Tag Archives: Harvard University

Can a person who opposes religion still be moral?

Here’s Casey Luskin’s analysis of Harvard evolutionary psychologist Marc D. Hauser, from Evolution News.

Here’s something Marc wrote:

What is dangerous is not the idea that we are endowed with a moral instinct–a biologically evolved faculty for delivering universal verdicts of right and wrong that is immune to religion and other cultural phenomena. What is dangerous is holding to an irrational position that starts by equating morality with religion and then moves to an inference that a divine power fuels religious doctrine.

Marc conceives of “morality” as mere descriptions of behavior that people feel compelled to comply with because of biological instincts. If one member of a troop of baboons doesn’t follow the evolved instincts and social conventions of his tribe, and he is discovered, then he is shunned. That is morality on atheism. It’s mere descriptions of behavior that varies by time and place. No individual has a duty to anything objective – it’s arbitrary, because evolution and tribal customs are arbitrary.

Casey notes that Marc’s view of morality was written up favorably in the New York Times – that’s their view of morality, too!

So what does a person like Marc who believes this view do?

And here’s an article from USA Today explaining Marc’s latest doings:

In a letter sent to Harvard faculty today, dean Michael Smith confirms a university investigation found “eight instances of scientific misconduct” by Hauser. A research paper has been retracted as a result of the finding, another corrected, and a Science paper has a correction under discussion; “five other cases” were also investigated, according to the letter.

If there is no God, then morality is an illusion. I understand that some atheists aren’t theists because of intellectual concerns, but for the vast majority, it really comes down to the desire to pursue pleasure without any moral restraints. And they get really mad when you make them feel bad about their selfishness, too.

You’re not going to be able to ground self-sacrificial moral actions rationally on atheism. The only reason to do anything on atheism is because of the pleasure that it gives you. Either direct pleasure, or the pleasure of being approved of by others, or the pleasure of avoiding punishments. There is no right and wrong in an accidental universe – just people doing what feels good to them. Atheists may act better than Stalin, but they have no reason to.

Harvard-educated evolutionist arrested for multiple-victim school shooting

The leftist NYT reports:

The Huntsville Times identified Dr. Bishop as a Harvard-educated neuroscientist.

[…]Dr. Bishop had told acquaintances recently that she was worried about getting tenure, said a business associate who met her at a business technology open house at the end of January and asked not to be named because of the close-knit nature of the science community in Huntsville.

“She began to talk about her problems getting tenure in a very forceful and animated way, saying it was unfair,” the associate said, referring to a conversation in which she blamed specific colleagues for her problems.

And a student review from her page at RateMyProfessors.com:

This class was great. Bishop makes the class interesting by talking about her research and her friends research. That speaker she had for class was hard to understand but smart. She expects a lot and you need to come to every class and study. She is hot but she tries to hide it. And she is a socialist but she only talks about it after class.

Shot her brother dead:

A Massachusetts police chief is now saying that UAH shooting suspect Amy Bishop shot and killed her brother during an argument, and the case may have been mishandled by the police department more than two decades ago when the fatal shooting occurred.

According to this web page, she likes to advocate evolution to members of the clergy.

UPDATE: From the Boston Herald.


Reyes confirmed he is working with the FBI to learn more about why Bishop was a suspect in the attempted bombing of Dr. Paul Rosenberg, who received a double-pipe bomb in the mail on Dec. 19, 1993. He ran from his Newton home with his wife, escaping without injury. The bomb never exploded.

[…]A family source said Bishop… was a far-left political extremist who was “obsessed” with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.

Very strange. Like a female version of Bill Ayers.

UPDATE 2: From the Boston Globe.


In March, 2002, Bishop walked into an International House of Pancakes in Peabody with her family, asked for a booster seat for one of her children, and learned the last seat had gone to another mother.

Bishop, according to a police report, strode over to the other woman, demanded the seat and launched into a profanity-laced rant.

When the woman would not give the seat up, Bishop punched her in the head, all the while yelling “I am Dr. Amy Bishop.”

Sounds like a pretty typical Obama voter to me!

Related posts

Dean of Harvard Medical School gives health care bill a failing grade

Story from the Wall Street Journal, by the Dean of Harvard Medical School Jeffrey S. Flier.


As the dean of Harvard Medical School I am frequently asked to comment on the health-reform debate. I’d give it a failing grade.

[…]Speeches and news reports can lead you to believe that proposed congressional legislation would tackle the problems of cost, access and quality. But that’s not true. The various bills do deal with access by expanding Medicaid and mandating subsidized insurance at substantial cost—and thus addresses an important social goal. However, there are no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care. So the overall effort will fail to qualify as reform.

In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care’s dysfunctional delivery system. The system we have now promotes fragmented care and makes it more difficult than it should be to assess outcomes and patient satisfaction. The true costs of health care are disguised, competition based on price and quality are almost impossible, and patients lose their ability to be the ultimate judges of value.

Worse, currently proposed federal legislation would undermine any potential for real innovation in insurance and the provision of care. It would do so by overregulating the health-care system in the service of special interests such as insurance companies, hospitals, professional organizations and pharmaceutical companies, rather than the patients who should be our primary concern.

In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.

In order to have an economy recover, you need people running government who actually understand health care and economics. My lunch-time book is Regina Hertzlinger’s “Who Killed Health Care?”. Regina teaches at Harvard University, as well. She talks about how we need to lower costs and improve quality by introduce elements of choice and competition. Her plan is similar to the Republican’s Patient’s Choice Act. Consumer-Driven health care is the right solution to the problem of rising health care costs. Obama’s plan just adds fuel to the fire.

The right way to reform health care without sacrificing liberty

Consumer-driven health care:

Health Care: Fostering Focus Factories
with Dr. Regina Hertzlinger

Choice, Competition Should Drive Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner

The Republican Plan (“Patient Choice Act”) is consumer-driven:

Obama’s False Health Care Choice
with Rep. Paul Ryan

Ideas for Free-Market Health Care Reform
with Rep. Paul Ryan

What’s wrong with Obamacare, Medicare, RomneyCare and CanadaCare:

Competing with the Government
with Dr. Michael F. Cannon

Medicare: A Model for Reform?
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner

Lessons from Massachusetts Health Care Reform
with Dr. Michael D. Tanner

The Canadian Health Care Experience
with Sally C. Pipes

Puncturing the Myths of American Health Care
with Sally C. Pipes
(about 8 minutes)