Based on this review, this book seems to go beyond the "dictates of science" and requires much interpretation of the facts based on the authors opinion. Certainly, based on evolutionary history, we can glean insight as to what generalized moral characteristics are conducive to a the survival of our society, but that is far from dictating an ethical code of conduct. What does evolutionary history have to say about such heated issues as abortion or gay marriage?Kare wrote:Alex Rosenberg, "The Atheist's Guide to Reality" has an interesting discussion where the author in fact derives morality from our evolutionary history. It's too long to summarize here, but I can recommend reading the book.Kim O'Hara wrote:Stepping aside from the broader discussion for a moment:binocular wrote:Like I already said:
Falsifiability may be an essential scientific criterium - but how exactly do scientific criteria relate to an actual person?
What reason do we have to believe that scientific criteria can adequately grasp the human experience and provide us with heuristics for achieving our goals, regardless of what those goals may be?
Science generally doesn't claim spiritual or philosophical insight but limits itself to what is observable and verifiable in the physical world. It is very good at what it does - science works and that is why it has become one of our main ways of understanding the world.
Problems arise when people try to apply science outside its realm of expertise - trying to derive morality from it, for instance - or when people try to say that science is wrong within its realm of expertise - saying that the world was literally created in seven days, for instance.
Also, our evolutionary history would only tell us what qualities were conducive to survival over the last few million years. As our future looks to be quite different from that time period, maybe we will need a whole new set of moral characteristics to survive this future environment characterized by rapid advancements in technology, information dissemination, and overpopulation.