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09 August 2013

Evolution and Objectivism: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on evolution and Objectivism that might be of interest. The question was:

Does evolutionary theory contradict the principles of Objectivism? I am new to atheism and Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, and I embrace both wholeheartedly. However, I take issue with the theory of evolution. Atheism seems to imply evolution, but evolution seems to clash with Objectivism. Evolution holds that man is an insignificant piece of the larger, grander picture of the randomness that is life, that man is just one small insignificant step in the collective evolution of the earth, and that man is one with Mother Earth, not superior to it. In contrast, Objectivism holds that man has a purpose and that man is the most significant being, supreme over all other life. Also, Objectivism holds that "A is A" and that "Existence exists." Evolution, in contrast, claims that life came from non-life, fish came from non-fish, and man came from non-man – meaning that A came from non-A. Am I correct in my criticisms? Might some theory other than evolution be more compatible with Objectivism?

My Answer, In Brief: This question is based on major misunderstandings not only of evolutionary theory, but Objectivism too. Evolutionary theory is proven scientific theory that doesn’t conflict with Objectivist principles in the slightest.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:

Tags: Egoism, Epistemology, Ethics, Evolution, Human Nature, Logic, Meaning, Metaphysics, Objectivism, Rationalism, Science

Links:
To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on identifying dangerous people, evolution and Objectivism, and more – is available here: Episode of 4 August 2013.

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