The Forward offered well-done appreciations of Yiddish artist Tsirl Waletzky and biologist Lynn Margulis.
Waletzky, who died Dec. 8 at 90 was "one of the major artists of the American Yiddish cultural world and an innovator in the art of Jewish papercutting….Over three decades, her many drawings, paintings and papercuts illustrated book covers, Yiddish children’s magazines, primers and textbooks, becoming nearly synonymous with the art of that culture.
[She] was a renegade who didn’t mince words. And she revolutionized biology more than once. Among many other things, she vociferously challenged the orthodox version of evolution called neo-Darwinism, championed by Richard Dawkins, just as much as she questioned any religious dogmatism. And she more than relished the opportunity to support students who questioned the status quo, as she did.
The orthodoxy Margulis challenged was one of the biggest bugaboos in modern culture wars: the neo-Darwinist version of evolution that says natural selection works on random mutations to drive evolution. In the extreme form, championed by Richard Dawkins, neo-Darwinism reduces all life to competition between genes, devoid of any higher meaning.
The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Write to the Eulogizer at firstname.lastname@example.org.