“To pick the lint out of somebody’s navel”

Hi, there.

I am trying now to handle the podcast about Darwin’s (scientific) legacy (ABC Radio National). There is an expression that I am not sure I understand it well enough: “…picking the lint out of Darwin’s navel”. And further: “The lint pickers out of Darwin’s navel argue about…”.

Does it mean that somebody (the same “picker”) is trying to find out insignificant but objectionable details and trifles in Darwin’s biography?

Does it exist such idiom: “To pick the lint out of somebody’s navel”?


This is an unusual expression that I have not seen before, but which means to find fault with someone over things that do not matter, I would think.

That’s a new idiom to me. It probably means what you guessed.

Thank you, Mr. Steve, thank you, Mr. Edward.

Now you two answered me, I will share with you my very first understanding of this phrase . May be you’ll find it funny.

“I think, that this entire intellectual genre, which I think of as distinctive (PICKING OUT) of verbosity (LINT) of Darwin’s reflections (as - to CONTEMPLATE/REGARD ONE’S NAVEL), goes on”.