quinta-feira, 7 de fevereiro de 2008

Não fui eu que escrevi, mas bem gostaria...

Perhaps no individual has had such a sweeping influence on so many facets of social and intellectual life as Charles Darwin, born on 12 February 1809. Of the other two of the great nineteenth-century triumvirate of European thinkers, Marx's ideas have been distorted beyond recognition in their political execution, and Freud's approach to the psyche no longer merits scientific recognition. Neither man had Darwin's impact on the structure of empirical knowledge.

In the past century and a half, Darwin's ideas have inspired powerful images and insights in science, humanities and the arts. Meanwhile, countless commentators ignorant of his meaning have borrowed his eloquence to plump their own chickens — from capitalism to 'evolutionary psychology'. Darwin has been invoked as the demon responsible for a variety of perceived heartless ills of society, including atheism, Nazism, communism, abortion, homosexuality, stem-cell research, same-sex marriage, and the abridgement of all our natural freedoms. One can scarcely imagine the horror that Darwin would feel at the misunderstanding, misappropriation and vilification of his ideas in the 125 years since his death.

Assim começa um ensaio de Kevin Padian, sobre Darwin no último número da revista Nature (o texto completo, infelizmente, é só para assinantes, mas vale bem a pena, sobretudo para quem conhece pouco, é um bom artigo de divulgação).