Skip to main content

Introduction

  • Chapter
Evolution and Ethics
  • 111 Accesses

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Authors

Copyright information

© 2015 Franklin Roy Bennett

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Bennett, F.R. (2015). Introduction. In: Evolution and Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137523822_1

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics