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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Like Punctuated Equilibrium, August 2, 2001
This review is from: The Evolutionists: The Struggle for Darwin's Soul (Hardcover)
The Evolutionists by Richard Morris is a good book, but not a great book. The core idea of the book is excellent and this makes the book worth reading. Central to the book is the fact that evolution happened and that no scientist working in any field dealing with life disputes evolution. Also critical to the book is the fact that scientists in an active area of study usually do not agree on the details. Morris quickly dispatches the creationists [sorry creationists, you may have convinced the general public in the US that creationism is part of the debate, but I suspect there is a special place in Hell for folks as intellectually dishonest as you guys are] and moves on to several areas of current debate in the evolutionary sciences, including punctuated equilibrium, evolutionary psychology and complexity theory. Morris provides good coverage of all these debates, but too often repeats himself . The book falls into a stasis of repetition punctuated by moments of brilliant lucidity. Since I was highly motivated, I got through the frequent recaps to the next batch of new insights. My fear is that a less motivated reader will fail to make it to the end of the book. I also worry about some of the focus on the personalities involved [yeah, I can see the title is The Evolutionists]. I have read every essay Stephen Jay Gould has written for Natural History and respect his intelligence and I enjoy Richard Dawkins books even though I don't always agree with him, but if Morris depicts their behavior correctly, I think we have a situation of intelligent men behaving badly and I would have liked the focus to stay on the substantive parts of the debate and minimize the ad hominem crappola. That said, I do think you should read this book.
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