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28.2.13

Ass-U-Me Nothing

"The fossils that decorate our family tree are so scarce that there are still more scientists than specimens.  The remarkable fact is that all of the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin."
-- Dr. Lyall Watson, 1982, University of London (under Desmond Morris)

A great many people still labor under the impression that evolution is a proven fact.  In point of fact, it is no such thing.  For one thing, evolution posits that the many thousands of species on Earth descended from a single cell, and that mutations gave rise to new species over billions of years.

What we have actually witnessed is that no new species has ever been proved to branch off from another species.  In other words, cats have not been seen to have puppies due to mutation.  Also, mutated offspring, at best, cannot breed a subsequent generation or do not survive at all.

There is always talk of viruses mutating, but they never become bacteria or any other species than viruses.  Bacteria adjust to new environments by evolving immunity to various medications, but they do not become amoeba.

Few, if any, people read Darwin any more.  The theory of evolution has become so convoluted and patched up that it hardly resembles what Darwin wrote in his seminal book, On the Origin of Species.  What he observed, and all he speculated on, was that various species across groups of islands were observed to have evolved various mechanisms to adapt to their environments.  He certainly never said that environmental forces could lead to the spawning of new species, only that bird beak shapes varied according to forces within the local environment.

Darwinism certainly has sufficient proof that environmental factors lead to variations within a species across geographical areas.  The famous example of the moth species with dark and light color variations meant that darker ones would be more likely to get eaten than lighter ones depending on the color of the background.

Today, Darwinism more resembles the medieval theory of spontaneous generation than actual science.  Spontaneous generation held that various creatures erupted suddenly from various other creatures that resembled each other in some way.  The well-known example is geese leaping into existence from goose barnacles.  We hold this ancient theory to be absurd now, yet we continue to elevate Darwinism as hard science.

Let's say I write a doctoral thesis with one crucial error that is accepted by the faculty board.  I then go on to an illustrious teaching career in which I pass on my single error to 1,000 students.  Of those students, let's say 10% go on to teaching careers and they pass on the error as fact.  Within 20 years, you have 100,000 people who assume that my original error was fact and never bother to check it.  Furthermore, a significant number of them have careers that are dependent on grants and such based my single error.  How likely do you think they will be to give up that error and their nice jobs by questioning the status quo?

It's amazing how many educated people believe that human males have 25 ribs, while females have 26.  This involves two crucial assumptions: 1) that there is an actual physical phenomenon that requires supernatural explanation, and 2) that cutting off a finger means that all subsequent offspring will have one less finger.  Though many of us laugh at the absurdity of this belief, some cling to it even in the face of solid physical evidence, such as dissecting a human male cadaver.

Assumptions are powerful things.  We all are guilty of them.  We assume that the stores will have food, that water will come from the tap and that life goes on pretty much as we expect day after day.

Few of us stop to consider that once people fervently believed that we lived on a tortise shell supported by elephants, or that the Earth was the center of the Universe and all else revolved around it.  People died horrible deaths for questioning those paradigms, yet we dismiss them as primitive fantasies.  In the same manner, academics can commit professional suicide for questioning evolution, the Big Bang and the gravitational constant.  There is no fundamental difference between then and now.

History tells us that the only remedy for these kinds of dogmatic thinking are violent upheavals in society.  The Reformation and the Enlightenment are prime examples of this compulsion by humans to defend their assumptions to the death, even in the face of empirical evidence.

Some argue that we cannot throw out things like evolution because we have nothing with which to replace them.  So?  Is it better to believe in fantasies than to admit we don't know something?  Are we so sure that men have 25 ribs that we are unwilling to look at an anatomical textbook?  Are we so sure that the Earth is the center of the Universe that we don't need to look through Galileo's telescope?

We don't have to become Creationists to see evolutionary theory for the cobbled up mess that it is.  After all, Creationism has even less evidence in its favor than evolution.  AT some point, we must collectively admit that scientific materialism is a failure because it is just as dogmatic and inflexible as the religious system it replaced.  It is time to allow open and serious inquiry into all aspects of human existence.  It is time to entertain ideas such as extraterrestrial genetic manipulation, or the non-local Mind, or immaterial phenomena such as ESP and remote viewing.  The only reason we cling to deeply flawed ideas like evolution is because we are afraid to admit that there may be a vast part of existence that cannot be explained by purely mechanical/material means.

If we believe, as many people do, that humans (and any other life) are much more than the sum of their parts, then we must pursue that line of inquiry wherever it leads.  Ideas such as social darwinism, which are natural conclusions of materialistic reasoning, have had a devastating effect on humanity, justifying the crumbling system of economics and finance that is this moment causing great suffering among humans globally.

If the results are any indication of the soundness of ideas, then evolution is a major failure.  It has failed to improve the human condition, and in fact has undone millennia of advances in social structure.  At least the religious paradigm gave us dignity and self-worth.  Evolution only debases the human creature and reduces us to electro-chemical impulses.

Perhaps a new paradigm would allow us to toss the medieval idea that humans are the pinnacle of creation and that maybe self-awareness and self-determination exists in many forms throughout our Universe.

Just 20 years ago, we knew of only nine planets in the entire Universe.  At this moment, there are nealy 900 cataloged planets, with 18,000 awaiting confirmation, and an estimated 400 billion just in our galaxy.  Five hundred years ago, Galileo was excommunicated and placed under house arrest until his death for even suggesting that objects could revolve around something other than Earth.

Old paradigms die hard, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't question their underlying assumptions daily, if possible.

The human species cannot reach its full potential, and might even kill itself off, if we don't base our civilization on truth and the quest for real understanding.  Our self-imposed blinders are a liability we can no longer afford.  The risk is too high, including the demise of our species.

In the ideal scientific process, if any evidence is found that contradicts the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is false and we must find a new way to understand natural phenomena.

What assumptions do you make every day?  And when was the last time you examined them closely?  If you assume that traffic is quiet on Sunday morning, then one Sunday you are going to get squashed because you didn't verify what you thought you knew.