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Should Conservatives Champion Darwin?

Later this month Discovery Institute Press will publish a new book examining the misguided attempts of some conservatives to embrace Darwinism and champion it as compatible with conservative views. Most conservatives are presumed to be critical of Darwin's theory, yet a number of thinkers on the right, such as George Will, James Q. Wilson, and Larry Arnhart, have mounted a vigorous defense of Darwinism. Discovery Institute Senior Fellow John West will explain in Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest that the attempts to reconcile conservatism and Darwinian biology ultimately misunderstand both.

In Darwin's Conservatives West addresses how Darwin's theory, contrary to its conservative champions, manifestly does not reinforce the teachings of conservatism.

According to noted conservative thinker and writer George Gilder:

John West rolls through the arguments for a pro-Darwin conservatism like an Abrams tank leveling a street barricade: methodically and irresistibly. If there are any conservative Darwinists left after this rout, it's only because they won't stand and fight.
West disagrees with those who try to make Darwin's theory compatable with traditional conservative values in a number of key areas. 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.
Darwin's Conservatives is a direct 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Conservative pundits all too often have a blind spot for that outdated Victorian creation myth known as Darwinism...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."