Monday, June 27, 2011

Darwin's Influence

Marvin Olasky at World Magazine pens an essay that serves as an illustration of the aphorism that ideas have consequences.

Darwinism has inspired ideas in matters as diverse as politics, economics, sociology, morality, theology and many others. Indeed, it is probably the case that no thinker in modern times, except maybe Marx, has had the influence on the world that Darwin has had. Daniel Dennett in Darwin's Dangerous Idea maintains that Darwin's theory of evolution is a "universal acid" that eats through every idea, ideology, and worldview, dissolving them all in the corrosive solution of Darwinian materialism.

On politics, for example, Olasky writes that:
Woodrow Wilson started federal government expansion in 1912 by opposing the "Newtonian" view that the government should have an unchanging constitutional foundation, somewhat like "the law of gravitation." He argued that government should be "accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. . . . Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice." Wilson was the president who started the modern pattern of disregarding the Constitution, and in the 2012 election we will either start a second century of governmental expansion or yell, "Stop!"
Olasky has more to say on how Darwin influenced our attitudes on sex, abortion, infanticide, and economics. Check out his column at the link.