And You’re Disgraceful For Doubting This Truthpiece from this week Paul Bloom makes the point that evolution explains morality. Evolution co-founder Alfred Wallace was wrong about morality and wrong about God. And similar sentiment today, such as from Francis Collins, is equally flawed. The research is in and human morality is not a divine gift but rather is best explained by secular accounts. “It would be big news indeed,” writes the Yale Psychology Professor, “if it turned out that the enactment of the Moral Law didn't involve the brain, but exists in a special spiritual realm. But, of course, this isn't the case.” It is true that humans have an enhanced morality but it is the product of evolution’s natural selection and of culture. And of course culture itself is ultimately a product of evolution. And as Bloom reminds us, evolution is beyond question. For while design makes for a powerful argument, Darwin changed everything with his mechanistic account for complexity:
The theory of natural selection has been supported by abundant evidence from paleontology, genetics, physiology, and other fields of science, and denying it now is as intellectually disgraceful as denying that the Earth orbits the Sun.
It is not too surprising that Bloom finds morality to be explained by evolutionary mechanisms. After all, he finds evolution itself to be beyond any reasonable doubt.
It is also not too surprising that Bloom is oblivious to the pickle he has put himself into. For evolutionists never quite seem to understand that their relativism doesn’t support their judgments. When evolutionists such as Bloom speak of a moral law, they mean that evolution and culture caused certain molecular arrangements in our heads that induce certain feelings we call “right” and “wrong.” But there is no basis for true “right” and “wrong.” It is all just opinions.
But when Bloom castigates anyone who would so much as doubt evolutionary claims, he means it. This is where evolutionists make the value judgments. These are no mere opinions. Doubt evolution and you are bad and, as Bloom puts it, “disgraceful.”
Such contradictions are common in evolutionary thought. Why should anyone listen to Bloom’s value judgments and castigations if, according to Bloom, they are mere opinions.
Someone else could just as well say that skepticism is virtuous. It is not healthy to question scientific theories? Is it not good for at least some people to doubt even well accepted conclusions?
Such questions seem particularly apropos in this case as what Bloom is claiming to be such an obvious no-brainer is nothing less than the spontaneous origin of the world (yes, that is what evolution claims).
Not only is this not supported by the empirical evidence, as Bloom imagines it to be, but Bloom’s very denial of any true moral law inevitably amounts to a denial of knowledge as well. For if all we have is our brains for reasoning power, and if our brains are nothing more than a collection of molecules luckily assembled by evolution, then it is not just our morality that reduces to relativism. Our reasoning and conclusions are also just a reflection of molecular arrangements in our heads. There need not be any correspondence between those cranial arrangements and facts about the outside world. Bloom would be in no position to make hard and fast conclusions about what certain evidences say about our origins.
Indeed, Bloom seems to be modeling his beliefs rather well as his reasoning and conclusions, in fact, have no such correspondence with the outside world. Paleontology, genetics, physiology, and “other fields of science,” as Bloom puts it, do not provide undeniable evidential support for evolution as he thinks, but rather one after the next evidential challenge. Even the evolution of a single protein is astronomically unlikely.
Bloom’s article is an example of where evolutionary thinking leads. Religion drives science, and it matters.