Charles Darwin’s theories had major implications for politics. In this post, I argue that is beyond question that humans are unique. The error of the neo-Darwinists resides in their confusion of a model with a comprehensive theory of existence.
Darwin’s theories on human evolution had an influence which could only be described as seismic. Biology (bios-logos, the logic of life) was elevated from a scientific discipline. It became both a political doctrine and a form of secular theology.
While Darwin may not have appreciated it at the time, his speculations fueled the idea that humans, homo sapiens, are no different from any other creatures … or at least are only separated genetically. These genetic differences are negligible relative to certain primates. Politically, Darwinism (arguably not Darwin himself) has been used to justify rapacious colonialism, racism, Capitalism (Darwin’s most enthusiastic supporters were initially businessmen), Communism, Fascism, and Nazism. Offshoots of these ideologies like radical Feminism also owe much to evolutionary biology. These ideologies have of course apologized for themselves by maintaining there will be a happy ending despite the less than salutary means often employed. Furthermore, Darwinism is a scientific fact anyway, so what choice do we have?
So, at some point, it is worthwhile to ask: how ‘true’ is the theory of evolution, or at least its more radical interpretations (which are commonly held to be gospel)?
Now, I am not a biologist and indeed questions that concern Life are perplexing even for seasoned biologists. From my ‘layman’s’ perspective, however, it seems obvious that Darwin, or the doctrines of the neo-Darwinists, are flawed and fatally so.
That humans share things in common with the rest of the animal kingdom is beyond doubt. That they are biologically quite close to animals like chimpanzees, baboons, gorillas, must be conceded. But Darwin, or his followers, erred in ascribing to mere biological or physical facts a basis for Life. They drew up a model and said that those closest in this model are similar, or essentially identical, to one another. Only haphazard chance selected humans.
With this line of thinking, humanity became a prisoner of a scientific model that is valid within a short range of applicability but which looks absurd if taken to extremes. To understand this imprisonment, let’s take an analogy: whales are classified as mammals because their young feed off milk that the mother secretes. The taxonomy of ‘mammal’ means that we are closer to whales than other inhabitants of the sea. A more crude taxonomy could just as easily draw a division between land and sea-based dwellers and whales would end up closer to swordfish. How the model is defined is crucial. If we are to say that humans are super-charged monkeys, then that is only true within a genetic model. It is not necessarily true if we define criteria of differences or similarities in another manner.
Above all, the critical error made by the evolutionists is that of the empirical facts. Many intelligent, educated people have pressed me to identify the differences between Man and other animals, as if to confirm the uniqueness of Man reveals someone as inherently ignorant. Yet science can never be abstract. If an equation says a ball flies up in the air under the force of gravity, then it is the model that is wrong and it is not the fault of the way that the ball behaves. Similarly, evolutionists have become prisoners of their own models and experience demonstrates this. There is hordes of empirical evidence which I will only summarize. Man’s ability to dominate the animal kingdom, but fundamentally his ability to think in abstract terms (specifically with language and numbers) marks Man out. Of no other animal, extant or extinct, do we know of such ability to manipulate and control nature. Man stands apart from nature but also is part of it and he occupies a unique position. To even enter a discussion with radical evolutionists on this matter is possibly misguided.
The model of the neo-Darwinists, when pressed to its logical conclusion, ‘proves’ that humans are no different, or only subtly different from apes. But in fact, that subtle genetic difference, giving rise to similarly subtle physical differences, really demolishes the arguments of the evolutionists. If humans are so physically close to primates, but have completely outstripped them in sophistication, then that only serves to underpin the shortcomings of the theory of evolution. It is clear evidence that genetics alone cannot account for the complexity of human Life and we need to think far deeper before we fall into the error-strewn ways of some biologists.
Biology needs to get its head out of the clouds (or the gutter, maybe) and engage with what we see around us. Abstract science is no science at all. What we observe is one particular species in hegemony over all parts of the Earth and that raises profound questions that cannot be swept under the carpet.
And if the uniqueness of the human race is admitted, there will be major implications.