The View From 1776

Evolution and Creation: Some Social and Political Implications

      http://www.thomasbrewton.com/index.php/weblog/evolution_and_creation_some_social_and_political_implications/

Answering emails from agnostics and atheists.

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An emailer wrote:

“In your carefully resoned argument you make the assumption the the universe is an artifact, a created thing. There is little evidence that that position is true.”?

My reply:

Are you rejecting the Big Bang theory?  Are you rejecting the concept of black holes? If the cosmos was not created, then how to explain the growing belief that it will begin to collapse?  What is not created, but existed always, would seemingly remain forever in its original, uncreated state.

Even atheistic scientists believe that our cosmos came into existence at some defined point in time-space.  The only question is how.

Another emailer wrote:

“I’m curious about the difference between blacks and whites as to their physical abilities. It’s fairly clear in most sports now that blacks have a clear advantage in speed, jumping, hand-eye coordination and general strength. I have argued that it’s due to the challenges of their original environment where physical skills (not so much intellectual) were critical to survival.? The Bell Curve claims that there is a hierarchy in the intellectual area—asians first, Jews second, whites third and blacks last. (If I remember the book clearly.) I have also argued that the Jews, having been persecuted for many centuries meant their best and brightest had a better chance at survival. On the Asian side, the Chinese have probably the most intellectually challenging language in widespread use. As most parents try to do, the parents of desirable (attractive and smart) females would look for a bright Chinese boy for the arranged marriage.

“For those of us who came from European stock, it was probably a more challenging environment dealing with winters and some degree of intellectual skill enhanced survivability and therefore breeding opportunities.

“Isn’t this a process of natural selection? Survival of the fittest?”

My reply:

I would agree with you about different races, etc.  However, I don’t really know much about it, beyond anecdotal evidence.

The differences in attitudes and abilities would seem to reflect a natural selection effect.  But remember, that’s within a species. It can be argued that the perhaps 15,000 or so years that humans are thought to have existed is too short a time for the process of Darwinian evolution.

For Darwin to be correct, however, homo sapiens will have to phase slowly into some new sort of species that no longer can interbreed with today’s humans.  Neanderthal man is perhaps an example of that, but again the time between them and humans seems to be much too short for natural selection to have led to evolution of a new species, homo sapiens, and there is no fossil evidence to support it.

As I have said, I have no problem with the idea of natural selection within a species.  It’s the idea that every living thing evolved by accident from a random, spontaneous chemical event that produced living tissue.

Philosophically, the potential danger with Darwinian evolution is the sense of power-from-knowledge that it imparts to intellectuals.  Totalitarianism can’t exist in a society committed to individualism.  It arises only in a collectivized society in which there is no higher, Divine law of morality and in which the only source of legitimacy is the social-justice ideas of intellectuals.

Eugenics is an example.  Eugenics is, in effect, accelerated evolution, helped along by human intellectual planning.  The bad human apples are to be culled from the genetic pool with the objective of improving the race and thereby moving society faster along the road toward earthly perfection.

As you may know, the eugenics movement was started by Charles Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton in 1869, ten years after publication of “On the Origin of Species.”  Eugenics was defined by Galton as, ?the study of the agencies under social control which may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations physically or mentally.?  Not only is the socialized state to regulate all economic activity, but also to subject marriage and procreation to technocratic control in the interests of perfecting society, a sweeping power that annihilates individuality. 

Various eugenics measures were tried in the United States, including laws in some states permitting forcible sterilization of women when authorities decided that their insanity, criminality, or other traits would, if passed on to their children, interfere with the scientific implementation of social justice.  Well-intentioned Madison Grant, an influential director of the American Museum of Natural History and a founder of the Bronx Zoo, was president of the American Eugenics Society; activist-President Theodore Roosevelt was among its prominent members.  Eugenics was also the basis for the Nazi regime?s master-race theories and for its restricting marriage to men and women of suitable aryan pedigree.