Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Embarrassed for His Species

When skeptic Frederick Crews, the now retired chair of the UC Berkeley English Department, broke with psychoanalysis, "he set out to study various public enthusiasms, from the recovered memory craze, Rorschach tests, and belief in alien abductions to theosophy and 'intelligent design' creationism" reports Jake Fuchs in the Berkeley Daily Planet.

Crews’ latest book, Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays, will be published next week by Shoemaker & Hoard.

"Many of my fellow skeptics are Utopians who look forward to a heaven-on-earth from which all illusions have been banished," says Crews. "My hunch, on the contrary, is that we’re heading into a world of economic and demographic dislocations, strife over dwindling natural resources, increased superstition and sectarian conflict, and vulnerability to horrendous catastrophes, some of which will be our own fault. I’m embarrassed for my species, which has made a great mess but can’t seem to take responsibility for the enormous destruction that’s already well under way. But while I’m still here, I’d like to continue to speak up for values that I regard as universally human and 'planetary.'”

Red State Rabble has been a long-time fan of Crews' writing which we've followed in the New York Review of Books for many years. Crew's is an example of how squishy humanities types can -- and we think, must -- work with scientists to oppose superstition.


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