Monday, September 05, 2005

"Conservatives need Charles Darwin"

That’s the message of Larry Arnhart’s new book Darwinian Conservatism, launched this month by Imprint Academic.

Ever since the publication of Darwin’s Origin of the Species in 1859, political and religious conservatives have had an uneasy relationship with Darwin’s theory of evolution. Many conservatives accept the Biblical doctrine that human beings were specially created by God in His image. And some conservatives believe that the living world shows evidence of being the product of an "intelligent designer". Many of these conservatives fear that the idea of humans evolving naturally from lower animals denies their moral dignity as special creatures of the Divine Intelligent Designers.

Going against this movement, Larry Arnhart aims to persuade conservatives that Darwin is their friend and not their enemy. The author claims that a Darwinian science of human nature supports the moral, political and religious ideas of conservatism. Darwinian biology confirms the conservatives’ realist view of human nature and denies the leftists’ utopian view of human nature as perfectible.


BohemianLikeYOU said...

Hello Larry,

Thanks for your post on my blog. You make some interesting points. I will read your posted writings and weigh them against the other materials I'm reviewing about ID.

Before I begin reading your material in earnest, would you say that your perspective advocates Social Darwinism? If so, I will respectfully decline to read further.

If not, I'll read it all.


Larry Arnhart said...

I actually have a chapter on Social Darwinism, which argues that the Social Darwinist traditions of racism and eugenics has little to do with Darwin or genuine Darwinian science.

In particular, I challenge Richard Weikart's book FROM DARWIN TO HITLER, which was sponsored by the Discovery Institute. If you read Weikart's book closely, it becomes clear that there is no direct link "from Darwin to Hitler," because the German social Darwinists that he studies explicitly rejected much of Darwin's teaching, particularly Darwin's account of the "moral sense."

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I was reading Pinker's book The Blank Slate and came across this idea. Would I find your book on

Larry Arnhart said...

Yes, you can find the book at But you can also order it directly from the publisher off this website.