Monday, June 22, 2009

Adios Darwin-baby

Suppose—just suppose—we tossed Darwin's Theory of Evolution out the window. What, then, are we left with?

Creationism, many would say. And that's what creationists want us to think.

(They probably won't say Intelligent Design. With Darwin's Theory gone, there's no longer a need for the ruse of ID and so everyone involved would speak openly of Creationism.)

Not quite. We're still left with Evolution. Darwin didn't invent Evolution. It was already widely accepted in the scientific community that creatures on Earth were evolving through a process of mutation. What no one could agree on was how. Darwin solved that puzzle with his theory of Natural Selection. "Survival of the fittest."

So the baby isn't thrown out with the bathwater. Worse, we have to change it's diapers. Evolution is still functioning right under our very noses.

So, we have to get rid of Evolution itself. Is it that easy? Sure, we slap a gag rule on the classrooms, insist "Evolution is a theory, not a fact," and other forms of propaganda. Darwin's face appears on the video screens and the students scream abuse and hurl spitwads at it.

Yet when hauling out the mural of evolution and burning it into the back of the schoolyard we're still left with Biology. We try to assemble a new mural of life on Earth and there's this big piece of the puzzle missing—and no one can explain why. There is no alternative explanation. (Note: "God" explains nothing.)

So we have to find an answer, an explanation that makes sense. That means Science. And Science means asking questions. And here's a big clue: "Biology" does not mean "begat."

So we get rid of Biology. We open up the high school yearbook and find a bunch of smiling faces under "First Year Creationism." Evolution is a dirty word scribbled on the bathroom walls. There is still Science to contend with.

The Science with a capitol "S". Brain-child of the ancient Greeks, bastard step-child of the Dark Ages, re-born in the Renaissance, clothed in the Age of Reason and finally finding a home with Sir Issac Newton. Now it's a tough old bastard and getting it out of the schools is going to be a long, hard fight. There will be blood, trust me.

See something odd or remarkable. Ask a question why. Suggest a possible answer. Re-create the conditions. Duplicate the event. Record the process and the results. Compare the results to your possible answer. Revise the possible answer to meet the results. Welcome to Science. It's that simple.

Because it's so simple and so thorough there's no way to stop it. Ask the question, "Why do creatures mutate in the wild?" and the whole facade comes crashing down. Six days and then kick-back gives no explanation, no insight.

But, say, we get rid of Science. Nobel laureates languish in prisons. Stephen Hawking appears on national TV to renounce Science and repent of his heresy. (Except it didn't go very well. Stephen managed to override the pre-scripted recant programmed into his voder and made a passionate speech defending Science and freedom before he was yanked off the air. His current location is unknown.) OK then; problem solved.

Not quite. There's still Nature to contend with. You know, Nature? As in war, famine, pestilence and death? The four reasons we need Science like right frickin' now? (And we have religious leaders who want to ride them right into a theocracy?)

Feynman said that Nature won't be fooled. Neither can it be ignored. And Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example of what happens when we ignore the data, when we don't use the science providing the data.

Take the final step: Remove Nature from the school curriculum. Except it's not a school anymore. So let me ask again: What, then, are we left with? Many would answer, "God." And that's indeed all we have left. A religious seminary, with the students eyes firmly fixed on heaven while the world all around them degenerates into a living hell.

It's strange how Darwin's Theory, reviled as the ultimate materialist philosophy, has such devastating spiritual consequences should we reject it. Perhaps it's because in the rejection we willingly embrace ignorance, turn our eyes away from a truth about ourselves—the knowledge we need so our people do not perish.

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