With regard to my claim that it is absurd to answer the theist challenge to come up with an account of morality by referencing evolution, a member of the studio audience had this to say:
Socrates notwithstanding, there is a lot of research in apes and humans to show Darwin had it essentially right. The "evolutionarist" position would be that we should stick with what research confirms to be accurate. Philosophy is entertaining, but it is no substitute for solid research.
This comment was made in response to the Euthyphro objection to evolutionary ethics. The person who says that what is moral is that which is loved by our genes (that we have an evolved "moral sense") needs to answer the question:
Is it moral because it is loved by our genes, or is it loved by our genes because it is moral?
The former allows anything that comes to be loved by our genes to be moral. The latter admits that the standard of morality is something other than what is loved by our genes and cannot be used to answer the question, "What is moral?"
How is it that what we "sense" really is moral?
The first thing that I want to note is that if we are going to reject the Euthyphro argument as irrelevant when it comes to evolutionary ethics, it is just as irrelevant when it comes to divine command theories of ethics.
We cannot, under pain of hypocrisy, assert that in Euthyphro we have a knock-down argument against all divine command theories of ethics. While, at the same time, when the same argument is applied to evolutionary ethics, say that it is mere entertainment and dismiss it as being irrelevant.
Under the pain of contradiction and incoherence, it must be good in both cases, or good in neither.
On the question of what research confirms, solid research requires that all of one's terms be precisely defined and, furthermore, that they be defined in natural terms.
For "solid research" to show that "morality evolved" we must have a strict definiion of what morality is and that definition must be reducable to natural terms.
Furthermore, in order to claim that Darwin "had it essentially right" we must further claim that Darwin gave us a precise definition of morality in natural terms, and that no substanstive objections have since been raised against Darwin's account of the difference between good and evil - right and wrong.
How can you tell me that your solid research demonstrates that A = B if you cannot tell me what B is? How can you tell me that we have evolved a moral sense unless you can tell me what morality is and a natural account of how it strikes our senses?
Consider a sense of direction. We know we have a sense of direction because we can point to something, independent of our sense, and know that it is North, or South.
How do we point to morality without our "moral senses"? What is it that we would be pointing at?
I also want to warn against the false dichotomy employed in the quote above. It seems to suggest that we have no choice but to accept the evolutionary ethicist's account that "morality evolved", or the divine command theorist's account that "morality came from God".
Of course morality does not come from God, since there is no God for it to come from. But neither is it the product of some evolved disposition. The "moral sense" that the evolutionary ethicist is trying to explain just does not exist. We have desires, and those desires have been under evolutionary influence, but there is no justification for claiming anything more than that.