We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Wolfe's strength over the years has been his power of observation, and not being afraid to write what he sees. This book is different, setting himself the task of trying to see through things that occurred in the past, and the attempts to understand them in the recent past of linguistics study.
I am very doubtful he is going to succeed at this and I am not running out to buy it. The evidence for speech and language being hard wired into humans by a long enabling process of evolution is more than just some essays by Chomsky.
Assistant Village Idiot
Every feature of every organism has a genetic component. Wolfe is suffering from what the Catholics call invincible ignorance.
According to Wolfe, Darwin was not so much a scientist as a religious figure, preaching his own personal “cosmogony.”
Darwin made a historic circumnavigation of the Earth collecting evidence nearly thirty years before he published Origin of Species — one of the greatest scientific adventures of all times! Then he spent years collecting and publishing additional evidence to support and develop his nascent theory, long before he was willing to put the theory before his peers. Darwin’s incremental approach allowed him to build and refine his argument, on a solid evidentiary basis.
Darwin’s intensive, multi-year study of barnacles established his reputation among scientists, while his study of earthworms was sufficient to make his public reputation; and the sheer volume of his scientific studies, including observations of moths, orchids, bees, beetles, coral reefs, as well as related studies of geology, made him one of the most important observational scientists of his age even without including Origin of Species.
Here is a list of Darwin’s primary scientific output:
• The zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
• Natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
• The Breeding of Animals
• The structure and distribution of coral reefs.
• Fertilisation of British orchids by insect agency
• On the agency of bees in the fertilisation of papilionaceous flowers
• Phototropism in plants
As well as published observations on living and fossil Cirripedia, animal intelligence, insectivorous plants; cross breeding hybrid dianths; the effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom; the different forms of flowers on plants of the same species; the effect of seawater on seeds; mouse-coloured breed of ponies; bees and the fertilisation of kidney beans; cross-breeds of strawberries; flowers and their unbidden guests; the power of movement in plants; the formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms; nectar-secreting organs of plants, Rhea americana, Chiasognathus Grantii, Carabus, Geospiza, Camarhynchus, Cactornis and Certhidea, Sagitta, planaria; Lizard’s eggs; observations of proofs of recent elevation on the coast of Chili; the geology of the Falkland Islands; on certain areas of elevation and subsidence in the Pacific and Indian oceans, as deduced from the study of coral formations; on the connexion of certain volcanic phenomena, and on the formation of mountain-chains and volcanoes, as the effects of continental elevations; vincas, frogs, rates, geese, butterflies, teasel, ants, holly berries and their bees, primrose, black sheep, mosquitoes, cherry blossoms, gladioli, penguin ducks, fumariaceae, influence of pollen on the appearance of seed, etc.
Without the Theory of Evolution, Darwin was one of the greatest empirical scientists of his age. With the Theory of Evolution, he revolutionized biology, a revolution which is still spawning entire new areas of research today.