Timeless Evolution

August 16, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Category: Biology, Society

We observe the creationist compulsion to evangelize an ancient, Middle Eastern mythology.  Ironically, fundamentalist Christians hawk the origin myths of Jews, who as a people hold science almost sacred.  Popular culture and the news promote creationism or intelligent design as a classic contrast to established, scientific paradigms of evolution.  What a truly bizarre time we live in.  We don’t examine natural selection, one of several theories of evolution that emerged in the 19th century, in the context of alternative theories of evolution that would serve to deepen our understandings of the circumstances of our evolution.  Instead, popular culture and the news compare this single theory of evolution with a mythology mostly rejected by the people that felt compelled to write it down.

Freud subscribed to evolutionary theory when exploring correlations between childhood development, the evolution of our species and a possible societal manifestation of the process when he observed the societal transformation arc from aboriginal to contemporary culture.  Einstein explored evolution over cosmic time as he and others parsed out how the universe originated and then evolved.  Jewish intellectuals have found it easy to embrace a world characterized by evolution and transformation.  Jewish culture experiences reverence for the abstract and is perhaps obsessed with how experience is evaluated or judged, with an emphasis on justice.  I would suggest that it is this ancient Jewish compulsion to evaluate in a context that places the self in a coveted position that prevents us from understanding evolution.

The Left reflexively withdraws from suggestions that one culture is more evolved than another culture and rejects societal priority because to do so suggests special status for the most modern societies.  Yet, the Left manifests a confusion that runs rampant through a dozen academic disciplines while embracing a deeply held chauvinism carried though the centuries by the Jews.

I would suggest the Left is correct.  Contemporary, modern culture is no “better” than aboriginal culture.  But modern culture does manifest a more subtle and complex stage of evolution.  The reason this manifestation often feels dissonant to Left sensitivities is because of certain misconceptions we retain about what evolution really is, a misconception retained by almost all of evolution’s supporters.

It is the belief that where we are in time right now is better than the time that came before.  We moderns are chauvinists of time.

Consider how evolution can operate without things getting better over time, but becoming more complex and subtle.  Consider evolution that manifests a succession of present states, all equal, all embraced.

Remove time as a prejudice and experience evolution from a Zen perspective, rather than from the ancient Judaic chosen position of the self.  Christians didn’t just embrace patriarchal myths of origin; they stole the concept of the chosen few.  It was established that the time we’re in is better than the times before.

It has been recorded that Spencer’s coining of the phrase “survival of the fittest” to describe natural selection annoyed Darwin because the phrase diverted people’s attention from the depth and complexity of Darwin’s theory.  Little discussion has focused on the way that the word “evolution” has been deprecated by the idea that advancing time improves the character of what transforms.

In other words, we are deeply prejudiced by our inexperience with the relativity of time.  Indeed, evolution exists.  It exists in the context of a never ending present, with no judgments, no beginnings and no ends.


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