Thursday, December 09, 2004

On Evolution and "Intelligent Design"

The October Wired  magazine's cover story was called "The Crusade Against Evolution."
That rather interesting discussion generated a flood of mail. My favorite letter on the subject ran in Wired' s print edition (December):

"I'm designed intelligently? As far as I can see, I was designed by an
idiot. My parts are neither interchangeable nor replaceable. I could
use a new ankle right now, and almost everything I do injures my back.
Some of my internal organs are useless, and can even kill me.  My
risk-calculation engine is useless. I am afraid to eat beef, but have
no problem catapulting myself down tree-lined roads on my motorcycle.
My judgment is so bad I can be convinced to send my life savings to a
complete stranger with just one phone call.

The final stake in the heart of intelligent design is that there are
people we might otherwise consider intelligent, who, in the face of all
this, maintain we are functioning as intended."
-Eric Dietiker, Twain Harte, California
Rather intriguging take on ths issue.

Posted at 10:07 AM in Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science | Permalink


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There has been a good discussion of this topic at:

Here are my thoughts in related, original concepts:

Spective, Earthism, Superconscious mind revisited
by T. Scauzillo

For some time now I have been working on a thesis that introduces the concepts of the superconscious mind, the spective creative process, Earthism, and the Earthian belief system. Specifically the Earthian belief system and the superconscious mind strike at the core of this question and debate: science vs. religion, evolution vs. creationism. This is the war that the evangels are waging on the secular humanists.

In almost every case, mankind has mistaken their notion of god/gods with either their superconscious mind, their dominant ego, nature, or our multiverse state of being. Many of these notions may seem radical, but they are a progressive way of thinking of our existence in this world. The notion of god has become this mythical all-encompassing simplified entity to explain very complex multi-facetted components ranging from why we were created, who created us, who is in control, to even the extreme insanity of who told an individual to kill those innocent people, and who guides an individual to discriminate, hate, and pass judgment on for not living up to the religious ideal. Basically these questions cannot be answered by a three-letter word or any abstracted construct.

According to the religious, God is the sole creative force, but I would argue that our direct experience with the creative on a macro scale would be nature, natural forces embodied in the Earth (Earthism), and on a micro scale our own mind and imagination, our individual creative energy (our consciousness). So to some degree, man was created through the evolutionary process in that we have been 'created' from our previous ancestry of primates over hundreds of thousands of years, but we arrived at mankind once we became conscious of ourselves and our surroundings. Our mind crossed over the threshold of solely acting on instincts and began the process of contemplation, self-awareness, and the ability to prospect.

Contemplation is a superconscious process, a spective process in that we reflect on our life or the influences, accomplishments, and failures to refine any solution we wish to accomplish. This is retrospection on the relatively distant past. Then through the process of introspection, the individual reflects internally to discover his or her artistic/scientific voice usually on a subconscious level, a reflection on the relatively recent past. On a conscious level, the individual projects his or her intentions and perspective in the artwork or revelation, which the spectator can reflect upon and interpret in a moment of time, the present. As with any creative design problem, the individual seeks to prospect a solution or expression to the given artwork, a superconscious process. The artist through the artwork seeks to have an effect and/or influence on the future. The final component of the Spective creative process is being respective of the positive (and sometimes negative) motivation one receives.

That is a bit of a tangent (but isn't life a book of tangents?). My point is that the creative process has been classified in the past by the religious as a connection to the divine, a union with a higher power, known to most as God, or Buddha, or Allah, or Jesus, etc. But in reality it is a union within your own mind, your superconscious mind, your creative, forward thinking, innovative, and imaginative component of your being.

Evolution Comprehension

How overwhelming and humbling it is to find out that you are small; science puts life and our existence into perspective. The study of science enables us to fathom the vastness and complexity of our eco-system on Earth or the prospect that the Earth is much older the 5,000 years, millions upon millions of years older. Put yourself in the shoes of an ultra-religious, superstitious person for a moment (e.g. Joe Slow). Simplicity is next to godliness. It seems they have a very difficult time grasping the complexities of the world (don't we all sometimes, especially now in our current political situation). But even notions of constant change and adaptation are hard for the ultra-religious individual to grasp. The learning process itself is an example of the evolutionary process within our own mind.

Progressive individuals strive to learn from mistakes and successes their entire life. This is the process of growth and evolution. Learning is difficult. You might say that learning is 'hard work.' Evolution is difficult, and difficult to comprehend. It was hard for people to comprehend that the Earth is round. Creationists are the 'flat heads' of our time. As another example, calculus is difficult to learn for many, and some cannot even come close to grasp the concepts, but as an example: Just because someone cannot grasp the concepts of Calculus, does not mean that Calculus is irrelevant. I believe that with evolution, many cannot comprehend it and that fact strips them of their comfort level. Evolution makes the ultra-religious feel naked, humbles them, and they feel shame because of it.

An ultra-religious person seems to not comprehend chaos theory and probably does not understand that 'chaos' coexists with 'order.' Quantum physics and fractal geometry is off their radar. Evolution is one more concept that they do not have the capacity or willingness to deal with. An ultra-religious person wants to believe that there is an over-powering order, a prime mover, and usually their prime mover is in all actuality their own individual ego. They have all the [simple] answers. Hell, all they need is four words and they can exist in perfect ignorant bliss. "Jesus is my savor." That's it, they are content with their ignorance. All they need is one simple book taken literally, the Bible. But for us progressives, we'll take the knowledge found in an entire library, thank you very much. We are not content with our ignorances. That is what distinguishes us. Not that we are elitists (though it comes across that way at times): I mean, we're not the one who says that We believe in the One True God, the Lord, and all others are going to hell because they do not conform. Ultra-Christians are the ultimate elitists. This is their ultimate hypocrisy.

Sometimes it seems like they are saying: "Here is my ignorance, here's my ego that I call 'God,' and I am going to cram it down your throat." They wished the Renaissance never happened. This attack by the evangels against the secular humanists astonishes me. Do they wish the dark ages would return? Do they wish religion truly dominates, we live in a theocracy, and its dogma reigned supreme? The renaissance brought us the age of discovery; the renaissance transformed our culture, our arts, our sciences. I can tell you quite frankly, they would not be living in United States with their SUV, centralized heated home, and medical advancements keeping them alive without science. Without a new level of consciousness found during the secular revolution of the renaissance and then after, our society would not remotely function like it does today. The Middle Ages a horrible era, and we should not have any intentions to return to it.

Evangels have declared war on the secular humanists, and this is a war I am willing and able to fight. The next four years will be a constant battle, and we are going to need all the intelligent fighters we can get.

When individuals (like evangels) force their religious principles or moral values on others because they believe that they are doing the work of the lord, they are actually doing the work of a construct within their own mind and acting primarily on the Ego impulse within their mind. They are ruled by their Ego, not by a constructed lord or a god almighty. This is the micro level influence of the mind in an oversimplified nutshell.

As for the macro level of creation, it matters on what scale we desire to consider. On the Earth scale, evolution is evident in mammals, the landscape, weather forces, and even our entire society as a whole – each had a predecessor with influences and changed through a process of adjustment or adaptation. Our society has evolved over the last several thousand years, or de-evolved in some cases. We, as a species, used to dwell in caves, and struggled to survive in the harsh landscape of the elements. Now we have central heating and a vast network of urban comforts and new mass population challenges. We just need to look at how our schools of thought and philosophy, which has evolved over time, continually growing and expanding on the previous and, in some cases, deconstructing the previous cultural norm to reconstruct into something entirely new.

Man as a species has evolved, the evidence is perfectly clear, and those that refuse to see it have chosen to keep their eyes shut (and some insist to force the rest of us to do the same). I for one will never have my eyes forced shut or be blinded by fanatical, ultra religion.

In any case, I am still refining my thoughts; this has been (and still is) a very organic, evolving process. Isn't our own personal journey proof of evolution on micro scale? Thank you for this reading this far and I look forward to feedback and thoughts.

Posted by: TABS | Dec 10, 2004 4:20:51 PM

...Thought evoking.
Here is one of them: "Jerry Fallwell, self elected leader of the moral majority".
George Bush......President..... And this, from Eugene, Oregon to anyone along the food chain trying to dictate religion or morals: " He is YOUR god, they are YOUR rules, YOU burn in hell. "

I have my own personal Jesus

Posted by: Tracy | Dec 16, 2004 1:54:11 AM

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