So what should be said about Darwinism’s implications? Here are some options.
1. It can only describe the natural world, so keep it separate from human concerns, which you learn about in civics class or Sunday school. (Gould’s view.)
2. It explains everything in nature and rules out God, but we can make our own purposes because we evolved to do so. Phew. (Dawkins’ view.)
3. If Darwinism were true it certainly would destroy all human purpose and meaning, and we’d be left with nihilism. Luckily it isn’t true and the irreducible complexity of living things is evidence of a designer. Phew. (Intelligent design.)
4. The neo-Darwinian orthodoxy is too harsh. We need to promote a non-supernatural but still more expansive version of Darwinism that allows for life’s creativity and agency. (Some advocates of a scientifically respectable version of vitalism and some people’s take on the extended evolutionary synthesis.)
5. Darwinism appears to be nihilistic because it is. Its baleful implications for politics and morality are an important part of the theory and the sooner we take the bitter pill the better. (Rosenberg’s view.)
Most science communicators would defend a version of 1 or 2. A lot of science communication is underwritten by a democratic ethos. The public ought to be informed about science so that they can have more agency in their lives and participate in a scientifically advanced democracy. Admirable. But this is exactly the kind of ought statement that science is supposed to be silent about and also the kind that Darwinism—if the hard cases are right—eliminates.Jamie Milton Freestone, “Does Darwinism Conflict with Religion?” at Areo
Hey, here, we were all waiting for Freestone to try out the CLUNK!! on us: “If you believe in God, well, rejoice! God can use Darwinism too!”
Luckily, we didn’t hear it. We are sick of certifying idiots. For one thing, we’ve run out of certificates. And anyhow, Freestone doesn’t sound like an idiot.
He indicates that he is writing a book on “non-supernatural meaning.” It might be worth looking at if he has got so far as to understand that there is a real conflict between Darwinism and any traditional idea of meaning or morality. Lots of Christian evolutionists have yet to figure that out.