i guess i am in heavy blog mode! on evolutionary ethics. i assume that pretty soon these folks are going to start invoking evolution in detail as a set of moral principles. so if i was a 17-year-old trying to think about whether to go to the party, they'd tell me that drinking beer is counter-evolutionary. (however, it's worth saying that of course "peer pressure" is evolutionary, being the very essence of cooperation, so maybe i should drink beer after all, as long as i'm not doing it because i myself want to, but to establish my spot in the pecking order.) or if i was tempted to oppose, say, the democratic healthcare plan, i'd be informed that my activities were counter-adaptive, leading to an evolutionary degeneration of the species. or if i was considering whether to have an abortion, or whether to contribute to doctors without borders rather than oxfam, the evaluation would come in terms of what evolution demands. or say i was trying to figure out whether the afghan war is a war of self-defense. evolution says yes! pretty soon these people are going to appear in lab coats, on a set smoking with dry ice, interpreting to us the will of evolution. in fact, that is precisely what they're doing already. to which the only reasonable response is (a) that's horseshit. produce the chain of "reasoning," you self-deluded idiot. and (b) so what? why should i do what evolution demands?
i think first you'd better get on board that evolution is not intentional, that it's not guided by a conscious goal. you've got a long long way to go on that. and second, it is amazing to think of creatures defying the course of evolution, rebelling against it, etc. everything i can possibly do is compatible with evolution, and i surely cannot violate the process by which i came to be and that orders the living world around me. it's like looking at a platypus and going: that creature is working against evolution! kill it! or criticizing some squirrel behavior on the grounds that it violates the very laws of nature, the principles underlying all life.
at any rate, in addition to being utterly implausible or just a complete non-starter in multiple dimensions, evolutionary ethics is completely insincere. its only actual function is as a pitiful argument for the stuff you already believe. so: ask yourself: are you genuinely open to empirical data showing that evolution selects for psychopaths and therefore that conscienceless continual random killing is good? will you take up whatever system of values is actually embodied in the evolutionary process (supposing that made any sense)? i'll tell you this: evolution has not eliminated the psychopath. are you taking a scientific approach, at least as science was practiced before the great al gore: i am genuinely open to whatever the empirical results might be? no not at all. absolutely all you're doing is groping for any kind of "scientific" basis, no matter how baldly ridiculous, that confirms your utilitarianism, or your liberal politics. it's pathetic.