As both of you will know by now, my next book, which I’m writing now, will be called The Beowulf Effect: Fossils, Evolution and the Human Condition. In it, I revisit some of the themes I first explored in my book In Search of Deep Time more than a decade ago, specifically, the common mistake made by evolutionary biologists in re-telling evolutionary events as a story, glossing over the many gaps in the tale.
Cretins creationists have happily seized on some of the things I’ve said, quoting liberally out of context, as if I am exposing evolution as a cover-up, or that criticism of some of the great pedogogical clichés of evolution – in particular the canonical parade of primitive forms advancing inexorably to advancement – amounts to criticism of evolution itself.
The latest stream of feculent arse-dribble from Devotees of the Invisible Sky Fairy (oh my! I am beginning to sound like PZ Myers – perish the thought!) comes in response to a review I’ve written in Your Favorite Weekly Professional Science Magazine Beginning With N about an excellent book called The Fossil Chronicles by Dean Falk. My review starts in this fashion:
We have all seen the canonical parade of apes, each one becoming more human. We know that, as a depiction of evolution, this line-up is tosh. Yet we cling to it.
Well, hardly is the ink dry than various miasmic gobbets of effluent from various knuckle-shuffling bronze-agers eructate onto the surface. Here is Uncommon Descent on the subject, and, if you can bear it, something called God’s iPod. This example is only bearable because it’s in a foreign language.
In The Beowulf Effect I am devoting a whole chapter to a collection of cretinist howlers directed at In Search of Deep Time and my other writings, as a kind of public service, so that if they quote me out of context from other parts of the book, one can always point to a chapter they can call their own. If you find any, please do pass them on. I already have the perfect epigraph for the chapter heading:
There is no God (Psalms 14:1)
I close with something I saw recently on the interwebs. It’s probably not for family viewing.
Religion is like a penis.
If you have one, be proud of it.
But please don’t wave it about in public.
But hold! I see it’s almost time for Downton Abbey.
UPDATE: Here is an altogether more sensible view of Falk’s book and my review of it.