Darwin's descendant in Harper's
Posted: 07 February 2006 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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My favorite magazine, Harper's, outdid themselves this month (Feb. issue) by printing a long piece written by Charles Darwin's great-great grandson, Matthew Chapman. It's called God or Gorilla—A Darwin descendant at the Dover monkey trial.

I hope to see more of Chapman's writing as he's witty, pungent, and as observant of detail as you might expect of a descendant of Darwin. If this issue is no longer on your local newsstand, it's worth looking for at the library. My favorite paragraph came toward the end:

On December 20, 2005, Judge Jones ruled that the defendants' intelligent design policy violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. In a withering 139-page opinion, he found that the goal of the intelligent design movement is religious in nature, that intelligent design is not science and cannot be taught in Dover schools, and that the board's claimed reason for including intelligent design in the curriculum—solely because it was good science—was a "sham." In referring to board members, he used such words as "striking ignorance" and "breathtaking inanity." Additionally, he wrote that Buckingham and Bonsell [pro-ID attorneys] "had either testified inconsistently, or lied outright under oath on several occasions," and that "It is ironic that several of these individuals who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID policy." Amen.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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