February 20, 2011

AND ULTRADARWINISM JUST MEANS TAKING THE THEORY SERIOUSLY:

Ultra-Darwinists and the pious gene: Richard Dawkins won't like it, but he and creationists are singing from similar hymn sheets, according to a new book (Mark Vernon, 2/18/11, guardian.co.uk)

Strongly adaptationist explanations are common in ultra-Darwinism and the work of the acid. But as Cunningham repeatedly – actually, obsessively – points out, when they are rehearsed as gospel, they exact a terrible price. They describe such humanly invaluable features as mind, ethics and free will as delusions – akin to what Nietzsche called "true lies". The resulting nihilism is one of Cunningham's prime objections to the paradigm.

Of course, the ultra-Darwinists don't live as if mind, ethics and free will are delusions. They cut the grass but not their dogs; they eat lettuce but not their neighbour's children. So, Cunningham suggests, scratch an ultra-Darwinist and watch a hypocrite bleed. Or, in a less gory aside, he notes that an excellent title for an ultra-Darwinist book would be The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Person. You get the point: ultra-Darwinism is empty because it doesn't explain, it explains away.


Even they who proclaim themselves Darwinists live as Christianists.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2011 6:14 AM
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