Re: [asa] Morris reviews Wilson

From: Robert Schneider <>
Date: Mon Sep 25 2006 - 13:53:04 EDT

Thanks for the comments from the review, Karl. It does not surprise me that Morris would say that Wilson's programme is "underpinned by an incoherent metaphysics." That was my impression of On Human Nature, when I read it back in 1978. I also thought his argument in that book was poorly reasoned. I recently reviewed my marginal comments, and found they have held up after nearly twenty years.

Bob Schneider
  ----- Original Message -----
  Sent: Monday, September 25, 2006 1:03 PM
  Subject: [asa] Morris reviews Wilson

  The latest issue of Nature (21 Sept.) has a review of E.O. Wilson's book "The Creation" by paleontologist Simon Conway Morris. His comments include:

  "[Wilson's plan] is utimately a thinly disguised programme to hijack religious energy and divert it into the secular arena."

  "Such a pantheistic agenda has not the remotest chance of working, but it also reveals a monumental misapprehension of what religion is actually trying to do."

  "[Wilson's programme] underpinned by an incoherent metaphysics."

  "The failure of his pantheistic agenda lies in the recurrent inability of materialists to understand that the decision to protect the biosphere can only derive from an ethical imperative that is itself independent of the natural world."

  Given my respect for S.C. Morris's work, this review doesn't exactly make me want to run out and read the book. But despite the pointed quotes, Morris also manages to show respect for Wilson (even as he skewers him in that oh-so-polite British way).

  Karl V. Evans

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Received on Mon Sep 25 13:53:29 2006

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