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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Natural selection applied to society

In a superb post titled "Social Creationism, Social Deism, & Social Atheism", Don Boudreaux writes:
Browsing through the August 15th issue of Time, I came across an insightful quotation from the brilliant Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker. Pinker is quoted in Time’s cover story on the role of religion in schools. Pinker says, defending the theory of natural selection against the idea of "intelligent design," that
Overcoming naive impressions to figure out how things really work is one of humanity’s highest callings.
Indeed so.

I don’t here write to enter my two-cents in the debate between Darwinians and creationists (although, for the record, I am solidly in the Darwinian camp). I write to record that Pinker’s insight applies to society no less than to biological beings. [Links in original.]
In his post, Boudreaux defines social creationists thus:
Social creationists are members of that species of juvenile thinkers who regard conscious, central direction by a wise and caring higher human authority as necessary for all social order – not only for the foundation, but for all, or much, of what the foundation supports.

Economic central planners are prime examples of social creationists.
As are all the statists and socialists and other leftists that mar our intellectual landscape. Read Boudreaux's full post: I think his analogy is excellent. In fact, the similarities between free markets and natural selection are startling, as I'd mentioned in the second half of this post.
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