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Beauty Explained in Literally Cartoon Darwinist Terms

David Klinghoffer


A colleague pointed out to me this TED talk by Denis Dutton in 2010 in which the late philosopher tries to explain the taste for beauty in literally cartoon Darwin terms. Beauty is nothing more than a strategy for sparking sexual partnerships, as you’re well aware.
As Dutton speaks, he’s accompanied by projections of cute but extremely simple if not crude cartoons illustrating his points. It’s interesting to wonder to what extent his argument would have been undercut, its superficiality made pathetically obvious, if instead of silly cartoons actual representations of great art had been displayed on the screen behind him or, if musical, piped into the auditorium. I would suggest that Dutton’s thesis simply could not survive being juxtaposed with genuine beauty, whether natural or manmade.
I’ve written here before about how ideas of beauty are impoverished under the Darwinian materialist worldview. Dutton proves my point wonderfully.

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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artbeautyCase Western ReserveDarwinismDenis DuttonErik Andrulisgyreintelligent designlifematerialismMichael Ruse