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Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution Paperback – March 15, 2007
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He very specifically doesn't believe in nonsense views of evolution; in particular, the "hard man" view of Herbert Spencer or its intellectual descendant, the "selfish gene" view of Dawkins and company. Stove ruthlessly mocks the preposterous premises of these ideas (which even a 'good' Popperian would instantly recognize as non-falsifiable piffle), simply by examining them for what they really are. He also points out numerous giant conceptual lacunae, counterfactuals and the examples of flat out nonsense that make up the evidence for sociobiological "theory." Why does Stove do this? Apparently, he was ahead of his time.Read more ›
It is not at all the case that Stove objects to Darwinism on religious grounds, in fact he believes that present life has by some means evolved from earlier forms; however he is quite certain that "Darwin's explanation of evolution, even though it is . . . still the best one available, is not true." Stove would object, and strongly so, to having his essays cast as being sympathetic to `creationism' or, so far as I can tell, `intelligent design', as he defines himself as a man "of no religion." His knowledge and scholarship of Darwinian theory is self-evidently vast; he suggests that he has "wasted" his time reading hundreds of Darwinism's books and `Darwinian Fairytales' makes it quite evident that he has indeed studied every prominent Darwinian "from 1859 to the present hour."
I had just begun reading Richard Dawkins' `The Blind Watchmaker' when I noticed that David Stove's `Darwinian Fairytales' had been reprinted. While reading them both it quickly seemed imperative that I read Dawkins' `The Selfish Gene' before proceeding with either TBW or DF. So that is what I did. Reading the three books in close conjunction was quite a fascinating experience, and, as I have indicated elsewhere (my review of TSG), Dawkins didn't fare to well.
Stove, the late Australian philosopher of science, effectively skewers Dawkins (especially TSG, but, to a lesser extent, TBW as well), Stove nails E.O.Read more ›
Stove highlights how illogical science can be silly or, in the case of neo-Darwinism applied to humankind, insulting. Midgley does that and more--especially by showing how Darwinism's core tenets are held by faith. Polanyi, though, is the scariest of the lot, for he describes (from his experiences of Nazism and Stalinism) how pop evolution has led to the inhumanities of abortion, euthanasia, eugenics and genocide.
When Stove attacks neo-Darwinians' use of purposive language (for, in order to, plan, strategy, etc.), and especially, when he compares it to the language of Intelligent Design, he is very, very good. I've long wondered how unguided natural forces, without the benefits of intent, are supposed to "adapt for" anything. Perhaps most delightful is Stove's description of how the anti-religious Dawkins has ordained himself the high priest of gene worship. At times, Stove takes too long (by, say, 20-30%) saying what he says. His prose is so delightful, though, that I forgive (even welcome) his verbosity.
Reviewers read books. Since "reviewer" John's last sentence points out that he has not read this one, I'm not sure what he was reviewing. If, however, he's looking for "real scientists" (i.e. not philosophers or Christians!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It didn't get to the heart of the problem. Darwinian Evolution is basically a problem because it erroneously attempts to explain 'survival of the fittest' as abstract rather than... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Barbara Chitwood
A wonderfully iconoclastic attack on the cult of Neo-Darwinism by an atheist philosopher. Stove does a wonderful job of highlighting the cracks not so much in evolutionary theory... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Andy Bannister
There is no legimate argument about anything in this book. Even at the time that it was written, to bash on Dawkins and pretend that you are taking a novel stand was pretty... Read morePublished on July 15, 2014 by Nathan R.
Excellent critique of Darwinian thought by a noted philosopher. He discusses the in-depth inadequacies of Darwinian thought with regard to humans. Read morePublished on March 28, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Stove's wonderful. The first essay alone is worth the Kindle price, and you get ten extra that are just as good. Read morePublished on January 30, 2014 by Walt
"Even if such a tribe could somehow continue in existence, it is extremely difficult to imagine how our species, as we now know it to be, could ever have graduated from so very... Read morePublished on January 29, 2014 by Geneticist
This book is a great book. Maybe most people should not read it.
Creationists should not read it, because they are going to take the shallowest possible view of it, and... Read more