Is morality anti-evolution?

My answer to Is morality anti-evolution?

Answer by Vijayendra Mohanty:

No, morality is not anti-evolution. In fact, morality is very much a part of the equation when it comes to the evolution of human societies.

If I had to guess, I would say that the questioner is misinterpreting evolution to mean a savage struggle to survive. This is a common mistake. What needs to be kept in mind is that a single animal does not evolve, populations do. So the process of evolution by natural selection works on entire generations through the successful transfer of genes.

To transfer genes, animals play by certain rules in their groups and communities. Chimpanzees abide by the leadership of the alpha male. Lions have similar structures too. Birds have flocks that are governed by rules too. These are essentially a way for members of a group to interact with each other. Without them, groups couldn’t function.

Human groups — nations, religions, cultures — have rules too. These rules make up what we call morality. Morality can be religious or secular. It can come from a holy book or it can come from a constitution. By and large, moral codes among human beings are the same, with minor differences depending on factors like geography. For example, a desert community’s moral codes will have items governing camels and water while a merchant culture will have corresponding laws regarding money and inheritance. Moral codes look different but they perform the same function — keeping the community together and functioning.

So there. Morality is very much a part of the evolutionary process.

Is morality anti-evolution?