Darwinian Evolution by Ron Unz
The American Spectator (Letters), February 2001
I was absolutely appalled by your current cover story attacking the Darwinian theory of evolution.
I am a conservative. I support traditional social values and maintaining the crucial role of organized religion in our society. On most issues, I would probably be characterized as a strong social conservative. But I am a scientist first and a conservative second.
Although I am a conservative, I would rather support an ultra-liberal political leader who believed that the world was round than a conservative political leader who believed that it was flat, because the latter belief is clear proof either of appalling ignorance or complete insanity. Disbelief in the modern theory of evolution falls into much the same category.
Today, even the most extremist and backward Islamic fundamentalists have accepted modern evolutionary theory. The Roman Catholic Church, which unlike most of the American enemies of evolution, is led by men who have real theological and philosophical training, accepts evolution. If America’s conservative movement turns against evolution it will totally discredit itself, and become a complete laughingstock.
Modern evolutionary theory is the thoroughly documented foundation of half of all modern science. Although I am a theoretical physicist by training, I would admit that Darwinian evolution is far more important and solidly established a scientific doctrine than Einsteinian relativity, Newtonian mechanics, or Heisenberg’s quantum physics. Darwinian evolution is (arguably) the single most important scientific discovery in all human history.
If conservatives reject Darwinian evolution, they will lose the support of nearly every scientist, every technology entrepreneur, every practical businessman, and the bulk of America’s college- educated population. They will transform themselves into a fanatic cult drawing its primary support from the most ignorant elements of the population.
I urge conservatives not to follow that path.
Chairman, English for the Children
Chairman, Wall Street Analytics, Inc.