Thursday, December 3, 2009

Schizophrenia on Evolution

Proponents of naturalistic evolution like having evolution in their biology but not in their sociology.

Though they believe we are all simply advanced animals and that morality, if it exists at all, is simply a genetic predisposition toward mutually beneficial cooperation, they don't like it when people act on that position. (I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that most scientists aren't built for a truly dog-eat-dog world.)

A recent Time interview illustrates their problem:
"TIME: You believe that Darwin should continue to be taught in schools. But how can we teach Darwin and also teach that humans are somehow exceptional in the natural world?

DS: I think we have to decide what status we are going to give to the human race. Most of the world's religions hold that human life is sacred and special in some way. In teaching our common descent with animals, we also have to examine what is special about human beings, and why they deserve to be treated differently and granted certain rights."
Unfortunately naturalistic evolution does not leave us with the option of having something special about human beings. We shouldn't get different treatment or rights, and to claim the contrary, we're told, is "speciesist."

If Dawkins et al are right, the Columbine killers were right; there's no difference between killing a human and a cow.

Does that mean Dawkins et al are wrong? No. Naturalistic evolution can be totally true while leading to this horrible conclusion.

But, hey, maybe there really is a good reason to believe in Darwinism and in the sanctity of human life.

But perhaps we should demand that they stop teaching evolution until they can give students a convincing explanation.

Related: Defining Evolution: Getting Terms Right


Jon said...

This is what gets me about neo-Darwinism--the numerous philosophical difficulties with the theory. Why don't more people speak out about this aspect? The problem you present here is one example. Another is the idea that if the human mind emerged through natural means (matter changing through time by chance), then we have no legitimate basis on which to trust our own thoughts (such as the theory of naturalistic evolution).

It has been my experience that not many scientists are good at philosophy, although they do not hesitate to make claims with enormous philosophical implications. This is a great weakness of our day, I feel.

ChrisB said...

You're right.

Not only do they make claims with enormous philosophical implications, they make clearly metaphysical statements and expect us to listen simply because they're experts in their fields.

Vinny said...

Maybe we should stop teaching Copernicus as well.

ChrisB said...

Vinny, I'm sure that made complete sense to you, but I have no idea what you're trying to say.

Vinny said...

Copernicus first proposed that the sun was the center of the universe rather than the earth, which is the theory that got Galileo in trouble with the Catholic Church.

I cannot see the value in demanding that scientists keep quiet simply because some people have trouble reconciling their findings with revealed religion.

ChrisB said...

Vinny, I think you've missed the point of the whole piece.

The supporters of evolution in this article admit that philosophy can and has caused murders. They believe they can teach people that we're nothing but animals and that human life is sacred.

I'm simply suggesting they stop teaching this philosphy that causes murder until they figure out that second part.

Vinny said...

Who is this "they" that admitted philosophy causes murders? The Time article quotes a single political journalist. What would you say if a similarly qualified political journalist claimed that belief in God caused people to commit murders?

ChrisB said...

In this case, the "they" is these two journalists, yes. I've seen this other places from other people, but this article was the springboard for the conversation.

The better question is what the "schizophrenia" is -- something I probably didn't state clearly enough: It is the belief that humans are nothing but slightly more evolved animals and especially valuable so that it is immoral to kill them.