On Charles Darwin and The Slaves of Superstition
Today, on the 12th of February I celebrate my father’s birthday, a man I greatly admire and from whom I’ve learnt many things – and many things which I owe to him but of which I am not sure he is aware.
However, I have another reason to consider this day as being important: 202 years ago a man was born who would change the way humanity viewed itself, viewed religion – the creator of a theory which uneased even the Creator. Charles Darwin, the author of “The Origin of Species“.
On his 202nd birthday, it seems only logical that one would write at least an article as a tribute to Charles Darwin, after all, we owe the entire foundation of modern biology to him and it was he that proposed a theory to explain the origin of all living things, one that finally shook the tyrannical grip of the Church and proposed revolutionary ideas that have, across the centuries been called heretical, satanic, ungodly, evil, destructive, blasphemous and virtually all other demeaning and insulting words the religious could come up with in defense of their dying significance. Despite the fact that almost all of these bigots display an overwhelming ignorance of what Darwin actually discovered and published, they still rely on evolutionary biology to find cures for bacterial infections, diseases and ailments of the human body that have been fought for over 150 years using Darwin’s “satanic” theory. More precisely, I am talking about the theory of “natural selection” which explains all of biology whether it is accepted or not – it is the principal theory that sheds understanding upon all complex organisms that have ever lived or that exist today.
A famous Russian Orthodox Christian, Theodosius Dobzhansky is known to have said that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” in a 1973 essay criticizing mindless anti-evolution creationists’ efforts to undermine research and education.
One of the common misconceptions about evolution stems from an elementary misunderstanding of the term “theory”. I myself know quite a few self-proclaimed intellectuals that base their entire campaign against evolution, on this fundamental misunderstanding. They say that because it is called a “theory”, it is somehow less credible than other explanations, because were it to be true, it would be called a “fact”. What these champions of logic fail to understand is that in science, a “theory” bears the highest degree of credibility and relevance. A theory explains millions of facts that have been gathered through experiments and observation. To call something a scientific theory is to accept the reality of it’s applicability and relevance. It’s saddening that this happens only in the field of biology. No physicist has ever had to defend the Theory of Gravity or the Theory of Relativity, no immunologist has had to defend Germ Theory, no geographer has had to fight supporters of the Flat Earth Theory – none of these scientists have had to defend their “theories” (theories which are universally accepted) from such rigorous attacks by creationists. It’s only the Theory of Evolution, the Theory of Natural Selection that bears such scrutiny because of the implications that it has on religion. It’s these implications that frustrate the weak-minded cretins that place faith above empirical evidence. I believe it to be the very sense of reality which theories of science, such as the ones I have listed above, the sense which they thrust into us, that unsettles imbeciles into criticizing fields they know nothing about, or into false illusions of intelligence above renowned biologists, paleontologists or, in one case, astrophysicists.
The irony is that, were creationism to be subjected to such vigorous dissection, it would, finally, spew its inner worthlessness and fallacy, revealing the gaping hole of self delusion, left in the absence of hypocrisy, perjury, tradition, indoctrination, ignorance and repression.
The idiotic call to have “a little faith ” instead of struggling to understand and seeking knowledge is a modern theme of multicultural society, a sort of please-all-religion slogan, that means nothing. Apart from sounding like a cheap pop lyric, having “a little faith” spreads ignorance instead of promoting education. It does nothing to answer important questions, nothing to inspire understanding and comes as a patronizing expression from the depths of one’s stupidity. Why would we have faith when we could have philosophy?
Nevertheless, the slave mentality offers no real choice in the matter – of course a slave would choose the bliss of ignorance. It offers comfort and false hope in something larger – key things which the weak-at-heart need to survive.
What the religious can’t seem to grasp, is the idea that scientists don’t set out to attack religion with their theories, nor do they propose theories to purposefully anger their Master. A question some half-wits often ask is what the underlying cause of scientists’ “dissent” really is. What are they trying to hide? What is their problem with God or religion? They utterly fail at understanding the inquisitive nature of humanity.
But the question is really, what does religion have against science and understanding? Why, when it had the power and means, did the Church torture and kill people that confronted its limited views on the universe? Again, the answer is the frailty of what they believe in. Their entire world view is fallacious and ridden with illogical assumptions. If you strike at one fallacy, you topple the rest, and so comes down a pillar of doctrine. One way to understand the hostility of religious people towards science is seeing it as a cornered animal. Where once it was a proud, self-righteous lion, science has, for centuries, been amputating vital limbs of it’s confidence, leaving it today, as no more than a frightened kitten in a dark corner, defiantly clawing at any sign of attack. Most amusing is that, in its time of dying, religion is trying to redefine itself in order to survive, alas, the arrival of pseudoscience, Intelligent Design.
On the 202nd anniversary of Darwin’s birth, my urge to such people is that they read, read a lot, study, investigate and leave religious convictions aside for a while – if they feel they need them afterwards, they can always reclaim them.
As for those that are willfully ignorant, I have no message. I will never understand their choice of remaining slaves to superstition. Nor will they, for that matter, understand my choice to free myself of such chains and to strike back at the concept of the tyrannical Slave Master.11