Saturday, August 25, 2012

Evolution, Creation, and Noah's Ark; a response to Tyson

Original quote:

“People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah's ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it's about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.' - Neil deGrasse Tyson, New York, Dec. 19, 2006. "Letter to the Editor" New York Times published December 21, 2006 in the Read section”

Let me begin by saying it's not the separation of church and state I am arguing here but the idea of being intellectually superior and purging those who disagree (something which radical liberals and the far right have in common).  And that, in specific reference to creation/evolution and Noah’s Ark, as well as a variety of mythologies about the origin of life and Earth.
First of all, no one really knows anything.  Beyond that, when anyone approaches a question with a predisposition, religious or anti-religious bias, chips will fall in the direction of that bias.  So Noah’s Ark as folks interpret is pretty far out as is women coming from dude’s ribs.  Let me throw out a less religious version, explained in more new age vocabulary for the biblically hindered. 
Let’s assume for a moment, nothing out of the ordinary for any of the theories, that there is an all pervasive meta-intelligence.  This force of universal consciousness is geared toward generative, creative, and life giving properties.  It permeates all matter, space and time.  Its presence aligns chemical and biological processes based on mathematical systems to allow the indwelling of its presence, life, or spirit.  The designs of the Universe reflect these mathematical structures from the smallest subatomic levels to the grandest perspectives we can see in the Universe.  It’s a fingerprint pointing to the effect of this vibratory presence of a unifying force of some sort.  Now be very careful before you think sounds plausible because you are, in effect, believing in what some people call “God”.  Oh! You thought he was an old man in a chair?  Wake up and quit using the lowest efforts of your intellectual enemies to combat with ancient overused clichés!
To consider that some mud and acid laid around on a rock and sprung into life to me is far more preposterous.  Someone once said it’s like letting paint drip from a bucket – let it drip long enough and surely the combined works of Shakespeare will appear!  To put this in biological perspective let me quote Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA. Speaking on nucleic acid tape or RNA – messengers he says;
“Suppose the chain is about two hundred amino acids long; this is, if anything, rather less than the average length of proteins of all types. Since we have just twenty possibilities at each place, the number of possibilities is twenty multiplied by itself some two hundred times. This is conveniently written 20200 and is approximately equal to 10260, that is a one followed by 260 zeros!
This number is quite beyond our everyday comprehension. For comparison, consider the number of fundamental particles (atoms, speaking loosely) in the entire visible universe, not just in our own galaxy with its 1011 stars, but in all the billions of galaxies, out to the limits of observable space. This number, which is estimated to be 1080, is quite paltry by comparison to 10260. Moreover, we have only considered a polypeptide chain of a rather modest length. Had we considered longer ones as well, the figure would have been even more immense.    Life Itself  (1981)  p. 51-52. 
He then, in passing, describes the creation of life as nothing short of a miracle – that this immense line of material should self-organize in such a manner as to produce the systems necessary for organic maintenance at the simplest of levels.
But the numerous holes in contemporary evolutionary theory aren’t the worst problem here.  It’s when we fail to see the truth in Myth and rely on apparent, or ‘taught’, evidence as the new religion.  The saddest part, to me, of our reliance on so-called science is that we justify our superiority while entrenching deeper and deeper into a very unscientific approach on the possibilities that may exist with our own developing abilities both within science, and our evolving bodies/perception/sensory systems.  When kids are taught evolution as fact there is no room for any extra-terrestrial intervention of any kind in the DNA coding of species and systems on planet Earth.  There is no merit given to the numerous and reputable accounts of human interaction with rather large reptiles (Draco, Dragon, Dinosaur), and there is no room for discussion of previous advanced civilizations and mass ecological catastrophe!  All this despite evidence that such could have occurred. 
            The beauty of Myth is that while they may get some metaphorical details twisted around the essence of the events, the only record we have as a civilization and species is in our ancient and Holy texts.  From around the world we hear stories of beings from the sky, fallen angels, star people, previous advanced cultures with technology even beyond our own.  We hear echoes of interstellar calamity, world upheaval and flood, beings far beyond us, and lost knowledge.  In this way the essence of Myth more accurately records our ancient past that our arrogant and limited science. 
            As for Noah and his Ark; let’s just pretend that somewhere along the line a certain human had access to that all pervasive meta-intelligence.  Let’s imagine that somehow a human being was able to speak to, to hear, to interpret correctly, the subtle information flows from that wellspring of life affirming energy.  Let’s say the designer of subatomic vibratory frequency, a force within every cell of every being spoke truth and someone heard it.  The truth was a warning and a need to prepare.  Perhaps Noah wasn’t some cloaked fellow with a wooden ship but an ancient wise man with advanced technology - even the ability to preserve DNA code, samples of life from as far and wide as he could gather?  What if genetic engineering had gone awry and the host of monsters and parasites following the failed experiment were destroying the fragile Earth biosphere and this man “Noah” selected the ‘heirloom’ seed of Earth’s stock?  A great calamity ensued destroying much of the world, told still in the stories from tribal people on every continent.  But because of this man, and his ability to ‘hear’, to gather, and prepare, life continued and grew again, renewed, unmolested (until Monsanto).  What a treasure that the account survived to be retold again and again, sung about on Sunday morning and revered in abo tribes around the globe in a variety of forms!
            We will never know the details.  We will likely never understand the great events of our past.  But to march around legislating against the ‘ignorant’, purging those who retell the ancient myths because we hate religion, or faith in general, is indeed a mirror.  The modern radical Progressive has much in common with the Christian zealots of America’s past, the fanatics in the middle east, the inquisitors of old Europe.  So convinced that they have all truth they first seek to change everyone else into their own mold and, upon failing that, remove them from the system they have created.  Who is this Neil deGrasse Tyson? Who are you, any of you to prance around like you are the source of all knowledge and history and then look down your nose at simple people who have learned to love the old stories.  And if by any chance the theory of evolution is flawed, fails to explain the whole story, then what you are legislating is nothing short of the teaching of lies.  And in 200 years how will the lie change to meet the political needs of that era? Who will control the school systems and pillars of belief?  What great good do you do by removing faith in the unseen and replacing it with a very dead atheism? 
            I’ll close with a final quote from Crick;
 Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much.”   What Mad Pursuit  (1988)  pp.138-139