Read this article in the Times about the emerging debate over Darwin within conservative ranks. It's not just about the fact that some of their leading politicians admit to not believing in evolution. It's about whether Darwin can be used to justify conservative social and economic policies. Some conservative intellectuals, apparently, are contending
that Darwin’s scientific theories about the evolution of species can be applied to today’s patterns of human behavior, and that natural selection can provide support for many bedrock conservative ideas, like traditional social roles for men and women, free-market capitalism and governmental checks and balances.One common tactic of creationists is to smear their opponents with the legacy of early-20th century Social Darwinists, as though they have anything to do with the teaching of evolutionary science. But perhaps it's a tactic that makes sense to the right-wingers, as it seems that it's their own allies who are, in fact, susceptible to to those very crackpot ideas.
“I do indeed believe conservatives need Charles Darwin,” said Larry Arnhart, a professor of political science at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, who has spearheaded the cause. “The intellectual vitality of conservatism in the 21st century will depend on the success of conservatives in appealing to advances in the biology of human nature as confirming conservative thought.”