Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Darwin via Stephen Jay Gould
Reading and discussing Gould's essay, Darwin's Middle Road, tomorrow. Gould, who was an evolutionary biologist, is a powerful writer whose arguments seem to form quite effortlessly. His point in this piece is that Darwin combined inductivism and "eureka-ism" to great effect--the theory of evolution. To read this essay from The Panda's Thumb is to understand one of the greatest ironies in modern science: Darwin's great contribution to science was the result of close observation, yes--but also wide reading in economics, theology, and moral philosophy.