18 December 2008

Evolution and the Economy, Redux

A few months ago, I wrote a rather incoherent post about the economy. I had a good point, but I made it badly, and it's been nagging me ever since. Well, just now, doing dishes, the answer came to me. Here's hoping it works better this time:

Conservative on the Economy:

"The economy is far too complex for human beings to control effectively. All attempts to create a more perfect economy through design (i.e. Communism) have ended in dismal failure. The only way to create a functional, prosperous economy is to let market forces decide everything."

Conservative on the Origin of Life:

"It's impossible for something as perfect and complex as a human being to exist without an intelligent creator behind it. It is impossible to conceive of how something so complex can work so well together without some element of design. There is no way that dispassionate, natural forces could create something so streamlined and elegant."

An elegant little bit of hypocrisy, innit? The argument from personal incredulity was flimsy enough already -- but to argue that dispassionate selection could never create a human being, but is nevertheless the *only* way to create a functional economy is absolutely galling.

So-called fiscal-conservatives are more Darwinian, methinks, than they would care to admit.

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