Creationist Wisdom #436: Evolution is Immoral

Today’s letter-to-the-editor is a rare treat, because it comes from the UK. It’s good to be reminded occasionally that the US isn’t alone in producing these things. The letter appears in The Sentinel of Hanley, in Staffordshire, and it’s titled Darwinism has made us selfish.

We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we’ll just use the letter-writer’s first name, which is Edward. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

The Darwinian system of evolution where only the strongest deserve to survive, is how human beings came into existence.

Only the strongest deserve to survive? That’s an unusual description of the theory of evolution. It’s not terribly accurate, but that’s why we love these letters. Then we’re told:

Yet, a selfish, reactionary right-wing model such as this, when converted into a system of morals, is no way to run a civilised society.

We didn’t know that Parliament had made evolution the law of the land. But it must be so, because that’s what has Edward so upset. Let’s read on:

It lacks compassion, empathy and humanity.

So does chemistry. So does physics. It’s a cruel universe! Edward continues:

We have seen evidence of this over the past four years.

Have the reactionary right-wingers been running the government in the UK recently? We didn’t know that either. Here’s what Edward is complaining about:

The raised cost of VAT on food and the deliberate stealth tax on the bedroom that’s left behind after a child dies.

Egad — how cruel! And it’s Darwin’s fault! This is the last of Edward’s letter:

Any government that exploits bereaved parents in order to pay off its nation’s debt is the lowest of the low.

There can be no doubt — Darwin was a fiend!

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #436: Evolution is Immoral

  1. I may be being overcharitable to him, but I don’t think Edward’s attacking Darwinism at all. What he’s saying is that to try to apply “Darwinian” ideas to political contexts — as nuts like Herbert Spencer did in their political philosophy later called “Social Darwinism” — is a damnfool way to run a society.

    Have the reactionary right-wingers been running the government in the UK recently?

    That’s what the “Conservative” in “Conservative Party” stands for. And they’re currently tacking rightward to try to lure back UKIP voters.

  2. Edward sounds like a kook, frantically scrabbling to tether that scapegoat. A head-shakingly sad and wretched kook, but a kook nonetheless.

  3. Is there a standard term for the interesting blend of anger and ignorance employed by the letter writer? Blender Logic comes to mind.

    Blender Logic: The result of tossing everything on your mind into a Blender and then pressing the puree button.

  4. Pete Moulton

    I agree with realthog. Edward’s argument seems to be with Social Darwinism, rather than actual evolutionary theory.

  5. I know we have readers in the UK. What’s going on with that tax on the bedrooms of dead children?

  6. Sometimes I wonder if some religious people just want to live with their heads in the sand. It seems like many of their arguments boil down to wanting to feel better, rather than knowing the truth.

  7. Our Curmudgeon asks

    What’s going on with that tax on the bedrooms of dead children?

    Not a ‘tax’ (though Labour Party call it a ‘Bedroom Tax’), it’s a reduction in housing allowance (welfare) where the premises are larger than required for size of the family: Welfare Reform Act 2012

  8. I could be in error, but in Europe U.S. style liberals are conservatives and vice versa, conservatives are their liberals.

  9. Megalonyx: “Not a ‘tax’ … it’s a reduction in housing allowance (welfare) where the premises are larger than required for size of the family…”

    Maybe the government should stop paying a “housing allowance” altogether to avoid such criticism in the future.

  10. I could be in error, but in Europe U.S. style liberals are conservatives and vice versa, conservatives are their liberals.

    At least so far as elected politicians are concerned, European conservatives tend to be in about the same place if not to the left of US liberals: someone like David Cameron, who’s pretty rightwing for the UK, would probably be a Democrat here, and by no means a DINO.

    But European liberals are to the left (not the right) of European conservatives. In other words, the center of the political spectrum is well to the left of the one here . . . at least so far as elected politicians are concerned. If you measure people’s actual views, the disparity isn’t as great — here, because of the two-party system, liberals often end up voting for the less rightwing of two candidates.

  11. BlackWatch

    SC’s selfless author is
    not a Tory, characterizes David Cameron a CAD,
    doesn’t follow the royals newspaper pieces,
    and secretly desires a huge Land Rover.

  12. Jeremy Rifkin made an argument similar to Edward’s in his 1983 book “Algeny,” which, while formally an anti-genetic-engineering screed, took a swipe at evolution too, saying it devalued life and therefore had to be wrong, and heaping praise on creationists like Duane Gish for offering an “alternative.”

    Unfortunately, the logical fallacy was obvious. Just because something seems to be morally unappealing, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Rifkin was essentially arguing that if facts seem to point to an unattractive moral conclusion, away with those facts. (I’ve actually read some of Gish’s work, and the only appropriate word for a man who, like him, earned a degree in biochemistry, but who peddles the sorts of misrepresentations of science he did in the books I read–and takes money for it, too–is “whore.”)

    And that’s without even getting into how evolutionary theorists from Darwin on have noted that cooperation plays a role in evolution just as competition does.