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Darwin in Malibu by Crispin Whittell

Darwin in Malibu

by Crispin Whittell

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An interesting premise. Darwin and Huxley meet in the afterlife, and are joined by "Soapy" Sam Wilberforce, with whom Huxley had a now famous debate. They discuss Darwin's theory, with Wilberforce attempting to win his way into heaven by convincing Darwin of the rightness of Genesis. To do this, he attempts to convince Huxley. The play could have been very good; indeed, the discussions of evolution are some of the better that I have read in such a breezy work of fiction, and the arguments against God strong and well-stated by Huxley. The problem is that the author breezes over a great deal of it, and the intent apparently is to portray Huxley as an unbending ideologue, Wilberforce as a likeable fool, and Darwin as the agnostic mediator who is willing to accept all sides of the argument to some extent. The intent apparently was to demonstrate that the only correct point of view is one that accepts an allegorical view of Genesis mushed together with a muddled view of evolution, and all mixed up with a young women who is present for some reason known only to the author. It is a shame the author didn't appear to realize that he gave all the best arguments to Huxley, and nothing Darwin says (which is very little of any real substance) actually refutes the arguments at all. And why Malibu? That is totally unclear, unless the author just likes Malibu and thinks that is what heaven will be like (God forbid!). Or unless he just liked the anomaly of putting the grand old man of English science into a setting of total frivolity and hedonism. ( )
1 vote Devil_llama | Sep 30, 2013 |
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