Originally Posted by Crede777
If you couldn't follow it or didn't understand it, then I'd say it was ineffective in persuading you. Part of a good persuasion is understanding your audience. Of course, there are some things which you assume the audience understands and if they don't they're not worth persuading in the first place.
When it comes to literature like this there's going to come a line that the writer will have to decide whether to cross or not, at least as far as content is involved. To cater to those you assume know more than the average person, or spell everything remotely complicated out to cater to those who do not. Option one would satisfy the target audience of the piece while leaving the majority of people in the dark. Option two will help those less-informed understand things clearer at the cost of seemingly patronizing the others.
That's what I feel anyway, and were I to try and validate any argument about Darwin's skills of persuasion (or anyone's for that matter) then the first thing I would do is find out which category of 'audience' I am in depending on the content of the piece.