Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Genesis Enigma Again

Richard Fortey, late of the Natural History Museum in London and world renowned expert on trilobites, has reviewed The Genesis Enigma for the Times Literary Supplement. If I recall, we have previously disapproved of this book by Andrew Parker on the Quodlibeta forum.

Fortey concludes,

The reviewer has a difficult choice when faced with a book like The Genesis Enigma. Should it be given the oxygen of publicity? Or should it be ignored? To treat such a book at length in the TLS is to award it a seriousness it does not really deserve, but what has propelled me to do so is the invocation of science and scientists in support of Parker’s dodgy thesis. It is important that scientific evidence be honestly treated. There is an alarming tendency today to regard science as “just an opinion”. I do think it possible that some anti-rationalists might welcome Parker’s book to show how much a matter of opinion science can be. It is not, of course; it stands or falls on evidence. Moreover, the endpapers of The Genesis Enigma emphasize Parker’s apparently respectable positions in the scientific establishment, as an Honorary Research Fellow of Green Templeton College at Oxford. He does, in one sense, speak for science, and he has done science no favours.

I can't say I disagree with that.

Discuss this post at the Quodlibeta Forum


The Perplexed Seeker said...

Whilst I agree with the general assessment, I can't help but admire the courage of the author. It's very rare in science for someone to have the guts to come up with a truly crazy theory, and to do it right in the middle of the year-long Festival of St. Darwin even more so!

Let's hear it for those who are unafraid to think outside the box, no matter how wacky their pet theories may be.

Anonymous said...

Perplexed Seeker:

Be VERY careful what you wish might just get it.