Kirk Answers Brooks on the Status of Darwinism in Western Culture

Bruce Chapman

Has Darwin successfully replaced Marx and Freud, and, of course, the Bible, as a narrative for Western civilization? David Brooks, House Conservative at the New York Times and often a writer of real insight, apparently thinks so. (He is another example of conservatives, like George Will and Charles Krauthammer, who do not want to be bothered to actually read the works of serious Darwin critics, let alone talk with them.) Richard Kirk replies effectively to Brooks in the new American Spectator.


This reminds me to remind readers of the debate at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, May 3 on “Darwin and Conservatism: Friends of Foes?” Panelists include John West and George Gilder of Discovery Institute, versus author Larry Arnhart and National Review science reporter/columnist John Derbyshire. ( (John West’s forthcoming book on Darwin’s public policy, Darwin Day in America, has been accepted for publication later this year by ISI Press.)
My own view, realized about eight years ago, is that Darwin is the last remaining leg of the dangerous three-legged ideology that the 19th century bequeathed the 20th century. Marx is now mostly discredited (except, one must always note, at a number of universities and the official pronouncements of the Communist parties of Cuba and North Korea) and Freud is in equally bad shape (there are still some Freudians around and many ideas of Freud that are retained in our culture). Darwinism, happily, is crumbling, too, though David Brooks–who should take some time to study the matter–has yet to spot this particular trend.

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.

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