Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest

John G. West | 160 pages | $14.95 (retail)

About the Book

In this small but incisive book, Dr. West addresses how Darwin’s theory, contrary to its conservative champions, manifestly does not reinforce the teachings of conservatism. According to West, Darwinism promotes moral relativism rather than traditional morality. It fosters utopianism rather than limited government. It is corrosive, rather than supportive, of both free will and religious belief. Finally, and most importantly, Darwinian evolution is in tension with the scientific evidence, and conservatism cannot hope to strengthen itself by relying on Darwinism’s increasingly shaky empirical foundations. (more…)

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About the Book

In this small but incisive book, Dr. West addresses how Darwin’s theory, contrary to its conservative champions, manifestly does not reinforce the teachings of conservatism. According to West, Darwinism promotes moral relativism rather than traditional morality. It fosters utopianism rather than limited government. It is corrosive, rather than supportive, of both free will and religious belief. Finally, and most importantly, Darwinian evolution is in tension with the scientific evidence, and conservatism cannot hope to strengthen itself by relying on Darwinism’s increasingly shaky empirical foundations.

This book issues a challenge to conservatives they cannot afford to ignore. According to William Dembski, author of The Design Revolution, “Conservative pundits all too often have a blind spot for that outdated Victorian creation myth known as Darwinism… finally, here is a book that holds their feet to the fire and sets the record straight.” According to Steven Hayward, author of The Age of Reagan, “No one can consider themselves fully acquainted with the issue of intelligent design without confronting the serious critique in this book.” And Prof. J. Budziszewski of the University of Texas, Austin, hails the book for “showing clearly that Darwinism is not a source of conservative insight into human nature, but only a source of confusion.”

Reviews

“Whenever someone says a debate is closed or beyond-the-pale, you can be sure something is amiss. John West courageously takes up the taboo of challenging the received wisdom and avoided implications of Darwinism. In doing so he demands we think anew about hard questions involving the nature of humankind, progress, and the ground of moral right. No one can consider themselves fully acquainted with the issue of intelligent design without confronting the serious critique in this book.”
—Steven F. Hayward, author of The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980 and F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

“John West’s book provides a concise, precise, and convincing refutation of those commentators who have urged conservatives to endorse Darwinism in the mistaken belief that this theory provides a biological underpinning for conservative values of moral character and individual freedom.”
—Phillip E. Johnson, Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley and author of Darwin on Trial.

“Conservative pundits all too often have a blind spot for that outdated Victorian creation myth known as Darwinism. Thinking Darwinism the best thing for conservatism since sliced bread, they make a hash of both. Finally, here is a book that holds their feet to the fire and sets the record straight.”
—William A. Dembski, author of The Design Revolution.

“John West makes a strong case that the attempt to derive the moral law from materialist premises is a project that, by the very nature of the objects assessed, cannot succeed. He persuasively argues that our knowledge of the good, the true, and the beautiful cannot be accounted for by the philosophy of materialism.”
—Francis J. Beckwith, Associate Professor of Church-State Studies, Baylor University and author of Law, Darwinism and Public Education.

“Why is it so difficult to have a rational discussion of Darwinism? Because Darwinism today functions more as an ideology than as a scientific theory, distorting the counsels of both the Left and the Right. In this calm, intelligent, and eminently readable book, John West shows clearly that Darwinism is not a source of conservative insight into human nature, but only a source of confusion. With a few more fine books like this, it may become a good deal easier to hold a conversation.”
—J. Budziszewski, professor of government and philosophy, University of Texas, author of What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide.

Resources

Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest Official Site

 

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