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Surprising Science

Darwin and Human Uniqueness

Professor of evolutionary paleobiology at the University of Cambridge, Simon Morris says one of Darwin’s detractors still raises interesting questions about human uniqueness.

“The paradox of human uniqueness shows no signs of dissipating. Think of the Australian philosopher David Stove’s intelligent, acerbic and hugely entertaining Darwinian Fairytales. Here, in a loosely connected set of essays, he argues that all that makes us human falls far beyond any Darwinian explanation. Yet Stove was no closet creationist. As an atheist, his attacks on religion, and much else besides, are bracing stuff. In his essay What is wrong with our thoughts, Stove announces that as soon as humans attempt ‘any depth or generality of thought, they go mad almost infallibly.'”


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