New Book, Signature of Controversy, Responds to Steve Meyer’s Critics

Critics of intelligent design often try to dismiss the theory as not worth addressing, as a question already settled, even as being too boring to countenance. Then they spend an amazing amount of energy trying to refute it. The very evidence of the ongoing debate sparked by Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell should silence that tired trope that there is no controversy over evolution and intelligent design. That controversy has reached a fever-pitch in less than a year since the book’s first release, marking Meyer’s volume as a book serious Darwinists must deal with. And dealt with it, they haven’t — in their responses, some critics have misread it, while others have simply failed to read it at all. Read More ›

Against Surrender: Richard M. Weaver’s “Metaphysical Dream”

While today it would be more common to speak of a person’s “worldview,” philosopher Richard Weaver (1910-1963) spoke equivalently of a “world picture,” a “metaphysical dream,” or an integrative “vision.” I like vision or dream best, since they conjure something more than a dry-bones philosophical perspective that can be adopted or discarded easily if you change your mind about things. Just as you can be woken involuntarily from a good dream, or you may be unable to wake from a bad one, so too with a vision that explains to you how the world works — what’s above, what’s below, what came before you and what will come after. Once shattered, it is not easily reconstructed. In this series we Read More ›

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 ›