Last week we discussed the first foundation stone in the dysfunction of liberal thought. Let’s move on to the next – evolution. (I speak here not of the usual change we see within species as they react to the environment; I speak of macro-evolution only.) I’m not going to address all the scientific evidence that is accumulating against Darwinism; I haven’t space here. Instead I’d like to look at the dangerous conclusions one arrives at when one’s starting place is “random mutation” or “survival of the fittest.” The damage that has been done to our national psyche via this “theory” is incalculable and yet most of us rumble through our days oblivious to the devastation, or at least unaware of its genesis.
At the core of Darwin’s Origin of the Species (published in 1859) is the idea that, as a species moves through time, its weaker specimens die off, leaving only the genetics of the survivors to move into the future. As the eons pass by each species becomes better and better having sloughed off the bad genes in favor of the good ones and having experienced along the way random, enhancing, genetic mutations.
He even posited that all species started from a single “simple” cell (we know now that there is no such thing) and through random happy accidents (which, by the way, are almost never happy) added to the survival impetus, and gradually produced us. (I find it odd that nature kept pushing toward human existence, given the fact that it could have stopped with the cockroach. Cockroaches have survival down pat.)
So, what’s wrong with those ideas? Several important things:
§ As foundational principles they do not deliver what they promise, leaving those under their spell struggling to hold up a sagging edifice that doesn’t even explain the origin of life
o Darwinian thought offers what appears to be Godless freedom. If one doesn’t have God breathing down his neck, life is a whole lot more fun – that’s how the thinking goes. If we got here by random accidents drifting through endless time (and probability theory shows us that the odds of random mutations probability of producing even a single functional proteinare so astronomical that it would take literally endless time to accomplish), then we are beholden to no one. Tempting, I suppose, but it leaves out one important consideration – it doesn’t actually get rid of God – He’s still there; denial does not remove the fact of His existence, it does nothing more than hide Him. The consequences don’t go away.
o With this absolute freedom is supposed to come self-expression, self-fulfillment and satisfaction. However, that, too, is a hollow promise. If we are each just “so much protoplasm” (a phrase my father loved to use when he thought we were being lazy) then we have no self to actualize; we are nothing but the chemical result of what we eat. Freedom can’t be an issue for random blobs of protein because random blobs of protein have no will. They just do what the DNA tells them to do. Life is merely chemical reaction and nothing more. Paradoxically, if there is no God, there is naught to be free from.
o Add to that the realization that if everything is just random, and nothing is ever really caused, then cause and effect reasoning devolves into rickety temporal proximity, and logical thinking is just a quaint old habit for fussy people. When logic, when rational thought, is based on a transcendent and infinite God, there’s a reason to actually think. When it’s not, well, why bother? Emoting is more fun.
§ As a moral cornerstone Darwinian* thought fails utterly. It is true that some organisms cooperate – think anthills and beehives, however, there’s no “survival of the fittest” motivation for being altruistic, no reason to give one’s life to save another, no motivation to help those who aren’t fit. As Darwin’s disaster filtered into the churches and out to the people it hit the business community. (see Barbarians at the Gate by Burrough and Helyer)The cut-throat capitalism that brought us into the 20th century produced a back-lash of unionism, which in turn developed its own brand of survival of the fittest (i.e. whoever could most efficiently break knee caps) and is now returning us through Washington cronyism to the feudalism of Medieval Europe. Liberal thinking doesn’t recognize legitimate business; it merely sees Gordon Gekko and recoils in disgust.
§ As the 20th century progressed (skipping, for want of space, Woodrow Wilson’s eugenic ideas) we can look at Hitler’s ideas. Let me quote from Mein Kampf – “But little as Nature wishes a mating of weaker with stronger individuals, still less does she want the fusion of a higher with a lower race, since otherwise the whole labor of selective evolution, perhaps through thousands of years, would be set at naught, “(279). Too prevent that Germany gassed or worked to death those it deemed unfit; after all, a race of supermen couldn’t be contaminated with substandard genetic materials. “Unfit” referred to those with mental or physical impairments, chronic diseases, the very old, 6 million Jews and several million Christians who refused to go along with the slaughter. Later, Margaret Sanger, of Planned Parenthood fame, wanted to use family planning to weed out those whose progeny were not likely to suit her – darker skinned people especially. She succeeded beyond her wildest imagination – today 88.9% of New York City abortions are performed on minority women.** Darwin’s Origin of the Species opened a whole Pandora’s box of horror. A hundred million people died last century, largely as the result of Darwinian thinking run amuck. So much for survival.
§ The Darwinian mindset also makes some assumptions that don’t appear to be set in reality. If we are the result of random acts of mutation that gradually improved things, then we’re still improving and everything is still improving and it just happens automatically and requires no moral effort.(Look back at the last paragraph and tell me how much better we’re getting.) Hence, any ideas of the 21st century are automatically superior to the ideas of earlier times. The Bible (Moses’ insistence on a 7-day creation had already put a dent in it.) and the Constitution are no longer relevant because we’ve evolved right on past them. Traditions are quaint and stodgy and of no relevance to us today. We are now far superior to morality, to concerns about the family, to private charity. Efforts at honor and nobility are just embarrassingly naïve. This approach has unhooked several links in the anchor chain:
o It has robbed us of our sense of responsibility, our sense of purpose. If it’s all happening without me, and my efforts, if I am nothing more than the outgrowth of a chemical accident, then I have no answer to the question, “Why?”
o It has cut us loose from our past. We’ve lost the directions – we don’t even think there are directions. If everyone is getting smarter then documents from the past like the Bible, the Constitution, Shakespeare’s plays can carry no wisdom. People graduate from college these days without having read any of the above. It’s no wonder we make a big moral deal over where we buy a chicken sandwich or which car we drive – we have no idea how this moral thing works. We’re like two-year-olds with bad parents; we don’t know how we are to behave; we don’t know we are to behave.
o We have no respect for our elderly. They can’t tell us anything – they are the previous generation and by definition therefore inferior to the more evolved current generation and all the stuff they know is has been disproven by – you guessed it – science, i.e. evolution. Should I capitalize that like I do the word God?
If evolution is the true reality then we are doomed little monkey-men and we might as well believe in unicorns. We are adrift on choppy seas, rudderless and anchorless. I pray that God will help us; I know for sure that neo-Darwinian science won’t.
Check back next week for the 3rd installment. Thanks for reading.
*I’m not blaming Darwin personally for all of this – his philosophical descendents Spencer, Galton, Hitler, Sanger, et.al. started where he left off and continued building.
** Apparently Margaret Sanger herself did not promote abortion; but shortly after her death Planned Parenthood turned its efforts to that method of controlling who go to procreate.