This article appeared in the Epoch Times recently, and I’m going to talk about it here. Reused without permission (it was so bad it wasn’t even worth asking).
In the last 150 years there has been no more influential theory than
Darwinism. The theory of evolution by natural selection has not just
influenced the scientific world but also, through offshoots like the
theory of Social Darwinism, affected international politics, economics
and social development across the globe.
Right off the bat we see some creationist tactics, such as calling Evolutionary Theory Darwinism and linking it to Social Darwinism. The only thing that links these two together is the notion of “survival of the fittest”, an oversimplified version of Natural Selection.
Given the influence this theory has had in our time it is not surprising that when Intelligent Design, a revised version of creationism, became popular, that we saw both scientists and politicians or social commentators jumping up and down as if they feared that the end of logic and rationality was nigh.
At least the Australians are more honest than the Americans. They admit that ID is creationism.
The question that this response should trigger is, why be so afraid of a theory in which one, or perhaps many, unknown entities aided in the development of our ecosystem, our world order, our societies and even ourselves. If we are totally secure in the correctness of Darwin’s theories then why are we now seeing a concerted campaign against those scholars who choose to utilise their scientific abilities to question evolution.
Why? Because it is plainly not science’s area. If it were, we would have to keep asking ourselves “who designed the designer?”. They are not using their scientific abilities. If they were, there would be objective evidence. Unfortunately, all they have is “If it looks designed maybe it is” and “toasters are designed. Why not humans?”.
As stated by Robert Crowther, Director of Communications for Discovery Institute’s Centre for Science and Culture on their website; “There is a disturbing trend of scientists, teachers, and students coming under attack for expressing support for the theory of intelligent design, or even just questioning evolution.” stated Mr. Crowther.
“The freedom of scientists, teachers, and students to question Darwin’s theory, or to express alternative scientific hypothesis is coming under increasing attack by people that can only be called Darwinian fundamentalists,” stated Mr. Crowther.
Now, it depends on how they questioned evolution. If they questioned wether evolution actually happened, maybe they should come under attack. Come on people, it happened! Get over it! It’s a fact. Now, if they questioned how it happened, then that is slightly more understandable. How it happened is the theory of evolution (in the scientific sense, of course). THAT it happened is a fact.
So if science is the quest for knowledge and true understanding then why are we seeing, in such places as America, the discharging of Chemistry Professor Nancy Bryson from her job at a state university after she gave a lecture on scientific criticisms of Darwin’s theory to a group of honours students.
This is a problem with Nancy. No one is able to give a lecture and criticize Evolutionary Theory and still be fair. Most of the things they say are either misleading or just plain wrong. Again, she was probably fired because she question that evolution happened.
Moreover, Biology professor P.Z. Myers at the University of Minnesota recently wrote that the only appropriate response to anyone supporting intelligent design or questioning the modern theory of evolution should be “some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and public firing and humiliation”.
He is also quoted by the Centre for Science and Culture as stating “Our only problem is that we aren’t martial enough, or vigorous enough, or loud enough, or angry enough.”
Ditto. I mean, if you don’t think evolution is true, one word: hantavirus.
Undoubtedly there is some sense of fear over the renewal of a different approach; some would even say a spiritual approach to life. Clearly the question that begs to be asked is why are most scientists afraid of turning their own principles on their heads and looking at things with a new light. Certainly modern genius’s like Einstein, Edison, Bell, or even Newton would never have been able to make new discoveries, additions or annotations to existing theories if they had not stepped outside of the proverbial box to look at current theories and poke at them where they looked weak.
No. None of this spiritual bullshit. If Copernicus, Bacon, and Gallileo hadn’t stepped outside their religious boundaries to see how the world really works, do you think we’d be where are now? We’d probably still think that the sun goes around the earth.
Perhaps the reason behind their reluctance is, as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, that science and all forms of social studies from anthropology, archaeology to socio-economic development are often viewed through a Darwinian mindset. Take one of evolution’s more sinister offspring, Social Darwinism, for example.
Proponents of Social Darwinism believe that as there is a struggle for existence among animals and plants which results in evolutionary change so too there is struggle among human societies and humans to make the perfect breed of human. For those who support social Darwinism, the need for progress or development means that evolutionary change should be humanly nurtured by creating an intensified prosecution of the struggle for survival which would encourage the ‘best’ out of individuals and societies.
These two paragraphs could be effectively rewritten as “EVOLUTION! IT MAKES PEOPLE KILL EACHOTHER! BOOGEDY BOOGEDY!”.
The reality of Social Darwinism is however made clearer in a foreword by evolutionist Steven Jay Gould in “On the Origin of Species”, in 1859, “subsequent arguments for slavery, colonialism, racial differences, class structures, and sex roles would go forth primarily under the banner of science”.
Social Darwinism’s first foray into politics was around the turn of the 19th century when German politicians and scholars utilised its concepts as a justification of Germany’s aggressive militarism. The militarist, Friederich von Bernhardi, in his book Germany and the Next War even justified the build up of military power as a “biological necessity” and that peaceful resolution was wrong mainly because it was a “presumptuous encroachment on the natural laws of development.” The theory was also utilised by such men as Adolf Hitler who appeared to be a fan of the Eugenics movement, which was developed by Charles Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton. Galton argued that based upon Darwin’s theory the human race should seek to improve our genetic make-up by a selective breeding program. Included in this program was the belief that marriage and child bearing should be strictly controlled and limited to people with the right genetic make-up and by controlling how many children they were allowed.
Ditto for the above as well. This begs the question, What the fuck does have to do with evolutionary science?
The combination of social Darwinism and communism is no where more clearly seen than in the policy of the Chinese Communist Party which developed the 95:5 formula of class assignment. The formula basically argued that 95 per cent of the population would be classified as various classes that could be won over by the CCP, but five per cent should be designated as class enemies. As stated in the Nine Commentaries, “People within the 95 per cent were safe, but those within the 5 per cent were struggled against.”
This paragraph could also be rewritten as “People who believe evolution are dirty un-american commies!”
Not surprisingly Social Darwinism was re-examined in the 1970’s and 80’s and became regarded as a defunct theory of development. Yet while many of us today would not support such a theory and social Darwinism, or even Eugenics, we do openly believe that Darwin’s theory is the definitive hypothesis of how we became what we are today. As the debate over Intelligent Design continues to rage one can only ponder if it is not time for our great minds to ponder another theory which reconciles those among the scientific community that have both faith in a inspired being and the divinity of nature.
No, we don’t believe it. We know it to be true. Denying evolution is no different than denying the holocaust.