Nature and evolution
Sir, – Congratulations to Lauren Doyle on winning the Arthur Cox Philosophy Prize (Joe Humphreys, “Is virtue ethics making a comeback, 2,400 years after Aristotle?”, May 23rd).
However, I would take issue with her statement that, “Every bee, worm, frog, tree and flower is beautiful because nature evolved it for a purpose, one of gene replication and survival. Just like us, all of nature is here for a purpose”.
Nature does not have any purpose, unless you are implicitly assuming an intelligent designer lurks behind the scenes. Those plants and animals that exist today are simply descendants of earlier life forms that were successful in passing on their genes. There is no purpose or intent involved in this process.
Using the word “purpose” implies that we should abandon the randomness crucial to Darwinian evolution, a theory that has passed every test applied to it. – Yours, etc,