From James Barham’s article on pop science claims about genetic determinism, at The Best Schools (December 23, 2011):
The other reason gene talk is so great is because genes are just a bunch of inert chemicals—hence their issuance of orders to the other cell constituents is allegedly strictly mechanical and deterministic. (How chemicals issue orders is a question I could get thrown into jail for asking in some parts of this country, so I won’t ask it.) Therefore, gene talk can be counted on to make us sound like we are mere wind-up toys or puppets.
And this is the real take-home message of all Darwinian thinking. The Darwinist—in his reflective moments, at least, when he is not just crunching numbers—is in the business, above all, of ridding the universe of those pesky properties that some of us still call by the quaint names of “purpose” and “meaning” and “value.” That is what all the hullabaloo over evolution is really about.
Why do I sneer at these ideas? How can I be so sure I am not a mere gene puppet?
This is a large subject, and I must content myself with only three pieces of evidence for now. Two of them are contained in Wade’s own article.