Dennett replies to Wieseltier

Why Evolution Is True

Yesterday I highlighted—and criticizedNew Republic editor Leon Wieseltier’s attack on Steve Pinker’s recently-published defense of scientism. Pinker’s piece, which I thought was mild and reasonable, has apparently deeply upset many in the humanities.

Now, over on Edge, Dan Dennett has also published a short but spirited defense of Pinker, along with an introduction by John Brockman.

I’ll let you savor Dan’s invective yourself, but here’s a taste (my highlight):

Pomposity can be amusing, but pomposity sitting like an oversized hat on top of fear is hilarious. Wieseltier is afraid that the humanities are being overrun by thinkers from outside, who dare to tackle their precious problems—or “problematics” to use the, um, technical term favored by many in the humanities. He is right to be afraid. It is true that there is a crowd of often overconfident scientists impatiently addressing the big questions with scant appreciation of the…

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