I am currently reading Charles Darwin (Blackwell Great Minds), and so far I mainly like it.
Ruse, as you may know, is a philosopher, something of a science historian, and a science writer who has criticized what he calls “strident” atheism for being too fundamentalist. So that is as annoying as hell. The volume at hand has a large chapter on this issue, and if you read it not knowing about this earlier debate, I think you would come away not being too annoyed, and might even enjoy it, if you consider yourself a .. ahem … ‘strident’ atheist. It is annoying, however, that Ruse places “atheism” not on it’s own line in the Index, but rather, as an item under Religion.
In any event, this is not what the book is about. It is about Charles Darwin and his impact in the broader (including religious) world. I find this book to have two traits that are very positive: One is that it is fairly accessible. Much written in philosophy and history of science comes from a tradition in those areas of speaking over the head … or trying to anyway …. of the “average intelligent” reader. Ruse does not do that. At the same time, this book seems reasonably rigorous and carefully done.
This is not a review, just a notice that I’ve got it in my hands and I’m looking at it. I’ll keep you posted.
Oh, by the way, in my Category List for this blog, I have Religion as a subcategory of Atheism. Just thought you’d find that funny.