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Let me share just one paragraph of my presentation at the APSA with you. More than that would undermine your incentive to get up early on Sunday.

It often seems as if America’s Lockean foundation offered our country a kind of stability that was undermined by the Darwinian theory about the inevitability and, implicitly, about the goodness of evolution or a process of constant, natural change that encompasses all that exists. Surely the Lockean idea of natural rights connected our principles with the ideas of the eternity of nature and the eternity of God of the premodern Western philosophical tradition. But from another view, Darwin and Locke both view nature as indifferent to the existence of particular human beings or free persons. And Lockeanism is more unstable than Darwinism in its claim that human beings are free enough to transform natural reality into something better, and that the process of change is constant, endless, and moves away from the impersonal stability of the laws of nature in an increasingly personal or individualistic direction. My purpose here is to show that it’s the instability of Lockeanism that opened Americans to many of the implications of Darwinian evolution. It turns out that a true conservative or true defender of human love, liberty, and greatness would see something true in the Darwinian criticism of Locke, just as he or she would see something true in the Lockean criticism of Darwin.

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