Morals aren’t evolving fast enough

At least, not fast enough to confer legitimacy on scientific fraud:

Dr. Hauser, whose field is the comparison of human and animal minds, is the author of “Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong.”

A Harvard press officer, Jeff Neal, at first refused to confirm that Dr. Hauser was on leave or that Harvard had conducted any investigation. But a message on Dr. Hauser’s laboratory phone says he will be on leave until the fall of 2011, and at least two scientific journals are acknowledging problems in Dr. Hauser’s articles that were brought to light by an internal Harvard inquiry.

The journal Cognition published an article by Dr. Hauser and others in 2002 saying that tamarin monkeys could learn certain rules much as human infants do. The journal is about to run a retraction saying that an internal examination by Harvard “found that the data do not support the reported findings. We therefore are retracting this article. MH accepts responsibility for the error.” The initials M.H. refer to Dr. Hauser.

Rah for the Orange… rah for the Orange… rah for the Orange and Blue! Now, I wouldn’t wish to judge my fellow Bucknellian overharshly, but if turns out that there has been any scientific malfeasance underlying Dr. Hauser’s inaccurate conclusions, it would be a strong indication that one should not take scientific theories about morality and moral development with a straight face. You have to seriously wonder about what is wrong someone who would actively deceive others in attempting to revise the traditional understanding of morality.

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