I wrote about naughty Thomas Nagel back in January. He has had the temerity to write a book pointing out 'the bleedin' obvious' that Darwinism cannot explain consciousness. Now he has popped up again in Arts & Letters Daily which pointed me to an essay in The New Republic by Leon Wieseltier. He describes the 'shock 'n' awe outrage' in Darwinian circles at Mr. Nagel's slim little book Mind and Cosmos:
[I]n which he has the impudence to suggest that “the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false,” and to offer thoughtful reasons to believe that the non-material dimensions of life—consciousness, reason, moral value, subjective experience—cannot be reduced to, or explained as having evolved tidily from, its material dimensions [...]
The one almost certain reaction from 'Darwinistas' (just like the 'Warmers') facing a critique of their beliefs is a screech of rage:
Steven Pinker took to Twitter and haughtily ruled that it was “the shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker.” Fuck him, he explained.
Thus, in my eyes, Mr. Pinker sinks to the level of 'Bishop' Dawkins! Nagel had warned earlier that any criticism of the 'Church of Darwinism' was likely to cause the formation of a mob and indeed that is what has occurred on publication of his recent book - if, that is, you can call a bunch of 'tweeters' a mob:
A mob is indeed forming, a mob of materialists, of free-thinking inquisitors. “In the present climate of a dominant scientific naturalism, heavily dependent on speculative Darwinian explanations of practically everything, and armed to the teeth against religion,” Nagel calmly writes, “... I would like to extend the boundaries of what is not regarded as unthinkable, in light of how little we really understand about the world.” This cannot be allowed! And so the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Secular Faith sprang into action. “If there were a philosophical Vatican,” Simon Blackburn declared in the New Statesman, “the book would be a good candidate for going on to the Index.” I hope that one day he regrets that sentence. It is not what Bruno, Galileo, Bacon, Descartes, Voltaire, Hume, Locke, Kant, and the other victims of the anti-philosophical Vatican had in mind.
No doubt Mr. Simon Blackburn would call himself a 'liberal' - yeeeees, quite! But let us turn from one load of old rubbish, the 'Darwinistas', to another, and here I mean real rubbish as studied for some ten years by my other 'Nagel/Nagle', Prof. Robin Nagle. She is a professor at New York University and has spent her time studying the 'Noo Yawk' garbage industry. I don't wish to be ungallant but whilst she might be the clinical associate professor of anthropology and urban studies, and from her photo looks to be a very attractive and elegant lady, my advice would be remain up wind of her as far as you can! Lawrence Biemiller at 'The Chron of High Ed' refers to her as 'Dr. Garbage':
So several dozen sanitation workers waiting for roll call take notice when, a
little before 6 a.m., she strides cheerfully into the sodium-vapor glare of the
Manhattan 2 garage, a hulking yellow-brick relic of mid-20th-century New York
that juts into the Hudson from the West Village. A sidelined collection
truck—what most people would just call a garbage truck—sits outside the door,
while salt spreaders are parked cheek by jowl inside (sanitation workers are
responsible for clearing snow as well as collecting trash). Over by the office,
guys are standing around in boisterous groups, sipping coffee, telling stories,
ribbing one another, and waiting to get their assignments for the day.
Several recognize Ms. Nagle. In some cases, that's because she has worked
alongside them—about 10 years ago, she decided that the best way to do field
research on the department was to get hired as an ordinary sanitation worker and
see DSNY from inside its lunchrooms and transfer facilities, to say nothing of
seeing it from behind the gaping maws of its trucks. Other guys know her because
she rode with them while collecting information for Picking Up, her new
book about the department and its people, or for one of her related projects,
like a series of oral histories she assigned as a class project at NYU two years
Admittedly, garbage collection and disposal is a somewhat esoteric subject but on the other hand, were I paying taxes in 'Noo Yawk' I would be very interested to learn that their dustmen (as we call them 'over here') can retire on half pay and full benefits after a mere 22 years service! I am sure there were all sorts of other highly interesting facts in Mr. Bielmiller's essay but that one stuck in my mind, rather as it will, I suspect, stick in the craws of many 'Noo Yawkers'!