i like to (mis)apply my (mis)understanding about evolution to my own situation. is that egocentric? maybe you’re the wrong entity to ask. if you’re anything like what most of us think you’re like, you’re pretty egocentric yourself. all the praying and worshipping and praising you supposedly demand, not to mention all this emphasis on obedience and sacrifice. but maybe that’s not you. it’s probably unfair of me to assume you’re anything like what we think you’re like.
back to evolution. last spring i watched nearly all of dr. dino’s 7 disc set on the evils of evolutionary theory. according to dr. dino, evolution is not only a scam, but a conspiracy theory meant to lead us away from you and enslave us in unjust forms of governance. evolution not only undermines our faith in you but is the cause of all the evils in the world — communism, nazism, totalitarianism and racism. the dvds are great in that they are so ridiculous i don’t see how anyone can take dr. dino seriously. but everyone in the audience on those dvds, not to mention many people i know, do take his ideas seriously. they may not follow him all the way to his conclusions, but they do agree that evolution can do nothing but undermine our faith in you and therefore it’s something that shouldn’t be studied. but here’s what i don’t get: if you’re god then doesn’t all knowledge about the way the world seems work come from you? maybe not directly, but at least indirectly in that you created us with our curiosity and the ability to empirically test our hypothesis?
ok. let’s begin to work our way through this (the our consisting of me with you hopefully dropping me the occasional insight). i should point out that these are only my current misunderstandings so forgive me for all the incorrect tentative conclusions i draw. evolutionary theory and me: all of this just happened by chance. i find myself the way i am, in the place i’m in not to mention all my anxieties and my relationships with those around me, this entire mess as something that just happened. there wasn’t any plan or guidance. things could have maybe turned out different but they didn’t. once life got rolling, it’s almost an inevitability — not just that i exist but everything. there’s a limited amount of energy so all of us — all of us living things — find ways to use it. we find our niche and exploit it. our environment changes due to a number of events started by things beyond any of our control –ice ages, polarity reversal, asteroids, whatever– and some of us change to fit these new environments. other don’t. we find new ways to live, new ways to capture the available energy. there’s no good or bad just this works now and this doesn’t. no hard feelings. we do this for eons and all of the sudden here i am typing this on a computer.
consciousness, which i guess is a product of larger brains, just proved a successful adaptation for certain individuals in certain environments. it’s not like humans evolved up from lower animals. we are still dependent on everything else just like anything else. ironically, we evolved to where we can begin to understand the evolutionary process. but also, if evolution is correct, evolving enhanced brain power doesn’t necessarily entail that we evolve towards objective, true knowledge. if our brains simply evolved this way because it proved successful then our knowledge gained from our brains was also successful and our beliefs merely advantageous.
where does that leave you, lord?
there’s a good chance that we believed in you in all your various forms as an evolutionary coping strategy. with our larger brains comes an understanding of our own mortality and the anxiety that our subjectivity, our consciousness is only temporary and insignificant. it seems like it makes evolutionary sense to believe.