Scared of Darwin for All the Wrong Reasons

UPDATE: I've expanded a response to a commenter in a new post: "Have Humans 'Won' Evolution?"Over at Patheos's group blog on science and religion, Connor Wood is trying to explain why people have a visceral discomfort with evolution.  He sees natural selection as the ultimate example of "nature red in tooth and claw" -- a rigged game that pits us all against each other and suppresses the better angels of our nature.  He writes: Once you start looking at evolutionary reasons for human beh … [Read more...]

Optimized and Arbitrary (part 2)

This post is part of a series on math and morality. You can see all previous posts in this sequence at the indexLooks like it’s time for a clarification for yesterday’s post.I think David B. is oversimplifying when he says: If a lot of offspring get genes for cooperation and together they are hard-wired build an equilibrium better for all (i.e. what morality does), that would in fact out compete another population without those genes.  I think it’s important to remember that two … [Read more...]

Optimized and Arbitrary

This is one of a series of posts about math and morality.  I'll be getting back to the series soon, but I'm currently pausing to answer some of the questions that have been accumulating.In comments on "On What Evidence?" Crowhill and Charles got into a disagreement about human morality and evolution that I exerpt below.Crowhill: Does there have to be some sort of "objective morality" for a dog to know how he's supposed to behave towards other dogs? Isn't it entirely possible that dogs … [Read more...]


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