Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Now that the American public has definitively rejected the theory of evolution, with 51% saying that God created humans in their present form and only 15% believing that God had no role, scientists should perhaps be well advised to rethink their approach to promulgating their theories, as they do not seem to be convincing many these days. Some of the antipathy towards evolution seems to be an uncomfortability with the idea that natural processes could of themselves yield an intelligent result. Yet there is nothing in nature that does not reflect intelligence, from the mathematical symmetry of seashells to the distribution of matter in the universe to the checks and balances inherent in the biodiversity of species. It is not these kinds of examples of an underlying intelligence, however, that evolution's dissenters seem to care about. Rather they see God's hand in the social institutions and norms that define humanity in its present form. They are idealists of the first magnitude, to believe in belief itself as the principle that saves the appearances of nature from the self-referentiality of secular perception.

That 51% proves a democratic mandate for abandoning all notions of the democratic structure in nature, where organisms might slip out from under the control of an all-powerful boss. Evolution, in substituting a possibly random, unknown force for the intelligent design of a creator, is a dangerously radical departure from the simple, orderly vision that informs the mass mind. The freedom inherent in this idea is the ultimate threat to the God of the 51%; even though they trumpet freedom as their political raison d'etre, it eludes their grasp and manifests as radical ideas, showing the unpredictability of the creative force. Freevolution even eludes God, or any God we could possibly imagine, and the creation is indeed a continual thorn in God's side, a constant reminder that to dream, even divinely, is to risk devolving, putting on the mantle of Creature and riding into the great unknown: a journey which might, in due course, evolve God into something greater than even It could possibly imagine.

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