In the U.S., Darwin still needs defending
By MICHAEL RUSE
Saturday, December 3, 2005 Page D6
Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life By Niles Eldredge
Norton, 256 pages, $49
I am an English-born Canadian who now lives in Florida. I am here because Ontario universities still fire people for being old. The United States regards ageism as a moral wrong, on a par with sexism and racism. This is one of the many things I find right about the United States, along with Saturday mail delivery and good-quality Sunday newspapers.
Yet after a lifetime of studying Americans — I have gone to school with them, I have argued with them, I have had sex with them, and now I live with them — I am still puzzled. Most particularly over religion. I cannot understand how anyone over the age of 12 can take seriously and literally the creation stories of Genesis. It is truly beyond me to fathom how someone can spend time and effort actually trying to work out the elephants’ living arrangements on the Ark. Yet this is the sort of stuff I deal with daily on my campus.