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The Left’s Intelligent Design Problem by Max Borders
Tech Central Station ^ | 04 Jan 2006 | Max Borders

Posted on 01/04/2006 7:33:35 AM PST by Nicholas Conradin

Scion of America’s greatest Keynesian, James K. Galbraith recently penned one of the most astonishing near misses in recent memory. In the December/January edition of Mother Jones Galbraith accuses free-market economists starting with Adam Smith of being Intelligent Design (ID) hucksters.

“Economists… have been Intelligent Designers since the beginning,” Galbraith writes. “Adam Smith was a deist; he believed in a world governed by a benevolent system of natural law… Smith's Creator did not interfere. He simply wrote the laws and left them for events to demonstrate and man to discover.” Galbraith’s analogy is badly forced. But it is forced ultimately to synthesize two of the left’s favorite bromides: that free-market economists are crazy, and that creationists are ignorant rubes.

Galbraith (deliberately?) misunderstands the bulk of the arguments for ID. After all, if “Smith’s Creator did not interfere,” his analogy with ID does not hold. ID depends on the idea of a Designer’s interference in the process of forming complex life-forms. By contrast, there’s Darwin, whose process is seemingly blind and purposeless.

Indeed, if ever there were a view of economics that builds in the blind, purposeless processes of trial-and-error, specialization, and complexity (the hallmarks of the Darwinian algorithm) it is Smith’s invisible-hand economics -- the Austrian variants of which are the most strikingly evolutionary in character. It is therefore odd that Galbraith calls his article “Smith v. Darwin.”

Indeed, if ever there were a view of economics that builds in the blind, purposeless processes of trial-and-error, specialization, and complexity (the hallmarks of the Darwinian algorithm) it is Smith’s invisible-hand economics -- the Austrian variants of which are the most strikingly evolutionary in character. It is therefore odd that Galbraith calls his article “Smith v. Darwin.” Indeed, it is the economics of the left, so affectionately espoused by Galbraith and his compatriots, that is secular Intelligent Design par excellence.

Consider quotes like this from the New York Times’ Paul Krugman: “What's interesting about [the Bush Administration] is that there's no sign that anybody's actually thinking about ‘well, how do we run this economy?’”

The very idea of “running” an economy is predicated upon the notion that economies can be run and fine-tuned, much like a machine. But what Krugman and folks like Galbraith fail to understand is that the economy isn’t a machine at all, but an ecosystem. And ecosystems aren’t designed, they evolve.

Recall the last time you were in a room with both liberals and conservatives. If the liberal heard the conservative start to talk about Intelligent Design, you might have seen him shake his head rather smugly. Why? Because he will have read his Kaufmann, his Dawkins, and of course, his Darwin. He’ll let the creationist say his piece, and then he’ll reply along these lines:

As long as the basic regularities of nature are in place, Darwinism and complexity theory predict that the myriad forms of life and details of the world will emerge from the simplest substructures -- i.e. atoms, amino acids, DNA and so on. The world doesn’t need a designer. The complexity of the world is a spontaneously generated order. The laws of nature yield emergent complexity through autocatalytic processes.

But does our smug Darwinist extend this self-same rationale beyond life’s origins?

He ought to; because like our diverse ecosystems, a complex, well-ordered society arises from the existence of certain kinds of basic rules, norms, and institutions (societal DNA, if you will).

The critic may try in ad hoc fashion to reply that such institutions are “designed.” But this rejoinder misses the point. Once you start to argue about the development of institutions, it’s rather like arguing about how the laws of nature came to be. And these are rather separate discussions, ones that push the question of a Designer back to a point before evolutionary processes are set in motion. In any case, proper institutional rules obviate the need for central planners and technocrats to control the economy. And like any other ecosystem, the economy will always resist being bent to a designer’s will.

People on the political left, while characterizing conservatives as being flat-earthers, do believe in a form of Intelligent Design. For like their conservative counterparts who believe that nothing as complex as nature could possibly have emerged without being designed, Beltway bureaucrats and DNC Keynesians believe nothing as complex as an economy can exist without being shaped in their image.

What both fail to realize is that neither needs a planner. Markets (individual actors in cooperation) do a better job of self-regulation than any government official can do from on high. Ecosystems (complex flora and fauna interacting in complex ways) regulate themselves better than the most determined ecologist ever could.

In fact, the intersession of bureaucrats in the economy almost always make things worse -- as harmful unintended consequences follow from their actions. Because unlike the Intelligent Designer favored by Creationists, bureaucrats are neither omniscient, nor omnipotent.

A further, delicious irony in all of these quibbles about the relative merits of Intelligent Design comes in the fact that conservative proponents of ID may have borrowed their tactics directly from the left. According to philosopher Stanley Fish, writing in Harper’s:

“[The ‘teach the controversy’ battle cry] is an effective one, for it takes the focus away from the scientific credibility of Intelligent Design -- away from the question, ‘Why should it be taught in a biology class?’ -- and puts it instead on the more abstract issues of freedom and open inquiry. Rather than saying we’re right, the other guys are wrong, and there are the scientific reasons why, Intelligent Design polemicists say that every idea should at least get a hearing; that unpopular or minority views should always be represented; that questions of right and wrong should be left open; that what currently counts as knowledge should always be suspect, because it will typically reflect the interests and preferences of those in power. These ideas have been appropriated wholesale from the rhetoric of multiculturalism -- “

Of course, no self-respecting liberal will admit that his conceptual latticework is analogous to ID any more than he’ll admit that a minority view like ID should be protected from “hegemonic control by those in power” in the interests of “diversity.” I’ll leave it to the leftist intellectual to further plumb the depths of postmodernism and explain away the hypocrisy.

In the meantime, I’d like to know why, by the left’s own rationale, we should be teaching socialist economics – the economics of Intelligent Design -- in our public universities.

Max Borders is Managing Editor of TCSDaily.com. He is also founder of The Wingbeat Project


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: adamsmith; austrianeconomics; crevolist; evolution; intelligentdesign; johnkennethgalbraith; paulkrugman; theleft
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“Kaufmann” referenced above is Stuart Kaufmann, author of At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity
1 posted on 01/04/2006 7:33:38 AM PST by Nicholas Conradin
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To: Nicholas Conradin
A further, delicious irony in all of these quibbles about the relative merits of Intelligent Design comes in the fact that conservative proponents of ID may have borrowed their tactics directly from the left.

The Discovery Institute, the promoter of ID, is no different than the Sierra Club or Greenpeace. It's a "non-profit", bringing in serious cash to push a specific agenda for true believers. None of them give a rat's behind about truth, because that wouldn't fit their agenda, or bring in money from the believers.

2 posted on 01/04/2006 7:47:51 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: PatrickHenry

You've been pung.


3 posted on 01/04/2006 7:48:40 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: Nicholas Conradin

isn't this similar to dialectical materialism? It is a theory (adopted as the official philosophy of the Soviet communists) that political and historical events result from the conflict of social forces and are interpretable as a series of contradictions and their solutions. The conflict is believed to be caused by material needs. Or that there are driving factors in the world which cause similar things to happen, and all that we have to do is to recognize and use those factors.


4 posted on 01/04/2006 7:51:02 AM PST by Citizen Tom Paine (An old sailor sends)
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 330 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

5 posted on 01/04/2006 7:52:44 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: All
From the article:
Indeed, if ever there were a view of economics that builds in the blind, purposeless processes of trial-and-error, specialization, and complexity (the hallmarks of the Darwinian algorithm) it is Smith’s invisible-hand economics -- the Austrian variants of which are the most strikingly evolutionary in character.

[snip]

A further, delicious irony in all of these quibbles about the relative merits of Intelligent Design comes in the fact that conservative proponents of ID may have borrowed their tactics directly from the left. According to philosopher Stanley Fish, writing in Harper’s: “[The ‘teach the controversy’ battle cry] is an effective one, for it takes the focus away from the scientific credibility of Intelligent Design -- away from the question, ‘Why should it be taught in a biology class?’ -- and puts it instead on the more abstract issues of freedom and open inquiry. Rather than saying we’re right, the other guys are wrong, and there are the scientific reasons why, Intelligent Design polemicists say that every idea should at least get a hearing; that unpopular or minority views should always be represented; that questions of right and wrong should be left open; that what currently counts as knowledge should always be suspect, because it will typically reflect the interests and preferences of those in power. These ideas have been appropriated wholesale from the rhetoric of multiculturalism -- “

This article is right on target.
6 posted on 01/04/2006 7:56:29 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Indeed, if ever there were a view of economics that builds in the blind, purposeless processes of trial-and-error, specialization, and complexity (the hallmarks of the Darwinian algorithm) it is Smith’s invisible-hand economics -- the Austrian variants of which are the most strikingly evolutionary in character.

This is utterly incorrect. The free market operates "as if guided by an invisible hand" because buying and selling simply is the state of "economic nature," as designed by God and imprinted in human nature. Trade is as old as recorded history, as is the notion of private property, which is implied in the divine admonition against stealing.

Historically, other governmental systems imposed against this natural order either collapse or generally exist in a parasitical relationship with the market.

7 posted on 01/04/2006 8:06:51 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: PatrickHenry

Bingo.


8 posted on 01/04/2006 8:10:18 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our troops at home and abroad!!)
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To: Aquinasfan

Good voice you are in this wilderness. The anti-ID crowd of Darwinistonianistas are persistent in the adherence to their faith... Are they oriental or occidental in world view?


9 posted on 01/04/2006 8:11:34 AM PST by Broker (Science serves God)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
"Smith vs. Darwin"? Ludicrous. The affinities between market capitalism and Darwinian evolution are trivially obvious and have long been appreciated.
10 posted on 01/04/2006 8:12:48 AM PST by Physicist
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To: PatrickHenry
A further, delicious irony in all of these quibbles about the relative merits of Intelligent Design comes in the fact that conservative proponents of ID may have borrowed their tactics directly from the left.

I've been saying that for months - ID is little more than warmed over PC.

ID attempts to redefine words for political ends. ID requires science to conform to political dogma. ID wants to avoid anyone's delicate sensibilities from being hurt. ID elevates feelings to the level of facts.

This new PC is every bit as dangerous as the old one.

Shame on any "conservative" who eagerly embraces PC just because they think they can get a temporary political advantage out of it.

11 posted on 01/04/2006 8:21:06 AM PST by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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===> Placemarker <===
12 posted on 01/04/2006 8:22:46 AM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: Physicist
Even the arch-creationist website, Institute for Creationist Research, sees the connection:
Darwin's Influence on Ruthless Laissez Faire Capitalism.
13 posted on 01/04/2006 8:23:22 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: Citizen Tom Paine

Good point. Marxism was (is) determinative. There were "forces" at work in history. And Adam Smith's "unseen hand" - what is that? By the way, I note that Stanley Fish is now identified as a "philosopher," a guy who has deconstructed (wrecked)English departments across the country.


14 posted on 01/04/2006 8:24:55 AM PST by Malesherbes
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To: PatrickHenry

Thanks for the ping!


15 posted on 01/04/2006 8:25:37 AM PST by Alamo-Girl (Monthly is the best way to donate to Free Republic!)
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To: Aquinasfan
The free market operates "as if guided by an invisible hand" because buying and selling simply is the state of "economic nature," as designed by God and imprinted in human nature.

So was the trading of bananas for sex designed by God and imprinted in Bonobo Chimpanzee nature?

Weird guy, your god.

16 posted on 01/04/2006 8:25:40 AM PST by Right Wing Professor (Liberals have hijacked science for long enough. Now it's our turn -- Tom Bethell)
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To: highball
Shame on any "conservative" who eagerly embraces PC just because they think they can get a temporary political advantage out of it.

Shame on any "conservative" who eagerly embraces the ACLU just because they think they can get a temporary political advantage out of it.
17 posted on 01/04/2006 8:30:07 AM PST by microgood
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Great article! The question that baffles me about the numerous creationist trolls who constantly infest this forum is that it's never really obvious whether they are part of a grand conspiracy to make conservatives appear ignorant or whether they simply are an ignorant wing of the conservative movement. Smith and Darwin truly were two of a kind using the same general logic to respectively define economics and biology. The same general logic that defines conservatism.
18 posted on 01/04/2006 8:30:41 AM PST by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns)
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To: Physicist
The affinities between market capitalism and Darwinian evolution are trivially obvious and have long been appreciated.

I agree!!!

19 posted on 01/04/2006 8:33:46 AM PST by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns)
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To: microgood

"Shame on any "conservative" who eagerly embraces the ACLU just because they think they can get a temporary political advantage out of it."

Who has done this? Most of the posters I've seen are along the "broken clock" line.

Like Rush Limbaugh, who didn't turn them down when they offered help.


20 posted on 01/04/2006 8:41:36 AM PST by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Aquinasfan
"The free market operates "as if guided by an invisible hand" because buying and selling simply is the state of "economic nature," as designed by God and imprinted in human nature."

It seems to me that the state of "economic nature" that you're talking about is really a primitive state of civilization, not the state of nature that the Enlightenment philosophes and the Founders drew their inspiration from. The state of nature is itself a state of fear; the foundation for civilization is the recognition that men must band together and specialize in order to avoid violent death.

21 posted on 01/04/2006 8:48:57 AM PST by Reactionary (The Liberal Social Order is a Hedonistic Idiocy)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
I'm not sure it's fair to confabulate economists with biologists but if it is, Adam Smith is clearly a Darwinist whose very writings suggest a natural selection at work in an economic sphere.

The Left proposes an Intelligent Designer be put to work regulating the economy.

As I said at the outset I'm not a fan of mixing Economics and Biology and I don't think much of the arguments of ID proponents but I wouldn't stoop to comparing them with leftist economists.

22 posted on 01/04/2006 9:02:22 AM PST by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopechne is walking around free)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
Interesting article.

On a related note, I don't understand the left's inclination to treat Darwinism as a refutation of religious belief. They fall into the old Nazi trap of bringing Darwinism into the moral realm, where it inevitably leads to mayhem.

Treating humans as just another chemical species, and more similar than different to animals, kind of reduces morality and self-restraint to a quaint superstition. If evolution alone explains humanity, then an individual's sole objectives ought to be spreading DNA and preventing others from doing so, and any other purpose in a purely material world is for suckers.

23 posted on 01/04/2006 9:09:07 AM PST by Monti Cello
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To: Monti Cello
Treating humans as just another chemical species, and more similar than different to animals, kind of reduces morality and self-restraint to a quaint superstition.

That's the fundamental nature of biology. There's nothing in biology to suggest that humans are any "different" than any other mammal apart from the defining physical characteristics (bipedalism, brain capacity, etc). I've heard objections that such a view is undesirable, but you can't change the basic observations of biology through righteous indignation. Any source of morality is going to have to come from outside of scientific inquiry; defining right and wrong is not a function of any branch of science (something many creationists seem to ignore).

If evolution alone explains humanity, then an individual's sole objectives ought to be spreading DNA and preventing others from doing so, and any other purpose in a purely material world is for suckers.

Actually, no. Evolution simply defines how biological systems operate; it does not describe purpose or suggest that anyone should take any specific course of action.
24 posted on 01/04/2006 9:18:06 AM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: microgood
Shame on any "conservative" who eagerly embraces the ACLU just because they think they can get a temporary political advantage out of it.

I don't blindly choose (or not choose) my position on an issue just because of what someone else chooses. Do you? If so, then you are allowing the ACLU to decide your beliefs.

25 posted on 01/04/2006 9:42:36 AM PST by Antonello (Oh my God, don't shoot the banana!)
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To: Monti Cello
If evolution alone explains humanity, then an individual's sole objectives ought to be spreading DNA and preventing others from doing so, and any other purpose in a purely material world is for suckers.

Why would you identify your own personal goals with those of your genes?

(And, as a matter of fact, since your own genes are to an extent in competition with each other, which of your genes do you intend to side with?)

26 posted on 01/04/2006 9:45:52 AM PST by Right Wing Professor (Liberals have hijacked science for long enough. Now it's our turn -- Tom Bethell)
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To: Right Wing Professor
(And, as a matter of fact, since your own genes are to an extent in competition with each other, which of your genes do you intend to side with?)

Speaking of this, have you by chance read through Genes in Conflict by Austin Burt and Robert Trivers? I saw it the other day but didn't pick it up, and was wondering if it would be worth adding to my library.

27 posted on 01/04/2006 9:55:39 AM PST by Antonello (Oh my God, don't shoot the banana!)
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To: Antonello
Speaking of this, have you by chance read through Genes in Conflict by Austin Burt and Robert Trivers?

I haven't read it. But the idea that all our genes might not be on the same page is covered even in The Selfish Gene

28 posted on 01/04/2006 10:24:21 AM PST by Right Wing Professor (Liberals have hijacked science for long enough. Now it's our turn -- Tom Bethell)
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To: Reactionary
It seems to me that the state of "economic nature" that you're talking about is really a primitive state of civilization, not the state of nature that the Enlightenment philosophes and the Founders drew their inspiration from. The state of nature is itself a state of fear

I don't mean Hobbes' state of nature, but something more along the lines of the natural law. Like marriage, trade is a natural institution. It "just happens," with or without laws or other formal social institutions supporting it.

the foundation for civilization is the recognition that men must band together and specialize in order to avoid violent death.

The first principle of the state is the preservation common good. The defense of citizens' lives follows immediately from this first principle. Protection of private property logically follows next. And with private property comes "specialization," or the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, the universality of which demonstrates the fact that such is part of the natural order.

29 posted on 01/04/2006 10:36:39 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: shuckmaster

...it's never really obvious whether they are part of a grand conspiracy to make conservatives appear ignorant or whether they simply are an ignorant wing of the conservative movement.

IMO, mostly the latter.

30 posted on 01/04/2006 10:58:54 AM PST by ml1954 (NOT the disruptive troll seen frequently on CREVO threads)
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To: narby
The Discovery Institute, the promoter of ID, is no different than the Sierra Club or Greenpeace. It's a "non-profit", bringing in serious cash to push a specific agenda for true believers. None of them give a rat's behind about truth, because that wouldn't fit their agenda, or bring in money from the believers.

So what does that say about FR? :)

Any IDer who supports an "intelligently designed economy" run by putatively omniscent, omnicompetent men would likely realize his idolatry sooner or later.

31 posted on 01/04/2006 11:21:16 AM PST by Dumb_Ox (Hoc ad delectationem stultorum scriptus est)
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To: Nicholas Conradin
"......free-market economists are crazy, and that creationists are ignorant rubes......"

I wouldn't use either of these two characterizations as the first is patently wrong and, with respect to the second, I would use the phrase "Useful Idiots" instead.

32 posted on 01/04/2006 11:25:04 AM PST by DoctorMichael (The Fourth-Estate is a Fifth-Column!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Broker
Good voice you are in this wilderness.

Yoda? Is that you?
33 posted on 01/04/2006 11:57:41 AM PST by aNYCguy
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To: Nicholas Conradin

I can see some connections between ID and leftist economic thinking.

Many IDers think it's impossible that life as it exists today could be a result of natural selection of random mutations. It seemingly defies common sense. They don't see how simple competition for reproduction combined with a vast number of possibilities over vast periods of time could possibly result in what looks like the ordered complexity of human life. So they credit a supernatural hand that just waves a wand and creates people.

Similarly, many socialists think that it's impossible that the poor would be better off as a result of each individual acting in his own economic self-interest. It seemingly defies common sense. They don't see how simple competition for resources combined with a vast network of labor and a vast market of demand could possibly result in a wealthy society for all. So they advocate using the hand of government to simply hand over resources to the poor.

Both take the common sense approach. What's the simplest way to explain an animal's existence? Someone made it that way. What's the simplest way for a poor man to earn a living? Hand a living over to him. In reality, careful analysis has shown our intuition to be the wrong approach in both cases. Both underestimate the power of vast systems driven forward by competitive engines.


34 posted on 01/04/2006 1:07:33 PM PST by Phocion ("Protection" really means exploiting the consumer. - Milton Friedman)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Why would you identify your own personal goals with those of your genes?

I don't. Perhaps you missed the 'if' at the beginning of my statement. Anyone's decision to have children would obviously align genetic self-propagation with personal goals.

35 posted on 01/04/2006 1:12:21 PM PST by Monti Cello
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To: Monti Cello
Perhaps you missed the 'if' at the beginning of my statement. Anyone's decision to have children would obviously align genetic self-propagation with personal goals.

Perhaps you missed the 'would' in mine?

Actually, the well-being of one's children, each of whom share only 50% of one's genes, isn't completely aligned with the survival of one's genome.

But in any case, I know why evolution would tend to cause one to favor one's biological children; but I'm not sure how New Testament ethics justify favoring them.

36 posted on 01/04/2006 1:30:13 PM PST by Right Wing Professor (Liberals have hijacked science for long enough. Now it's our turn -- Tom Bethell)
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To: PatrickHenry
Just superb!
37 posted on 01/04/2006 1:59:32 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Right Wing Professor
I know why evolution would tend to cause one to favor one's biological children; but I'm not sure how New Testament ethics justify favoring them.

That's a good point. I don't see it either.

All I'm saying is that equating Darwinism with religion is nihilistic and ultimately inhumane.

38 posted on 01/04/2006 1:59:39 PM PST by Monti Cello
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To: Nicholas Conradin
socialist economics – the economics of Intelligent Design

Direct hit. Target destroyed.

39 posted on 01/04/2006 2:02:18 PM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: Aquinasfan
Historically, other governmental systems imposed against this natural order either collapse or generally exist in a parasitical relationship with the market.

Yes, just as arguments for "intelligent design" either collapse outright or exist in parasitical relationship with real science (by cherry-picking individual scientific discoveries from their context).

40 posted on 01/04/2006 2:05:36 PM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: Aquinasfan
The free market operates "as if guided by an invisible hand" because buying and selling simply is the state of "economic nature,"

Just as evolution through natural selection simply is the state of biological nature. Precisely the author's point.

41 posted on 01/04/2006 2:07:38 PM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: Aquinasfan
This is utterly incorrect. The free market operates "as if guided by an invisible hand" because buying and selling simply is the state of "economic nature," as designed by God and imprinted in human nature.

Strange, God seems to have imprinted that "economic nature" on all primates.

Simianomics

42 posted on 01/04/2006 2:46:22 PM PST by dread78645 (Sorry Mr. Franklin, We couldn't keep it.)
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To: Right Wing Professor

GMTA.


43 posted on 01/04/2006 2:57:14 PM PST by dread78645 (Sorry Mr. Franklin, We couldn't keep it.)
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To: Nicholas Conradin

In Panda's Thumb by Stephen Jay Gould, the late Harvard Evolutionist, on page 66 he states " In fact, I believe that the theory of natural selection should be viewed as an extended analogy-whether concious or unconcious on Darwin's part I do not know- to the laissez faire economics of Adam Smith."


44 posted on 01/04/2006 3:18:43 PM PST by Geostorm
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To: Geostorm

Thanks for posting that. I wasn't aware of it.


45 posted on 01/04/2006 4:14:26 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: aNYCguy

Yes Luke this is yoda. The good new is I insure with USAA and am not claiming any monkeys in my rise from obscurity.


46 posted on 01/04/2006 5:40:57 PM PST by Broker (Science serves God)
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To: Geostorm; PatrickHenry

"In Panda's Thumb by Stephen Jay Gould, the late Harvard Evolutionist, on page 66 he states " In fact, I believe that the theory of natural selection should be viewed as an extended analogy-whether concious or unconcious on Darwin's part I do not know- to the laissez faire economics of Adam Smith.""

Goes to show you how confused Gould is along with the author of the original article of this thread.

First of all, actors in the free market usually have a long-term business plan. Do organisms have such a plan?

Secondly, "competition" in economics is fundamentally different than competition in nature. To be successful economically, a company must fill a need for a customer. Which "customer" does a lion serve when he "competes" with a zebra?

The whole notion that laissez-faire economics is comparable to free-market economics is obvious baloney. The idea of free-markets is not anarchy. The idea behind it is that the participants posess the "intelligence," hence centralized "intelligence" or planning is unnecessary and often harmful.


47 posted on 01/05/2006 12:03:08 AM PST by RussP
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To: RussP; Geostorm; longshadow; Ichneumon; VadeRetro
Goes to show you how confused Gould is along with the author of the original article of this thread.

Someone around here is confused, that's for sure.

First of all, actors in the free market usually have a long-term business plan. Do organisms have such a plan?

The players in a free market are analogous to individuals in the biosphere. Companies have business plans (some of them, anyway), and individual creatures have their motivations. However, what's missing here -- as both Gould and Smith understood -- is an overall planner. In a free market, there is no Stalin or Hillary who puts out a 5-year plan, and who must approve all exceptions. And in the biosphere, there is no "designer" who is orchestrating the whole shebang.

Secondly, "competition" in economics is fundamentally different than competition in nature.

They're not fundamentally different at all. That's why the Gould-Smith analogy is such a compelling one.

To be successful economically, a company must fill a need for a customer.

Yes, we know. And it must do so with the limited resources available, and in a competitive environment, and it must behave so as to remain in business, etc. The whole free-market/evolution analogy.

Which "customer" does a lion serve when he "competes" with a zebra?

Are you really as confused as your question indicates?

The whole notion that laissez-faire economics is comparable to free-market economics is obvious baloney.

Yes, you really are confused.

The idea of free-markets is not anarchy.

Right. And to continue with the Gould-Smith analogy, evolution is a process that is governed by natural law.

The idea behind it [free-market economics] is that the participants possess the "intelligence," hence centralized "intelligence" or planning is unnecessary and often harmful.

Actually ... no. It's not that the existence of individual intelligence makes the central planning unnecessary. The existence of central planning necessarily suppresses the individual participants' freedom of action -- whether such individual action is intelligent or foolish. And the outcome of a free market situation, like the outcome of the biosphere, is that those who survive will be best suited to do so -- an outcome that cannot be centrally planned.

48 posted on 01/05/2006 3:30:07 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: PatrickHenry
This article is right on target.

Nope, but it's a new spin, anyway. We'll just have to completely ignore the blatant fact that the loudest allies of the Darwinists are left wing activists - the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Morris Dees, Barney Frank, etc...

49 posted on 01/05/2006 3:50:40 AM PST by Hacksaw
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To: Hacksaw
We'll just have to completely ignore the blatant fact that the loudest allies of the Darwinists are left wing activists - the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Morris Dees, Barney Frank, etc...

...George Will, Charles Krauthammer, John Derbyshire...

50 posted on 01/05/2006 3:53:21 AM PST by Right Wing Professor (Liberals have hijacked science for long enough. Now it's our turn -- Tom Bethell)
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