Creationism, Evolution, Power and Wealth
January 01, 2020
What prompted me to write this piece was seeing Sir David Attenborough talking to the famous Nordic girl about climate change. Seeing this reminded me the he had also a few months back appealed for teaching of Creationism to be barred from school curricula.
This thought brought me back to one of my perennial topics: The idea of Evolution.
I say the idea and not the theory, not only because Evolution is not a theory but is in fact an hypothesis - but in addition because I see Evolution as being suspect as a serious scientific concept in many other ways.
I'm going to delineate a couple of areas here whereabouts I believe the idea of Evolution is weak to doubting point.
To begin I will talk about the idea of predictive power, which is a corollary that appertains scientifically-speaking to theories and hypotheses. One cannot put forward a theory or a hypothesis that has no predictive power – neither would be entitled to the name and concept without it having this.
But the word 'predictive' is problematic in the way it is used very often scientifically.
A prediction might be a forecast of an event to be occurring in the future. Time-related.
A prediction might also be a proposal of a previously unobserved phenomenon now expected to be observed – of course in the future again, but not all predictions that are time-related are also predictions of hitherto unobserved phenomena.
Even a phenomenon which has previously been observed but has been unable to have been fitted nicely into any extant hypothesis or theory, might be forecast as being causally or otherwise consequent upon certain grounds laid down by a newly-formulated theory or hypothesis.
But the essence is this – a prediction in science is always (I suspect) a time-related forecast and it is also an event forecast or an observational forecast, of one or more phenomena which have hitherto not been connected to science in the way that the newly-formulated hypothesis suggests.
The important thing to note is that some forecasts are predictions which are merely time-related and no more. 'The horse 'Running Wild' will win today's race at 2.30 at Birmingham Racecourse.'
Now the horse 'Running Wild' has never before won that particular race, because that race is in the future still. So in a sense this is a new event, an unobserved phenomenon. But we don't mean this in science when we propose a hypothesis that will forecast events phenomena as yet altogether unobserved, or else unobserved as yet in connection with the drift of the hypothesis.
We mean that a type of event will be observed; either as a good fit now under the said hypothesis whereas formerly it was an anomaly, or else an observation of a kind altogether new to people, possibly because not looked for before, possibly because there seemed no traffic in looking for it?
It's that type of event that's important. A theory or a hypothesis must have in addition predictive power, a power of generalisation, preferably to near universality, but seldom if ever.
So hypotheses, let's forget theories for now, are more complex in their predictive power than are forecasts of the winner of the 2.30 at Birmingham Racecourse. Very much more complex. They contain within them a bundle of factors which must be shown to be valid before a prediction, or predictions, drawn from an hypothesis can allow the hypothesis to be entertained as possibly worthwhile.
So, let's move to Evolution as an hypothesis. Now we know that time-related predictions are two a penny – every prediction as a prediction is time-related – points forwards to the future.
Don't get confused and start thinking hypotheses yielding discoveries in archaeology and in palaeontology etc are backwards looking predictions – the finding out about the past is and remains in the future always.
So the special character of scientific hypotheses is that they must supply some insight on observations either already made and in a contextual limbo, or else of a kind yet to be made on phenomena; and which demonstrate a general rule of a contextual kind, so that that rule displays pertinent scientific utility.
The big question arises: what is an instance of the Theory/Hypothesis of Evolution having done this? The Theory of Evolution has explanatory power, yes, but it holds no particular explanatory power – it's explanations whenever wherever they are applied to a particular life form or event, are, for as being rule based, the same for the whole of the living world, they are always one size fits all.
The Theory of Evolution’s explanatory power is so large and so diffuse that in the end it explains nothing about life forms, because everything, every event happening to something alive or having lived can be set underneath it. There are by the scientists' own admission no exceptions; nothing further to be said on the subject of how life works. This is not a theory nor is it scientific – it has many of the trappings of a self-validating ideology, wherein all objections to it are able to be absorbed into its framework, via a twist of the argument.
Some logical evidence now - which impedes greatly the case for an instance of pertinence being pointed out..
The character of Evolution is that it arises – so it is said – out of random mutations in the genetic make-ups of species, over a course of x or y generations of those species. This randomness precludes absolutely any hope or idea of forecasting or of predicting – not that there will be eggs hatch out in that nest in the tree – but that the birds born from those eggs will be of x or y types of mutant specimens. Or will carry x or y type mutations in the genes.
The narrative continues – undirected pressures of the natural world, mostly in the local environment are the factors which - without intention or deliberation of any kind - hone down the relative feasibilities of these mutated specimens as candidates to either subsist or better thrive, or fall by the wayside – this is called by science Natural Selection.
So the sorting of the wheat from the chaff regarding specimens is done by the pressures on the specimens of their natural environments.
The question of logical evidence now arises: how might we claim, without us having knowledge of specimens which failed as mutations under the pressures of the environment, that they all failed because of those unconformities they possessed incompatible with the conditions of their environments?
Is there, was there, no 'bad luck' involved that specimen x mutant didn't make it? Ever? Are there no cases of specimens that could or should have made it but did not? Or conversely of specimens which made it against the general drift of all the pressures against them?
This is where the logical difficulty comes in.
One will see when one visits the website Quora, a great tranche of questions posed by subscribers there asking about 'the evolutionary purpose of x' or 'the reason why x animal/plant has y' etc, - masses of this kind of enquiry – and are they not – in all their bizarre and weird variations – all, every one of them, perfectly valid questions to be asked Evolutionary scientists?
Yes indeed they are -every single one, under the banners these Evolutionary scientists fly as their insignia, deserves a considered reply. Why? - you ask.
Because there has been no account taken of the failed random mutations of specimens – and because everything that does not fail as a specimen has had its survival and any success attributed absolutely and without exception to what the scientists term Natural Selection. Nothing but nothing escapes the net.
“There was not made anything that was not made by Him”
Yes, Creationism is off the menu, Evolutionary science has supplanted it!
Thus Evolutionary science inherently a) bears attributes of religion, b) has the entire weight of the explanation of the whole living world and its history as its burden c) ultimately rests on foundations non-scientific.
The people who ask questions on Quora about the evolutionary reasons for this and that, logically, if we allow evolutionary theory to be wholly valid, have every entitlement to an answer from evolutionary scientists, despite many of their questions appearing prima facie eccentric:
What is the evolutionary reason for religion?
….. and so on
Since the supporters of Evolutionary Theory would usurp and secularise the claim of Scripture that all life is as it is because God's will has made it so, and say instead that all life is as it is because evolution has made it so, everything to the last iota, including seeming absurdities like beards and laughter and laziness, evolutionary scientists must answer every such question adequately in terms of evolutionary theory.
The absurdity of it all begins to be seen
Any speculative answer to any question of the kind Evolutionary scientists are obliged to tackle, and the answers they give have to fit the two ridiculously broad criteria 'Natural Selection' and 'Survival of the Fittest'. Then these answers are, and have to be, mutatis mutandum as acceptable or as unacceptable as any other. answer under the same two criteria. Your guess is as good as mine. We drift into the realm of opinion, but this opinion has all the muscle and fire-power of a Scientific Establishment behind it to give it repute and repute often is mis-equated with validity.
Hence, like the published thousands of post-modernist doctorate dissertations languishing on eBay and amazon for $300 a touch and never bought, the world is filled with what are in fact unverifiable and untestable speculative eager and somewhat vainglorious and pompous trumpetings about why 'because of evolution' x animal does this y thing, about how a single green hair found on a hippopotamus in Zimbabwe has this and that important evolutionary significance!
Andy Warhol would maybe have been mortified at this mad attempt of everybody on the bandwagon wanting to have her/his fifteen minutes!
The natural logical extension to an acceptance of Evolutionary Theory is an acceptance of philosophical determinism. God has been intercepted and sidelined and all explanatory power for life which he once had has been ambushed and co-opted by Evolutionary science. No need for the concept of free will since it gets in the way of explaining by means of Evolutionary theory everything about life .
Free will existent means that causes and effects can be disrupted by any free act made by a life form; and so unless free will is also ditched explanatory power falls down for Evolutionary theory whenever it is confronted by any assertion of a free act of will.
We can see then that evolution as science is a secularisation having been translated from religious territory via the assistance of the ideas behind 18th century European Deism. Deism is a product of The Enlightenment (ironic terminology!) period in Europe. Deism represents a halfway house on the way to a disposing of God altogether as being a Creator and as being able to supply answers about life on earth.
Deism in short is, as it were, to equate nature as a whole, all things traditionally held to have been Created by God, as God itself. God is the Creation then and no longer The Creator. One does not need keen eyes to see that evolutionary theory is a natural succession of thought and conception leading out of and on from Deism.
It is all part of a steady historical trend in thought towards atheism – although I should support many scientists out there who are devout and convinced theists and worshippers of God.
As such a trend, just as was The Reformation in England for the King Henry VIII, embraced as a simple 'land grab' – such as were the Enclosure Acts being passed in England at a later period – Deism and thereafter Evolutionary theory were and remain coups d'etat of the public mind made and prosecuted by those who perceived that there was and remains a route to power, influence, and wealth to be had from their espousal and promulgation.
Not least in the way of justifications. Simply put: if nature is ruthless in its Natural Selection of 'the fittest' whilst 'the weaker go to the wall' every time, here then is justification for the powerful, the wealthy, those whom generally we called 'successful' in society, for them to exploit and oppress the weaker, and importantly, to do so without comeback, repercussions, from God or from conscience or the people, for this is the new ethos.
My descriptions may appear crude and unnuanced; but I am talking about ideologies, raw ideas as systems which admit of no extraneous mollifications. I am not talking about what might be actual practices which are likely to include sporadic acts of charity and reparation etc etc.
Our latest set of justifications, found out in post-modernist thought, a movement sprung out of the same roots as evolutionary theory, and the darling of an empty-headed arrogant set of 'clever' people, has its oil-spills of mental pollutions frequently shed today in our bookshops and news media and on our TVs and Radios.
A current radio show which did not know whether it was science, archaeology, women's propaganda, or stand-up comedy, is called 'Natalie Haynes Stands up For the Classics: Roman Women: Claudia Severa”. BBC Radio 4 4pm Monday 30th Dec 2019
Of course 'Stands up' is in the title. In a light-minded manner this show glorified power, wealth, exotic delicacies of food and diet, social status and influence, sexual infidelities, and all those trappings of our society which oppress the weak and the poor. (I want to move on to this area a little later on)
Laughs from an audience came deferentially and, sadly, 'correctly' as, by means of slick quips and cult commentary on life in Roman Britain, with emphasis on prominent women; laughs were raised as this ideology was retailed. It was being adored, recommended, and celebrated – as being ours, or else in great sympathy with ours – and also as being Roman and ancient.
Yes indeed, all the luxury of high-life was there for rich powerful Romans and their families, bar the technologies we possess. Foods, wines, precious metals, jewellery, perfumes, ornaments, fine clothes, parties – the consumerist bundle.
There was by the show's presenters shown absolute obliviousness and unconcern felt or expressed about how what and who supported these lavish Roman and ancient top-dog lifestyles. Those who died on the field of war, in the mines; of hunger famine and disease; those who tilled the lands and grew or killed the savoury delicacies; the cooks; the administration and serving men and women - all not relevant
Thus the show celebrated and enjoyed as comedy, recommended uncritically, embraced and smugly made base humour out of a barbaric disregard.
Which brings me to our own situations here today in developed nations. We continue to enjoy the standards of life we have, the leisure and ease, nutrition, luxuries, holidays, wealth, security, comforts, all those things - we enjoy these at the expense of those who provide them to us. I don't mean the shops and the service providers – I mean deeper than this.
For one thing, those pains and that suffering sustained, and which sometimes buried our forebears, because the 'successful' men and women founded their justifications for inflicting that pain and suffering on an embrace of Natural Selection, on Enclosure Acts, on an idea of Gentility vis a vis the mob, as well as on other 'land-grab' ideologies – those Captains of Industry and those Forward Thinkers and those Pioneers for Tomorrow – it was from these that our plain common forebears received their pain and suffering. For the most part our plain and common forebears built the infrastructures and most of the foundational good things passed down in history for us to enjoy today. Railways. Airports, Roads, Shipping, Education; Wealth and almost every economic boon; as well as handing on all the day to day know-how and expertise on how to build them, how to maintain them.
For another thing, the common peoples in parts of the world which are not rich and thriving, enjoy little infrastructure, healthcare, etc etc; in places where most lives and families are what are termed subsistence lives, whose food is rice, rice, rice, and whose day is 12 hours of labour; these people are to a large degree poorer because we are richer. Either we are charged with not being willing to share out enough of out joys and treasures to them – over 50 years in my lifetime this problem remains endemic – or else worse – we are enjoying that produce and service level, quality of life, which is created and sustained at least in part directly on the backs of these denied peoples.
There are cases in the public eye – clothing workers in Bangladesh for instance – a news story indulged for what its worth in The West and then forgotten but still goes on more or less as before.
The majority of our manufactures are made in the Far East under license from Western Corporations and Businesses. The ordinary people who fill the factories there are usually likewise subsistence level earners
And these examples are no more than a grain of sand on the beach. Exploitation is endemic – the word exploitation even has of recent years lost its pejorative meaning and become a 'good' word, expressing initiative – getting other people to do things for you – business and entrepreneurial skills – knowing how to make your fortune off other people's backs – and all the silly glitz and kudos associated with the glories of Capital by a press and media sucking up to it for the sake of their daily caviares and sauvignon.
The movement of post-modernism must seem to these predators of Capital a gift, academe in their laps, making justifications, in large and turgid words, for their privateer forays, justifications that aim to baffle the plain people into awe and submission.
"a vision of the street/ as the street hardly understands..."