From: bivalve (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Sep 22 2003 - 12:11:14 EDT
It is true that killing or otherwise oppressing people of other ethnicities may improve my evolutionary success by eliminating the competition. However, members of these other groups are equally justified in oppressing me. All popular attempts to justify a puportedly evolutionary approach involving such oppression (e.g., communism, eugenics, social Darwinism) neglect the second part and instead claim that everyone ought to promote MY evolutionary success. This premise is not justifiable by evolution. E..g., it is not in my evolutionary best interests to promote communism unless I think that I will gain more than I lose, because I think redistribution of property will lead to gain for me or because I think the communists will kill me if I do not comply.
However, it is also true that I may improve my chances of evolutionary success through cooperation. Given the long-term abilities of humans to exact retribution, this approach may actually provide a better evolutionary bet, regardless of moral merits.
Other posts have already noted that accepting biological evolution as an accurate description of physical processes in no way requires taking it as a source of moral guidance. Accepting the validity of the law of gravity does not mean that I ought to drop heavy objects on people.
Dr. David Campbell
University of Alabama
Biodiversity & Systematics
Dept. Biological Sciences
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa
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