L. Neil Smith's
Number 366, May 7, 2006

"The Lamestream Media"

Being Mean to Intelligent Designers
by Darian Worden

Exclusive to TLE

I think that most readers of The Libertarian Enterprise would agree that that the best way to resolve the evolution versus intelligent design controversy is to separate school and state. This would allow parents and their kids to decide what combination of reason and faith they think is the best explanation of how we got here, and it would keep politics out of the decision. So instead of beating that issue to death, I'm going to share a few thoughts I've had about the controversy that fall along different lines.

It seems that the people who are most eager to eradicate intelligent design from "our" schools often like to think of themselves (whether they use the words or not) as social engineers. They all have their great plans for how we should live in order to best ensure the success of our species, and they want us to obey it. This makes them the self-appointed intelligent designers of modern society. They attack the idea that the complexity of life on earth implies that a designer did it, but they also tell us that human civilization needs some kind of central planner to evolve and prosper. I wouldn't call this doublethink, but I do find it odd that someone would hold these two beliefs simultaneously. If we got this far without a superhuman designer, why do we need a human one now?

"Humans are social animals," they will say. But why do we need someone to direct how we socialize? And isn't forcing everyone to live by your will regardless of theirs a bit antisocial?

These intelligent designers have no factual basis for their faith in central planning no matter how hard they try to fabricate one. And unlike the often ridiculed theory of intelligent design, statist theories can easily be proven correct or incorrect by reason and observation. As shown by thinkers like Bastiat, von Mises, and others, theories that try to justify central planning are quite ridiculous. All logical and empirical evidence (when not skewed by court intellectuals) shows that humans do best when the only bounds to their actions are the equal rights of others to not be aggressed against.

Ask one of these intelligent designers of humanity how society prospers. Is there a natural selection in the marketplace that ensures survival of the fit, or does human action require guidance from some mysterious force that arises when enough people with suits and degrees congregate?

We might expect an intelligent designer to say trade based on voluntary exchange is not an unavoidable result of human nature. Depending on what type of intelligent designer we are talking about, they will either say that government is somehow required for it to take place, or that such exchanges are "an example of the naked exploitation inherent in the violent exploitive system of capitalist evil—Amen!" Either way, central planning is presented as the solution to the supposed inadequacy of liberty to foster human development.

We can easily observe history and see that when individuals associating on a voluntary basis are free to do anything that isn't aggressive, civilization flourishes. When individual liberty is sacrificed for the good of the state, a principle seen most purely in communism, fascism, and national socialism, we see destruction and despair. One might even argue that such systems require de-evolution of humans to irrational beasts, which is why they all fail.

Since I'm in the mood to be mean, I'm going to present a snooty analysis of why the intelligent designers I've been talking about hold the beliefs they do. I don't really know how accurately it describes them, but I suspect that it can partially explain why at least some of them would ridicule what is commonly known as the theory of intelligent design and still say that we must live according to what they "intelligently" design.

Maybe these people believe that they are the real gods, and like most gods and socialists, they just can't stand competition. "Believe in me," they say, "and I will show you the way." Maybe they are horrified at what they see in humanity and they want to remake man—some socialists are very honest about how they despise our "greed" and "self-interest" and openly admit that they need to make a "new man" for their utopia to succeed. Despising your fellow humans while believing that you are somehow above them, thinking that your word holds the key to their salvation, and wanting to remake man in your image sounds like a god complex to me.

The above paragraph was supposed to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but people should seriously be aware of what their beliefs logically commit them to. If the incredible complexity of life as we know it today could arise from such humble origins without anyone interfering, why does modern civilization need anyone in charge to lead it into the future? Humans have all of the compassion and intelligence we need to build future great societies without the coercion of wannabe gods.

The only unlimited capacity such wannabe's appear to have is the ability to overrate their own intelligence. Relying on them to show us the way can only impede, reverse, or redirect further evolution along less desirable lines. Have you ever thought about how humans might evolve over the next 100,000 years if the current political climate endures that long? A few images come to my mind as I try to answer this question. The first is aliens shown in films like Independence Day—collectivist killers who don't seem to even think about why they should trade with those lowly humans when they could destroy them and steal the resources they own. The other is ape-like morons clubbing other tribes to death for the common good.

Of course, not even a force as powerful as the state can stand in the way of progress resulting from the evolution of human ideas. The state as we know it may one day become extinct as liberty proves to be fitter for survival. Humans are amazing animals, and after the extinction of our biggest enemy we will become even greater. So let us make liberty strong enough to eradicate its competition.


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