Re: Evidence for "Big Bang Theory"

Gil Hardwick (
Mon, 15 May 1995 05:42:38 GMT

In article <Yasha-1105951326330001@>, Yasha Hartberg ( writes:
>I'd like to hear more about this, Gil. I fear I may be incredibly dense
>because I often have a devil of a time understanding many of your points
>the first time around. Listening long enough, though, I've found you do
>make some good points. Here, for instance, I can think of a number of
>ways to interpret what you are saying, but it seems you are implying that
>industrialization may have been an impetus for the ideas of evolution. I
>have likely misinterpreted what you are saying, though, so could you
>please elaborate a bit?

Thanks for being nice finally, Yasha. Such a pleasant change . . .

Either way you wish to tackle the beast, from the English capitalist
(Wedgewood/Darwin family) or from the Marxist working class (Engels)
perspective, the idea of a theory of evolution was propagated by the
rising industrial classes in explicit repudiation of the theology of
the established Church.

And I must add persistently in repudiation of cultural anthropology,
which is in itself a disinterested observer in the continuing exchange
as such between these two "rival" narratives on human origins among
very many others indeed.

Evolutionary theory, further, is yet articulated in those terms, even
to the extent of borrowing from the Church itself its own concept of
linear time, and from cultural anthropology its discursive framework.

Evolutionary Theory is tautological in the extreme. It yet remains in
direct counterpoint to the corpus of Judea-Christian theology AND I
must add to indigenous and agrarian cosmology within the context of
world industrialist expansion.

It appears nowhere else in human thought.

In all cases finally, its supporting data has been presented only *a
posteriori*; that is, the theory was developed long before sufficient
data was available to support it, which is quite contrary to all the
usual criteria for establishing discipline in scientific method.

Admittedly were it capable of standing alone in any more substantial
manner than we have experienced historically, I myself would be very
interested in the idea myself. As it stands, it is simply not worth
all the resources taken up pursuing it any further.

>Yes, I've noted this myself. As I posted earlier, I think that much of
>this ranting and hostility must come from both a competition for resources
>and from two seemingly incompatible world views operating within a common

Competition for resources? In the case of evolutionary theorists, most
clearly claiming _material_ resources against Church estates (most
noticably in providing salaries to support tenure for academics vis a
vis the sustenance of priests) albeit as often laundered as taxation
through State coffers, it has always been so.

I do not argue at all for retaining said Church estates. Surely their
dominance is as oppressive as any other. Only _intellectually_ do I
continue to argue that assuming a process of human development, say
along the lines proposed by Dawkins, is not at all incompatible with
assuming an ultimately divine Creator. Nor is it incompatible with the
vast corpus of OTHER cosmology and mythology which sustains the other
populations similarly swallowed up by the advancing tide of mechanised
industry. It is simply irrelevant.

I find it less a problem, I suggest therefore, were all the others to
be simply ignored. That they are so actively denied, and scientific
data on the present situation so systematically repudiated once again
under the financial sponsorship of the military/industrial sector, as
we see right here after the manner of Dr Bruce Scott for example, I
do find a very big problem indeed.

While this putative distinction between "science" and "religion" is
being so propagated among institutionalised Westerners, out here in
the field we have long been experiencing the forced appropriation of
natural resources by people who individually do not even know how to
even feed themselves, from just about everybody else!

Do you see the difficulty yet? Taking the Evolutionary and Big Bang
Theories both together; weighing up their evidence, analysing their
discourses, observing the climate of viciousness and hostility in
which they are pursued, and not least noting their common history and
sociology, we arrive at a situation where the collective weight of
evidence demonstrates plainly that we are simply not dealing with one
another as peers, nor dealing impartially as colleagues in obtaining
independently observable and verifiable facts; we are joining in a
monumental resource fraud built upon the most elaborate of theories
sustained by the most poverty stricken of scientifically admissable

>Perhaps not, but I am interested very much in what YOU think. Note that I
>have never asked you to accept any particular cosmology, nor have I ever
>expressed any dismay that you don't spend your days and nights pondering
>the big bang, string theory, time direction, or any of the other esoteric
>topics in theoretical physics. I, myself, spend most of my waking moments
>concerned instead with the structure, function, and evolution of
>proteins. While I find it suprising that few in the world share my
>fascination with these topics, I have come to accept that there is other
>work to be done. Nevertheless, I am interested in the interplay between
>scientific research, technology, and culture and so I will continue to
>buzz about your ear until we either have a productive conversation on the
>topic or you choose not to play any longer.

Supposing that you had introduced yourself here in this manner right
at the outset, rest assured that we might have proceeded with the
style of intelligent and intelligible exchange you here claim to

>Not quite yet, thank you. I believe I'll finish my tea first.

Finish your tea. If in fact you wish to join us here in anthropology
on a reasonable basis please do feel welcome. Be aware however that
we have had quite enough of these flame wars triggered deliberately
and systematically by people from outside of anthropology.

Be aware also that if you do wish to join us then you are expected to
familiarise yourself with both our literature and our vocabulary.