The Acid Bites BackThe Theory of Evolution teaches that all things are the result of evolution from previous things. Therefore, all psychological tendencies that exist today must have some value because they have survived the process of evolution. However, that also means that all "evils" in the world have value because they too have survived. To reject this concept is to reject Evolution itself. You cannot have one without the other.
But it is painfully clear from the examples we have surveyed that literally any behavior that is practiced today can be said to have survival value--after all, it has survived to our own times. evolution fails as a moral guide because it provides no standard for judging any existing practices.
The logical flaw in the theory, however, is that it undercuts itself. For if all our ideas are products of evolution, the so is the idea of evolutionary psychology itself. Like all other constructs of the human mind, it is not true but only useful for survival. Daniel Dennett may call Darwinism a "universal acid" that dissolves away traditional religion and ethics . . . but it is the height of wishful thinking for him to presume that the acid will dissolve only other people's views, while leaving his own views untouched. Once the very possibility of objective truth has been undermined, the Darwinian evolution itself cannot be objectively true.
Once when I was presenting these ideas at a Christian college, a man in the audience raised his hand and said, "I have only one question: These guys who think all our ideas and beliefs evolved . . . , do they think their own ideas evolved?" The audience burst into laughter, because of course the man had nailed the crux iof the matter in a single, punchy question. If all ideas are products of evolution, and not really true but only useful, the evolution itself is not true either. And why should the rest of us pay it any attention?
To use philosophical labels, a statement that undercuts itself is self-defeating of self-referentially abusurd. Other examples would include using logical arguments to refute the validity of logic; or stating (in English) that you cannot speak English; or arguing that there are aboslutely no moral absolutes; or saying "My brother is an only child." Discovering that a philosophy is self-referentially absurd is a sure sign that it is fatally flawed.
--Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, (Crossway Books: Wheaton), 2005. pp. 216-217.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Inconsistencies in their argument
Over this wonderful Christmas break, I've been on quite a reading frenzy. I've been able to finish Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ as well as his Student Edition of the same work. I've also been able to make progress in Nancy Pearcy's Total Truth, which I highly recommend for anyone who calls themselves "Christian" or has ever heard of Christians. She makes a thoroughly eloquent argument for a complete Christian worldview and debunks the effectiveness and accuracy of Darwinism. Yesterday, I encountered one of my favorite arguments, which I will share with you.
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