According to the Boston Globe online, a fellow named Michael Ruse says that some people who are trying to defend Darwinian evolution from the religious right are doing more harm than good.
In an obvious example, Ruse points to the excesses of Social Darwinists. But Ruse, a professor of the philosophy of science at Florida State University, also claims that those promoting evolution as good science sometimes link science to other notions — such as inevitable progress in society….
While Darwin himself, in Ruse’s view, largely abstained from gratuitous social theorizing, many of his fellow scientists, such as the English biologist T.H. Huxley, as well as nonscientists like Herbert Spencer, enthusiastically used the general notion of evolution to argue that society was moving forward through history. While their ideas varied, writes Ruse, ”progress was the backbone of it all” — even though that value, he believes, cannot be wholly justified, or properly derived, from actual evolution by natural selection.
Ruse’s new book, The Evolution/Creation Stuggle, will be published by Harvard University Press in May.