On Darwin’s Rhetoric

By The Reader's Turn
The Reader's Turn
The Reader's Turn
September 1, 2021 Updated: September 1, 2021

Responding to Tim Klenk’s and Duncan Evans’s comments on Jean Chen’s article on evolution [“A Mom’s Research: A Deep Dive Into Evolution,” in the June 30–July 6, 2021, edition]:

Darwin was an excellent scientist when dealing with mundane things such as pigeon breeding. However, every time he tries to extrapolate human breeding of animals into the past to establish natural selection, he lapses into the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive is dependent on a prior condition of fact. For example, “If she smiled at me, then I would have asked her to dance.” Darwin never establishes that prior condition of fact, nor can he, for evolution takes too long to be observed. As a result, all he is left with is, “If evolution happened, then evolution would have happened.”

One more thing. When reading Darwin, one is shocked at how racist he was. Therefore, my recommendation to the Cancel Culture people is that they tear down every Darwin monument and expunge Evolution from every school everywhere. Be consistent.

Fred Baue