Why I miss Stephen Jay Gould: this piece in the American Prospect by Harvey Bloom. As he writes, Stephen Jay Gould, who died of cancer at the age of 60 this past May, defined a place in American culture likely to remain vacant now that he is gone.
Among scientists he espoused a more creative, human and much less anal view of evolution than what we get blared at us in the megaphone of reductionist blowhards like Richard Dawkins. I like much of what Dawkins has written in the past, but it's obvious from his writing (especially recently) that he has a pole-vault up his rear end, and personally loathes people who do not agree with him in print. Less than a week had gone by after September 11th when the shrew felt compelled to remind the world that the World Trade Center was destroyed by religious fanatics and we can never be reminded enough just how evil religion truly is. (All religions in the Index of Dawkins are the same, and all are irredeemably E..V..I..L.)