Daily Archives: 25/09/2013

David Attenborough the vitalist

David Attenborough is by far the greatest populariser of evolution this side of the Atlantic – far more so than the Gnu posterboy Richard Dawkins – and I suppose, because of the sheer quality of BBC documentaries, perhaps he is on the western side as well. But what kind of evolution does he actually believe? It’s pretty clear from interviews and pronouncements on the subject itself that he’s a fan of Darwin, and doesn’t depart in any important respect from classical Neodarwinism. But the stuff he prepares for popular consumption – that by which he has become a “public institution” – paradoxically preaches a quite different doctrine. And that actually … Continue reading

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