|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
Problem with Mercury News/Philadelphia Inquirer obituary
An obituary for Stephen Jay Gould by the Mercury News/Philadelphia Inquirer quoted many people about Gould. Here's what they reported from Henry Morris and Richard Dawkins:
|``We would honor him as a worthy opponent and will miss his great writing,'' said Henry Morris, founder and president emeritus of the Institute for Creation Research in El Cajon. ``Many of us creationist scientists thoroughly enjoyed reading -- and quoting from -- his books.''|
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, a longtime critic of Gould, once wrote: ``He massively over-hyped his own work, and has a grossly exaggerated opinion of the worth of his ideas.''
-- Mercury News/Philadelphia Inquirer obituary
While the reporters went to the trouble of talking to Henry Morris, they apparently failed to give Dawkins the same courtesy, citing instead something written in another context an unspecified length of time ago. Unfortunately, the text does not emphasize the point that Dawkins's comments were not made in the context established by the Morris quote just previous, which has misled some readers already.
I wrote Richard Dawkins about the Mercury News/Philadelphia Inquirer obituary, and he gave me permission to publicly release the following quote:
|For good or ill, Steve Gould had a huge influence on American scientific culture, and on balance the good came out on top. Although we disagreed about much, we shared much too, including a spellbound delight in the wonders of the natural world, and a shared conviction that such wonders deserve nothing less than a purely natural explanation. His powerful voice will echo on for a long time.|
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker