Both sides have reason to love and hate evolution, says David Barash:
Indeed, ideologues of both stripes seek to have it both ways: denying evolution when they choose, but, when convenient, twisting its insights to support their causes. Accordingly, some on the political right have actually endorsed aspects of sociobiology, claiming that evolution’s “selfish” individualism and the way it rewards and amplifies personal fitness accords comfortably with laissez-faire capitalism. At the same time, liberals are willing to enthusiastically support sociobiology when it suggests that gene-based “selfishness” frequently operates in nature by way of an altruistic sacrifice on behalf of others — social altruism being a leftist’s dream.
But cherry-picking science is as bad as ignoring it. It may not sit right with modern descendants of the bishop of Worcester’s wife, but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone — regardless of political preference — simply tried to understand what is true, and stopped trying to fit evolution into ideologic pigeonholes?
(HAT TIP: John Hawks)