Allen Esterson has a wonderful article on a 2009 book by Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin’s Sacred Cause, in which they claim that moral passion about the horrors of slavery was Darwin’s motivation for “determined pursuit of an explanatory theory for the transformation of species of which he became convinced as a result of his experiences during the Beagle voyage of 1831 to 1836.”
I once tried to read their 1991 biography of Darwin but I stopped fairly soon because it’s full of nudging innuendo about motives and agendas and complicity – you know the kind of thing. It was obvious bullshit, because it was always stuff they were reading in, not anything they demonstrated or offered good evidence for. I found it very annoying and smug, and it’s a treat to see Allen whisk aside the curtain.
This article explores the means by which the authors seek to persuade readers of the validity of their thesis, and concludes that far from providing compelling evidence, by providing a mass of historically interesting material relating to slavery that is actually tangential to their case, they obscure the fact that they fail to accomplish their aim.
Yes that sounds like them.