Enemies of Evolution
by Kim Sandy
Having previously studied for an honours degree in English Literature, and being a lover of books, I had come across Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, and his ideas, but until recently I had never heard of his brother Julian Huxley. It turns out that Julian was quite the academic. He was the grandson of Thomas Huxley, who was nicknamed “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his ferocious support of the theory of evolution and I imagine it was at his grandfather’s knee that Julian first began to absorb evolutionary ideas. Julian shone brightly. He was educated at Eton College, received his degree from Oxford University, lectured at Kings College London and became president of the British Humanist Association… amongst a long list of other achievements!
Julian Huxley fascinated me for a while and I started reading some of his work. Initially I was quite impressed by his thought processes – albeit that he often sounded quite arrogant. You see, when an atheist denies God, he also denies a moral absolute and consequently a moral lawgiver. If there is no moral lawgiver and no moral absolutes then who can say what is right and what is wrong? Why should we even care about such things? I’ve seen people try for some wriggle room on this one, but it’s a major sticking point in the atheist’s argument and often they find themselves ‘borrowing’ from Christianity when they defend their personal ideas of morality.
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The crux of evolutionary ideology is the survival of the fittest, so if you are going to follow this thought through to its logical conclusion then how can rape, murder, theft, adultery, lying and a host of other ‘crimes’ be wrong when a person is just doing whatever he needs to do to survive or get ahead? Trampling over other people in order to get what we want should be the first law of evolution and be essential to our make up. For example, if I want to be selected for a particular job promotion, what is to stop me from killing off all the others short-listed for the position?
When I was debating this very point recently I was told that since we no longer live in the cave-man days we no longer have to kill or be killed. We have a measure of stability in our society and this allows us to to develop a pack mentality, so that it is no longer about what is good for the individual, but is now about what is good for the pack – or for society I presume. This apparently gives us room to care for people, to have compassion for our fellow human beings and even to show sympathy and empathy. I genuinely think it is a clever argument, but there is no denying that sympathy and empathy are enemies to evolution and could potentially destroy the ‘pack’ if we lose sight of the ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality. What would Huxley have to say about this?
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