A prominent Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon has reservations about evolutionary biology. But these are not the usual assortment of neo-Young Earth Ken-Haminisms usually seen in the cyber-pages of FreeThoughtBlogs:
(Balt-Sun) — Almost 500 Emory University faculty and students have expressed their dismay that their commencement speaker on Monday does not toe the ideological line when it comes to evolutionary biology. Yes — gasp — the renowned Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson does not believe in evolutionary theory. Not only that, but biology professors at Emory and their supporters also accuse Dr. Carson of committing a thought crime because he allegedly “equates acceptance of evolution with a lack of ethics and morality.”
The author of that piece is Richard Weikart, who introduces himself only as a historian and fails to mention he’s a senior fellow at the Intelligent Design Creationist juggarnaut the Discovery Insitute. In fairness the good Prof Weikart did manage to get in a plug for his book, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, in the short bio at the bottom.
So Caron and Weikart don’t like the moral implications of evolutionary biology? Actually, I sympathize. I personally find hyenas, tape worms, and rabies immoral, especially when they are subsisting on me! They don’t follow the golden rule, or any rules, damn immoral organisms! And yet I accept they exist and realize that existence is not swayed by my dislike of their amoral practices.
More importantly, we as species and a nation have worked hard to blunt the sharpest edges of natural moral indifference and met with a great deal of success. But the largest contributors to the Discovery Institute and the lion’s share of their followers sing the praises of immorality to the highest mountains, when the selection in question is social and financial. When it’s the wealthy against the weak, Greed is Good and the Cream rises to the Top, we are told. What does it say about a man if he objects to moral cruelty in the abstract, where he can do nothing about it, but cheers it on in the material world where he could have a real impact? Does that make that person a materialist, or a hypocrite, or perhaps both?