Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Virus Combats Evil But Philosophical Problems Remain

New research shows that the aphid, that innocent little insect, can be saved from a gruesome death by the presence of a virus. The virus comes by way of a bacteria, and the gruesome death by way of a parasitic wasp. These wasps and their evil deeds were well known in Darwin's day. They were yet one more example of how nature was, as Tennyson so memorably put it, "red in tooth and claw." Religious concerns over far less atrocious deeds had driven seventeenth century thinkers to distance god from nature. By 1859 the theological mandate for naturalism had only grown stronger. The many inefficiencies and atrocities of nature were, as Darwin oft repeated, inexplicable on divine creation. Darwin's new theory was dripping with the accepted theology of the day.

And let there be no doubt about just how terrible is this parasitic wasp. As one researcher explained, "A parasitoid death would be a very gruesome death."

But on second thought, if the wasp evolved, and we later evolved, then why do we see its actions as so atrocious? How did "gruesomeness" evolve? How did we obtain the sense of right and wrong, good design and bad design, morality and evil?

These metaphysical truths which we unequivocally hold mandate evolution. But evolution does not return the favor.

Evolutionary processes cannot yield any true truth. There can be no truly good or bad anything, only perceived, subjective good or bad. You have your truth, and I have mine.

Even here evolutionists have only vague speculation about heroic natural processes that produced the human brain and its various contents. Somehow evolution happened to create a normative sense (how things ought to be) within us which, serendipitously happened to lead us to the true understanding that we evolved and that our normative sense never was genuine in the first place.

This is what happens when religion infects science.