[ExI] Ayn Rand and Evolution (was What is Meant by "Slavery"?)

Olga Bourlin fauxever at sprynet.com
Sun May 31 01:29:40 UTC 2009

From: Stefano Vaj
To: ExI chat list
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2009 4:13 PM

> If I must venture on a personal opinion, I do not see any necessary 
> contradiction between objectivist ideas and evolution. Additionally, Ayn 
> Rand was passionate and multidisciplinary enough to put up relentless and 
> emphatic battles against anything she believed to have a real relevance in 
> respect of her worldview.

> But not being an objectivist myself, and being far from a scholar of 
> Rand's thought, I am probably not really qualified to say a final word on 
> the subject.

I have to plead ignorance, as well - I am no scholar of Rand's work.

However, where I see an interesting (potential) contradiction is in the 
claim that objectivism (or Objectivism) is rational.  I know Ayn Rand 
claimed to be - and promoted - rationalism.

Maybe I'm wrong, but wouldn't there be a contradiction if a religious person 
professed allegiance to the objectivist viewpoint?  Why?  Because religion 
is not rational.

>From a discussion my husband was having on that other forum:

> Nathaniel Branden, in /The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn
>Rand/, said of her that she had difficulty accepting any scientific
>theory that came after Sir Isaac Newton. He then gave this specific 
>> remember being astonished to hear her say one day, /"After all, the
>> theory of evolution is only a hypothesis."/ I asked her, /"You mean
>> you seriously doubt that more complex life forms-including
>> humans-evolved from less complex life forms?"/ She shrugged and
>> responded,/ "I'm really not prepared to say,"/ or words to that
>> effect. I do not mean to imply that she wanted to substitute for the
>> theory of evolution the religious belief that we are all God's
>> creation; but there was definitely something about the concept of
>> evolution that made her uncomfortable. <end>

Unlike religion, there's no controversy about evolution being rational, is 

Wouldn't evolution fit into the view of rationality?

So why would Rand be either reticent or inaudible about her views on 
evolution?  If, indeed, the subject made her uncomfortable ... why would it 
have done so?


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