resprouting seaside alder  A QUIET STAND OF ALDERS   resprouting seaside alder
"The alder, whose fat shadow nourisheth

                                    All set neere to him long flourisheth." -- William Browne, c. 1613
Welcome to the web page of Stanley Rice, author and botanist.
Welcome to A Quiet Stand of Alders, a website that invites you to experience the scientific importance, and the beauty and peace, of trees and other plants.  This is the message to which I have dedicated my life: plants are essential to the survival of the world, and they deserve much more appreciation than they receive from most people, especially from the political and business leaders in the United States.  Plants are much more than a mechanism for the survival of the planet; they create worlds of beauty and peace.  The world depends not only on plants in general, but on the diversity of plants—the millions of species that make up the forests, fields, and deserts of the world.  This diversity of plants, as well as of all other organisms, has been produced over billions of years by the process of evolution.  In the United States, wild plants are being destroyed, their diversity is being reduced, and teaching the process of evolution is under religious attack.  Watch this website for links to sources of information about plants and evolution, including my books and those of other authors, as well as essays about plants, evolution, and religion.  Keep checking for occasional updates. 

Christians Burning Bibles?
January 4, 2010

     Many political controversies are not about evidence and reason, but about prejudice, rage, and religious brainwashing. Nothing short of religious brainwashing could account for this news item from last October: a Halloween “book-burning” in which Christians tore up Bibles. If fundamentalist Christians really believe the Bible to be the word of God, only a complete disengagement of their consciousness from reason could make them tear up Bibles. Read more about it here.
     It was supposed to be a book burning at the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina. (From the video, it appears that the church is mostly white.) They announced that there would be “fried chicken, and all the sides.” Instead, when protestors and media showed up, it rained. Besides, it turned out that an actual book-burning was against the fire code, and the church did not have permission to do it. But the church claimed that it was “a great success” because the protestors and media were outside in the rain while the congregation was inside, tearing up books instead of burning them. Who could doubt the hand of God blessing this event?
     Which books did they feel that God was commanding them to destroy? I can only hope that my Encyclopedia of Evolution was one of them. They burned The Wizard of Oz. And The Living New Testament. Why did they destroy a New Testament? This church believes exclusively in the King James Version of the Bible; apparently, God inspired this translation, published in 1611, rather than the scriptures that Jesus himself read and quoted. Poor Jesus; how could he have known that he was using the wrong Bible, without the wise people of Amazing Grace Baptist Church to tell him? There is no reasoning involved in this act; for there is nothing in the Bible saying that King James was authorized to issue the solely correct version of God’s word (in English, a language not in existence when Jesus was alive.)
     The idea that Bibles other than the King James Version should be destroyed is simply a weird idea that some American preachers made up and with which they brainwashed hundreds of followers. And these people are ready to take action. Being a Christian, even a conservative one, is no defense against them. This sort of mindless destruction, a religious tantrum, is the same force that is behind many of the attacks on this good green planet. Religious extremists are not only eager to rip apart Bibles of which they do not approve, but look forward to the day when the Earth will be destroyed by a Wrathful God who will send everyone but them to the Lake of Fire. Rescuing a planet that God will destroy in just a few years is of no concern to them. They look forward to the big Earth-Burning, and maybe they will all have a fine lunch of fried chicken on that day.


Encyclopedia of Evolution
Rice, Stanley A. Encyclopedia of Evolution. New York: Facts on File, 2007.

Green Planet
Rice, Stanley A. Green Planet. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2009.

Upcoming Books:
Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
Encyclopedia of Biodiversity


Honest Ab
a blog about evolution and related topics

Stanley A. Rice writes books about plants, evolution, and the environment which are informative and authoritative, while remaining easy to understand and fun to read.  He also writes fiction.  He teaches courses in biology and botany at Southeastern Oklahoma State University
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Recently Published
Green Planet    
New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2009
ISBN: 978-0813544533

January-March 2008
  Green Peace
  Listen to the forest
  As interesting as watching grass grow
April-June 2008
  South with the spring
  Somebody oughta invent a machine...
  The Quiet Stand of Alders
  Saving the Environment—For Whom?
July-September 2008
  Welcome to the Republican climate!
  Goodbye, from the world’s biggest polluter!
  Yes, Virginia...
  Consider the lilies
  Small acts
  America the glutton
  Looking for a few good conservatives
October-December 2008
  A Good Time to be a Vulture
  A State of Embarrassment
  Just for Money?
  Shoot Something Furry
  Conservatives Are Nature-worshippers
  The Real World
  On the Brink of Collapse
  Winter Sleep
January-March 2009
  The Inspiration of Science
  February 12, 2009: An Important Date
  The Sabbath of the Earth
  Cottonwood Investments
  Witness Trees
  The Fundamental Problem
April-June 2009
  The End of Altruism
  A Lovers’ Embrace?
  We Can Afford Environmental Protection
  Dividing Up the World
  If Humans Vanished…
July-September 2009
  Henry David Thoreau, Prophet and Scientist
  Nature and Language
  The Olive Tree
  An Artificial Future
  Resurgence Of Racism In the South
  Mere Consumers
  You Are an Ecosystem
October-December 2009
  Childhood Experiences With Nature
  Be Conscious of Image
  Not for Profit?
  Absurd Creativity
  Fiscal Responsibility -- In Plants
Suggested Reading & Links

Lighter Reading


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All non-public-domain content not otherwise attributed copyright by Stanley A. Rice, 2008-2009.