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Science Cannot Teach Ethics

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Belief in evolution is not a harmless enterprise. There are specific ethical implications that follow believing and applying the major tenets of the evolutionary religion even though prominent evolutionists go out of their way to deny it. The late Stephen Jay Gould, who served as professor of geology at Harvard and New York University, stated that “no factual discovery of science (statements about how nature ‘is’) can, in principle, lead us to ethical conclusions (how we ‘ought’ to behave) or to convictions about intrinsic meaning (the ‘purpose’ of our lives). These last two questions — and what more important inquiries could we make? — lie firmly in the domains of religion, philosophy and humanistic study.”[1]

Isn’t this just typical? Science cannot teach us how to live, but religion can. How can this be when the majority of evolutionists are atheists who contend that the tenets of religion are mythological?

If Evolution is Right Can Anything be Wrong?
If Evolution is Right Can Anything be Wrong?

Atheistic evolutionists express moral outrage against murder and rape, but if evolution is true, how can there be moral outrage since it was killing and rape that got us where we are today as a species? Animals kill and rape every day. Why are killing and rape OK for animals but not for humans, who are only supposedly highly evolved animals? If evolution is true, at death we are nothing more than dust in the wind and in life we are nothing more than a bag of meat and bones.

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Gould was involved in a dodge by relegating religion to its own sealed box. There is no point, Gould insists, where religion and science have anything to do with one another. “Science and religion should be equal,[2] mutually respecting partners, each the master of its own domain, and with each domain vital to human life in a different way.”[3] And yet, when it comes to the meaning of life and the “oughts” of behavior, Gould had to turn to religion because he cannot find meaning in his evolutionary hypothesis. He admitted that “all scientists accept materialism (at least in their workplace), and the philosophically astute realize that it poses no threat to our love for music, subjective insight, and love itself!”[4] But if evolution is true — “operating blindly and randomly”[5] as evolutionists insist — there cannot be any scientific justification for morality and meaning because these are outside the realm of science. And since today’s scientists are materialists, they cannot account for a “subjective insight” like love. In fact, materialism discounts even “insight.” Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA, sets forth the logical implications of materialism:

Crick’s “astonishing hypothesis” declares that all of our interior states, joys and sorrows, our memories and ambitions, even our personal identity and the cherished notion of free will, are “no more than the behavior of nerve cells.”[6]

Crick and Gould use the Christian concepts of love, joy, and sorrow simply as labels to identify the impersonal, purely random “behavior of nerve cells.” What’s true for “interior states” is also true for morality. Michael Ruse asserts that morality developed in the same way as hands, feet, and teeth — the “ephemeral product of the evolutionary process.”[7] According to Ruse, “Morality,” like gills in fish and lungs in homo sapiens, “is just an aid to survival and reproduction, and has no being beyond this.”[8]

Once again, for evolutionists to do science and live in this world they must borrow religious presuppositions that they cannot find or account for in their materialistic worldview.

Today’s morality (or lack of it) is a reflection of the ethical and social implications of Darwinism. Evolution strips man of any dignity and the need to consider the rights of others. Barbara Reynolds, a former columnist for USA Today, describes it well:

Prohibiting the teaching of creationism in favor of evolution creates an atheistic, belligerent tone that might explain why our kids sometimes perform like Godzilla instead of children made in the image of God.

While evolution teaches that we are accidents or freaks of nature, creationism shows humankind as the offspring of a divine Creator. There are rules to follow which govern not only our time on Earth, but also our afterlife.

* * * * *

If evolution is forced on our kids, we shouldn’t be perplexed when they beat on their chests or, worse yet, beat on each other and their teachers.[9]

Reynolds’s comments are reminiscent of what C.S. Lewis wrote: “We make men without chests and we expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and we are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”[10] We strip men and women of the certainty that they are created in the image of God, and we are surprised when they act like the beasts of the field.

The beasts of the field are roaming the streets and schools of America.

Darwin’s first work, On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life first published in 1859, was the weapon that secularists needed to advance a rival comprehensive worldview based on non-Christian presuppositions. Darwinian evolution was seen as a way out of a world governed by a Creator who demanded ethical absolutes. As a result, we are either governed by roaming hordes of individuals or an empowered elite who claim to be doing right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6). Who’s to say otherwise?

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[1]Stephen Jay Gould, “Dorothy, It’s Really Oz,” Time (August 23, 1999), 59.

[2]If they’re equal, then why can’t religion be taught in public schools?

[3]Gould, “Dorothy, It’s Really Oz,” 59.

[4]Stephen Jay Gould, “Darwin’s ‘Big Book,’“ review of Natural Selection, by Charles Darwin, ed. by R. C. Stauffer (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975), in Science (may 23, 1975) 188:824–26. Quoted in Henry M. Morris, That Their Words May be Used Against Them (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1999), 474.

[5]Michael D. Lemonick and Andrea Dorfman, “Up From the Apes: Remarkable New Evidence is Filling in the Story of How we Became Human,” Time (August 23, 1999), 58.

[6]Daniel Voll, “Soul Searching with Francis Crick,” Omni (February 1994), 46.

[7]Michael Ruse, The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), 268. Quoted in Paul Copan, “True for You, Not True For Me”: Deflating the Slogans that Leave Christians Speechless (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1998), 46.

[8]Ruse, The Darwinian Paradigm, 268.

[9]Barbara Reynolds, “If your kids go ape in school, you’ll know why,” USA Today (August 27, 1993), 11A.

[10]C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (New York: Macmillan, [1947] 1972), 35.

American Vision’s mission is to Restore America to its Biblical Foundation—from Genesis to Revelation. American Vision (AV) has been at the heart of worldview study since 1978, providing resources to exhort Christian families and individuals to live by a Biblically based worldview. Visit www.AmericanVision.org for more information, content and resources



Source: https://americanvision.org/posts/science-cannot-teach-ethics/


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