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Letters

The Model Scientist?

This [Neil Gussman with Sarah Reisert, "The Model Scientist?", November/December 2010] rings so true! In fact I think Spockish characters are more likely to be found in disciplines other than science. Science is too much fun for pure logic. Among my science friends are Ken Miller, who umpires girls' softball in New England because he loves the game. And Francis Collins, who writes and performs corny songs at august university commencements. John Polkinghorne has to be the friendliest guy in England, eager to chat with anyone about what interests them. I have eaten gelato in Venice with Owen Gingerich while he made unSpockish comments about the people strolling by. Scientists love their work, and that breeds a carefree, fun-loving approach to everything in life. A pox on Gene Roddenberry!

Karl Giberson
Vice-President, BioLogos Foundation
San Diego, Calif.
[on the website]

Bias? Ignorance? Polemics?

The group of four reviews in your November/December issue on free enterprise economies [Lauren F. Winner, "The Most Satisfying Trade"; Stewart Davenport, "Pro-Capitalist Christendom"; Eugene McCarraher, "The Command Economy of Freedom"; Andrew P. Morriss, "The Bourgeois Revaluation"] was not as slanted to the left as I had feared. Three of the four reviewers were clearly hostile to capitalism and one sort of neutral. Nevertheless, we read such clunkers as Stewart Davenport's assertion that the tendency to excess is inextricably built in to the capitalist system. To the contrary, the economy would probably be healthier if people were less greedy and/or foolish. Lauren Winner warns against twisting a "finely wrought historical analysis into a tendentious morality tale," and then does just that. The less said about Eugene McCarraher's narrow, sarcastic polemics the better.

What is really disappointing is that the discussion hasn't progressed much for many decades. The reviewers' critiques of free market capitalism have been made many times in the past. The ...

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