Meta-ethics: For hundreds of years the predominant philosophical method of analyzing and reasoning the socurce of ethics. A form of logic in which the meanings of generalized words like good and moral are used to shape ethical theory. Here, the direct application of fact, science, experience, or observation is excluded from the logical process. Generalized words refer to other generalized words in an attempt to derive a specific outcome of logic. For example, meta-ethical reasoning can find no definition of the word good. Since it cannot be defined, meta-ethical logic concludes right and wrong cannot be known. The specific sense of the word good such as a good mechanic, a good carpenter, a good photograph can be known. An expert in photographs, such as a university archivalist, can describe in detail all the elements of good and bad in a photograph in artistic and technical terms. The general idea of good evolves from the many thousands of ways good is known and experienced in the real world. Meta-ethical reasoning concludes that any attempt to reason the existence of ethics in evolutionary terms will logically fail.
Attributed to the philosopher David Hume. Here one cannot move from a state of affairs (what is) to logical conclusions of what one (ought) to do. To observe that drinking alcohol and driving lead to death and injury does not give a logical person the right to say drinking and driving is wrong. You cannot directly use observation in reasoning thus (science) in the logic of the Is-Ought dichotomy. Evolution is based of science, derived of years of careful observation.