vendredi 28 décembre 2012
Evolution as a Word - Means What?
An Evolutionist today and Kent Hovind may be differring on what things can properly be called evolution by evolutionists. He enumerates six senses, all of them believed by evolutionists but only one of them believed by himself. The evolutionist would however deny that his last two are really different senses, and lately he refuses to call the first four of them evolution, at least when talking to or about Kent Hovind. But when he started, I am not at all sure they would have been fidgeting about it.
1/ - Cosmic Evolution - from Big Bang to formation of separate rotating gas clouds forming stars.
2/ - Evolution of Matter - all kinds of atoms besides Hydrogen, not just Helium but everyone of them is supposed to have evolved by fusion in stars, some of which have already died.
3/ - Our Solar System and Earth evolve, starting like any previous stars from rotating gas clouds. Our Sun produces nothing more advanced then Helium but Earth got like Oxygen and Nitrogen and lots of other stuff up to Iron or even Uranium from débris from stars already blown up, and that includes Carbon too.
4/ - Our Atmosphere starts out with lots of Ammoniac and Carbon Dioxide (but no free oxygen or hardly any) and things like that, not excluding water, but under it there are also liquid waters, that gather together amino acids that form from Ultraviolet radiation and from Lightnings detonating in the atmosphere and somehow these amino acids (yea, it stinks) give rise to the first living cell. If our atmosphere is very different from that now, that is supposed to be because living organisms have since then produced lots and lots of oxygen by photosynthesis, while amino acids have been so very much put into use in living organisms.
5/ - Macroevolution, first living cell or possibly different cells develop into every other life form we know, whether insect or man or amoeba or whatever, and man has a genealogy roughly: one-celled, many-celled, many-celled bilateral, lampreys, sharks, fish, fish with thickened fins, salamanders, lizards, synapsids, early mammals, early primates, early apes like Ramapithecus, early hominids, early man: Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Homo Heidelbergensis which branches out into Denisovans, Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Men, a k a us.
6/ - Microevolution, like Cauliflowers and Brussel Sprouts evolving from Kale in historic times or even two of Darwin's examples, like Dove Birds evolving from one species into the many we have now or Finches on Galapagos.
Kent Hovind and any other creationist admit that sense six is not just a fact but an observed and proven fact. Evolutionists do not admit that this is different from sense five. One could call microevolution short term evolution and macroevolution long term evolution, and the evolutionists claims, while Hovind and me do not agree that the so called long term is really no different from the so called short term, except that differences they end up in are more spectacular.
7/ - But when it comes to evolution and development, there is actually at least a seventh sense. Note that though English has two words for them, Swedish and German have only one. There is such a thing, claim evolutionists, as cultural evolution or development. From the merest ability to talk, nay even to use one-word phrases with very globalised and unprecise meaning varying from context to context and to chip stone flakes out of stones and use the rest to cut in dead animals, for using the skin, up to Modern Western Technological Society. And explaining how Adam did not plow and Eve did not spin and neither of them worshipped God and none of the first men living anything like near the 72 generations between Adam and Jesus Christ is part of that scenario and is thus also a part of evolutionism.
Whether scientists at one time label all of these evolution or reserve evolution for senses 5/6 and claim they are one, and that 4 is not Chemical Evolution or Biological Evolution but Abiogenesis and 5/6 not Biological Evolution or Phylogenetic Evolution but simply Evolution is simply not very interesting. The point is that they are not the same thing and that all of them are in fact believed by Evolutionists, but only sense or item 6 as such by Fundamentalist Christians. Also they are like each other in using the image of something evolving from something other more primitive over and over again. Which is why they came to be accepted as science by Evolutionists all of them around same time (latter half of 19th C being a time when this cultural Revolution gains speed) and why they were often enough all of them referred to as Evolution and why the people believing in them can be called Evolutionists.
Now, all of this Evolutionist Mythic Scenario can be described as having one function in common:
1/ To dispense with a clearly Theistic and Creationist Scenario as believed by Christians (and Jews and Muslims mostly too) and quite a few varieties of Paganism before that time.
Now it has another function that varies:
2a/ To help Atheists dispense with God;
2b/ To help Religious Modernists see they have to Reinterpret their Holy Scriptures;
2c/ To help Freethinkers philosophise about how different "any possible real god" must be from the God of Historic Christianity, for instance.
So, though the first and negative function is identical, the second and positive function of Evolutionism is varied.
But stating that it is misnamed since "it is not a myth and these are all science and anyway it is only sense 5/6 which is really called Evolution" is mere moonshine. It is using the latest of many terminologies to obfuscate the argument.
Now, there is obviously an Evolutionist view of how Organised Religion arose. It is different from the Christian view. On the Christian view, God was on familiar terms with the first two people he had made, and later during 72 generations often enough repeated the familiarity, until He took flesh from the Virgin Mary and was, as a Man, called Jesus, and who choose the Apostles that were the first Bishops of the Catholic Church. The Evolutionist view is rather that the earliest religions were like those one can see among Africans and Amerindians and Polynesians so far not Christian and that Christianity is a very late product of such development. Never mind that these so called Primitive Religions were studied far later than Christianity arose.
Bpi, Georges Pompidou, Paris
For a discussion of the difference between a Protestant and a Fundamentalist (one may be both like Kent Hovind, neither like Teilhard de Chardin or one but not the other like Charles Darwin and Robert Sungenis) see my essay:
MSN Group Antimodernism in memoriam : Sola Scriptura or Tota Scriptura?