Singer's A Darwinian Left

ermadog at ermadog at
Tue Dec 11 22:35:54 MST 2001

On Mon, 10 Dec 2001 nemonemini at wrote:

> This is a reasonable stance, actually, taking the fact of evolution,
> and distancing oneself toward the theoretical aspects.

I do nothing of the kind, actually. I simply observe Occam's Razor: thou
shalt not multiply entities. Starting with Engels' _Transitions_, I
already have a quite reasonable basis for developing a materialist
understanding of human nature, an understanding which I supplement with
general readings in anthropology, primatology, and other fields. This is
by no means an exhaustive explanation; but, it provides a working theory
with which to counter racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on.

For this, a simple understanding of the fact of evolution is sufficient.

> This Creationist, P. Johnson, in
> Darwin on Trial, caught them by surprise. Enough's enough he said, as
> a lawyer who knew there was a problem here, by simple inspection of
> the demeanor of the arguments. This work should have been done by
> secular thought, the left, instead we have Singer trying to announce
> sociobiologization of the left. I like Singer, but this is idiocy.

You've got to be kidding. First, let me tell you a little something about
the bourgeois courts: they are not forums of rigourous polemic and debate.
Rather, they are arenas of adversarial contest, at least in the areas of
the world which have inherited the British common law system of
jurisprudence. (I believe the European model is more inquisitorial.) They
do not determine truth: they determine, as Robert Frost put it, "who has
the better lawyer".

If you wish a rigourous critique of _Darwin on Trial_, I suggest you check
out Farrel Till's biblical errancy list, where this book has been
discussed ad nauseum. You may wish to do the folks over there a favour and
peruse the archives before introducing the same tired old arguments to
people who have seen them before.

Another example of the trouble lawyers can get into when they stray
outside their field is _The Case For Christ_, by Lee Strobel, which has
been critiqued over at

Joan Cameron

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