December 9, 2001

Why do conservative intellectuals attack Darwin?

Why do conservative intellectual magazines
keep shooting themselves in the foot by attacking Darwin? The magazine with the least to be embarrassed about is National Review. Although it has printed some dopey Creationist stuff, under both former editor John O'Sullivan and current editor Rich Lowry, it has also printed my neo-Darwinian analyses, Still, National Review Online editor Jonah Goldberg offers an important clue into why normally sophisticated conservative editors give the anti-Darwin crowd a platform, in his response to Michael Lind's NYT attack on the Religious Right's influence over the conservative press:

"Let us not forget that Marx and Freud were once established scientific fact as well. And, moreover, let’s see Lind’s friends at Dissent run a negative article about Marx, Freud, or Darwin."

In other words, Jonah thinks that Darwin is sacrosanct on the Left. I suspect this view is common among Right editors. In reality, the Left absolutely hates what Darwin said about human nature. See my NR essay on Edward O. Wilson's Sociobiology for the details. 12/9/01

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