David Gelernter Takes On Darwinism

David Gelernter is one of a small number of people in the world whom I would characterize as a genuine independent thinker. But then, I would say that, given that he’s one of the few conservatives on the faculty of Yale, where he is a professor of computer science. He has written widely, often outside his primary field, including on things like culture and art criticism. He was famously severely injured in 1993 by a bomb sent by the Unabomber. As an example of the extent to which he truly doesn’t care what his academic peers think of him, he wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in October 2016 supporting Trump for President (or, perhaps more accurately, stating that the only way to protect the country from the disaster of Hillary was to vote for Trump).

In the Spring 2019 issue of the Claremont Review of Books, Gelernter steps on another super-high-voltage third rail — Darwinism. Moreover, he does it in the context of writing what is essentially a favorable review of a 2013 book titled “Darwin’s Doubt” by a guy named Stephen Meyer. Meyer is one of the leading promoters of the counter-theory to Darwinism called “intelligent design,” as can be seen in the subtitle of Meyer’s book: “The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design.” I doubt that there is any more reviled guy in the field of origin of species than Meyer. (First line of Meyer’s Wikipedia bio: “Stephen C. Meyer (born 1958) is an American advocate of the pseudoscientific principle of intelligent design.”) Nasty! So what has inspired Gelernter to take this one on? . . .

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