A Whiggish perspective on affairs of state and society
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Observation on Darwinism
The discovery in the mid-nineteenth century of the unbroken link between animals and the human species could have had one of two results. It could have caused humans to regard the animal kingdom with a new regard and respect as sharing in our dignity. Instead, it could be taken to demonstrate our own essential animality. But to believe that we are "no better than the animals" while retaining, in fact, our superior intellect and power to control our environment--that was the worst possible outcome, for by such a belief we reduced ourselves to moral brutes while remaining physical sovereigns.