Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Darwin and conservatism?

James Seaton reviews Larry Arnhart’s Darwinian Conservatism and concludes:

"It is to Larry Arnhart’s credit that, despite his own adherence to evolutionary theory, he does not call for such a rejection. Indeed, Darwinian Conservatism makes it clear that even the most wholehearted acceptance of Darwin’s ideas does not require conservatives to reject either common sense or traditional morality. Addressing himself primarily to conservatives, Arnhart does not so much try to convince his readers that Darwinian biology is incontrovertibly true as to demonstrate that its findings, if true, strengthen the case for social and political conservatism.

He does this well, and accomplishes a more difficult task achieved by only the most accomplished scientists and thinkers: He makes connections between science and human life without succumbing to the temptations of scientism."

Also see this.

Discussions - 2 Comments

Also relevant to the discussion that Peter may have prompted is Leon Kass, "Teleology, Darwinism, and the Place of Man," in his Toward a More Natural Science.

See, there is such a thing as "scientific conservativism." I need to read Arnhart to see how close he comes to my own views, but the important point is that conservatism doesn’t necessarily rest on what some would consider fiction (religious sentiments) or nativism/prejudice. It can be rooted in empirical science...conservativism at its best is politics informed by empirical realities.

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