Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Economic creationism

This has been in my mind for a while now, coalescing into a post. Turns out Don Boudreaux wrote it up four years ago and he's just reposted it:

Just as there is a compelling non-creationist view of biological beings, there is a compelling non-creationist view of social order. And while obviously different in detail, at a general level these two non-creationist theories share much with each other, not least of which is the scientific insistence that order is best explained, not by positing a creator, but by understanding the logic of an order’s emergence from small, individual acts, no one of which is “intended to” (or “intends” itself) to become part of a larger order. (And remember, Adam Smith offered his “invisible hand” theory a century before Darwin offered his.)
Passing rapidly over the "invisible hand" reference (before this blog gets reprimanded by Gavin Kennedy), it does seem strange to me that people who are very able to conceive of a natural world in which free, unregulated individual actions give rise to complex, well-integrated, high-functioning and continuously adaptable systems seem unable to extend this concept to human affairs.


dearieme said...

Rum, innit? But is it any sillier than people who mock creationists for not believing in evolution and then decree that evolution must have stopped in mankind about 100,000 years ago? Or those who mock belief in Jesus and all that, but subscribe wholeheartedly to Global Warmmongering?

Peter Risdon said...

Quite so. I think some of those people only subscribe to biological evolution because it's a safe, flock-following activity right now.