Putting Theory to the Test
WHAT DARWIN GOT WRONG. By Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 264 pp. $26
Americans love conspiracy theories. Many still think that shadowy plotters continue to cover up the identity of JFK’s “real” killers, and the popular notion that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by a cabal ofself-interested scientists is now enjoying its second or third wind. Thelongest-running conspiracy theory in science, however, depicts a fiendishly complex effort by scientists over the past 150 years to prop up a bankrupt Darwinian theory in spite of what its critics see as massive andself-evident flaws. Although nothing in What Darwin Got Wrong suggests that the authors, Rutgers University philosophy professor Jerry Fodor and cognitive scientist MassimoPiattelli-Palmarini, believe that a conspiracy is afoot, their writing follows the usualpattern.
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Edward J. Larson is a law professor at Pepperdine University and the author of eight books, including Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (2004) and Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (1997), which won the Pulitzer Prize for History.more from this author >>