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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Stupid Argument

As I have mentioned before, the intention of this blog was never meant to be contentious or ranting. Perhaps I'm just having a belligerent couple of weeks with this Aristotle essay hanging over my head, but I was once again struck by the inane stupidity of an article today and felt the need to respond. The article compares Darwin and Lincoln and tries to decide who was the more important historical figure. It can be found here.

While the premise of the article is a little stupid, I would be willing to forgive that for the sake of generating popular interest in historical figures. However, the part that I couldn't let slide was the utter ridiculousness of the conclusion. The article concludes that Darwin was less important because Wallace also had the idea of natural selection, though less rigorously developed, so we would simply have inevitably figured out natural selection with or without Darwin. However, if you stop for a moment and consider that argument, I'm pretty sure that if Lincoln had not existed there still would have been a 16th President of the United States of America. Sure, he might not have handled things as well as Lincoln did, but that argument didn't seem to stop the author of the article thinking that Darwin wasn't so important after all.

Anyway, maybe I'm just cranky.