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Athenaeum Library of Philosophy
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Michael Ruse, Ph.D. is Professor of Philosophy and Zoology at Florida StateUniversity. The author of many books including
Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution aSocial Construction?
Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress inEvolutionary Biology
The Philosophy of Biology
Taking Darwin Seriously.
Newpublications forthcoming include
Can a Darwinian be a Christian?
The RelationshipBetween Science and Religion,
The Evolution Wars,
(edited volume). He is also thefounder and editor of the journal
Biology & Philosophy,
and editor of the "Cambridge UniversityPress Series in the Philosophy of Biology."
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"There is no ultimate truth about morality. It is an invention—an invention of thegenes rather than of humans."Things that we do, despite the possibility of Darwin-inspired moral nihilism: Playbackgammon Eat good meals Drink with friends Commit adultery (maybe) Dig our gardensWe all have strong moral beliefs and make confident moral judgments. Terroristsare evil; discrimination is wrong. But where do these beliefs come from? Oneanswer is that there are moral facts out there in the world waiting to be discovered,and rational creatures like us are capable of discovering them. Another is thatthese moral beliefs are part of a specific human psychology that has developedduring the course of evolutionary history. According to this view, the urge to helpthy neighbor is a result of the same evolutionary process that produced the urgeto sleep with thy neighbor's wife. Both urges are adaptations, like the human eyeor the opposable thumb, and have evolved because they conferred higher fitnesson the organisms that possessed them.For more than thirty years, the philosopher Michael Ruse has championed thislatter view. His 1986 book Taking Darwin Seriously is a full-length defense of theposition that the theory of natural selection has a lot to tell us about our morallives. Since then, Dr. Ruse—professor of philosophy at Florida State Universityand an absurdly prolific author—has written numerous books and articlesclarifying and expanding his purely naturalistic approach to morality, religion, ande istemolo . His most recent book is called Darwin and Desi n: Does Evolution