Letter to the Editor

By Rob Sivulka, Ph.D. student, Philosophy


I take issue with Ashley Pingree’s Nov. 1 article, “Evolutionary Priorities Sink in Modern World.”

There is quite a difference between the same intelligence splitting the atom or flying to the moon and aborting a child.

The former is brilliant science, and the latter is immoral behavior.

If this is an accurate description, then I’m still wondering how it follows that eradicating abortion would turn us into “three-toed sloths.”

Given that “three-toed sloths” do not exhibit any concern for moral behavior (i.e., right behavior), why would we qua humans be put on par with them for upholding our moral behavior?

Now perhaps Pingree was simply begging the question in putting humans on moral par with gold fish or three-toed sloths (i.e., perhaps there really isn’t such a thing as moral behavior; perhaps there is simply behavior that is socially advantageous or disadvantageous).

If this were the case, I can better understand her comment that “almost everything we know about life today bears some trace of Darwinian influence.”

Last time I checked, Darwin isn’t considered to be an ethicist.

Rob Sivulka, Ph.D. student, Philosophy