Tracing the “Abomination of Desolation”: Richard M. Weaver’s Forgotten Conservative Vision

The vision that first inspired the contemporary conservative movement back in the 1940s and ’50s would be unrecognizable to many conservatives today. In Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences (1948), the book that sociologist Robert Nisbet credited with “launch[ing] the renaissance of philosophical conservatism in this country,” you will not find a single reference to the then sitting President of the United States (Truman). It’s not really a political book at all. It is not about setting or opposing a legislative agenda. It is about correcting a faulty and widespread materialist “world picture” of which Darwinism forms a crucial ingredient. We are reconsidering and appreciating Weaver in this series. (See Parts I and II, here and here.) With “Darwinism … lurking Read More ›

Rediscovering Conservatism: The Evolutionary Heresy of Richard M. Weaver

Somewhat unlike its current form, conservatism in its modern-day inception was about ideas and their consequences. It was primarily a philosophical dissection of what ails our culture. So Richard M. Weaver put it in the famous title of his 1948 book, Ideas Have Consequences. A professor of English at the University of Chicago, a Southerner who looked back on the lost culture of the South as the Western world’s last surviving “non-materialist” civilization, Weaver was a Darwin critic. That fact comes out again and again in his books. In his view, Darwinism was among the chief ideas roiling the culture and with the most disastrous results. In this series, we are in the process of taking a glance back at Read More ›

Richard M. Weaver, Conservative Intellectual Icon and Darwin-Doubter

What has conservatism come to? John Derbyshire, an inveterate Darwin booster and atheist, has an online diary entry up at National Review Online trying to explain to himself why, since life develops so readily and spontaneously from non-life, the universe nevertheless seems so strangely silent. SETI detects no hint of communication floating to us through the vacuum of space from elsewhere. Derbyshire tries to set things right between reality and himself through a series of ad hoc solutions — the details of which don’t matter. What’s interesting is to observe that when conservative intellectuals talk about the Darwin problem, and that is rare, this is pretty much all you are likely to get. It didn’t use to be this way. Read More ›

At BioLogos, a Disregard for the Truth about David Coppedge

The BioLogos Foundation is a group of Christian theistic evolution advocates who published a distorting review of Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell by “living legend” Dr. Francisco Ayala. Dr. Ayala patently hadn’t read the book, as president Dr. Darrel Falk was surely aware. Fresh from that unfortunate display, BioLogos now slurs David Coppedge of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory based on an article from a really sterling peer-reviewed journal, the Huffington Post. Whoever wrote the unsigned “news” item for BioLogos cites as his lone source the piece by Steven Newton, of the Darwinist lobby group National Center for Science Education. Newton’s reporting is none too accurate itself, but BioLogos improved on Newton by introducing falsehoods not even found in the Read More ›

Coppedge Meets Kafka

When I first read the complaint filed in the David Coppedge case against NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, I had a sense of déjà vu.