Gary Childress wrote: ↑
Tue May 26, 2020 10:54 pm
I don't know. I know contemporary biologists generally use it to refer strictly to reproductive "fitness". But even still the whole notion of "fitness" always seems to have overtones of struggle and competition to me.
Of course that's right. The term "fitness" seems to hide the unsavoury implications, meaning the "non-fit" dying...and, by implication, good riddance to them. That's why Spencer's "Social Darwinism" was such an appalling doctrine; but all it was doing was taking the implications of Evolutionism to their logical conclusion. After all, if Evolutionism is how hominids came to be what they are, then they, like any other creature, are the present beneficiaries of the competition -- soon to be eliminated by whatever comes next.
Overall, lately, I've come to believe that science alone isn't enough in this world. There actually NEEDS to be a God. Otherwise, I believe there is no guarantee of justice and things become hopeless and meaningless because words lose their foundations. I don't know if there is a God or not but I hope there is.
Well, here's the bad news: a God won't come to exist simply because we need
Him to exist. But here's the good news: if there's a God, he won't cease to exist if some people refuse to believe in Him.
And the question the need
raises is this: why would Evolution put into us a need
for something that does not exist? Indeed, how could Evolution do that at all, since (as Darwin explicitly said) natural selection can only select for things that already constitute adaptive advantages. If there were something purely speculative, natural selection couldn't select for it at all, since it wouldn't amount to an adaptive advantage until it was fully actualized, and couldn't survive not-being-selected-for in the stages when it was only partially formed, and hence useless to survival.
Picture, for example, a hominid with no God idea in his head, versus a hominid with a very, very vague delusion that something might exist which actually does not. How would the deluded hominid be advantaged for survival purposes over the harsh realism of the first hominid, so as to be selected for the next round of evolution? It's much more natural to suppose that, if anything, the vaguely deluded hominid is at an evolutionary disadvantage there.
But let us suppose away that problem, and say that though we can't imagine how, somehow it happened. Then we have this problem: that it turns out to be adaptive that human beings have a need
for God -- even if it's only a delusion (as the Atheist would insist). But then, on what basis does the Atheist want to induce us to abandon that adaptive property that has got us the advantage in the first place? That looks like a less-than-adaptive strategy, and the Atheist would be better just to let us carry on...and maybe join us as well, if his theory is right.