Weikart in the Baltimore Sun: Ben Carson's "Thought Crime"
Richard Weikart's op-ed today in the Baltimore Sun nicely explains some of the significance behind the shoddy welcome that Darwin-doubting neurosurgeon Ben Carson has received as Emory University's Commencement speaker. The Emory faculty and students who protested against him seem ignorant of what evolutionists from Darwin down to today have said about the way Darwinian theory undermines any coherent account of moral principles:
Almost 500 Emory University faculty and students have expressed their dismay that their commencement speaker on Monday does not toe the ideological line when it comes to evolutionary biology. Yes -- gasp -- the renowned Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson does not believe in evolutionary theory. Not only that, but biology professors at Emory and their supporters also accuse Dr. Carson of committing a thought crime because he allegedly "equates acceptance of evolution with a lack of ethics and morality."Read the rest here.
Since I am a historian who has studied and published on the history of evolutionary ethics, I was rather surprised by the Emory faculty's consternation over Dr. Carson's belief that evolution undermines objective ethics and morality. Last summer, I attended a major interdisciplinary conference at Oxford University on "The Evolution of Morality and the Morality of Evolution." Thus, I am well aware that there are a variety of viewpoints in academe on this topic. Nonetheless, many evolutionists -- from Darwin to the present (including quite a few at that Oxford conference) -- have argued and are still arguing precisely the point that Dr. Carson was highlighting: They claim that morality has evolved and thus has no objective existence.