Blog Profile / Darwinian Conservatism

Filed Under:Academics / Philosophy
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Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Thinking About Galapagos (5): FitzRoy and Darwin

Cerro Brujo (Finger Hill) on San Cristobal Island The "Cathedral" Rock Formation in Cerro Brujo On the morning of Day 4 (January 31), we were on the northwest coast of San Cristobal at Cerro Brujo, a large tuff cone that has eroded to create caves and a tunnel. Show More Summary

Thinking About Galapagos (4): A Baconian Mastery of Nature for a Darwinian Contemplative Life

Hiking on South Plaza Island on Day 3 of our trip, we saw the over 500 cacti planted on this small island by the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS). They are protected by fencing. This was done because feral goals had eaten down most of the cacti on the island. Show More Summary

The Cambridge Conference on Natural Law: Comments on the Papers

I will be participating in a conference on natural law at the University of Cambridge on March 4th, at the Lecture Theatre LG 18, Faculty of Law.The papers for the conference can be found in a Dropbox file.My paper is entitled "The Darwinian...Show More Summary

Thinking About Galapagos (3): The Evolution of Iguanas, Finches, and Humans by Hybridization

Marine Iguana Land Iguana Hybrid Iguana from Breeding of a Male Marine Iguana and Female Land Iguana Video of Marine Iguana Feeding Underwater South Plaza Island, Looking Towards North Plaza Island A Video on the Hybrid IguanaOn DayShow More Summary

Thinking About Galapagos (2): Islands of Life

A Panoramic View of Pinnacle Point on Bartholomew IslandOn Day 1 (January 28), my wife and I landed at the Baltra airport. There we met the five other passengers for our cruise on the Cormorant (a German couple from Switzerland, a Canadian couple from Montreal, and an American living in Ecuador) and our naturalist guide (Xavier). Show More Summary

February 12: Darwin Day, Lincoln Day, and Galapagos Day

Today is the birthday of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln, who were born on this day in 1809. It is also "Galapagos Day," because on February 12, 1832, there was a formal ceremony to mark Ecuador's formal acquisition of the Galapagos...Show More Summary

Thinking About Galapagos: Divine Creation? Intelligent Design? Darwinian Evolution?

Having completed my second cruise around the Galapagos Islands on board the Cormorant, I have spent a total of 24 days in the Galapagos. Of the 14 notably large islands, I have been to 11. I have also been to some of the dozen or more small islets. Show More Summary

Back to the Galapagos!

The Cormorant Today, my wife and I leave for our second cruise on The Cormorant around the Galapagos Islands (January 28 to February 4). As I did for the first cruise in 2013, I will write a series of posts on our tour after we return. Show More Summary

Is Monogamy for the Birds?

A Penguin FamilyIf monogamy is the pairing of a single male and a single female to cooperate in the generation and rearing of offspring, this looks like monogamy. A male and a female penguin have given birth to a chick that they areShow More Summary

Does Ethnic Nationalism Have Greater Genetic Fitness than Classical Liberalism?

Both Friedrich Hayek and Paul Rubin have argued that the liberal social order has emerged through a process of evolution as more adaptive than any other social order. Both Hayek and Rubin have been challenged by some critics who argue...Show More Summary

Biological Historicity and the Gombe Chimpanzee War

Yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of the beginning of the Gombe Chimpanzee War, which began on January 7, 1974, and ended on June 5, 1978. Since 1960, Jane Goodall had been studying the chimpanzees along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania (in what was first called the Gombe Stream Reserve and then later Gombe National Park). Show More Summary

Lecturing on Natural Law at Cambridge University, March 4

On March 4th, I will be at the University of Cambridge to participate in "A Symposium on the Philosophical and Theological Foundations of Law and Justice in Honour of Amanda Perreau-Saussine Ezcurra (1971-2012)." The symposium will be...Show More Summary

The Extinction of the Shakers Vindicates Darwinian Natural Law

The only Shaker community still existing is at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine. The community's website has just announced the death of Sister Frances Carr on Monday, which leaves only two Shakers alive today--Brother Arnold Hadd and Sister June Carpenter. Show More Summary

Lewis's Lockean Liberalism

Dyer and Watson point out that Lewis saw Richard Hooker's Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity as one of the best expressions of the classical natural-law tradition. John Locke appealed to Hooker in explaining how the law of nature arises in the state of nature. Show More Summary

C. S. Lewis's Natural Law of Lockean Liberalism

Did C. S. Lewis show how the ancient idea of natural law could support the modern idea of Lockean liberalism?That he did indeed do that is the provocative claim made by Justin Buckley Dyer and Micah J. Watson in their book C. S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Show More Summary

Ian Vasquez on the Human Freedom Index

Ian Vasquez is the Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. He has supervised the development of the Human Freedom Index. In response to my previous post, he has sent me the following comments: You bring...Show More Summary

Human Progress: (6) Measuring the Evolution of Freedom

Classical liberals argue that human freedom is good, because when human beings are free from coercion, they will voluntarily cooperate in the evolution of spontaneous orders that are more successful in satisfying human desires than any planned order using coercive power to achieve its goals. Show More Summary

Human Progress: (5) Life is More Peaceful

"The Hanging" by Jacques Callot, published in 1633 as the 11th in a series of 18 etchings entitled "The Miseries and Misfortunes of War," depicting the destruction and suffering of civilians in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), often...Show More Summary

Human Progress: (4) Life Shows More Equality of Opportunity

Five years ago, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement began when protesters settled into Zuccotti Park in New York City's Wall Street financial district. Their slogan was "We Are the 99%"--to indicate their protest against the economic inequality that allows too much wealth to be concentrated in the top 1% of society. Show More Summary

Human Progress: (3) Life is Richer and Less Impoverished

In considering the empirical data for human progress through the Liberal Enlightenment, we tend to look for statistical data. But statistical data often does not convey any clear image of how people live--of how, for example, the lives of poor people differ from the lives of rich people around the world. Show More Summary

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