Crisis Online (January 1996)

Letters to the Editor


Darwin Endangered

Rabbi Daniel Lapin is quite right to draw a connection between Darwinism and morality ("Darwin is Dead," November 1995). Phil Johnson's book Reason in the Balance (which Lapin cites) puts it colorfully: "I have found that any discussion with modernists about the weaknesses of the theory of evolution quickly turns into politics, particularly sexual politics." Why? Because modernists "typically fear that any discrediting of naturalistic evolution will end in women being sent to the kitchen, gays to the closet, and abortionists to jail."

Though their fears are exaggerated, people are right to sense instinctively that more is at stake in scientific theories than science - that a connection exists between the material and the moral orders. Darwinism is regarded as the factual foundation for a host of liberal theories in fields that deal with human behavior: law, ethics, education, anthropology, even theology.

The reason the evolution controversy generates such high emotion is not that people care passionately about, say, changes in the size of finch beaks but that they sense a potential challenge to their moral choices.

Nancy R. Pearcey
Reston, Virginia