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Abolition of Man? How Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science

Recorded on November 6, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

At the dawn of the last century, leading scientists and politicians giddily predicted that science would supply solutions to all the intractable problems of American society, from crime to poverty to education.  Instead, politics and culture came to be dehumanized as scientific experts began treating human action as little more than behavior to be studied and improved.  How did American public policy become corrupted by scientific materialism?  What are the consequences for society when scientists and politicians deny the essential differences between human beings and the rest of nature?  What results ensue when experts claiming to speak for science turn out to be wrong?  How can we restore democratic accountability in an age of experts? 

Author of Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, John G. West is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute and Associate Director of the Institute's Center for Science and Culture.  An Associate Professor of Political Science at Seattle Pacific University, West is the author or editor of several books, including The Politics of Revelation and Reason: Religion and Civic Life in the New Nation and The Encyclopedia of Religion in American Politics.