Monday, January 25, 2010

The End of Evolutionists?

Meant to get to this for a while and as my latest posting was probably too long, too serious, and too depressing if you're a conservative, here's something a little lighter. In National Review Online this past New Years Eve, Jonah Goldberg (Whom I genuinely admire. You should read everything he writes.) posted what was more or less a review of the then newly released movie Avatar. Jonah, like many, didn't much care for the movie, but he used the review to mention positively one Nicholas Wade's fairly new book, The Faith Instinct. The connection to the movie is unimportant, but if Jonah understood the book correctly.... Anyway, you read what he wrote.

Nicholas Wade’s new book, The Faith Instinct, lucidly compiles the scientific evidence that humans are hard-wired to believe in the transcendent. That transcendence can be divine or simply Kantian, a notion of something unknowable from mere experience. Either way, in the words of philosopher Will Herberg, “Man is homo religiosus, by ‘nature’ religious: as much as he needs food to eat or air to breathe, he needs a faith for living.” Wade argues that the Darwinian evolution of man depended not only on individual natural selection but also on the natural selection of groups. And groups that subscribe to a religious worldview are more apt to survive — and hence pass on their genes. Religious rules impose moral norms that facilitate collective survival in the name of a “cause larger than yourself,” as we say today. (My emphasis)

Now let me get this straight: Those who possess a faith in something transcendent, something larger than themselves, however unscientific and ultimately pointless, are better fit for survival than those who do not? Does this mean that all the evolutionists will be naturally selected out? Oh sure, it'll take billions and billions of years, but eventually?

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