Someone commented on Twitter that if you believe in Evolution then you should be in support of a Free Market. (I am going to ignore the difference between Evolution and Natural Selection for this discussion because the commenter at the time didn’t seem to grasp it).
The premise here is that because I believe, as a humanist and a scientist, in the theory of natural selection, that I must therefore apply the process of Survival of the Fittest to every walk of life.
This is an obvious non-sequitur.
I believe natural selection exists because I have seen evidence (such as the Peppered Moth) to support it. However, I would not wish to live in a truly Darwinian world where the only method of survival was to be the strongest, the toughest, the most capable.
As a race, humans have permitted their intelligence to create civilisation. We have worked together to create a society where pursuits such as art, poetry, writing and the playing of games, have become valuable. These pursuits act directly in the face of traditional natural selection (though they themselves may be selected for in a population depending on the social trends of the time).
So how does this relate to a Free Market?
Well, it doesn’t. The position that a belief in Natural Selection should mean the application of this theory to every walk of life is typical of someone who neither understands society nor evolution nor natural selection. Humans do not wish to live in a Darwinian society – we have laws to prevent this. We cannot kill with impunity to gain prestige or power, we choose to restrict the ability of those who have an undue advantage. We believe in fair play, in following rules, in applying compassion and mercy. These are not the agents of Natural Selection – quite the opposite.
For the individual, evolution and natural selection is meaningless. When we try to apply it to human constructs such as the economy of a nation then we end up creating meaningless applications which serve to undermine what, in my opinion, is the core of civilisation: overcoming our nature.