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Friday, November 02, 2012

An astute critic of Darwinism dies at 104

But Barzun's clarity is probably the precise reason his reputation is likely to go into eclipse in a decadent period. In “Jacques Barzun, wide-ranging cultural historian, dies at 104” (Washington Post, October 26, 2012),

Joe Holley offers a conventional view, implying that critiques of anyone but Darwin are acceptable. More here.

 And Scooped! The New York Times is already untelling the story of Barzun ... Actually, if he wanted to be an authentic witness, he could not spare Marx or Darwin what he did not spare others.

 And friends write to remind me of Gertrude Himmelfarb: At 90, still a sharp critic of rant, cant, and credulity about the past, and also a critic of the Darwin cult. She comes in for her share of abuse from the cultists too. Readers who do not care about critiques of Darwin might wish to consider this: In decadent times, cultural historians cannot get a serious discussion going about elite cult figures. And that is precisely the discussion most needed at any time.

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