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Evolution and Ethics
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Although evolution certainly exists, it can be interpreted in more than one way, such that how we perceive it is a matter of perspective. Darwinism is one way to interpret evolution, a very popular perspective, but one that is not merely extrapolated from the empirical evidence, because it is a manifestation of an underlying metaphysical worldview. Anyone who has ever taken any interest in biology or evolution, and anyone who has ever taken a middle or secondary school course in biology, has likely encountered the suggestion that evolution is entirely a matter of chance. “It is all a matter of random, natural processes”, or some of the countless variations of similar lines are drummed into our minds such that it can fairly be said to amount to the reigning common sense regarding evolution. Of course, anyone who has also been exposed to the basics of metaphysics can recognize that every instance in which the terms “chance,” or “random,” or “blind,” are employed, reflects a metaphysical argument that the world itself is essentially and entirely a product of such blind, random, chance, which are taken to mean physical, natural, or scientific, forces. People who question this metaphysical theory, which has very little if anything to do with empirical observation, can often find themselves dismissed, ridiculed, or assaulted as someone who must be incredible, naive, foolish, mystical, religious, or some other supposedly nonscientific sort. If only History of Philosophy or Introductory Metaphysics courses were offered in high schools alongside the basic science courses, there might be a more sophisticated public discussion about evolution than is currently the case.

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© 2015 Franklin Roy Bennett

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Bennett, F.R. (2015). Introduction. In: Evolution and Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

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