Friday, October 12, 2012

Still writing

Paul Johnson’s Darwin, Portrait of a Genius: Conservatives smear Darwin by blaming him for Holocaust. - Slate Magazine

I was only talking about Paul Johnson's work and life on another site last night.  Well into his 80's now, I was aware that he was still writing, but his recent books don't seem to attract much attention, and I haven't read him for many years.   I really think his reputation suffered somewhat from the disclosure of his long standing affair near the end of the 1990's, after he had spent years being critical of the Royal family for not sticking to their marriages. 

Anyway, this Slate review says his latest book, on Charles Darwin, is really quite good, until it starts (allegedly) blaming his work on for most of the ills of the 20th century.

In fact, if I recall correctly, early in his book Modern Times, he partially blamed the Theory of Relativity as promoting belief in moral relativity in 20th century society, or at least the Left-ist side of it.

So, yes; Paul is usually very happy to point the finger at science as having detrimental effects on society.   Mind you, Bryan Appleyard's book Understanding the Present, which I enjoyed a lot, could be said to have a similar thesis, but goes way back further into the matter of the development of science since the enlightenment.  Appleyard's take on the matter is more convincing, I expect.

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