Saturday, February 18, 2006

Kick him when he's down

OK, this is petty , but there are few things I like more than arrogant people getting bitch-slapped in book reviews. If there was ever someone who needed it, it is Daniel Dennett. He is like those people from engineering who think every other department in the company should work just like engineering does. In a prior book he argued that all thinkers and analysts in every field on earth should pack it up, cause Darwin has it all figured out. Physics? Take a look at Darwin. Sports? Read any Darwin? International politics? Your man is Darwin.

Dennett, not surprisingly, also has a giant hard-on for bashing religion. Let me tell you, if there is anything more insufferable than a religous extremist, it's arrogant spouting atheists. Man do they get on my nerves. So I am thrilled to see this one get thrashed. Check out Leon Wieseltier's extensive take-down of Dennett's latest. It's like Wieseltier met him after school, beat him up in front of his girlfriend and made him say "I like to eat poop."

Take this line for example "In his own opinion, Dennett is a hero. He is in the business of emancipation, and he reveres himself for it. "By asking for an accounting of the pros and cons of religion, I risk getting poked in the nose or worse," he declares, "and yet I persist." Giordano Bruno, with tenure at Tufts!"

And it is three pages of that.

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