Stranger Fruit

Sadly, to the DI, this is what counts as the utterance of a “serious scholar who knows what he’s saying:”

Evolutionary theory is at odds with itself: It cannot accept that man is a special being, raised above all others in evolutionary history, and it cannot deny that only man is capable of science, which allows him to transcend his animal selfishness. In closing, I note that I have made no reference to religion but only brought out the inner contradiction of Darwinism.

Mansfield should stick to political philosophy, methinks. If he honestly thinks this is “the inner contradiction of Darwinism,” he needs to learn a little more about the object of which he speaks. (Mansfield’s article is in Forbes, that noted journal of science and philosophy.)

Comments

  1. #1 Moopheus
    March 31, 2009

    “it cannot deny that only man is capable of science, which allows him to transcend his animal selfishness.”

    Clearly, this guy has never heard of a hedge fund run by quants.

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    March 31, 2009
  3. #3 386sx
    March 31, 2009

    Hey, any cultural anthropologist out there who believe that culture, not biology, makes us different?

    I didn’t think so….

  4. #4 William
    April 1, 2009

    Ok, that’s a dumb argument. But evolutionary theory IS at odds with itself. Indeed, it cannot accept that the pig is a special being, raised above all others in evolutionary history, and it cannot deny that that only the pig can be turned into tasty bacon, which allows him to transcend his animal selfishness. Note that this contradiction makes no reference to religion; it relies only on the fact that bacon is very tasty.

  5. #5 dreikin
    April 1, 2009

    William: I will only accept that argument if you can provide evidence that humans can’t be turned into tasty bacon. No, not me, that guy over there, with the overlarge sweater and gramp-glasses. Or maybe the guy with the banana – you can use it as garnish (hm…)

  6. #6 Wes
    April 1, 2009

    If Dr. Mansfield would like, he could come to Oklahoma and sit in on my introductory philosophy course over the summer. I’ll explain the Is/Ought gap to him as slowly as I can.

  7. #7 JRQ
    April 2, 2009

    Speaking of inner contradictions…

    The comment, “man is a special being, raised above all others” is most certianly a reference to religion.

    And meanwhile, “allows him to transcend his animal selfishness” concedes a common ancestry with nonhumans anyway.

    These people don’t ever stop and listen to themselves, do they.

  8. #8 Dave Wisker
    April 2, 2009

    As i noted in a comment over on the Forbes site, Mansfield fails to actually follow the evolutionary logic of his arguments to the end. For example, his statement that evolutionary theory insists that males obsessively watch over and guard their mate’s fidelity fails to recognize that such extreme behavior would effectively prevent the male from being able to successfully provide for any offspring he did father. Hardly a behavior natural selection would favor.

  9. #9 Gene Callahan
    April 19, 2009

    “Mansfield should stick to political philosophy, methinks.”

    Now, do you write, whenever Dawkins starts spouting his third-grade-level philosophy, that he should ‘stick to biology’?

  10. #10 Gene Callahan
    April 19, 2009

    “The comment, “man is a special being, raised above all others” is most certianly a reference to religion.

    “And meanwhile, “allows him to transcend his animal selfishness” concedes a common ancestry with nonhumans anyway.

    “These people don’t ever stop and listen to themselves, do they.”

    So, a common ancestry with non-humans is supposed to be incompatible with religion? Do you people ever stop and listen to yourselves (whoever ‘you people’ and ‘those people’ are supposed to be).

  11. #11 John Lynch
    April 19, 2009

    @9

    Gene sez:

    “Now, do you write, whenever Dawkins starts spouting his third-grade-level philosophy, that he should ‘stick to biology’?”

    Actually, yes. If you weren’t just a drive-by-commenter, you’d have read what I wrote back in 2007 about Dawkins’ treatment of philosophy of religion in “The God Delusion” (*hint* I wasn’t impressed). But I guess that would have taken work …

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