Most people — including most professional biologists — think that one either accepts the neo-Darwinian theory of the universal common ancestry of life via undirected natural causes, or else one is a “creationist,” meaning someone who advocates multiple independent starting points for life, all of them specially created.
The American Enterprise Institute will hold a conference on Thursday, May 3 (9:00–11:30 a.m.) titled “Darwinism and Conservatism: Friends or Foes?” (go here to register) Speakers include Discovery Institute Senior Fellows Dr. John West and George Gilder. And opposing them with the thesis that Darwinism and Conservatism are compatible will be National Review’s John Derbyshire and Larry Arnhart, political theorist of Northern Illinois University. Shortly after the event occurs, a video webcast will be available on the AEI site here. From the Event Description:
Political scientist and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Dr. John West has been asked to lecture at Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. on Monday, April 30th at 11a.m. Dr. West’s lecture will be “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: The Disturbing Legacy of America’s Eugenics Crusade.” For those outside the D.C. area, the lecture will be audiocast live from www.frc.org (click on “Events”) From the Lecture Summary:
Recently I shared my reading of David Brooks’ recent colum “The Age of Darwin.” The whole thing read like parody to me. I thought for sure that Brooks could not seriously write that, while we are generally post-modern people who are skeptical of metanarratives, we have and should abandon this view because Darwinism is the true metanarrative of life. I thought he was just pointing out the contradiction in academia between postmodern and Darwinian thought. With thanks to one ENV reader named Oleg, I stand corrected. I had forgotten that Mr. Brooks shared his views on Darwinism in The New Republic in 2005:
It is a rare day that I would dispute Bruce Chapman’s reading of anything. But today is one such day. Disagreeing with Ambassador Chapman’s and Richard Kirk’s interpretations of David Brooks’ recent column “The Age of Darwin,” I (perhaps mistakenly) thought that Brooks was pointing out the irony of our supposedly post-modern intellectual culture which waxes eloquently about having no grand, unifying metanarrative and at the same time bows down to the Darwinian fairytale, to borrow David Stove’s phrase. Writes Brooks: