Human Exceptionalism

Darwinists Are Foolish to Rail Against Human Exceptionalism

I monitor blogs and stories that involve human exceptionalism. Recently, I noticed a recent upswing in Darwinists railing against the idea that human beings have unique moral value.  In essence, they say, we are just animals: Get used to it.

That theme is found in review of a motion picture biography of Charles Darwin that appeared in the Guardian. From the review:

You can see why creationist cinemagoers might start feeling a little smug. On the Origin of Species didn’t dispose of religion. Through whatever process life took shape, there’s still as much or as little reason to believe in a Prime Mover. What evolution certainly does, however, is to wipe out human exceptionalism. No longer are we alone created in God’s image. We must take our place amid the beasts we have disdained, and accept the part played in our behaviour by brute instinct.

What to say? First, human exceptionalism does not require a belief in God and is perfectly compatible with neo Darwinism.  (Why are so many neo Darwinists so obsessed with religion, anyway?)  Second, one of the aspects that sets us apart from the fauna is that we, alone among species (unless taught otherwise by us), are able to–and do–overcome “brute instinct.”  Indeed, while we have not totally escaped nature, we have certainly stepped well outside of its control. Not only that, but radical environmentalists accuse us of abusing it!

We have gone into the many and varied reasons why human beings are the exceptional species  many times before at SHS (for example, here), so I won’t belabor the point now.  But if neo Darwinsist want to foolishly defend the low hill of human unexceptionalism, they are certainly free to do so.  In fact, I think my pals at the Discovery Institute would like that very much.