But in chapter 7, Ray moves on to a third argument. Humans are widely religious; the overwhelming majority of humans today and historically accept not only that they were designed but that the Designer has (or designers have) a personal interest in them. If, Ray asks, evolution is supposed to have shaped our minds to grasp and deal with reality, why is there such widespread acceptance of Something that atheists insist is not real and has no real evidence? If evolution has shaped our faculties for purposes -- if we hunger because we need food, and food exists, and we feel thirsty because we need water and water exists, and we feel sexual desire because we need sex to reproduce (and it exists), then ought we not consider, indeed embrace, the idea that we (many of us, anyway) feel a need for God because God exists and we really need Him?
This is not quite a "dilemma" in the strict sense (a forced choice between only two alternatives: in this case, either a real God or some single "atheist evolutionist" account of why people wrongly believe in Him), since evolutionists have proposed various explanations for religion. A popular one is "over-attribution of agency" (also known as "hyperactive agent detection" or "faces in the clouds"): we evolved as social animals, ever ready to infer motives and purposes because our fellow hominines had motives and purposes (i.e. are actors or agents), and we ended up attributing motives and purposes even to many things that lacked them, from trees and rivers to the presumed invisible powers that sent rain or caused eclipses. On this view, religion is an epistemic mistake; this view is often supplemented with the view that over time, priests and princes have invoked these invisible agents as supernatural supporters of their own privileges. Conversely, there is the idea that interest in supernatural agents is a side issue, and that religion has direct evolutionary benefits by increasing the chances of reproductive success by those who took part in it (e.g. through enhanced cooperation and mutual support).
Still, it is interesting that creationists who so often marvel that evolution should shape our senses so that we perceive material things accurately (e.g. so that we don't mistake a hungry leopard for a berry bush and approach it for a meal) seem to implicitly assume that it would shape our minds so that we could not make seriously erroneous inferences about nonphysical, supernatural entities -- inferences that won't lead to our immediate deaths if we get them wrong.
Another widespread if not quite universal human trait is a moral sense: a view that some things are good, others bad, and that one should feel (and usually does) feel guilty when one does bad things. Ray notes that even surviving stone-age tribes accept that murder and theft and adultery are bad. Why, he asks, are humans uniquely and (almost) universally moral animals? He argues that without a Creator, we have no basis for absolute morals, so a moral nature is further evidence for a Creator.
This idea needs to be unpacked in some detail, as it conflates several different and questionable assumptions.
First, from an evolutionary point of view, of course, a moral sense is something shaped by natural selection to enable us to live in groups and cooperate for mutual benefit: "good" are things that promote social order and fair play, and "bad" are things that reduce society to a bloody-taloned war of all against all. Ray makes a dubious assertion when he claims that only humans have morality; gorillas have been noted to display compassion and caring, and even monkeys seem to have a sense of fair play.
Note that what makes things "moral," though, is not their selective value, but the fact that we have been shaped to value them: the moral sense itself, not natural selection which presumably shaped it, is the basis of morality. Just as an arctic fox has stubby limbs and white fur because these were selected for heat conservation and camoflage, but doesn't have them because it's trying to conserve heat or avoid detection, so our ancestors didn't show compassion or fair play because they wanted to leave more descendants, but because they felt like doing so -- and these feelings happened, in fact, to promote their survival.
Second, how does a Creator provide a basis for absolute morality? If the Creator somehow built morality directly into the fabric of nature (particularly human nature), then what matters, again, is what human nature is like, not how it became that way: morality exists without reference to an Author of morality. If, rather, morality depends crucially on the Creator's edicts, then what is "absolute" except the Creator's power? This is a pure case of "
Third, it's not at all clear that creationism or the Bible provides a truly unchanging morality. The Bible has a lot of verses that can be quoted, apparently in context, in support of human slavery (Ray argues in a later chapter that biblical slavery was much more humane than, say, the antebellum American version of it, but in either version you could, e.g. beat a slave legally if you didn't kill him outright while doing it, or sell the children of foreign slaves as you could the offspring of your cattle). The founders of the Protestant Reformation were as convinced as their Catholic contemporaries that it was moral and Christian to use lethal state power to enforce Christian orthodoxy, yet Ray, I think, would not endorse such a position today. In practice, religious morality seems as fluid and malleable as secular morality.
Ray ends the chapter with his classic "good person test:" have you ever lusted after another person in your heart? Then you are an adulterer, and are clearly deserving of eternal torment, even if you don't feel that way. There is some tension between this approach and the earlier argument about universal human moral intuitions: humans don't universally morally intuit that telling one lie, or shoplifting one candy bar, deserve eternal unrelenting pain. If widespread human desires and feelings are evidence of a supernatural realm, they would seem to be equally evidence against Ray's particular view of how that realm works and judges. And if human judgment on these matters can be flawed and unreliable, then why should we assume that people are right when they assume that there must be some supernatural realm that enforces justice?