Evolution, Ethics, and the failure of Darwinism
Ruse on ethics/evolution
At least Ruse is honest about the history here, and the way that Wilson, the Grand Stupido of evolutionary theory, took the subject to a new low in the name of consilience (scientism squared).
Wilson contributed nothing whatsovever to the understanding of evolutionary ethics, and Peter Singer is a complete nullity here, having managed to inject sociobiological ideology into the left, to the final nullity of said left.
The question of the evolution of a subject who can do ethical behavior is simply beyond current theory, and cheap reductionist substitutes are a disservice to discussion, but unfortunately, as Ruse describes it well, the profession of biologists is indoctrinated at lower and lower levels of Darwinian imbecility.
How things have changed! The greatest credit must go to the Harvard evolutionist Edward O. Wilson, who in his Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975) simply ignored the philosophers and declared that the time had come to “biologicize” the subject. Of course, evolution had to be relevant to the all-important topic of what we do and why we think we ought to do what we do — or why we think we ought not to do what we do. Although the response of the philosophical community in general was one of deafening silence tinged with contempt, as a deeply committed evolutionist I don’t think I was alone in my reaction. As they say about any good idea, first you ignore it, then you deny it, and then you say you have known it all along. I and a few others, including the ethicist Peter Singer, went rapidly from ignoring to denial to acceptance — given the attitudes of our colleagues, a bit like facing death in more ways than one.