“Dominionist” Darwinism

David Klinghoffer


Our friend and colleague Nancy Pearcey has a good piece in Human Events taking off from a New Yorker attack piece on Michele Bachmann who, for reading and admiring Nancy’s book Total Truth, is smeared as a Christian “dominionist.” The word is a made-up term, hitherto unfamiliar to Pearcey or to me. It’s intended to cast an innocent idea championed by Pearcey — that Christianity (or one might add, Judaism) describes a holistic worldview rather than just a “religion” — into a sinister light conjuring fears of theocratic plots.
Yet even discarding the scare-word aspect of the term, couldn’t we say the same of many other ideas in wide circulation in our culture? As Nancy points out, for example, in the minds of many Darwinists, a theory that took root in the fields of biology and history has all-encompassing implications, far beyond the narrow realm of explaining the mechanism by which life evolves:

There’s a growth industry in books applying Darwinian categories to everything from politics (Darwinian Politics), to sexuality (The Evolution of Desire), to music (The Singing Neanderthals), to creativity (Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity), to literature (Madame Bovary’s Ovaries: A Darwinian Look at Literature).
In Total Truth I explain that such all-encompassing worldviews function as lenses through which people see the world. [Ryan] Lizza quotes one of those passages, insinuating that it is a symptom of near-paranoia.

If Pearcey and Bachmann’s Christianity is “dominionist,” no less so, for many evolutionists, is Darwinism.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.

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