Darwin’s Damage

Darwinby Deana Chadwell    3/28/14
Deep in the back rooms of our brains lurk the basal assumptions that we all function on – operating systems of sorts that set the parameters of our philosophies, our politics, our religious beliefs. Just as I am typing now without giving the internal programming of this computer a moment’s thought, so we, when we think at all, formulate concepts and opinions that are controlled without our conscious questioning or consent. These parameters are a part of the culture we inhale with each breath we take.

One of the most prevalent “gases” that fill our lungs and brains is Darwinian evolution – an assumption that infects everyone, even those of us who gladly proclaim that God created the universe. The Darwinian chant of “survival of the fittest,“ “natural selection,” and “change over time” has become its own mutation.

Many basal assumptions have changed since Origin of the Species was published over 150 years ago, but here I’ll deal only with a few: our enchantment with change, our assurance that everything is always getting better, and our inability to discover purpose or definitive boundaries in our lives.[pullquote]Change is the engine of Darwinian macroevolution; change is what made us all. Therefore, change is not only good — it is god. And no one challenges god.[/pullquote]

“Hope and Change! Hope and Change!” The Obamamantra swept the nation in 2008 and nobody in the media even asked, “Change what?” Evidently the people who chose to echo the chant just assumed that change – of any kind – is good. Change is the engine of Darwinian macroevolution; change is what made us all. Therefore, change is not only good — it is god. And no one challenges god.

Even though change, in the Darwinian sense of the word, is blind and purposeless, and even though it will take forever, it will turn out well. It is of no surprise that a recent New York Times article cites a poll showing that 67% of Democrats are evolutionists*. In fact, I am convinced that this is one reason the Left is so persistently patient about its progress – some time in the far distant future the world will be perfect and they, without God, will have pulled it off – history and morality be damned.

Changes in the way we educate our children have, until just recently with the reaction to Common Core, been adopted without wholesale fuss and bother. Changes in attitudes about our national history and our Constitution, about free markets, about sexual behavior, have all been slurped up like ice cream. Changes in drug legality have caused barely a ripple. We’ve changed our attitudes about killing babies. Margaret Sanger, not despite her genocidal ideas, but because of them, has become a heroine. After all, a baby is just an inconvenient mass of protoplasm – Darwin says so. We have changed our entire healthcare system, ignoring the likelihood that many will suffer and die in that transition, and we’re OK with that – it’s change.

Because, if we believe, against all mathematical odds, that random mutations can gradually accrue to bring about ever more viable species, and therefore a more viable society, then we’ll fall for anything that involves metamorphosis. Any change will do. Never mind the fact that mutations rarely if ever produce positive, repeatable improvements**. Never mind irreducible complexity***. Don’t concern yourselves with how many had to die before the right genetic accident came along. After all, we used to be monkeys and look at us now![pullquote]Because, if we believe, against all mathematical odds, that random mutations can gradually accrue to bring about ever more viable species, and therefore a more viable society, then we’ll fall for anything that involves metamorphosis. Any change will do.[/pullquote]

Which brings us to our second point, the Darwinian base we stand on sets us up to believe that those of us alive in the 21st century must be superior to those who came before us. The corollary to this is the concept that everything in the past was worse, which, in dizzying circular motion, reinforces the idea that change is the ultimate good.

We assume that those “old white men” of history were mere Neanderthals and therefore we have to be thousands of years of fortuitous genetic quirks ahead of those shaggy, grunting folk who built Stonehenge. We have to be way out ahead of the forty dear old bearded men who wrote the Bible. We’re over 200 years ahead of those silly men in wigs who struggled through the summer of 1787 to write the Constitution.

We have mistaken an accumulation of knowledge for an improvement in basic intelligence and general goodness. We find ourselves having to invent alien engineer theories to explain the awesome building accomplishments of the distant past – man wasn’t as evolved when the pyramids were built, so someone other than man must have built them.

This attitude also destroys our respect for long-held traditions, for moral boundaries, for tried and true social constructs. We didn’t just turn our backs on Genesis when we climbed into bed with Charles; we said goodbye to all that is the past. All the experience, the social disasters, all our tragic and resplendent history is no longer of any use for our guidance. Darwinism denigrates history. Note that no one seems overly concerned about a replay of Sodom and Gomorrah – God wasn’t as evolved then either; he was just a fledgling god and tended toward over-reaction. That’s what we think – if not actively, passively.

After all, if God is a human, therefore evolutionary, invention, then nothing he has “said” to us is of any more importance than the mutterings of a fairy tale witch. This Darwinian distaste for religion seems especially concentrated on biblical Christianity, and if the Holy Trinity can be knocked off the throne of heaven then all kinds of change can happen:

All moral boundaries can now be called into question. Check.

Absolute truth can be dispensed with. Check.

All sense of purpose and duty can be pooh-poohed. Check.

Our concept of destiny can be rewritten to allow for the planet to come completely under our control. Check — and choke a lot; if the wellbeing of the earth is in our hands then we have to accept the fact that we could screw it up.

The ends can now justify the means. Check, check. Once we can swallow that horror we can grab control not only of the planet, but of its inhabitants as well. Without God we can wholesale worship science and scientists can be bought. It’s a diabolical circle.

Not only is our society negatively affected by the “death of God,” our personal sense of worth, of design, of purpose is gone as well. We watch our highly evolved compatriots drown their lack of direction in alcohol, drugs, sex, and the collection of things and we are powerless to help because God is the only solution and their personal operating system has no program for God, no supporting software has been installed.[pullquote]We have mistaken an accumulation of knowledge for an improvement in basic intelligence and general goodness. We find ourselves having to invent alien engineer theories to explain the awesome building accomplishments of the distant past…[/pullquote]

It is exciting to me to follow biological# and microbiological## discoveries, new understandings in physics### and geology^, and the news coming to us from astronomers^^ that show how impossible Darwin’s original ideas have shown themselves to be. After 150 years of diligent search we have yet to find any fossil evidence that proves anything @– I’ve often wondered what exactly dinosaur diggers would unearth that would do that job – will the fossils be labeled “transitional forms?” How would a scientist know that the bone in his hand was once an ape? Just the implementation of logic and probability deny poor Charles his theory, and yet his fanciful ideas still permeate our thought processes and chip away at Western society.

Can we reprogram our subterranean thinking to align with reality? Can we return to respect for all that our forebears have learned about how best to live in this world? Can we reconnect with our Creator? Yes –if we want to –and we will if life gets any more painful. It’s not like the information isn’t available, like the program hasn’t been written. More and more of us are starting to see the light.

Let there be light.


*http://tinurl.com/mwkgoag – New York Times quoted in “The Politics of Evolution.” Salvo Magazine: Spring 2014

** http://christiananswers.net/q-eden/genetic-mutations.html

***http://christiananswers.net/q-eden/genetic-mutations.html

#http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4669633/intelligent_design_symbiosis_and_the_golden_ratio/

##http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_zD3NxSsD8#aid=P935SEKHkxA

###http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2000/PSCF3-00Zoeller-Greer.html

^http://www.learnthebible.org/cambrian-explosion-disproves-evolution.html

^^http://www.christianpost.com/news/big-bang-gravity-wave-discovery-supports-biblical-creation-say-old-earth-creationists-116363/

@http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/missing-link-found-again-yawn/

__________________________________________________
Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com. • (2544 views)

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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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27 Responses to Darwin’s Damage

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s are two more excellent quotes from the article:

    It is of no surprise that a recent New York Times article cites a poll showing that 67% of Democrats are evolutionists*. In fact, I am convinced that this is one reason the Left is so persistently patient about its progress – some time in the far distant future the world will be perfect and they, without God, will have pulled it off – history and morality be damned.

    And…

    Which brings us to our second point, the Darwinian base we stand on sets us up to believe that those of us alive in the 21st century must be superior to those who came before us. The corollary to this is the concept that everything in the past was worse, which, in dizzying circular motion, reinforces the idea that change is the ultimate good.

    And this one I’ll repeat in full. It’s a very interesting thought. I’ve always wondered what motivated so many conspiracy theories:

    We have mistaken an accumulation of knowledge for an improvement in basic intelligence and general goodness. We find ourselves having to invent alien engineer theories to explain the awesome building accomplishments of the distant past – man wasn’t as evolved when the pyramids were built, so someone other than man must have built them.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Darwin and his acolyte Huxley were agnostics, but Darwinism doesn’t necessarily mean anti-religion (though it does require at best a metaphorical interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis); note that Alfred Russell Wallace (who co-originated the Theory of Evolution with Darwin) believed the human brain couldn’t be explained by purely natural means (and thus was the originator of Intelligent Design). There’s a creationist museum in northern Kentucky, and the owners are quick to point out that the mechanisms of Darwinism were originated by a creationist biologist decades before Darwin wrote The Origin of Species. Michael Behe has also made a good case that micro-evolution, at least, works by purely natural means.

    But it is true that Darwinism makes agnosticism and atheism a lot easier, as Richard Dawkins has repeatedly argued. It apparently never occurs to him that this isn’t an inducement for devout Christians to accept evolution — though it wouldn’t surprise me if he’d prefer them to remain creationists so he can feel superior to them.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Timothy makes some great points.

    On another tact, let’s just forget for the moment whether Darwinism is true, although it surely seems true on the micro level and very improbable on the macro level.

    Nevertheless, scientific theories come and go. Should we really tie our “operating systems” (our basal assumptions…I like that characterization) to any one of them? Certainly, as we learn more about the world, our views change. That’s reasonable. But must we believe in the preeminence of “gradual change” to the exclusion of all else? Does common sense, wisdom, and just plain logic have to go out the window?

    No, of course not. Darwinism isn’t really about Darwinism. I can take the theory just fine as it is, and see how it plays out. But Darwinism is more of a constructed flag — a thing to rally around — rather than necessarily a scientific theory that shows that nihilism, materialism, and meaninglessness are the preeminent aspects of reality.

    Darwinism is simply a convenient label behind which to hide religious bigotry, the evil of collectivism, and the notion that there is a Master Race amongst us who knows best.

    Darwinism, as a scientific theory, can be taken or left. It won’t raise the oceans. It won’t put food on your table. It won’t change the orbit of the sun. It’s a theory that has no practical implications. It is something used by the Left simply to forward their worldview. And their worldview starts and ends by eradicating religion, eradicating free markets, eradicating excellence, and pushing various evil forms of collectivism on us.

    In many ways, it’s a shame that Darwinism itself is abused in this way. As a scientific theory, it can live or die by the evidence. And I’m fine with that, and anyone who considers themselves amongst civilization’s “enlightened” people must agree. To do otherwise is turn turn science into “settled science” which means that we are not free to think, to doubt, and to dig up contrary evidence.

    The evil here therefore isn’t Darwinism, which is merely a vehicle for the true evil: Leftism. It would be perfectly possible to live with Darwinism in a God-centered universe. Few think that God created everything in 7 literal days. And if his mechanism is Darwinism, we should marvel at the sophistication of the process, not denigrate it. After all, nothing about Darwinism is contrary to what we already know about life and our place in it: Life is hard, people suffer, there are laws of physics that work as if governed by fixed laws, and life, in order to live, must feed on other life.

    And few — even nasty atheists — have trouble admitting that it sure looks as if we live in a fine-tuned universe where the various laws and constants are tuned in such a way to support life that it stretches credulity to think that chance alone could account for this. With this as a backdrop, should we really reject it if Creation happened in a way that we didn’t expect?

    In my opinion, just as we need to unwrap various toxic collectivist/materialist impulses that are snared around Darwinism for the convenience of collectivist forces, so should we unwrap our rankled religious defenses from it. It’s not for us to say how God set up the universe to operate.

    The upper hand will always stay with the metaphysics that is above materialism. As that old joke goes, a scientist, sure that he had all the knowledge necessary to create life, challenged God at a contest to make a human being out of just dirt. God accepted the challenge. The scientist then reached down to scoop up a handful of dirt and God says, “No…you must make your own dirt.”

    That is, the fact of existence has preeminence over all that is material. The material, at best, is a mere subset of existence. But it does not explain existence any more than examining a TinkerToy set would, or could, ever tell you about how or where or by whom such toys are manufactured. There is an ontological discontinuity there that the materialists forget about in their irrational exuberance to want to kill any notion that their groin, their victimhood, their grievance, or whatever they shoot into their veins isn’t the center of the universe.

    • Brad — nice analysis — exactly. There’s nothing inherently evil about the concept of gradual change, but like all purely human concepts, it’s application is the problem; it has gotten so twisted, so expanded that it’s bound to collapse on itself and I sincerely hope it doesn’t take us all with it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Jeffery Lord – one of the few remaining conservatives in the national media – has an article describing the Religion of Liberlism. I prefer the terminology “Religion of Leftism,” but it’s the same thing.

        Jeffery bullet-points several of the dogmas of that religion. But there is no doubt that it is a religion. And it is fast becoming the state religion. Many of the wars regarding “the separation of church and state” are simply about one religion (Leftism) pushing out another (Christianity).

        Granted, the useful idiots out there – so long immersed in Leftism that they have no idea that they have swallowed down its assumptions (the wonderful gist of your article) – do not see it that way. They see the Religion of Leftism as “secular”…that is, as neutral.

        This is where it gets a bit tricky philosophically, for the Founders (regarding the national government) established the rule of non-favoritism in regards to any one sect or denomination – while fully supporting religion all throughout society. The Capitol and Supreme Court buildings are full of religious imagery and words. And Jefferson spent Federal money on handing out bibles. But it’s all Judeo-Christian imagery and words, for the most part.

        Had this not been a Judeo-Christian nation at the time, and had the Founders fully understood the nature of Islam or Leftism, there’s no way they would have written the First Amendment as they did. They were about freedom of religion as they understood religion at the time. And Islam, for example, is not a religion. It is a vast totalitarian political-social-legal-economic-religious project, with religion being just one small part of it. The Founders would not have assumed there is any sacred right for the state to respect Nazism as a “religion” simply because it has a small religious element to it.

        Leftism is in the same boat. It is also a totalitarian religion, and one that, at heart, is illiberal. It believes it should supplant (as Islam does) all other religions, and do so by force. None of this kind of stuff is what the First Amendment is about protecting.

        We thus see just how true it is that we are indeed a “Christian Nation” – or were. The “operating system” of America was based upon it – its ethics and views of government and of one’s fellow man. And none of the institutions developed and nurtured in this ethos are suitable for the various totalitarian projects, including Islam and Leftism. Both are attempts to undermine them from within and without.

        Not many realize this, of course. For the “low information voter,” the “Progressive” project is supposedly all about “saving the planet” or being kind to homosexuals (that is, this project is infused with narcissism and naïve romanticism). And Darwin (being a scientist) is the near perfect Bishop for the Religion of Leftism.

        Although Darwin wasn’t any friend of religion, I doubt that he’d want much to do with those who forward the Religion of Leftism in his name. In fact, seeing what we have now, he might have couched his theory in different terms, for the most extreme religious zealots (outside of Islam) are not Christians. They are Leftists.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          One reason a secular religion is inherently totalitarian is that its dogmas can be proven wrong if they fail to match reality (as leftist dogmas usually do). This forces the cultist to deny reality, which then requires suppressing those who can prove otherwise. And so the Left becomes completely intolerant of effective dissent (but can endure reluctantly ineffective dissent, such as the Nazis marching in Skokie or the antics of the Westboro Baptist Church).

  4. Glenn Fairman says:

    Good God, Deana! What a brilliant piece. At this moment, I am working on something very much like it from a different vector, and I will be hard pressed in not stealing some of your very cogent observations.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m actually okay with Darwinism. But if it turn out that’s not the way life originated and changes (in terms of proximate causes), fine. We will have learned something either way.

    I think the most important point Deana makes is about that “operating system” that we somehow pick up (and probably don’t even notice). But it’s something that shapes how we think (if such unconscious and unreflective cogitating can be called “thinking”). Conservatives (at least here, and in my experience) are well familiar with their basic assumptions and principles. I don’t think that’s true of the Left except in terms of their basic prejudices and bigotries that they wildly throw around. Life for those on the Left is little more than a string of straw men, stereotypes, hobgoblins, and caricatures.

    That kind of thinking is emoting, not thinking. It’s not particularly logical either. By rights, those who back Darwin ought to be uber-Libertarians, staunch defenders of the free market where it is “survival of the fittest” regarding people, products, and services. Instead, the man who popularized this idea is the rallying point for socialists who hate competition, excellence, and personal responsibility. Rather than a survival-of-the-fittest tiger as their symbol a dumb and hobbled sheep is their idol.

    But, of course, Darwin’s main purpose is that he seems to refute the need for religion. Religion supposes (however it was done) that God created the universe, as well as man. But with Darwin, it can be imagined that man was not created at all but is a totally accidental being. And this is a huge point for the Left because it frees them emotionally and intellectually to center their life on the ego, on the mere animal, and on hedonism at the expense of the harder (but nobler) opposites: humility, the spiritual, and serving a cause other than self-satisfaction.

    Darwinism, by hook or by crook, became a dividing and polarizing line. And, to my mind, there is no reason to swing to either extreme. I do think quite a bit of contingency is built into the way the universe works. Man might have turned out differently as a species. On the other hand, evolution by natural selection tells us nothing except that the basic materials, energies, and forces that were created by something or someone are not just remarkable stuff but Miraculous stuff.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, that concept of an “operating system” is interesting (especially speaking as a former computer programmer). It does bring home the important point that what matters to the Left isn’t so much Darwinism as what you do with it — which is why I differentiate between Darwinians (i.e., those who accept the theory) and Darwinists (i.e., those who treat the theory as pseudo-religious dogma).

      As for Darwin’s validity, I refer to him sometimes as “the Copernicus of biology” because, like the great Polish Catholic cleric, he worked up a revolutionary theory but didn’t get it quite right. (Copernicus argued for a solar system of circular orbits with the Sun at the center, whereas in reality they’re elliptical orbits with the Sun at one focus of each ellipse. Indeed, Newton used Kepler’s theory to work up the mathematical formula for gravitational force. Similarly, Darwin’s approach works at a micro level, but seems insufficient to explain macro-evolution and the Cambrian Explosion.)

  6. Rosalys says:

    I read somewhere that in the old Soviet Union that before the little kiddies in the mandatory government school system were taught anything about Marx, they had evolutionary theory pounded into their brains.

    I’m not a pure Calvinist (more of a two and a half to three and a half pointer) but I certainly agree with his first point, the “T” in TULIP, total depravity. It doesn’t mean that every body behaves as evilly as they possibly can at all times, but that the unregenerate soul is bent away from God. I think it means that barring any restraint, there is no depth of depravity to which humanity is not capable of sinking. I’ve never understood how anyone can think that man is basically good. Open your eyes and look around and the truth will smack you in the face!

    The only hope for positive change is in the salvation offered through the sacrifice of The Lord, Jesus Christ. The reason God never changes is that He doesn’t have to. He always has and always will be as good as it is possible for Him to be.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’ve seen this point mentioned, that those who believe in Darwinism shouldn’t give themselves airs for being more “scientific” than those who believe in creationism. If all you do is trust the scientists without understanding them, then it’s simply a matter of which prophets you choose to have faith in.

  7. steve lancaster says:

    If Darwin’s theory is correct, or even somewhat correct we are delving into how creation happened; as are many physicists exploring ever backwards. We are in effect children playing in God’s toolbox attempting to examine a miter box through a straw.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      My guess is, Steve, that maybe one in ten liberals understand Darwinism, analogous to what they know (or think they know) about “climate change.” All they really know is that they have the prestige of “science” and “reason” on their side…which means they don’t have to do any actual thinking and can trust to the “experts” in the state…the same experts who, not coincidentally, say that they are due “free stuff” from the state. That is, they are the bitch of the state and of the so-called experts.

      But as Barbie said, “Math is hard.” And indeed it is. I’m certainly no expert in Darwinism by I have done a fair amount of reading.

      It would sure look as if micro evolution is true and that macro evolution still needs to be explained. Whatever the case may be, Darwin is now thoroughly in the realm of a “social science” as is “climate change.” That is to say, it’s no longer a science, per se. The “social” in front of it means that it’s driven by politics and various ego-based affectations rather than facts and evidence. That is the same with “social” justice. It’s not longer about justice when you have that modifier in front of it.

      Whatever the facts may be, the theory does de-romanticize our place in the universe (which is ironic, given the thrust of Theodore Dalrymple’s analysis of the Left in which the Left otherwise romanticizes everything else). It’s analogous to being told that instead of a stork delivering babies that they actually come out through the mother’s birth canal in a very messy and painful process.

      In regards at least to micro-evolution, it can be said that death itself is what shapes us. That’s not a particularly pleasing thought. And it also takes man down in peg in that the regular forces of nature, not God’s direct hand, do much, if not most, of the formation of man and his character.

      In my opinion, both sides have yet to come to terms with what the science says and what the science does not say. Many religious people think they have to totally deny Darwinism or else their religion is up excrement creek without a paddle. Many (probably most) Darwinists cannot admit one gram of non-material metaphysics or they think they are giving themselves over to sheer superstition. Even more than the religious, Darwinists have more invested in their radical materialism, to the point where they are not just religious about Darwinism, they are fundamentally religious about it.

  8. steve lancaster says:

    Yes, we need to remember that science can and does get it wrong. Real scientific method is based more on what you get wrong and adjusting the theory than dogmatic belief that the theory is correct. 100 years ago it was established fact that eugenics was true, following in the footsteps of Mendel, however, that road led directly to WWII and the holocaust and 100+ million dead in the 20th century.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yes, we need to remember that science can and does get it wrong.

      That is a good thing to keep in mind. That is another way of saying that science isn’t everything, that there are perspectives and viewpoints that are relevant and true (such as that a rose is beautiful) that have nothing to do with science.

      Science gives us our toys and technology. But when it tries to give us our worldview, it is inherently building upon sand. And that is because science takes into account only things that it can measure repeatedly. And a moment’s thought should show how small of a component of our lives and world that is.

      Hey, I’m the first to love the products of science and technology. And science does provide some legitimate metaphysical insights into our world. The Big Bang, for instance, favors some kind of a beginning rather than an eternal Einsteinian steady-state. But science itself cannot even come to agreement on what the uncertainty principle means about our world. There is no one correct interpretation of it, nor is there any likelihood that there can be only one correct interpretation. In fact, this alone shows that scientific thought is a dead-end in terms of understanding our world deeply metaphysically and philosophically.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Science is a method of trying to approach the truth. It’s very good as long as people realize that it’s only a method. When they claim “the science is settled” (which it never can be, as was seen when modern physics replaced classical Newtonian mechanics), they reveal their idolatrous ignorance of the true nature of science.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          That’s so true.

          What an odd situation we have here with the Left who say they are against:

          1) Dogma
          2) Superstition
          3) Irrationality

          But they regularly engage in all three. Global warming is a dogma. The “multi-verse” is little better than a superstition. And irrationality abounds, including hysteria over second-hand smoke. All these things, of course, are part of human nature and can’t be blamed on the Left for their existence. But my point is the extreme bizarre cognitive dissonance you get with the Left who insist that they are the strictly “rational” beings, simply because they can mouth the word “science.”

          I freely admit that I am intellectually, psychologically, and somewhat emotionally in step with my Christian brothers and sisters (at least those who are not on the Left). There is more to this world than just inert matter. This is self-evidently so for those not blinkered by the fundamentalist dogma of radical materialism.

          Man is made dumb, not smart, by holing himself up inside the small bubble of supposed “rationalism.” That doesn’t mean that what any religion says is necessarily true. There are many motivations that go into religion that have little or nothing to do with trying to touch the divine. For men, religion is often just an outgrowth of their innate desire and need to form political organizations and power structures. For women, religion is often just another “thing” to be manipulated and used in order to try to provide more resources to their young.

          That’s not to dismiss the thoughts of either Glenn or Deana as deriving from either of these things. They clearly do not. But there is a good reason men tend to have to be dragged kicking and screaming to church by women. And there is a good reason that, once dragged there, men are most likely in charge.

          To actually talk of God can be scary to both the religious and irreligious, if for different reasons. For the latter, the idea of God means that their little egos (analogous to the mindset of a three-year-old) are not the center of the world. For the former, it means that God cannot be owned or manipulated by mere ritual. There is something deeper to be pursued.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I think this cognitive dissonance is why liberals are so angry about being criticized. Their self-professed moral and intellectual superiority is the basis for their self-professed right to run other people’s lives. So if you point out their own idiocies, you attack the very basis of their lives.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Their self-professed moral and intellectual superiority is the basis for their self-professed right to run other people’s lives.

              Ding ding ding ding ding. We have a winner. And not that I knew this beforehand. It’s just that this truth is stated so well.

              Where is the humility and sense of being beholden to history and good practices in any of the politicians, usually of either party? It’s almost non-existent. I think the self-professed moral and intellectual superiority go hand-in-hand with Big Government.

              We can perhaps quibble about what came first, the Socialist Chicken or the Statist Egg…whether the self-professed superior types created Big Government or are just attracted to it now that it exists. But it seems true, and inevitably so, that with this gargantuan system of government in place — which has enormous powers and now controls people’s lives to the nth degree — that one will just naturally slip into the mindset that it takes to wield this power.

              This is another reason George Washington remains the greatest American. When he had power, he gave it up. Twice.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                “Where is the humility and sense of being beholden to history and good practices in any of the politicians, usually of either party?”

                There is little. This is the arrogance of ignorance, which is widespread in our society. Ask anyone about history, particularly those under 45 and more often than not you will get some riff on, “that happened before I was born, so why should I care?” These fools think the world began when they were born and will end when they die. With such an attitude, people start at zero and have to relearn life’s lessons every generation. And the lessons of history cannot be learned in one lifetime unless one studies history.

                “This is another reason George Washington remains the greatest American. When he had power, he gave it up. Twice.”

                Ah, you have become wise in the ways of mankind, grasshopper.

              • Black JEM says:

                George Washington was the greatest human being after Christ. He gave up power twice as you say. No one else of any prominence has even done it once.

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Once in a while Evolution News and Views publishes an article that is not soft and blurry metaphysics and delves more understandably into the problems of Darwinism. Physicist David Snoke on Denton’s Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis

    Snoke even points out the weakness of author Denton’s physicalism even while praising and explaining his critiques of Darwinism which appear in his new book, Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis. It’s one thing to point out the holes in Darwinism, which apparently Denton does expertly in his new book. But when push comes to shove, one is left to try to supply a cause for all that complex specified biological information. Many of those who frankly expose the weakness of Darwinism are still wedded to a materialist paradigm and tend to offer up clear rubbish as an explanation that is no better than Darwinism.

    This article is worth a read, as well as the full article by Snoke that is linked to in the opening paragraph. The gist of one of the primary problems with Darwinism is the persistence of certain forms. There is no hint of gradualism. Instead, you have basic forms appearing, with then variations on a common theme. Life appears less like a continuum and more like a TinkerToy set made of pre-fabbed pieces that are used over and over again. But these pieces themselves arrive on the scene spontaneously (called “saltation”).

    There is no good explanation for this other than that life was consciously designed. One idea to account for the non-gradualism (the saltation) found in the fossil record is to assume that all the information for the various basic forms of life were there in the very first cell. Indeed, there is some evidence that there is a whole lot of information in DNA than a particular species needs. I’ve read that this is particularly so for some species, often very primitive ones. Wouldn’t that be an interesting thing?

    How this would work out in practice, I have no idea. Does a mother give birth to a new form? And if so, with whom does that new form breed in order to continue this new creation? Mysteries surround mysteries. The astonishing thing is that we are coming to terms with the fact that life doesn’t even remotely look like the product of random chance. Rather, it appears to be an extremely complex program, complete with a variety of micro-robots that are nothing less than astonishing.

    Still, I find the overall field of Intelligent Design to be weak. It’s one thing to take apart Darwinism. It’s another thing to replace it with something else. And I find very little coherency in this regard. Intelligent Design, at this point, just seems like a good way to sell books, although many of the books are indeed interesting. But I have yet to see what looks like a rigorous way of interpreting life and the fossil record with a theory that is more specific and predictive than just an overall “there was a designer” approach.

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Every once in a while one will come across a clarifying phrase that is embedded within one particular subject but is universal. In this article about Tom Wolfe’s book, The Kingdom of Speech, a review of the book by Andrew Ferguson is quoted:

    You don’t hear much about [Alfred Russel] Wallace anymore, and you hear even less about [Max] Muller, while their contemporary Darwin became, of course, one of the most famous men who ever lived. Human exceptionalism has a lot to do with their relative reputations. Wallace embraced it and so did Muller; indeed, they thought it was self- evident. Darwin didn’t. And most scientists, especially fundamentalists like Jerry Coyne, have inherited Darwin’s materialism as dogma. It’s a good deal for scientists. After all, if everything we consider uniquely human is a consequence of purely materialistic processes, then the guys who study materialistic processes for a living hold the key to every human question. It’s nice work if you can get it.

    I find Neo-Darwinists to be inherently dishonest. Now you see a big reason for this. Their entire Ivory Tower of intellectual (and moral) authority is at stake, not to mention what has become their religion.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I wasn’t familiar with Muller, but I’ve often mentioned Wallace. I first read about him in an article by Isaac Asimov in his collection Fact and Fancy, but Asimov naturally didn’t mention that Wallace believed the human brain couldn’t have resulted from purely natural evolution — making him, in essence, the first advocate of intelligent design.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’ve got an unread book by (or about) Wallace sitting around here. I really should get to it.

        Can we all state that we are willing to go where the evidence and probabilities take us in regards to the creation of life? I am. No apparent purely algorithmic (aka “laws of nature”) physical process seems at all plausible as an explanation for anything but the periphery (and even then, it would see life is formed in such a way as to allow for micro-evolution).

        In fact, the best proof for God is probably in all those little molecular robots. And “robots” is not too strong of a word for what they look like and what they do. We are looking at highly complex and integrated systems which, on the face of it (and on the evidence of it), defy explanation via step-by-step random processes.

        Still, intelligent design is a problematic science at this point, mostly involved in exposing the hubris and excesses of Neo-Darwinists. There is must too much chirping from the sidelines and not enough serious study of the implications of intelligent design or, given that as a starting point, how to pursue it further.

        I’m not sure where they’re going to go with it, but the short-term purpose seems to be to sell a lot of books and videos to the religious.

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