Wednesday, January 14, 2009
'Bryan Appleyard continues to use The Sunday Times as a platform for pro-religious campaigning.' This is Gordon McCabe, the physicist I inspired to start a blog - 'How sharper than a serpent's tooth...'. Perhaps because I am an unusual hybrid among journalists, some readers get confused about the difference between comment and reportage. In this case, my job was to survey the impact Darwin has had on the world with, certainly, a touch of my own spin, but the idea that this included 'pro-religious campaigning' is downright weird. Gordon says I quote the creationist Dr David Menton 'without reproach'. What was I supposed to say? 'says Dr David Menton, who, by the way, is completely wrong about everything.' This would make for a troublesome read. Menton represents the views of millions of people, probably many more than active, faithful Darwinians. I'm not sure writing them out of official history is quite the right way to proceed. The same may be said of the many scientists - like Steven Rose - who do not go along with the view of ultra-Darwinians like Richard Dawkins. Science is not an ideology, it does not require a continuous paranoid defence against every hint of doubt. But, by Gordon and, not long ago, by the Royal Society, this seems to have been forgotten.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 8:12 am