however, Dennett (1995b, p. 17) presents his book as a "true" and authoritative historical account and explication of an idea of Charles Darwin's, not his, and the "Darwinian Revolution" that is taken to have followed from it. What Dennett attempts to do is to exploit what Gould and Lewontin (1979) have called the "sainthood" or "divinity" of Darwin to legitimize his own theory. This is extremely misleading, however, because whatever may or may not be said about Darwin or his place in the history of evolutionary theory, he was certainly not a neo-Pythagorean reductionist like Dennett (or Dawkins). In addition, given the vast literature in the history and philosophy of science on the rise of evolutionary theory, Dennett's "Whiggish" account of the "Darwinian Revolution" is not only deeply misleading, but, like his thermodynamics, out of date. It is certainly not the "true" or accurate account of history that Dennett makes it out to be.
"Whig history" is the name given to an inaccurate or mythical view of history developed by systematically "distorting history ... to influence the general view of the past" (Bowler, 1988, p. 16) in a way that will support the position or social interests of those doing the constructing, and the Darwinian Revolution, perhaps the most widely studied scientific revolution in history, is commonly used by historians of science as an example - This is because, in Bowler's (1988, p. 16) words, although none of this is mentioned in Dennett's text, "this is exactly the pattern followed by the scientific community to create the conventional image of the Darwinian Revolution," an ideological myth that lent support to the rise of the Victorian capitalism and global industrialization. As a consequence, it has become common among historians and philosophers of science to refer to the popular conception of the Darwinian Revolution, the "great man" with the "great idea," as the "myth" of Darwinism (e.g., Bowler, 1988, 1989; Gilson, 1984; Lovtrup, 1987), and it is a rehash of this standard mythological history that Dennett presents without so much as a nod towards the widely known countervailing historical facts.
Paradigms are defined by their core assumptions, and thus to change from one set of core assumptions to another is, by definition, to change paradigms, or effect a scientific revolution. Whig histories, or historical creation myths, which in the context of modern science have typically taken the form of "great men stories," can be seen as part of what Kuhn (1962), Lakatos (1970), and others have recognized as the irrational or nonscientific component in scientific revolutions-part of the means by which the core assumptions of a "paradigm" in Kuhn's terms, or equivalently of a "research program" in Lakatos's are immunized or protected from challenge or falsification despite, or in the face of, countervailing or anomalous facts (call this "Kuhnian denial"). Kuhnian denial is isomorphic in all respects with denial as it is popularly understood at the individual level-the closer the challenge or set of countervailing facts to the core, and the more dysfunctional the paradigm, in other words, the more of a "degenerating research program," in Lakatos's (1970) terms, it is (see Appendix) the greater the measure of denial or irrationality.