11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Well worth it for the history, 22 Jun 2001
As a history of the ideas of Darwin, genetics and the collision of the hard and soft sciences it's hard to fault. A good companion to 'The Darwin Wars' by Andrew Brown. However the 'great synthesis' he teases us with throughout the book, while perfectly reasonable, comes as rather a damp squib. If I have a complaint it is that he, as does Brown, pretty much skips Kimura's neutral theory. This is something I'd like to know more about, but I have a terrible feeling that it wouldn't sit too well with the rest of the book. Also I feel he is far too indulgent with Daniel Dennett, anyone claiming a universal solution to everything should be treated with more caution. The spat between the intemperate philosopher and H. Allen Orr gives an entirely different impression to that given here. Dennett seems to have a Sokalist (without the good intentions) approach to his work, talking philosophy to scientists, science to philosophers and combining the two to terrify the superstitious stiffs in the pop science section. All in all though, a worthwhile read.