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 ›

On Darwinian Atheists Lecturing Religious People on Proper Belief in God

I love watching atheists try to tell religious people what they should believe about God. I’m not talking about atheists trying to convince religious people not to believe in God. We expect that. I’m talking about atheists telling religious people how to continue properly believing in God. I find this incredibly amusing, because, you know, atheists are experts in things like keeping faith. Michael Ruse is a prime specimen. An atheist (he says “I find it a great relief no longer to believe in God”) and self-declared “ex-Christian,” a few years back Ruse wrote a book titled Can a Darwinian be a Christian? and answered “Absolutely!” (p. 217) Now, in a recent piece in the UK Guardian, Ruse lectures none Read More ›

Did Zimmerman Argument Crash And Burn By Design Or By Chance?

Responding to Zimmerman’s latest blog is almost too easy. All a response to this really requires is to post a few photos of clearly designed items that have had amazing, spectacularly bad problems. (The Hindenberg for instance. Or any Toyota apparently.) How stupid, yes I said stupid, do you have to be to equate bad design with no design? How is it that if the body is poorly designed, humans have risen to the pinnacle of life? If we were blind as bats say, would we have been better off? Would we have stumbled over the secret of time-travel by now? Zimmerman’s argument is so weak as to be laughable. In fact, I had to stop my inelegant laughing so Read More ›

Why Does Ruse Act Like He’s an Expert on Theology?

Several months ago, I participated in a two-hour radio “debate” with Michael Ruse (along with Guillermo Gonzalez and Carlos Calle) about design in cosmology and astronomy. Several times, Michael Ruse lectured me about Christian theology. But it had a surreal quality to it, since he was talking about the theology he (as an agnostic) preferred, but he kept acting as if he was representing Christian theology accurately. I finally insisted that I actually did know a good bit about theology and that he was just making stuff up. Ruse’s responses to Stephen Fuller in the Guardian over ID have that same, surreal quality. For instance, here’s how he distinguishes the difference between the Protestant and Catholic views of justification: