The study of the Axial Age is almost beyond the capacity of modern scholars. I find that puzzling. But the article discussed today (scroll down) shows all the symptoms of the mindset that is leaving scientists stymied and unable to really evaluate social questions. They can’t even discuss modernity, let alone the religions of antiquity. They can’t even discuss atheism without getting confused. And the distinctions of buddhism and xtianity are beyond them. The problem has been diagnosed and addressed multiple times. But scientists are in a closed world: they never read anything outside of a narrow spectrum. You can see that in Sam Harris and the New Atheists: they are oblivious to the historical facts. People in the Darwin camp seem especially closed in. Many people, among them I suspect Dawkins, have never gone beyond the eighties on the subject of the Darwin debate. They follow the NCSE and Bill Nye and have never had to reckon with the challenges to Darwinism. It is almost beyond belief that Dawkins would promote his Climbing Mt Improbable and still get away with it. It takes about two mouseclicks to find the exposes of that book, but Dawkins lives in a cocoon as do his groupies. A clear discussion of the problems was synthesized in Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, but that book was immediately blackballed to such an extent I doubt most students have even read it. It was clear to many scholars in the thirties to early fifties that darwinism was problematical. That goes back to the ‘eclipse of darwinism’ phase around the turn of the century. So what happened from the fifties onward with the manipulation of the Synthesis remains a mystery of paradigm propaganda. Figures like Fred Hoyle clearly exposed the crucial flaw in darwinism, to no avail.
All in all it is a record of failure that is going to doom science as we know it. People will always mistrust science if it behaves in this fashion.
It would be nice if the left could lead the way to an exodus from darwinism. But leftists are mostly incapable of independent thought on evolution. History will record that rightwing Xtians synthesized the once science-sourced critiques of darwinism and led the way out of the paradigm.