Alas, my daughter and I are big fans of Vonnegut’s writing, but he’s showing signs of losing it. He sounds terribly unhealthy on the radio, and his performance on the Daily Show a while back was depressing. This morning, Vonnegut was on NPR, and said scientists were defending evolution because of “tribalism”, and that “my body and your body are miracles of design”, and that “natural selection couldn’t possibly have produced such machines.” Please, please remind me to stop blogging when my mind deteriorates that far, OK?
To call the body a “miracle of design” is begging the question, while denying the possibility of evolution is the argument from incredulity. Neither is at all persuasive. I would like to know if Vonnegut thinks all those scientists who insist that the Earth is roughly spherical are also arguing for tribal dogma, or whether he suspects that they might actually be relying on this little thing called evidence…and why he thinks biologists fall in the former category and not the latter.
Out of respect for his past writing career, though, I will refrain from cutting him up with a razor here. There were some signs in his interview that he hasn’t drunk deep of the ID kool-ade, but overall it was a sadly muddled exercise in sloppy reasoning, spoken without the sharpness and clarity I’ve expected from Vonnegut.