Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How Did Mendel Get onto This List?

In the course of an otherwise sensible article in The Wall Street Journal, George Ball said:

Our secular fall from grace began with Copernicus, who dislodged the world from its celestial catbird seat. Later, Darwin established that man, far from being the animal kingdom's pièce de résistance, was a bit like a baboon in clothes. Then Mendel documented the laws of inheritance -- so much for free will -- and Freud subordinated what was then left of our minds to unseemly drives over which we have little control.

How did Mendel get onto this list? It has been known for millennia that children's personalities resemble their parents. Mendel helped to quantify it but that quantification can be used in the case for free will.

I won't more than mention that Freud is no longer taken seriously as a scientist.

This is yet another instance of the Copernican litany, the theory that the March of Progress has been about “dethroning mankind.” This theory has only two data points with real evidence (Copernicus and Darwin) justifying it.

Addendum: I just recalled an article in The Wall Street Journal about an executive sending out weird memos. IIRC, it was George Ball. It might be the article cited here: “Memo To: Mr. Ball, Re: Your Messages. Sir, They're Weird.”

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