[Wilson] offers scientific humanism as the alternative to the two great fallacies: God-centered religion and atheistic communism. The interest, of course, is in the latter, because one might have thought that Marxism-Leninism's scientific materialism and Wilson's scientific materialism would be regarded as more alike than different. But Wilson chooses to distinguish them solely by the fact of Marxism-Leninism's acceptance of a tabula rasa view of human nature, unlike the sociobiological view that we have a fully wired human nature, though one "self-assembled" through millions of years of natural selection. But this differentiation, while it serves to separate Wilson from some admittedly nasty company, does not really go to the heart of what is most lacking in any materialist view of nature. The thing that the materialist cannot explain is where and how, in his vision of things, and absent the banished traditions of religion, we can find plausible ground for a belief in the dignity of the human person, and ground it in a sturdy enough way to resist the growing instrumentalization of life, and the frighteningly posthuman prospects that science now has brought within our reach. ... it takes for granted the possibility of liberal institutions that are founded upon respect for the dignity of the individual, a respect that in turn has never existed apart from the cultural presence of the religious traditions he now feels prepared to discard because their price has become "too high." ... Science, by its very nature, does not tell us a thing about how to use rightly the powers it places in our hands. Indeed, the question as to whether science can provide us with such moral guidance, in and of itself, is not really an unanswered one.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Survival of the Choicest
What does ID have to do with Roe v. Wade? Here. Related issues can be found in this look at sociobiologist EO Wilson: