evolution and stewardship

From: Arthur V. Chadwick (chadwicka@swau.edu)
Date: Fri Jan 14 2000 - 11:24:26 EST

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    A former student of mine is in a graduate program at a major university on
    the west coast. He is taking a class that has given him the opportunity to
    debate a position on ethics and evolution. If you have any comments or any
    helpful suggestions, please send them to me and I will forward them. He is
    pretty much on his own in the class. There are some other students with
    Christian backgrounds, but nobody willing to take a stand. I would like to
    give him some encouragement (or tell him to change the debate topic!)
    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    I have asked Dr. Chadwick to pass this letter on to you in hopes that some
    of you
    may have feedback for me as to which way I should direct a debate
    that I am participating in as part of my masters program at [...].
    The class is Issues in Evolution and Ecology. I
    am arguing that the logical endpoint for evolution (survival of the
    fittest) is extinction. My premise is that humans are the apex of
    evolution and have the natural right to exploit our earth's resources
    however we see fit, as we are simply living out our genetic program.
    Other population explosions and extinctions have occurred in the past
    (here i could use some examples) and humans are probably no different.
    I would further argue that we are doing no harm in accelerating the
    destruction of the earth's habitats as we are simply creating new
    opportunities for evolution to further diversify and radiate into new
    niches. In fact if evolution is the sole driving force to create new
    species than I would further argue that we are actually doing harm to the
    gene pool of managed animals by protecting their environments and thus
    preventing fortunate mutations from having an opportunity to further
    diversify the species, thus preventing the species from progressing to
    its natural endpoint (which of course it has an inalienable right to
    achieve:). Please consider this argument and forward to me [via
    Chadwick] any
    comments, examples, or citations that you feel will be helpful. My goal
    is not to promote evolution, but to get my peers to recognize the end
    results of the evolution argument. Most ecologist religiously believe
    that they must preserve the environment. My objective is for the
    listeners and participants ask themselves why they have an innate desire
    to protect the creation around them rather than to live for selfish,
    self-centered gain. The natural conclusion is that we have a higher
    moral sense that guides us to protect our environment, not because we are
    all descended from mother earth ( that would lead to self interest), but
    because we are commissioned by our creator to preserve. I
    have about a month before I present. Thank you in advance for any ideas
    you may have.

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