My own private hell »« Mystery blob revealed?

Commencement speaker objects to evolution for strange reason

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?

Comments

  1. says

    I wish we could kill dead the ridiculous claim of evolution being a lack of ethics and morality. Kill it dead, and then kill it some more!

    Altruism between members of the same species ensures survival of the species as a whole. While some species are solitary, territorial, and fight and kill their “kin,” those living in communities rely on altruism and a form of ethics that pervades the community. It’s clear and obvious, and visible in many species in the world – from insects to mammals.

  2. leftwingfox says

    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.”

    Wait, stupidity and ignorance are “Thought Crimes”? Does this mean that only in a dystopia can we criticize people for ignorance? Or have we made ignorance a crime? Isn’t invoking Orwell to conflate criticism with government oppression as a means of demonizing that criticism in itself Orwellian, or Double-Orwellian?

    Double plus unbad head go boom.

  3. d cwilson says

    What about those of us who find the constant stream of lies and deceit that comes out of the Discovery Institute morally offensive?

  4. docsarvis says

    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?
    That is a most excellent question. This attitude started with John Calvin, who taught people that we are predestined for either Heaven or Hell, but that God’s chosen will acquire favor on Earth, so you can tell whom God favored by his wealth. Thus poor people are inherently immoral.

    This thinking has spread to other areas as well. Anything the (non)thinker believes is good, all other things are bad. Calvinists believe in God. Evolution does not require God, therefore evolution is inherently immoral.

  5. 'Tis Himself says

    I personally find hyenas, tape worms, and rabies immoral, especially when they are subsisting on me!

    But tape worms make wonderful, low maintenance pets. They go where you go, eat what you eat, don’t crap on the living room carpet, are quiet, and don’t need their litter box cleaned.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    Well, my lack of ethics and morals comes from Boyle’s Law, but I’m working on widening my debauchery by a study of Maxwell’s equations.

  7. jamessweet says

    You don’t have to believe in evolution to see that nature is a fucking asshole; you just have to know a little bit about biology. Darwin was found of pointing out the parasitic wasps. My personal favorite is the mating habits of C. lecularis, the common bedbug. Search Wikipedia for “traumatic insemination”…

    Having already established that Nature is the Worst Role Model EVER, it should be only a hop-skip-and-jump to accept that evolution is true, but that natural selection is a cruel, inefficient, downright horrific process, to be avoided to the maximum extent we are capable.

  8. brucegee1962 says

    I’d like to know more about Carson’s actual ideas before weighing in on this. This article only gives us Carson’s opinions filtered through his opponents filtered through Weikart. I don’t see how we can condemn anybody through that much telephonic distortion.

Leave a Reply