A pretty conceit, or burnt chops?

Nice pun, but surely this paragraph is overcooked.

Richard Dawkins’s new book (which he describes as his “missing link”, presenting as it does the complete Darwinian case rather than – as in his earlier works – exploring parts in detail) gives the fact-rejecters their just deserts. He sets out to polish off their flummery. Dawkins compares creationists to Holocaust deniers and spoons, with relish, an acid sauce of mockery onto that absurd confection of half-baked ideas.

It’s from Professor Steve Jones’ (Genetics, University College, London) review of Richard Dawkin’s new book about Darwin, The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution. The review was published in The Telegraph.

What say you, gentle readers?


9 responses to “A pretty conceit, or burnt chops?

  1. I don’t even like the pun. Most people think it’s ‘just desserts’ as it is, and should not, in my view, be encouraged.

  2. A horrible paragraph. It’s all wrong to mention the Holocaust and whimsical culinary metaphors in the same breath.
    I’m looking forward to reading Dawkins’ new book. However, while I’m all for heaping mockery on creationists, it seems way over the top to be likening them Holocaust deniers.

    I’m interested in your phrase ‘burnt chops’ – I take it from the usage you mean something way overdone. We have a different usage in our family – it is a convenient shorthand for beyond-the-call-of-duty maternal sacrifice, as in ‘Mother always takes the burnt chop’. Heh.

  3. We have that usage of “burnt chop” too, Carol, and it was in my mind as I wrote the post. A sub-text, or a sub-sub-sub-text, seeing as I don’t know exactly what I meant by using it.

  4. Sadly, I was well through my arts degree, as a mature-age student, before I realised that it was nothing to do with jelly and icecream and the like.

    (Hangs head in shame and shuffles off.)

  5. That writing is an appalling meta mixedphor.

  6. Just deserts – um, only just discovered it’s not the jelly etc thanks to your comment and Google.

    (Head even lower and not so much shuffle as slinking away.)

  7. To be fair, the review itself is better than that paragraph might suggest. I liked the second paragraph:

    “Creationists have the same talent. For them, evidence is of no interest. I once told someone who used the enormous gap in the fossil record between the chimp-human ancestor and modern chimpanzees as evidence against evolution that it had been partly filled: an ancestral chimp half a million years old had just been found. His face lit up: “See,” he said. “Now there are two gaps!” “

  8. I don’t think desserters should be one whit ashamed. It is a classic and magnificent eggcorn. Besides, I was middle-aged before I realised that it was remuneration as in munificence and not renumeration as in something vaguely to do with numbers. Which is another eggcorn, come to think of it.

  9. This morning on my blog I repeatedly and accidentally typed in ‘turtle kneck’ instead of plain-old ‘turtle neck’.

    As to the desserts metaphor, it’s a matter of taste, really.