Orwellism Watch: Biologist Jerry Coyne Takes Down Robert Wright a Peg

Atheist biologist Jerry Coyne, in his recent review for the New Republic of Robert Wright’s new book, The Evolution of God, catches Wright out on an Orwellian euphemism that Wright deploys to describe Islamic historical setbacks on the road to greater tolerance:

Here is how Wright dismisses the melancholy history of Jews under Islamic rule: “Over the centuries, Islamic tolerance of Christians and Jews (rather like Christian tolerance of Muslims and Jews) would fluctuate.” Fluctuate, indeed–between murder on the one hand and mere debasement on the other.

Coyne, as an atheist skeptical of Wright’s optimism concerning religious progress, is right to note Wright’s breezy gloss on so much painful history.

Score one for the atheist team.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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