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Larry Arnhart Defending Darwinian Conservatism Speech to The Philadelphia Society

Larry
Arnhart

Defending Darwinian Conservatism
Speech to The Philadelphia Society
April 28, 2007

Department of Political Science
Northern Illinois University
larnhart@niu.edu


  The
Philadelphia Society needs Charles Darwin.  
I say that because the Philadelphia Society has brought together the
libertarian and traditionalist wings of the conservative intellectual movement,
and a Darwinian view of evolved human nature supports that conservative fusion
of liberty and order, freedom and virtue.   So
Philadelphia Society needs Darwinian conservatism.

           
The Left has assumed that human nature is so malleable, so perfectible,
that it can be shaped in almost any direction.  
Conservatives object, arguing that social order arises not from rational
planning but from the spontaneous order of instincts and habits.  
Darwinian biology sustains conservative social thought by showing how the
human capacity for spontaneous order arises from social instincts and a moral
sense shaped by genetic evolution and expressed in cultural evolution.

           
In my writing on Darwinian conservatism, I have identified the core ideas
of conservatism as manifested in the political thought of five conservative
thinkersóAdam Smith, Edmund Burke, Friedrich Hayek, Russell Kirk, and James Q.
Wilson.   While libertarians look to
Smith, and traditionalists look to Burke, Burkeís praise for Smithís two
booksóThe Theory of Moral Sentiments
and The Wealth of Nationsóshows
their fundamental agreement.   Although
Hayek and Kirk often criticized one another, their points of agreement were
deeper than they were willing to admit.   After
all, both praised Burke and stressed the importance of cultural tradition in
sustaining social order.   Wilson
might be seen as a traditionalist conservative insofar as he emphasizes the
importance of moral character for social order.
  But he might also be seen as libertarian conservative insofar
as he shows how moral character is best nurtured through the spontaneous order
of civil society.   Moreover, Wilson
indicates how the very possibility of moral order rests on the natural
propensity of the human animal for developing a moral senseóa natural
propensity that manifests human biological nature as shaped by Darwinian
evolution.

           
In contrast to the utopian vision of human perfectibility that runs
through leftist thought, conservatives see human beings as naturally imperfect
in their knowledge and their virtue.   And
yet conservatives believe that human beings do have a natural moral sense that
supports ordered liberty as secured by the social order of family life, the
economic order of private property, and the political order of limited
government.   A Darwinian science of
human nature shows how these conditions for ordered liberty conform to the
natural desires of the human species as shaped by evolutionary history.  
This broad conservative vision of ordered liberty is shared by
libertarians and traditionalists, and it is sustained by Darwinian science.

           
At the core of my account of Darwinian conservatism is the idea of human
nature.   Nowadays it is common for
postmodern relativists to assert that the idea of human nature is nothing more
than an arbitrary social construction.   But
I believe there really is a universal human nature constituted by at least
twenty natural desires that manifest themselves throughout history in every
human society, because these desires belong to the evolved nature of the human
species.

           
These natural desires direct human behavior into regular patterns.  
Men and women will marry and form families.  
Mothers will care for their children.  
Young males will compete for mates and status.  
Societies will organize themselves as male dominance hierarchies.
  Competing societies will go to war.
  And human beings will use language and other symbols to try
to figure out what it all means.

           
Conservative social thought is founded on a realistic grasp of this
complex and imperfect human nature.   Darwinian
science supports conservatism by showing how this nature arises by natural
evolution.

           
In defense of Darwinian conservatism, I will first summarize my position
in five propositions; I will then respond to the three most common objections;
and, finally, I will suggest a possible ground of compromise with my critics. 

FIVE PROPOSITIONS

           
My first proposition is that
Darwinism supports the conservative view of ordered liberty as rooted in natural
desires, customary traditions, and prudential judgments.

  A Darwinian account of social order requires a nested
hierarchy of three kinds of orderónatural order, customary order, and
prudential orderóso that custom is constrained by nature, and prudence is
constrained by both custom and nature.   A
society of ordered liberty must satisfy the desires of human nature as shaped by
genetic evolution, it must   be
sustained by the customs of human history as shaped by cultural evolution, and
it must be promoted by the judgments of human reason as shaped by prudential
deliberation.   There are at least
twenty natural desires that constitute our universal human nature.  
If the good is the desirable, then we can judge social practices by how
well they satisfy the full range of these natural desires.  
And yet the contingencies of social history and individual temperament
are so variable that we need prudence to judge what is best for particular
societies and particular individuals in specific circumstances.

           
My second proposition is that
Darwinism supports the conservative view of the natural moral sense as securing
the moral order of liberty.
  A
Darwinian explanation of morality as rooted in human biological nature sustains
conservative moral thought.   While
those on the left explain morality as a dictate of abstract reason,
conservatives see morality as founded in moral sentiments, moral traditions, and
moral judgments.   Darwinís theory
of the moral sense shows how these sentiments, traditions, and judgments express
the evolved nature of human beings.

           
My third proposition is that
Darwinism supports the conservative view of sexual differences, family life, and
parental care as securing the social order of liberty.

  A Darwinian account of the natural desires for sexual
identity, sexual mating, and parental care confirms the conservative commitment
to the traditional social order of sex, marriage, and the family.  
While those on the left tend to see sexual differences, family life, and
parental care as social constructions that can be changedóand perhaps even
abolishedóby social engineering, Darwinian biology sustains the conservative
understanding of sexual conduct and familial boning as innate propensities of
human nature.

           
My fourth proposition is that
Darwinism supports the conservative view of property as securing the economic
order of liberty.
  A Darwinian
understanding of human nature suggests that there is a natural desire to own
property and to trade property with others.  
Property satisfies a natural human instinct for possessiveness.  
The formal stipulation of property rights in law protects economic
liberty as a private sphere of action free from arbitrary coercion.

           
My fifthóand finalóproposition
is that Darwinism supports the conservative view of limited government as
securing the political order of liberty.
 
A Darwinian view of imperfect human nature suggests that no one is to be
trusted with unchecked power, even when that power has been conferred by popular
election.   To secure ordered
liberty, we need a system of balanced government under the rule of law based on
the principle of countervailing power so that power checks power.  
The institutions of modern constitutional republicanism satisfy the
evolved desire of the ruling few to dominate while also satisfying the evolved
desire of the subordinate many to be free from exploitative dominance, which
secures a balance between governmental authority and individual liberty.

           
I have laid out my arguments for these five propositions in two books:
normal”>Darwinian Natural Right
and Darwinian
Conservatism.[i]  
My arguments have been criticized by various conservatives, including
J. Budziszewski, Francis Beckwith, and Peter Augustine Lawler.[ii]  
The most elaborate statements have come in Carson Hollowayís book The
Right Darwin?
and John Westís book Darwinís
Conservatives.[iii]
 
These criticisms from conservatives tend to center on three objections.  
The first objection is that scientific creationism and intelligent design
theory have exposed Darwinian biology as unscientific.  
The second objection is that Darwinism subverts traditional morality by
promoting materialism.   The third
objection is that Darwinism is atheistic and thus denies traditional religion. 

CREATION SCIENCE
AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN

           
Some conservatives believe that Biblical creationism and intelligent
design theory provide better scientific explanations of the origins and nature
of the living world than does Darwinian evolutionary theory.  
For example, Patrick Henry College is on the Young Americaís Foundation
list of the Top 10 Conservative Colleges.   It
was founded as an evangelical Christian college promoting conservative politics.  
The school was specifically designed as a college for Christian
conservative students who had been home-schooled by their parents.  
The College made a name for itself quickly because many of its first
graduates found jobs in the Bush administration, which indicated the influence
of evangelical fundamentalism in the Bush coalition.
  The Collegeís intellectual mission is stated in its
ìInstitutional Statement of Biblical Worldview,î which declares that biology
teachers at the College are expected to teach that the Biblical book of Genesis
is actually a science textbook.   They
must teach that the entire creation of the universe ìwas completed in six
twenty-four hour days.î   They can
teach Darwinian evolution and intelligent design theories, but they must make it
clear to the students that the 6-days-of-creation theory must be seen ìas both
biblically true and as the best fit to observed data.î  
Consequently, not only would teaching Darwinian evolution as true be
rejected, but even teaching intelligent design as taking longer than six days
would be in violation of the Collegeís mission.

           
But most conservatives are not going to agree that biological science
should be based on a literal reading of the Bible that concludes that the
universe was created in six twenty-four-hour days.  
Most conservatives would probably agree with Peter Lawler that
fundamentalist creationism is ìpretty implausible.î[iv]  
Some religious conservatives have turned to ìintelligent design
theoryî as a better alternative.
  Under the sponsorship of the Discovery Institute, proponents
of this view argue that the living world manifests an ìirreducible
complexityî or ìspecified complexityî that can only be explained as the
work of an ìintelligent designer.î

           
There are some serious problems with the intelligent design position.  
First of all, the rhetoric of intelligent design relies predominantly on
negative rather than positive argumentation.  
For example, one of the favorite examples of biological complexity for
the intelligent design proponents is the bacterial flagellumóthe rotating tail
that propels bacteria through water like an outboard motor propelling a boat.  
Michael Behe rightly points out that Darwinian scientists have not yet
offered a step-by-step account of the evolutionary pathway by which bacterial
flagella have arisen by random mutation and natural selection.  
But, of course, the Darwinians could respond by pointing out that the
intelligent design proponents have not yet offered a step-by-step account of the
precise pathway by which the Intelligent Designer did this.  
Exactly when, where, and how did the Intelligent Designer create flagella
and attach them to bacteria?   Advocates
for intelligent design have no answer to that question.  
Their rhetorical strategy is to criticize the Darwinians for failing to
provide detailed step-by-step explanations for the appearance of biological
complexity, which refusing to provide their own explanations.

           
Behe and others will argue that intelligent design does have a positive
argument:   if we see the purposeful
arrangement of parts in living mechanisms, we can infer intelligent design as
the cause, because we all have experience with things that show the signs of
intelligent design.   But this kind
of reasoning is vague, because we cannot infer exactly who (or what) the
intelligent designer is, and we cannot infer exactly how this intelligent
designer works in nature.   This
reasoning also depends on a false analogy with human intelligent design.  
We have all seen human intelligent design at work, and so we can infer
human intelligent design based on our common human experience.  
But we have never seen how a divine designer creates everything ìout of
nothing,î and so we cannot infer divine intelligent design based on our common
human experience.

           
I could say a lot more about the scientific claims of intelligent design
theory.   But the primary motivation
for conservatives who have adopted intelligent design theory is not intellectual
but moral and religious.   This is
evident in the Discovery Instituteís famous ìWedge Document,î which
declares that Darwinian science attacks the moral and religious foundations of
Western civilization by denying the Biblical teaching that human beings were
created in the image of God.[v]  
Itís really the moral and religious objections to Darwinian science
that are crucial for conservatives.

RELIGION

           
Against the conservative objection that Darwinism promotes atheism, I
would argue that Darwinian science supports the conservative affirmation of
religious belief as conforming to the evolved nature of human beings.
  Conservatives like Edmund Burke have insisted that
ìreligion is the basis of civil society,î and that ìman is by his
construction a religious animal.î   But
as is clear from Burkeís praise for ancient Greek and Roman religions, he
affirms the practical truth of religion without presuming to decide the
theological truth of any particular religious tradition.  
Isnít that the proper attitude towards religion for the conservative?

           
Richard Weaver insisted that every healthy culture rests on a ìmythî
that is a product of human ìimagination.î  
The traditional ìimageî of human beings as created in Godís image
is an example of such a ìmyth.î   The
truth of this ìmythî is poetic rather than factual, and its practical truth
comes from its success in sustaining the traditional order of a culture.

           
Similarly, Friedrich Hayek praised religion as a ìguardian of
tradition,î although he was himself a skeptic, and he offered a Darwinian
defense of religion as an instrument of moral evolution.  
ìWe owe it partly to mystical and religious beliefs, and, I  
believe, particularly to the monotheistic ones, that beneficial
traditions have been preserved and transmitted at least long enough to enable
those groups following them to grow, and to have the opportunity to spread by
natural or cultural selection.î   So,
for example, while many religious founders attacked property and the family,
ìthe only religions that have survived are those which support property and
the family.î[vi]

           
David Sloan Wilson and other Darwinian scientists have explained religion
as a means by which human beings bind themselves into cooperative communities.  
This would seem to support the conservative stance of Burke, Weaver, and
Hayek.   The Darwinian conservative
can affirm the practical utility of any religious tradition that sustains the
good order of civil society.

           
Some Christian conservatives would say that this does not go far enough
in affirming the doctrinal truths of Christianity.  
But can Catholic conservatives and Protestant conservatives agree on
these doctrinal truths?   Does this
exclude Jewish conservatives?   Muslims?  
Presumably, this would exclude skeptics and atheists.  
If so, then skeptical conservatives like Hayek are not really
conservatives.

           
Wouldnít it be more sensible to say that conservatives must respect the
practical truth of any religion that supports social order, regardless of
whether we can agree on the theological or metaphysical truth of that religion?

           
Moreover, conservatives should see that ultimate questions of First
Causeóquestions about the origins of the universe and the origin of the laws
of natureóleave a big opening for God as Creator.  
As Darwin said, ìthe mystery of the beginning of all things is
insoluble by us.î[vii]  
The natural desire to understand the uncaused cause of everything
ultimately leads human beings to a fundamental choiceónature or natureís
God.   Some human beings will assume
that the ultimate source of order is nature.  
Others will assume that we must look beyond nature to God as the ultimate
source of natureís order.   Our
natural desire to understand is satisfied ultimately either by an intellectual
understanding of nature or by a religious understanding of God as the Creator of
nature.   This is the choice between
reason and revelation.   That choice
has to be left open, because neither side can refute the other. 

MORALITY

           
Ann Coulter speaks for many conservatives when she warns that Darwinism
subverts all traditional morality by teaching:  
ìNothing is ever wrong as long as you follow your instincts.
  Just do it.î   According
to Coulter, Darwinian science denies the foundation of all healthy morality by
denying the religious ground of morality and particularly the Biblical teaching
that all human beings were created in Godís image.
  ìOnce manís connection to the divine is denied,î she
warns, ìyou can reason yourself from here to anywhere.  
As Jean-Paul Sartre said, ëIf God is dead, everything is
permitted.íî   By contrast, she
explains, ìreligious people have certain rules based on a book about faith
with lots of witnesses to that faith.î[viii]    

           
All of the conservative critics of Darwinian conservatism agree in some
manner with Coulter:   Darwinism
promotes immorality by denying the necessary roots of morality in religion.  
For example, Holloway insists that a Darwinian account of morality as
rooted in human nature cannot sustain morality, because morality is impossible
without religion.

           
Darwin explains morality as expressed in a moral sense that is part of
the evolved nature of human beings.   He
sees moral progress in human history as a product of the complex evolutionary
interaction of innate sociality, cultural learning, and prudential deliberation.  
ìUltimately,î he observes, ìour moral sense or conscience becomes a
highly complex sentimentóoriginating in the social instincts, largely guided
by the approbation of our fellow-men, ruled by reason, self-interest, and in
later times by deep religious feelings, and confirmed by instruction and
habit.î   This moral sense
ìperhaps affords the best and highest distinction between man and the lower
animals.î[ix]

           
This Darwinian account of the natural moral sense provides a biologically
grounded version of traditional natural law reasoning.  
Human moral experience is natural insofar as it arises from those natural
inclinations of the human animal that we can know by reason alone.  
Of course, as Darwin indicates, that natural moral law can be taught by
religion, but it can stand on its own natural ground even without religious
belief.   Darwin shows how the
natural moral law could have arisen by natural evolution.  
Here then would seem to be common ground for all conservatives:  
morality can be known by natural experience alone because it is rooted in
the natural moral sense of our evolved human nature, but religion can reinforce
that moral law for believers.

           
And yet there is a tendency among religious conservatives to a divine
command theory of morality that drives much of the criticism of Darwinian
conservatism.   The assumption of
divine command reasoning is that moral obligation must be grounded in the
commands of a good and loving God.   If
God did not exist, there could be no moral obligations.  
But there are some serious problems with such a divine command morality,
including the implicitly nihilistic assumption that morality is an arbitrary
creation of Godís will that has no natural ground of its own.

           
When Holloway rejects the naturalistic morality of Darwinian science and
says that morality necessarily depends on religion, what does he mean by
ìreligionî?   Any religion?
  Would Holloway agree with conservatives like Burke and Kirk
who quote pagan philosophers like Cicero on the virtues of religious belief, and
thus imply that pagan religion is as good as any other?  
Or does a morally healthy religion depend on specific doctrines that
supply the necessary and sufficient support for morality?

           
Holloway repeatedly asserts that religion supports some very specific
moral positionsósuch as condemning slavery.  
But he never cites any specific religious texts to show how they
necessarily support the moral positions that he favors.  
The case of slavery and ìuniversalismî illustrates the problem.  
He assumes that religion necessitates a ìuniversalî morality that
would deny the morality of slavery.   But
many religious traditions have allowed slavery, and the Bible never condemns
slavery or calls for its abolition.   On
the contrary, in the American debate over slavery, Christian defenders of
slavery cited specific biblical passages in both the Old Testament and the New
Testament supporting slavery.   Opponents
of slavery had to argue that general doctrines such as the creation of human
beings in Godís image implicitly denied the justice of slavery.  
But they could never cite any specific passage of the Bible for their
position.   This conflict over
slavery split the major Protestant denominationsóincluding the Methodists and
the Baptistsówith Southern Christians defending slavery as biblically
sanctioned and Northern Christians attacking it.  
So here is a clear case of where the moral teaching of the Bible depends
on our coming to it with a prior moral understanding that we then read into the
scriptural text.

           
Moreover, Hollowayís appeal to the moral ìuniversalismî of the
Bible is dubious.   I donít see a
universal morality in the Old Testament.   For
example, Moses ordering the slaughter of the innocent Mideanite women and
children manifests a xenophobia that runs through much of the Old Testament.  
The New Testament seems more inclined to a universal humanitarianism.  
But the Book of Revelation teaches that at the end of history the saints
will destroy the Antichrist and the unbelievers in a bloody battle.
  The brutal bloodiness of this vision has been dramatized
throughout the history of Christianity, and it continues in Tim LaHayeís Left
Behind
novels, which are popular with evangelical conservatives.

           
Like Holloway, West criticizes my argument that the Darwinian
understanding of the natural moral sense supports traditional morality.
  But West is vague about the ground of his support for
traditional morality.   Occasionally,
he speaks of a ìtranscendent standard of morality,î a ìpermanent
foundation for ethics,î or ìmoral truth,î but without explaining exactly
what he has in mind.[x]   

           
West sometimes refers to ìtraditional Judeo-Christian morality.î  
He doesnít explain this, although he does suggest a couple of times
that he is referring to Biblical moralityóthe moral teaching of the Old and
New Testamentsówhich would include Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  
He indicates that he is referring specifically to the Biblical teaching
ìthat human beings are created as the result of Godís specific plan.î
  But in his entire book, he refers to only two Biblical
versesóthe Old Testament declaration that ìthe heavens declare the glory of
Godî (Psalms 19:1) and the new Testament declaration of Paul that Godís
creation manifests his invisible attributes (Romans 1:20).[xi]

           
So how exactly does West see the Bible providing a clear and reliable
moral teaching contrary to the Darwinian moral sense?  
He rejects Darwinís account of how the social instincts of human beings
might have evolved because cooperating for the good of the group favored the
groupís survival and reproductive fitness in competition with other groups.[xii]  
But something similar to Darwinís account of moral evolution can be
found in the Bible.   Whenever Moses
wants to give an ultimate reason for obeying his laws, he warns the people of
Israel that obeying these laws is the only way for them to survive and propagate
themselves (Deuteronomy 4:1-8, 4:40, 30:15-20).  
And just as Darwin recounts the ancient history of group against group
conflict, the Bible shows how the people of Israel had to put a ìcurse of
destructionî on their enemies, so that all of those they conqueredóincluding
innocent women and childrenówould be slaughtered (Numbers 31:1-20; Deuteronomy
20:10-20).   Is this ìtraditional
Judeo-Christian moralityî?

           
Like Holloway and West, Lawler worries that traditional morality cannot
survive without religious belief.   But
Lawler also worries that evangelical fundamentalism relies too much on Biblical
literalism as the only source of moral authority.
  He writes: ìThis secessionist impulse of our evangelicals
is, in part, the result of their intellectual weakness, their tendency not to
read or write great books.   Their
Christian America is founded in the revelation of the Bible, not that realistic
view of nature and human nature that all citizens can share in common.î[xiii]  

           
My moral argument for Darwinian conservatism is that it provides
scientific support for ìthat realistic view of nature and human nature that
all citizens can share in common.î   Most
citizensóincluding most conservativesóare not going to agree on a literal
reading of the Bible that concludes that the universe was created in six
twenty-four-hour days.   Neither are
most citizens going to agree on the details of the moral rules set forth in the
Bible.   If we are not going to have
a Biblical theocracy, then we need to appeal to some shared natural standards of
truth and moralityósomething like the tradition of natural law.
  Darwinian naturalism supports such a tradition of natural
morality. 

BIOLOGICAL
CONSERVATISM

           
Many conservatives who object to Darwinian
conservatism seem to be open to a biological
conservatism.   This might offer a
ground of compromise.

           
Although the proponents of intelligent design object to evolutionary
explanations of the distant causes of human biological nature, they do not seem
to object to biological explanations based on more proximate causes.  
To find common ground among conservatives for accepting a biologically
rooted natural law, we could set aside the arguments from evolutionary biology
and rely only on arguments from behavioral biology.  
Even if we cannot agree on the evolutionary causes of human nature, we
might still agree on the proximate causes of human behavioral biology.

           
Evolutionary causes are difficult to study because they are not directly
observable, and we have to infer evolutionary history from indirect evidence
(such as the fossil record).   By
contrast, proximate causes are often open to direct observation.  
For example, we can measure fluctuations in hormonal levels and correlate
that with behavioral changes.

           
So, for instance, we might get general agreement among most conservatives
that the human propensities to sexual differences, sexual mating, familial
bonding, and parental care are rooted in human biological nature, and this
challenges the radical feministís quest to establish androgynous behavior as
the norm for human beings.   Such
propensities of human biology are directly observable.  
For example, we might study the differences in male and female brains
that support differences in male and female behavior.
  Darwinian conservatives would see this as a product of
Darwinian evolution.   But others
would see it as the work of the intelligent designer or God.  
And yet we could agree on the observable proximate causes of human sexual
biology.

           
Conservatives such as Lawler, Holloway, and West all seem to agree with
me that there are natural norms for human conduct rooted in human biological
nature, even as they disagree with me about the evolutionary causes of this
biological nature.   Lawler follows
the lead of Pope John Paul II in conceding that life can be generally explained
as the product of Darwinian evolution, while still insisting that an
ìontological leapî is required for the appearance of the human soul.  
Holloway accepts the fact of evolution by natural selection.
  He even asserts that ìreligious believers can accept that
the physical and even the emotional and moral constitution of human beings has
been shaped by natural selection.î   But
where Holloway departs from my Darwinian conservatism is that he believes
morality cannot be secure if it is not founded on a ìreligiously-informed
cosmic teleologyî by which all of nature is directed to some final goal.  
So while Holloway accepts the Darwinian account of human evolution as
true, he wants to see this evolutionary history as guided by a divine
intelligence directing it to some cosmic purpose.  
Here he agrees with theistic evolutionists who believe that Darwinian
evolution is compatible with a religious belief in God as the ultimate source of
evolutionary order.

           
Conservatives like West wonít concede this much to Darwinian science.  
He insists that the intelligent designer could not, or would not, employ
evolutionary mechanisms to execute his divine purpose.  
But even West would say that the observable biological nature of human
beings supports a biologically grounded natural law in which natural human
desires become normative because they manifest the moral will of God.

           
So, in a way, Holloway and West fundamentally agree with me.
  We all agree in that we are all biological conservatives,
because we believe that human biological nature supports conservative principles
such as traditional morality, family life, private property, and limited
government.

           
We disagree, however, about the Darwinian basis of biology.  
My biology is completely Darwinian.  
Hollowayís biology is partially Darwinian.
  Westís biology is completely anti-Darwinian.

           
I argue that for a biologically based conservative morality, Darwinian
biology is sufficient in providing an immanent teleology, so that the human
species has evolved to have species-specific desires that point to ends or goals
for human thought and action.   But
this is not enough for Holloway and West.   No
healthy morality can survive, they believe, without a religiously-grounded
cosmic teleology.   Holloway provides
that cosmic teleology by adopted the position of theistic evolution.  
West provides that cosmic teleology by adopting the position of
intelligent design theory that denies Darwinian evolution completely.

           
Some conservatives will embrace Darwinian conservatism completely as a
scientific account of evolved human nature that supports conservative thought.  
Those who cannot embrace it completely might still accept the idea of a
biological human nature as supporting conservatism, even if the ultimate cause
of that nature is disputed.   In any
case, Darwinian conservatism should help conservatives to ponder the ways in
which natural science sustains conservatism.

Thatís why conservatives need
Charles Darwin.  


[i] Larry Arnhart, Darwinian
Natural Right: The Biological Ethics of Human Nature
(Albany: The State
University of New York, 1998); Darwinian
Conservatism
(Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic, 2005).

[ii] J. Budziszewski, ìAccept
No Imitations: The Rivalry of Naturalism and Natural Law,î in William
Dembski, ed., Uncommon Dissent:
Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing
(Wilmington, DE: ISI
Books, 2004), 99-113; Francis Beckwith, ìNatural Law without a
Lawgiver,î Review of Politics 68
(2006): 680-82; Peter Augustine Lawler, Stuck
with Virtue: The American Individual and Our Biotechnological Future

(Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2005).

[iii] Carson Holloway, The
Right Darwin? Evolution, Religion, and the Future of Democracy
(Dallas:
Spence Publishing Company, 2005); John G. West, Darwinís
Conservatives: The Misguided Quest
(Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute
Press, 2006).

[iv] Lawler, Stuck
with Virtue
, 174.

[v] See Barbara Forrest and
Paul R. Gross, Creationismís Trojan
Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design
(New York: Oxford University
Press, 2004), 25-33.

[vi] Friedrich Hayek, Fatal
Conceit: The Errors of Socialism
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1988), 136-37.

[vii] Charles Darwin, The
Autobiography of Charles Darwin
, ed. Nora Barlow (New York: Norton,
1958), 94.

[viii] Ann Coulter, Godless:
The Church of Liberalism
(New York: Crown Forum, 2006), 277, 280-81.

[ix] Charles Darwin, The
Descent of Man
(New York: Penguin Books, 2004), 151, 157.

[x] West, Darwinís
Conservatives
, 21-22, 40.

[xi] West, Darwinís
Conservatives
, 21, 69-71, 143.

[xii] West, Darwinís
Conservatives
, 20.

[xiii] Lawler, Stuck
with Virtue
, 105.

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