I am engaged in an ongoing discussion right now, at the eve of a meetup. My opponents are looking for sources of human morale in biological adaptation. I had an impression in my scientific life that such a reduction was very well thought over and long forgotten. I am mistaken.
The discussion brings in several topics but am not sure I can address all of them at once. Let me try and see.
1) Suppose I try to find connection of human morale to human evolutionary predecessor’s behavior. Suppose. Shouldn’t I determine how that connection works, what it exactly is, etc.? My opponents just postulate that: idea of good is rooted in physical pleasure. But why, how, in whose pleasure? How far back in evolution you want to go to follow that “pleasure”? Who do we inherit it from? From our direct nearest predecessor? Sounds reasonable. Now, how did we developed these ideas? Did we have a chance to look something over in the predecessor’s behavior? Or we built the idea of good on our own “pleasures”? Either way, you need to explain the rout from the “sense of pleasure” to the “idea of good,” don’t you? 2) That is, you need to determine what idea vs. sense is, right? I had an illusion that idea is a human prerogative. My opponents protest against that. So, according to them the idea as such is also inherited. Then again, what “the idea” is? Or let’s answer another question: Which creature was the first to introduce that mysterious subject? Ape? Wolf? Brontosaurus? Amoeba? 3) What that introducer must be able of to come up with ideas? Wasn’t that a speech necessary to formulate ideas?… 4) Anyway, I someone wants to find a connection between A and B, one must determine what A and B are specifically in respect to that connection. If one just insists that B brought nothing new to compare with A how then they can be connected? It is just A and A and what do we research here? 5) To sum it up – the first take, if we do not seek and see specifically how humans are different from animals then we don’t actually talk about different species here and use “evolution” and “adaptation” as abstract explanatory principles as successfully and effectively as other thinkers use God for that purpose. And the latter is much more preferable for one reason at least: It tells us something about who we are.