I am finding it rather difficult to be a conservative these days, particularly because of the carelessness with which we have begun clinging to rhetoric rather than sound thinking. While I am no fan of E.O. Wilson, Neumayr’s article makes some fatal errors.
1) E.O.Wilson’s view is not paradigmatic of all of evolutionary biology. More importantly, it is not Darwin’s view. Please refer to the last paragraph of the Origin of Species. Darwin, at the time of the first edition, clearly believed that a perfect God would create according to laws (natural selection) and not imperfect patterns. It was the failure of natural theology to explain patterns in nature that was leading to concerns about atheism (it fed into some traditional arguments against omnipotency and omnibenevolence). Darwin clearly thought that these problems were solved by having a Newtonian God for biology — a creator of laws.
The claim that atheism is intrinsic to Darwinism is absolutely false.
2) Secondly, Darwinism does not rely on “chance.” Natural selection is a selective process. There is much historical contingency, and mutations themselves are random (for the most part), but selection is not chance. Consistently getting this point wrong is a malicious error and exhibits ignorance I usually only attribute to well-meaning but soft-in-the-head liberals.
3) Finally, it is not Darwinism that really matters to contemporary science. Evolutionary biology is much more complete, complex, and rigorous. So tying any claims about the state of an entire science to Darwin, or to Wilson, is also an error. I would never countenance an attack on capitalism based on holes in Smith’s theories, or those of Malthus. That may be interesting in learning the roots of contemporary theory, but it would have not value as an evaluation of capitalism today.p>I find it shocking that conservatives are willing to make such dishonest arguments, and the amount of rhetoric (even downright malicious dribble) that the Spectator has lowered itself to in this and other matters is leading me to withdraw my support. But that is a bigger question. I only write this in the hope that in some manner you will correct the bitter and pointless appeals to ignorance so characteristic of recent conservative methodology. br> —
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?