Sad given how good Dennett’s writing is, that he has to devote almost a third of “Darwin’s Dangreous Idea” to refuting doubts about Darwinism created by Gould and Lewontin’s original paper and Gould’s high profile public views on evolutionary mechanisms. Burgess Shale – the boy who cried wolf, etc.
Gould was someone I read ten years go, the popular science “Life’s Grandeur”, and blogged previously when reading Dawkins that Gould’s points about which specific mechanisms of speciation dominated, that they were all just variations accomodated within the “natural selection” scheme, why the fuss ? Dennett concludes political (marxist) and religious (theistic) motivations that belie Gould’s stirring up confusion over Darwinian details, because he “secretly” doesn’t accept the core of it.
Remember Dennett introduced his book as “not a scientific work, but a book about science”. Who says science is just about objectivity ? (See previous Josephson post too. Communications are part of the problem, just like the Josephson examples, even cases where Gould would agree his views had been misinterpreted, the misinterpretation becomes widely embedded in the culture as “World renowned zoologist doubts Darwinism”, etc and exploited mercilessly by those whose agendas it suits. )
All roads continue to lead to this one problem.