Re: Book Review - The Descent of the Child (Elaine Morgan)

Robert Groover (
Wed, 19 Jul 1995 12:18:47 GMT (Daniel Yee) writes:

>In article <>,
>Robert Groover <> wrote:

>>I also think it is unfair to slap Morgan both as a popularizer and also as
>>insufficiently written-down, which the review seems to do.
> As for "slapping" her as a
>populariser, does "in the best traditions of popular science writing"
>seem like a slap? I am not one of those people who equate "popular"
>with "worthless" or "wrong".
Your first mention of popularization was "_The Descent of the
Child_ is fairly shallow -- it is popular science, after all..."
After that, I took your other references as condescending - I'm glad to
learn I mistook your thrust, and I apologize for the misunderstanding.

>I didn't write anything about Morgan being "insufficiently" written
>down. If anything, my complaint about inclusive languge is an
>argument against *excessive* writing-down!
The statement to which I was referring was "This sort of intentional
language is used by almost everyone who writes about evolution, but while
it is reasonable in academic works, where the audience can be assumed to
understand what is really meant, I don't think it is a good idea in
popular ones."

>I said nothing about "old hat"! I don't know the field enough to know
>whether any of the ideas were genuinely original, but a lot of the
>material was new to me.

You are quite right: I misread your post, and I apologize.

Robert Groover (PGP key on request)
Member ECS, AVS, ACM, OSA, Sen.Mem.IEEE, Reg'd Patent Atty
"Perhaps I too am a dragon, only dreaming I am a book."