But science writer Matt Ridley explains why Darwin's ideas are closer to Adam Smith's than they are to Marx's. He argues that selection can account for the appearance of design not just in biology, but also in the economy and technology. And in fact, the idea of natural selection is an intellectual decendant of Adam Smith's invisible hand:
Locke and Newton begat Hume and Voltaire who begat Hutcheson and Smith who begat Malthus and Ricardo who begat Darwin and Wallace...Where Darwin defenestrated God, Smith had defenestrated government.
Of course in today's society, this lineage frequently gets mixed up:
In the American South and Midwest, where Smith’s individualist, libertarian, small-government philosophy is all the rage, Darwin is reviled for his contradiction of creation. Yet if the market needs no central planner, why should life need an intelligent designer? Conversely, in the average European biology laboratory you will find fervent believers in the individualist, emergent, decentralised properties of genomes who prefer dirigiste determinism to bring order to the economy.
If you doubt the accuracy of Ridley's claim, check out the 'About us' page of one of the major players in the anti-evolution movement:
The Institute discovers and promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty.
Contrast their free-market principles with their claims about life's complexity:
The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.
Nothing tastes better than irony.