I’ve reported on this blog Coyne’s NewRepublicÃ‚Â review of Coulter (go here) and Hotz’s LATimes review of Quammen, Brockman, an Shermer (go here). There’s an interesting contradiction between the two reviews. See if you can catch it.
Compare Jerry Coyne’s insistence thatÃ‚Â
The real reason Coulter goes after evolution is not because it’s wrong, but because she doesn’t like it–it doesn’t accord with how she thinks the world should be. That’s because she feels, along with many Americans, that “Darwin’s theory overturned every aspect of Biblical morality.” What’s so sad–not so much for Coulter as for Americans as a whole–is that this idea is simply wrong. Darwinism, after all, is just a body of thought about the origin and change of biological diversity, not a handbook of ethics. (I just consulted my copy of The Origin of Species, and I swear that there’s nothing in there about abortion or eugenics, much less about shtupping one’s secretary.)Ã‚Â
with Quammen’s assessment of Darwin as endorsed by Hotz:
As Quammen so ably documents, Darwin clearly understood the challenge that natural selection posed to the conventional Victorian Christian faith that sustained his friends and family. No one was more reluctant to espouse it publicly or more distressed by its implications. Indeed, it steadily undermined his own belief in God, drove a wedge in his marriage and nearly broke his health. He brooded privately over his findings for 21 years before making them public.
Yet he finally embraced his brainchild, impelled by an unflinching intellectual honesty, the weight of the evidence and the imperative of an undeniable idea. “There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection,” Darwin wrote, “than in the course which the wind blows.”Ã‚Â
As one of my colleagues asks, “Does anybody detect a problem here?Ã‚Â Coyne treats as perfectly obvious something that is the complete opposite of what Hotz regards as perfectly obvious.Ã‚Â And Hotz would be regarded as being on the same side as Coyne.Ã‚Â How long can the Darwinists get away with this?”