Friday, May 25, 2012

This is pretty funny …

… Richard Dawkins on The descent of Edward Wilson. (Hat tip, Dave Lull).

Then there’s the patrician hauteur with which Wilson ignores the very serious drubbing his Nature paper received. He doesn’t even mention those many critics: not a single, solitary sentence. Does he think his authority justifies going over the heads of experts and appealing directly to a popular audience, as if the professional controversy didn’t exist—as if acceptance of his (tiny) minority view were a done deal? “The beautiful theory [kin selection, see below] never worked well anyway, and now it has collapsed.” Yes it did and does work, and no it hasn’t collapsed. For Wilson not to acknowledge that he speaks for himself against the great majority of his professional colleagues is—it pains me to say this of a lifelong hero —an act of wanton arrogance.

Well, when it comes to "wanton arrogance" Dawkins sure knows what he's talking about, being pretty wantonly arrogant himself. Don't believe me? Well, then read The God Delusion and note all the self-congratulatory passages therein. 

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