Darwin's nihilistic idea: Evolution and the meaninglessness of life [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):653-668 (2003)
Abstract
No one has expressed the destructive power of Darwinian theory more effectively than Daniel Dennett. Others have recognized that the theory of evolution offers us a universal acid, but Dennett, bless his heart, coined the term. Many have appreciated that the mechanism of random variation and natural selection is a substrate-neutral algorithm that operates at every level of organization from the macromolecular to the mental, at every time scale from the geological epoch to the nanosecond. But it took Dennett to express the idea in a polysyllable or two. These two features of Darwinism undermine more wishful thinking about the way the world is than any other brace of notions since mechanism was vindicated in physics.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Biology   Evolutionary Biology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1026311011245
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