Tag Archives: Charles Darwin

He Said That? 1/12/18

From Charles Darwin (1809–1882), English naturalist, geologist and biologist, The Descent of  Man (1871):

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

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He Said That? 6/1/16

From Charles Darwin (1809-1882), English naturalist, On the Origin of Species (1959):

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

He Said That? 1/14/15

From Charles Darwin (1809-1882), English naturalist, On the Origin of Species (1859):

As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form.

See “The Inevitability of Eugenics: A Race of Self-Designing Tinker Toys,” by Fred Reed

A Brief History of Government by Robert Gore

By Robert Gore

The history of government is a history of violence. The first caveman “leader” was the most skilled practitioner of violence; he provided security for his tribe and subjugated other tribes. His power meant that he was the dispenser of justice, resolving disputes and punishing those who broke the tribe’s taboos. His services were never free; tribute was exacted from those he led. Usually a theology was created that ascribed mystical powers to the leader—good PR.

As the millennia unrolled, tribes became city-states, nations, and empires; leaders became pharaohs, kings, czars, and emperors, and government remained a protection racket and dispenser of justice, often retaining the religious gloss. The only check on governments’ power was when they encountered overwhelming violence—invasion or revolution or some combination of the two. Every government failed eventually; the unfettered ability to employ violence against other people destroys human psyches, judgment, and morals. Governments compiled an unmatched record of war, genocide, and destruction of lives, property, commerce, and peaceful cooperation among people.

However, they are a necessary evil. For centuries political philosophers have grappled with how to preserve the necessary while eliminating the evil. The Founding Fathers tried to limit our government: designing a republic; delineating an agency role for government, to which the people delegated enumerated powers; separating those powers among three branches; creating checks and balances. Constitutional amendment, judicial interpretation, and executive, legislative, and bureaucratic accretions of power have destroyed that design. With only a few shrinking exceptions, our government can use its coercive power for any purpose it sees fit. That puts it in the illustrious company of every other government in the world, and all the failed governments since the cavemen. Continue reading