Tag Archives: Darwin

Conservatism is scientific

I shared this idea on Facebook today. I’ll elaborate it here.

I had an epiphany today. I figured out what I think is the essential problem with liberalism in our time. They believe in an outmoded form of science, a pseudoscientific myth.

Think of one of our president’s favorite phrases: “My opponents are on the wrong side of history.”

Think about it. What does it mean to be on the wrong side of history? How can history have sides?

It can only have sides if you believe there is some overarching inevitability to the course of history. It’s understandable for Christians to think that way. We’re supernaturalists. We believe a Mind is in control. That’s how our world-view works.

But how can secularists believe that history has an inevitable course, a right and a wrong side?

It can only come from a myth, a belief in some kind of driving force behind the course of events, even if it’s seen as somehow non-supernatural.

In the 19th Century there was a common belief in Progress. You may think of the 19th Century as an age of faith, but it was also an age in which the driving, dynamic new world view was Darwinian. The problem was that even the scientists of the time generally didn’t understand how evolution works.

(I don’t propose to debate the evolution question here. I’m talking in terms of social myths and common assumptions.)

The kind of Evolution that was popularized by writers like H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw was purposeful. Nature – in some way – was striving to perfect itself. Everything it did was an attempt to come closer to the perfection that waited at the end. History had an inevitable course. This is implicit in Marx. He firmly believed he was writing science. Because it was science, anyone who disagreed had to be insane. Continue reading Conservatism is scientific