It is more than ironic and somewhat of a saddening fact that the creation science (evolution denial) movement is the result of very basic and understandable evolutionary forces.
Those who have uncritical belief in and are vehemently pushing for a wider acceptance of a supernatural origin have unknowingly become the victims of their perceived enemy, the evolutionary process itself.
Many of the disciplines of science such as astronomy, biology, geology, palaeontology etc, have arrived at independent positions of irrefutable support for evolution being the way of nature. There has been no collusion in arriving at a consensus that the Earth is billions of years in age and the Universe many more billions again.
Although Charles Darwin and others were first to recognise the system of the ‘survival of the fittest’ as the engine of evolutionary change, science has since expanded knowledge in this area to a point where severe mental gymnastics have to be employed to not recognize it. It is well within the human character to allow delusional thinking in this area of thought.
The examples of humanities delusional capacity are voluminous. The Aztecs sacrificed virgins for soil fertility, the Christians burnt witches as they communicated with the Devil, rivers and mountains were formed by giant snakes etc in Aboriginal culture and the Egyptian gods expected embalmed Pharaohs to meet them on the other side of the river Styx.
It is beyond obvious that none of the aforementioned delusions were anything but that. They were believed in by humans no different from us and with the same amount of sincerity expressed in the belief of today’s gods. We have an inbuilt propensity to be brainwashed into believing just about anything that can be proposed.
Evolution has made sure that younger members of societies learn and retain important survival information which later in life takes on the mantle of instinctive feelings. This knowledge is then passed on to the next generation and so on and so forth. The basic message is preserved and refined by endless generations. Through eons of honing fantastic stories to fit our psyche, it comes as no surprise that we find it difficult to not accept the truthfulness of these tales.
As we retained survival based hunter and gathering skills we did also with interaction ability, tribal mores and laws, geographical importances and our world view. There was no imperative, other than an aid to survival, for any such gained knowledge to be an accurate portrayal of reality. It may have even been considered that the new fangled bow and arrow was a passing fad, or that on the other side of the mountain lived horrible gigantic monsters, or that our god was the correct one. Truth was not important; stability of past learning, that had us surviving up until that point in time, was the paramount objective. Deviating from these tried and true instinctive thoughts would have been painstakingly slow and would have had to be carefully questioned in case of a mistake being made which could adversely affect survival.
We are primed to not accept change.
With personal and tribal survival at stake being a continuous concept, it is no wonder that we were drawn into wishing for survival after death. It must have jumped into the minds of very early humans, prompted by mortal fear that our reality must have a designer more powerful than us. Detrimental and beneficial natural events confronting the daily lives of scientifically ignorant peoples would have reinforced such notions.
The fear of non existing and the loss of loved ones played conveniently into the hands of individuals claiming special connection to the gods. The combinations of ritual and coincidence, not unlike the ‘other-side’ television shows of today, were played to the hilt by the self appointed priests and shamans.
These first holy-men were either deluded or deceitful or a little of both. Their wishfully thinking followers, fearful of divine retribution and hopeful of reward in this life and the next became compliant to their demands. The stage was set from our very earliest times for religion to become an important part of survival. As stated before and as is obvious, it did not need to be true.
Those that flourished and prospered attributed their good fortune to the gods. How could they not, for to deny the gods could jeopardise that luck. Those not so well off felt chastised by the gods and endeavoured to make amends with them by fervent devotion. The haves and the have-nots proceeded in supporting each others imaginations.
Humanity was on a religious course that was near inescapable until the discovery of science and scientific method.
No other system of unravelling nature has ever come close to the detective power that it produced. All facts were open to scrutiny by very willing detractors with experiments having to fulfil the role of being predictable and repeatable. If the methods of science cannot be trusted to eventually reach the best conclusions possible, then what our senses are telling us is totally misrepresenting the reality we find ourselves in.
Science proper has only existed for a very short while compared to the unsuccessful attempts of trying to understand nature by religious methods. A few hundred years up against many hundreds of thousands of years. Is it any wonder that the old ways still thrash about with an ardent unwillingness to accept what science is saying?
Evolution is an all consuming process that does not take too kindly to untested change. It can make no critical judgement as to whether that change, or indeed, any change, is beneficial or not. It can only try to protect the survival of the fittest ideas that have been successful so far. Evolution, in the form of religion, especially religion of the fundamental kind, will fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo.
Evolution does not involve itself with predictions based on reason, rather it predicts with the use of what it sees as successful past events.
Experiments by evolution are of a timid and cautious nature with mistakes severely punished by the halting of a particular genetic strain. Creationists fulfil the evolutionary process by resisting change to that which is perceived to work. That is what evolution is all about.
Unfortunately to our great cost now and in the future, the perception is wrong as it has always been and humanity will pay dearly for it.
An Ode to Noah
By David Nicholls
There’s a story going around
Of an Ark, animals and dinosaurs,
Supposedly one quite profound
About the interference of nature’s watery laws,
Disappearing not some, but every piece of ground.
The number of species on this Earth,
At that date and now,
Well over a million came from birth.
Strange it seems and I wonder how
Only fifty thousand had some worth,
Enough they say to fill all and bow.
Salt water and fresh mixed all up,
That must have caused a stir
To the function of those that did not sup,
Death would surely have to occur,
On this point alone the story does err.
Forty days and forty nights
Came the torrents all pouring sent,
Seven hundred feet a day, well must have been a fright,
Whence it came and where it went,
Till this day, with logic, dare no one write.
Ten months of bobbing too and fro,
A marvellous feat of feeding care
And most importantly where did the dung go.
Every Zoo on this planet fair
Would like Noah’s formula for keeping the staff so low.
If taken into account the walkways and cage,
The bulkheads, water, food and human habitat,
One then might not too quickly gauge,
That this story happened like that,
But rather, was written by a none too clever sage.
The mighty boat on Ararat did found
Out poured them all only to find,
“Where’s the food?” “It’s all been drowned!”
“Never the mind”, all the animals resigned,
“To the ends of the Earth we must swim and pound.”
A likely story, the wise think not,
So full of holes
And unlikely plot,
That the dinosaurs from head to sole
Came to extinction from laughing a lot.
By David Nicholls