Another Year Evolves

“If T.H. Huxley was ‘Darwin’s bulldog’, the Oxford emeritus professor for the public understanding of science, Richard Dawkins, has been called his unmuzzled rottweiler . . . “

In “The Darwin Show” Steven Shapin at the LRB’s website assesses this passing Darwin Year with a look at its various festivities and dustups, including among other things Dawkins’ occassionally over-the-top evangelizing, current popular perceptions of Darwin’s character and personality, and a glimpse of the real debate, which has been largely left to languish in the background, within the scientific community of biologists, on evolutionary theory–pro or con adaptationism . . . gradualism or punctuated equilibrium? Or as Shapin puts it:

“. . . biologists themselves are not now singing from the same evolutionary hymn-sheet, and you might not know that from some of the enthusiastic accounts of Darwinism as ‘fact’.”

(By which of course he does not mean to suggest that evolution isn’t fact.)

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