Re: Further Evolution beyond the Human? (Sardonic Diatribe)

Theodore A. Holden (
Wed, 09 Oct 1996 20:21:15 GMT

Adam Price <> wrote:

>As long as we have Darwin in stocks for creating evolution, I would like
>to get some thing off of my chest about Mr. Newton. It is because of
>that blasphemer that we are all landlocked. If not for his evil
>discovery, gravity, we would not be condemned to spend all our lives
>watching birds from below and dropping our toothpaste into the toilet.
>Speaking of toilets, if it wasn't for Thomas Crapper, I would not have
>to go to the bathroom right now.


There are two gigantic differences which squash the rather primitive
analogy which you are trying to make.

One is that Newton discovered a real fact of the natural world and did a fairly
reasonable job of describing it for his day. Darwin did not. His thesis (that
the kinds of microevolutionary change which we observe in a schnauzer
being bred into a terrier or a finch with one sort of beak changing into a
finch with another kind of beak can explain the rise of all of our present
lifeforms from the most simple to the most complex) was known by breeders
to be fatally flawed when it was proposed and has been blown apart by several
excellent books which have been published in the last 10 years or so.

Michael Behe's "Darwin's Black Box" and Alexander Mebane's "Darwin's
Creation Myth" would do for starters.

The other difference is that nothing in Newton's description of gravity could
be said to have caused any marked worsening of human conduct. Darwin's
theory has done that and the outcome was altogether predictable. Certainly
there were villians, blackguards, hoodlums, neerdowells and whatnot before
Darwin, but they always felt BAD about it. Those people went to bed every
night thinking "Gee, you know, I really am an asshole, and I probably ought to
try to do something about it..." Their conduct and the harm they caused was
thus kept within limits and, occasionally, one of them would mend his ways
altogether or, as in the case of Andrew Carnegie, leave all of his money to
worthy and just causes.

Darwin walked into the picture and told every one of those types, all over
the world, that the <survival of the fittest> was the only moral law in
nature, i.e. that they could feel GOOD about being assholes. The results
are obvious in any reading of the history of this century.

Ted Holden