In my last post I referred to Richard Dawkins’ assertion that a state organized according to Darwinian principles would be a fascist state. In response some of the commenters alluded to Dawkins’ statement that he is “anti-Darwinian” when it comes to politics. Dawkins, the commenters said, believes we can “rise above” our Darwinian impulses. The problem with this assertion is that Dawkins is trying to have it both ways. He writes:
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: ‘For Nature, heartless, witless Nature Will neither care nor know.’ DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.
Richard Dawkins, River out of Eden : A Darwinian View of Life (London: Phoenix, 1995), 133 (emphasis added).
In the last sentence Dawkins asserts that Darwinian determinism is absolute. It is, therefore, incoherent for him to suggest that we can “rise above” our biological nature. For if he is correct then we are nothing but material objects dancing to DNA’s tune, and it makes no sense to suggest that an object can rise above itself.
It is just here that O’Leary’s work in “The Spiritual Brain” comes into play. I can rise above my material body ONLY if an immaterial “me” exists that is separate from, and superior to, my body.