What’s The Point – Part II

Here we go again, more bilge to wade through. This time it’s Jonathan Jones, whom I understand to be an art critic, claiming that in the area of writing about Natural selection: “Give me Darwin over Dawkins any day.“

Well, he’s every right to claim that of course, but his reasons don’t stand up to much scrutiny:

“Darwin is the finest fruit of English empiricism. His modest presentation of evidence contrasts, I am sorry to say, with the rhetorical stridency of Richard Dawkins. Visit the famous atheist’s website and you will see two causes being pushed. Dawkins is campaigning with other secular stars against the pope’s visit to Britain. Meanwhile he is touring the paperback of his book The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. The trouble with this book is that it lacks Darwin’s empirical style. Where the Victorian writer presented masses of evidence, and let his astonishing, earth-shattering theory emerge from common-sense observations of nature, Dawkins lacks the patience, at this point in his career, to let natural history speak for itself. He has become the mirror image of the theological dogmatists he despises.

He just can’t separate science from the debate he has got into with religious people.”

Jones seems to have read a different version of The Greatest Show on Earth from the one that I did. Mine has Dawkins present and review the evidence, both that which Darwin saw and that which has become available in the 150 years since Darwin first published. As Jerry Coyne says, it’s “chapter after chapter of solid biology, natural history, genetics, evo-devo, and the like”.

And if Dawkins can’t resist slipping in the occasional jab at the idiocy of creationists in the face of the mountains of evidence, then I, for one, cannot blame him. If it were me, I’d be screaming in their faces to get in the fecking sack, yer fecking eejits

It’s all I can do to refrain from saying the same to a certain Mr. Jonathan Jones, erstwhile art critic of the Guardian and jury member for the 2009 Turner Prize. As Jerry Coyne says:

“Jones is clearly out of his element here, which is writing about pictures of dogs playing poker. In his haste to defend faith against the depredations of Dawkins, he makes a complete fool of himself.”

Oh, bugger it; Get in the fecking sack, Mr. Jones…

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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