Darwin, Conservatives, and the State of Debate
Tom Bethell of The American Spectator was present at the recent debate on Darwin and conservatism held at AEI. I am delighted that he was there or we would not have his droll, apt description of the event in the July-August number of the Spectator.
We are watching the Darwinists launch bold and deceitful attacks on all critics of their man's theory. And they go farther--as witness Cornelia Dean, queen of The New York Times Science Page, in her assault Tuesday on the Catholic Church and the Christian effort to reserve the soul, at least, as something more than material expression.
In this environment, why is John Derbyshire National Review's "designated point man" against intelligent design (as Bethell reports Derbyshire announced himself at AEI)? Who "designated" him? Why are conservatives still silent, with few exceptions, as the far left and the Darwinists personally berate scholars like astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez--just denied tenure at Iowa State (Iowa State!) because off-campus he is a proponent of intelligent design in the cosmos--and Michael Behe--whose hard logic and solid evidence in his new book, The Edge of Evolution, Darwinists believe can be answered best by personal abuse?
I know they can get away with it in the mainstream media, but why are conservatives so supine in the face of this kind of assault? Even old fashioned liberals, if there are any, should be appalled by the attempted opinion suppression practiced now on the Darwinist Left.
Fair, old fashioned debates like the one at AEI are prized by us as intellectual combat. We like them because they are relatively civilized and witnesses can weigh the arguments for themselves, without filters. We also like them because we think we win them. Say this for Arnhart (who, by the way, always conducts himself as a gentleman) and even Derbyshire: they aren't afraid to appear against Discovery spokesmen. That is in contrast to the smear artists of the Darwinist Left.