Ace evolutionary biologist and blogger Jeremy Yoder pops up in the comments on my post taking down “Spandrels of San Marco,” pointing us to a 1983 paper by Norman Ellstrand that makes the same point as Gould and Lewontin, but in a much funnier and more subtle way.
I should probably take some lessons in scientific rhetoric from Ellstrand. I just had an ms based on my zombie ideas post rejected, in part because the referees found the language off-putting and arrogant. I still believe it was appropriate for me to include rhetoric in the ms, for reasons discussed here. But I’m wondering if perhaps I should’ve chosen a rhetorical “rapier”, a la Ellstrand, rather than a “chainsaw”.