[From a colleague:] There is a wonderful critique of Darwinism by the French zoologist Remy Chauvin. It is called Le darwinisme, ou La fin d’un mythe [Darwinism, or The end of a myth] (Editions du Rocher, 1997). It is even better, especially for polemical purposes, than the book by Chandebois, previously discussed on this blog. It includes close discussion of many specific cases, with calm and crushing objections (Kettlewell’s moths do not land on the trunks in nature, but under the leaves; Batesian “mimics” also occur among species, both of which are perfectly palatable to predators; etc., etc.). He also gives many statements of Darwinian reasoning that are so logically faulty and empirically vacuous that they would never be publishable in any other area of science. The overall tone is extremely serious and sober, and Chauvin is obviously extremely well informed. He leaves Darwinism in smoking ruins. Best of all, he cannot be accused of partisanship. Far from being a “creationist,” he rather takes the attitude of “a plague on both their houses.” He insists that we have no idea how evolution occurs, and simple scientific honesty compels us to say so.
In this book by Remy Chauvin, there is an amusing anecdote, recounted by the author on the authority of an unnamed friend. Here is a rough and ready translation (pp. 8-9): “[Chauvin’s friend] mentioned to [Dawkins’s wife] that he had observed that whenever anyone wished to speak about evolution with her husband, he would ask them a question: ‘Do you believe in God?’ And if they said yes, then he turned his back on that person. ‘Madame,’ my friend remarked, ‘your husband seems to be very afraid of God.’ ‘Certainly not, Monsieur,’ she replied, ‘but God ought to be very afraid of my husband.’ My friend’s jaw dropped . . .”