The Robert Taft Club is hosting a panel discussion tonight on the society, politics, and the biological sciences with Charles Murray (co-author of The Bell Curve), Tom Bethell (author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science and a senior editor of the American Spectator), John Derbyshire (of National Review), Ron Bailey (Reason‘s science correspondent).
The event runs from 7:30 (panel itself begins at 8, but arriving early is a good idea) to 10 pm in the Fillmore Room of the Boulevard Woodgrill, 2901 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, VA. Directions here. More event details here. It’s a free event — though we suggest a donation of $10 to help us defray costs — so if you’re in the area, consider attending.
Larry Arnhart’s blog is worth a link.
I’m probably not exactly a Darwinian conservative myself — my secret wish is to rehabilitate Lamarck — but plainly the assault on Darwin lately is ideological rather than scientific and must be resisted.
Addendum: Actually there’s quite a lot wrong with Arnhart’s specific ideas about Darwinian conservatism, including this, “Darwinian conservatives will agree with President Bush that there is a natural desire for liberty.” What evidence is there for this claim? Most people throughout most of the world for most of history have been quite unfree and don’t seem to have chafed a great deal at their condition. Clearly enough, whatever natural drive there may be for freedom is easly satisfied or else overpowered by other impulses.
My naive impression is that a taste for freedom is both biologically and culturally uncommon. But then, a tend toward a pessimistic, Cram-like view of these things.
Addendum II: Following a link from Steve Sailer, I see the War Nerd has addressed the myth that people want democracy (not the same thing as freedom, of course, but these day people tend to mistake one for the other).
“Chinese, English Spakers Do Math Differently.” A vindication of polylogism? Not exactly, but interesting nonetheless.
Go ahead, let 'em eat your brain — you probably don't need it.
(The link takes you to a rather dubious looking website reporting the strange case of a man whose gray matter was almost entirely crowded out by cerebrospinal fluid — he was hydrocephalic — yet who not only was still able to function normal, he even graduated from college with honors with a degree in mathematics. File under fun with pseudoscience.)
Apparently, DDT is good with gin.
Nicholas Wade's NYT piece today on regeneration tells me something — well, more than one thing — I didn't know, including this: "Mammals, too, can renew damaged parts of their body. All can regenerate the liver."
I'm delighted to hear it, and so is my bartender.
Write your own joke to go along with that headline from today’s New York Times.
The article itself isn’t such a laughing matter, though. It’s about evolutionary competition between pregnant women and their in utero children.