“No Real Conflict When One Side Gives Up”: Richard Weaver and the Darwin Debate

Richard M. Weaver, who died at age 53 in 1963, effectively launched modern philosophical and political conservatism in the United States. Everyone cites one of his titles, Ideas Have Consequences, but too few bother to read his actual works. In reading him now I’m struck by what a brilliant ally he would have made in the current debate over Darwinism. Though a philosopher and a professor of English stationed at the University of Chicago, he anticipated not only the major outlines of contemporary thinking about why the evolution debate matters. He also foresaw the outlines of the scientific critique of Darwinian theory. I’ve been writing about him the past week in this series (whose Parts I through IV are here, Read More ›

On Mechanism: Response to Some Thomist Critics of Intelligent Design

Several “Thomist” critics of ID have claimed that ID is either committed to, entails, or somehow relates to what they consider an unsavory “mechanistic” philosophy. While a number of ID proponents have explicitly denied this, the details are somewhat complicated. So I’d like to respond to this critique at some length in a series of posts. Orthodox Catholics have long opposed the overreaching of a “mechanical philosophy” that came to prominence in the seventeenth century with René Descartes (1596-1650) and Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Christoph Cardinal Schönborn calls mechanism “the dominant form of reductionism in science.” 1As critics of the Aristotelian philosophy that had come to dominate the thinking in medieval Europe, Descartes and Bacon banished formal and final causation from Read More ›

None Dare Call it Journalism

Whether the Times will discover the full scope of the threat is uncertain. No one at the Times has yet noticed, for example, that if you play the movie’s interview with Richard Dawkins backward, you can hear Ben Stein saying, “Bill Dembski is dead”