This must be Casey Luskin week at the Discovery Institute. That’s okay, he’s our favorite creationist. He’s talking again about his chapter in a new creationist book — we posted about it yesterday: Casey’s Evidence for Intelligent Design.
His new post is Humans Display Many Behavioral and Cognitive Abilities that Offer No Apparent Survival Advantage. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
In recent years, biologists have tried to explain human moral, intellectual, and religious capacities in terms of Darwinian evolution. Harvard University evolutionary psychologist Marc Hauser has promoted the increasingly common hypothesis that “people are born with a moral grammar wired into their neural circuits by evolution.”
Maybe. Or maybe it’s all learned behavior. This is what Casey says:
Humans do appear hard-wired for morality, but were we programmed by unguided evolutionary processes? Natural selection cannot explain extreme acts of human kindness.
Nor can natural selection cannot explain extreme acts of cruelty. So what? Humans have intelligence and free will; we aren’t creatures driven by pure instinct. After giving us a few examples of extremely altruistic behavior, Casey says:
In spite of the claims of evolutionary psychologists, many of humanity’s most impressive charitable, artistic, and intellectual abilities outstrip the basic requirements of natural selection. If life is simply about survival and reproduction, why do humans compose symphonies, investigate quantum mechanics, and build cathedrals?
Aaaargh!! Isn’t this grand? Casey is bravely battling a straw-man, and claiming victory over the non-existent “Darwinist” assertion that everything we do is “simply about survival and reproduction.” He proudly declares:
Contrary to Darwinism, the evidence indicates that human life isn’t about mere survival and reproduction.
Darwin was a fool, and Casey is victorious! Then he makes his point even stronger:
But in addition to our moral uniqueness, humans are also distinguished by their use of complex language.
Casey quotes somebody who allegedly says: “Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world.” [*Curmudgeon swoons*] Wow — Casey is such a meticulous scholar! He concludes with this:
Finally, humans are also the only species that seeks to investigate the natural world through science. In fact, the next time someone tries to break down the differences between humans and apes, remind them that it’s humans who write scientific papers studying apes, not the other way around.
Okay, so where does that leave us? Casey has suddenly discovered that humans have unique abilities and exhibit unique behavior. But the rest of us already knew that, and Darwin’s theory doesn’t claim otherwise.
Has Casey’s discovery somehow defeated the theory of evolution? He may think so, but we just don’t see it. In fact, we don’t understand his post at all. So we appeal to you, dear reader. Can you figure out what Casey is trying to do?
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