Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DNA Commissar

           DNA Commissar

          One creationist argument cites the ‘irreducible complexity’ of certain vital biological systems. But we can turn this argument around, and in the process expose a cultural contradiction of conservatism; for its cosmology and its politics do not match up.
          Consider a bottle of milk. How did it get from the farm to your doorstep? If you investigate this question, you will find that industrial society has truly elaborate food-production and food-delivery systems. Not only is the milk-delivery system complex, but it is irreducibly so; without the farmer or the trucker or the dispatcher or the milkman (or even the banker!) that bottle of milk would not arrive.

          Milk production and distribution is irreducibly complex; does this imply that there must exist a central milk planning board? Is there a Milk Czar whose job is to micromanage everything to do with the milk trade? Does that milk bottle at your doorstep imply, by an Argument From Design, the existence of a Milk Commissar?

          The absurdity of the above questions reveals a cultural contradiction of conservatism; its cosmology is paternalistic, if not authoritarian, but its political economics are libertarian, if not anarchistic. Cultural conservatives wisely question the value of central planning in the human realm, yet foolishly insist that it would work if applied to the entire cosmos!

          If there is no Milk Commissar; if such a bureaucrat would indeed be a hindrance to the milk trade; if irreducibly complex social systems can organize themselves by blind market forces alone, then why (by analogy) need there be a central genetic planner?

          Given this century’s experience with command economies vs. free markets, which is a more credible creator of life’s miracles: a DNA Commissar or the Invisible Hand of Natural Selection?

No comments:

Post a Comment