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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Misguided Quest
The current Darwinian debate is usually incorrectly framed by the media as a clash between the so called political "right" and "left." Conservatives are assumed to be critical of Darwin's theory, while liberals supportive of it. Financial conservatives are often assumed to be political, social and religious conservatives. The real world, though, is far more complex. This...
Published on November 18, 2007 by The Professor

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12 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Conflict of interest
Mr Cooper probably should mention that he is a former attorney for the Discovery Institute of Seattle, where Dr West is a Senior Fellow.

Readers should also be aware that Dr West's PhD is in Government, and he is probably not the best person to write a book on what evolutionary theory may or may not imply. In fact, it is a misunderstanding of the (non)...
Published on April 16, 2007 by Timothy S. Gormley Jr.


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Misguided Quest, November 18, 2007
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This review is from: Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest (Paperback)
The current Darwinian debate is usually incorrectly framed by the media as a clash between the so called political "right" and "left." Conservatives are assumed to be critical of Darwin's theory, while liberals supportive of it. Financial conservatives are often assumed to be political, social and religious conservatives. The real world, though, is far more complex. This book explores this complex topic. The best chapter by far was chapter 6 on the question "Is Darwinism compatible with Religion." West does the best job of anyone I know covering this topic. Buy the book for this chapter alone. Evolution says life started simple and became enormously complex, from the goo to humans by way of the zoo, whereas the people of the book all say life started out perfect and has since degenerated. Theism says God deliberately created life for a purpose. Orthodox Evolutionism says life is a result of mutations producing new genetic information and natural selection pruning the less well adapted from the new mix (the survival of the fittest) and that life has no purpose except survival. It is difficult for me to create a greater dichotomy then that between theistic religion and modern Neo-Darwinism. But I oversimplify, as West documents very well. To understand why read the chapter. Last, West covers the fact that if you question Darwinism (or whatever you call this world view), you may well find your self without a job, even a career. He noted cases where people have been denied their degrees, tenure and even lost their careers due to questioning Darwinism (see pages 97-103 and the new movie Expelled). Darwinists are behaving like it is commonly believed Joseph McCarthy did as we now face a new inquisition thanks to the Dogmatic Darwin Fundamentalists.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, November 30, 2008
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This review is from: Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest (Paperback)
Become informed about science and relgion which is one of the hottest topics today. Lean about the untold story a big gaps in science where stories are made up to fill in the blanks. Develop independent thinking and think more like a scholar by having different perspectives. You can not become a great thinker with out all the facts. The truth is "facts are missing' in the our history and people do not know it. Learn to open and expand your thinking with this book and many others like it. This book is highly suggested.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read to Understand all Facets of This Debate, April 8, 2009
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This review is from: Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest (Paperback)
Learn how conservatives can get caught up in the politics and bad science of Darwinism. A great intro into the non-science side of the evolution vs design debate.
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18 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and Convincing Argument Against Darwinian "Conservatism", November 14, 2006
This review is from: Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest (Paperback)
Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest is a concise response to claims that social, economic and political conservatism are ultimately grounded in neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. Political scientist Dr. John G. West deftly details Darwinism's utter inability to provide a coherent basis for morality, the traditional family, free markets, and limited government.

Crucial to West's book is a clear definition of the term "evolution." He takes aim at a conservatism based upon a particular definition of "evolution"; namely, the idea that all of life descended from a single common ancestor, and that all such life can be explained as the result of an unplanned and unguided process of natural selection operating upon random genetic mutation (and other random variations). This understanding of "evolution" is more precisely known as the theory of neo-Darwinian evolution.

West debunks the claim that traditional morality can be grounded in neo-Darwinian theory. "Showing a biological basis for certain moral desires could conceivably reinforce traditional morality," asserts West, "but only if we have reason to assume that those biological desires are somehow normative." He goes on to write that many conservatives "fail to appreciate is how the Darwinian account of the origins of biological traits fundamentally undercuts their effort to treat our biological desires as normative." Rather, Darwinism posits human nature itself is in a never-ending evolutionary process responding to environmental pressures. Moral principles develop simply because they promote survival in a given environment. "But once the conditions for survival change, so too do the dictates of morality."

A standout chapter on limited government shows the strong historic ties between ardent proponents of neo-Darwinian theory and eugenics. The chapter also briefly touches upon the manner in which socialists and later American progressives grounded their big-government ideals in extrapolations from Darwin's theory.

Important is West's challenge to the falsehood that neo-Darwinian theory is scientifically unassailable. A growing number of scientists question the sufficiency of natural selection to account for all of life's diversity, complexity and intricacy. Furthermore, West gives a brief defense of the theory of intelligent design, the emerging scientific alternative to neo-Darwinian evolution.

This book should be widely read among conservatives and anyone interested in the social, ethical, economic and political implications of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. I highly recommend it.
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12 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Conflict of interest, April 16, 2007
This review is from: Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest (Paperback)
Mr Cooper probably should mention that he is a former attorney for the Discovery Institute of Seattle, where Dr West is a Senior Fellow.

Readers should also be aware that Dr West's PhD is in Government, and he is probably not the best person to write a book on what evolutionary theory may or may not imply. In fact, it is a misunderstanding of the (non) theological implications of evolutionary theory that serve as the impetus for much of the work of that institute.

This book is basically an attempt at manipulating libertarian and financial conservatives into an political alliance with social and religious conservatives against darwinism. It will have some difficulty, but not because the point is flawed. It is probably true that our moral and economic systems are not rooted in Darwinian natural selection. Games theory is probably a better genesis.

The difficulty will be that libertarian and conservatives will not take direction from the mystical interpretations of others.

We conservative darwinists fully understand that the theory can be tested. That is why it is scientific (in contrast to creationism/intelligent design - can't disprove an all powerful god). More, we are not so insecure in our beliefs that we feel them threatened by a scientific theory. Lastly, we understand that the veracity of the theory has nothing to do with our preferences, the political force of any interested party, or YOUR interpretation of scripture.

The wonderful thing about science is that is egalitarian. It can be "done" by anyone and the truth does not bow to authority. I commend it to you and the reader.
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Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest
Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest by John G. West (Paperback - November 14, 2006)
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