Reviews Timely Justification Biography

Stan Gooch, a timely justification?

Despite what is probably the most important book on human evolution ever written, Darwin not excluded, and in many ways the summation of Stan Gooch's lifelong work, Cities of Dreams, sold only 800 copies in hardback. Century Hutchinson broke their contract to publish a paperback edition--and the Society of Authors overlooked this travesty. The Aulis large-format softcover has marketed some 1,500 copies, and currently retails four or five a week on the Internet.

While the author's individual fans remain loyal and enthusiastic, conversely, as the full scope and implications of Gooch's ideas have become greater with the publication of each succeeding book, the academic community has reacted with growing dismay. For as he often remarks, 50 percent of human history--and half our psychology--is missing. The failure of virtually every major scientist (with occasional exceptions, such as Mircea Eliade, de Santillana, Margaret Murray, J. G. Frazier, R. Llinas) to notice the truths Gooch has advanced indicts their professed openmindedness. How have all these well-paid professionals managed to bypass this Everest of evidence?

With the appearance of Cities of Dreams, it becomes no paranoid conclusion that instructions from highly placed individuals had been issued: “At last Gooch is dead--now bury him.” National radio programs on which Gooch had been a regular, newspaper and journal editors, media correspondents, hospital consultants, peer authors, all previously supportive, suddenly and without explanation severed contact with him; his subsequent letters to many of them received no reply. Thus Cities of Dreams received but three reviews, and just a single local radio interview.

And yet, new discoveries by those ignorant of the monumental research by Gooch actually reinforce his positions. Thus Gooch's claim that Neanderthal was predominantly left-handed has now been dramatically supported by the Siberian finding of a population where 66 percent are so (contrasted with the 10 percent norm in Europe); scientists believe this to be an adaptation to extremes of cold--and Neanderthals lived through several Ice Ages. As we also know, the contention by Gooch--for the past 20 years--that Neanderthal was red-haired has been confirmed in 2001 by the Institute of Molecular Biology in Oxford; however, Gooch's prime proposition was mentioned only in one article that year, albeit the London Times. Similarly, his 1980 debunking of Sperry's split-brain theory, a notion finally discarded by researchers in 2000, received merely a few sentences of acknowledgement the next year, in the New Scientist.

Lest the propensity for entrenched thought not to yield before revelation remain wholly monolithic during Stan Gooch's lifetime, let us hope this cyberspace exposure will at least initiate flexibility toward one who has repeatedly uncovered the wrestling dynamic in each of us.