Friday, January 06, 2006

Evolving Beyond God

You've all heard it at least a hundred times. You know the story, the one where a bunch of kooks want something called "Intelligent Design" taught in schools. The kooks who whine and complain that "evolution is only a theory and hasn't been proven," and that life is so inherantly complex that it "must" have been designed by a higher power. A judge here in Pennsylvania saw it for what it really is: the Biblical (read: Chirstian) idea of Creation, done by the hand of their one and only God, thinly veiled behind a pseudo-scientific language that would make anyone with half a brain chuckle at it at best.

But still, the extreme Right Wing pushes ever forward, emboldened by their victory in Kansas. Even Kansans aren't in Kansas anymore as Creationism is being taught, under the guise of Intelligent Design, in schools thanks to a State School Board ruling on the matter. They're still trying to quash Evolution (a theory, yes, but one backed up by boat loads more evidence than just a book and blind faith). Why are they trying so hard?

Because they fear it. They know it holds more water. And one particular element of Darwin's theory scares them most of all.

Natural Selection.

Oh yeah, it applies to Humans, too. After all, we had Neanderthal man, which gave way to Cro-Magnon man.Cro-Magnon gave way to modern humanity over a short time, and we have in turn evolved into extremely sophisticated, technologically advanced and highly knowledgable versions of our former selves. Since the dawn of modern man, though, our evolution has been less physical and more mental. We've begun to use the power of the human mind and thought process to conquer things evolution would take millenia to overcome on its own, if the current rate were to hold firm.

The belief in a "supreme being" might have worked in a time when humans failed to grasp the reality of the world around them, when we were just beginning to understand what it was we were dealing with. Humans are prone to fearing things they don't quite understand. Early on, it was the elements: fire, lightning, severe storms and natural disasters. Why did these things happen?

"God is angry with us!" the cloth would cry. "We must be more obedient!" Bang. Instant social control. Preying off of human fear in order to establish power for the select few.

But then, we began to understand. Slowly, yes. But failed sciences like Alchemy led to the true science of Chemistry. Philosophy gave way to modern rational thought. Mathematics were used to give things order and explain more complex principles. While mythology still held great influence, we were slowly beginning to understand our world, and by default, becoming less fearful of it as well.

Back then, it was accepted belief that, as God's supposed children, we were at the center of the universe: Everything, including the Sun and Moon, revolved around us. "Not so," said people who sat down and gave it some thought. "We revolve around the sun, as do the other planets we know about!"

"Heresy!" cried the Church! "We are arrogant and believe ourselves to be just that special!"

Now, try and tell someone today that everything in the universe revolves around the Earth. What do you think their response will be? I'll bet dimes to dollars your ass will get pointed and laughed at, and that person will run and tell the better part of the Milky Way galaxy what a complete retard you are.

Why? Science. Things that were once decried as Heresy were challanged as Theory and proven as Accepted Fact through Science.

Once upon a time, people thought the Earth was flat. This had nothing to do with Religion, other than the fact that the people who believed this shared this common flaw with Religion: Ignorance.

"Not so," said Christopho Columbo (Christopher Columbus), "I bet I can sail to China and India by going west!

"You're nuts," said the people. But the Queen financed him, and he sailed. He didn't know there were two continents in the way, and that the northern one had been discovered hundreds of years before by Scandinavians. That in turn led to the journey of one Ferdinand Magellan, the first man to circumnavigate the Earth, proving that it was, indeed, round.

Science scored a secular victory, challanging with Theory and proving as Accepted Fact.

God (and like him, Allah, Zeus, etc.) has always been thought to live in the "heavens above." Back then, we didn't understand the sky too much, because we simply couldn't get up there by ourselves. Traditional religious teachings on death always talk about our souls "ascending into heaven." This would constitute a rise. Sure, now you can say that its a metaphore for moving from this world to the next, not litterally up. But back in the day, that was the accepted truth. God lived in the skies.

"Not so," say the scientists. "Above us is an atmosphere, which contains the air we breathe. And beyond that is a seemingly endless void of nothing, pockmarked by things like rocks and big burning balls of gas, with no breathable air to speak of!"

"Heresy!" Again the Church tried to keep its stranglehold on an unsuspecting and uneducated people.

And again, the Church was challanged by Theory, and eventually proven as Accepted Fact when we developed the power to leave the Earth and travel beyond the clouds.

Walk up to anyone today and tell them that God has a mansion in the clouds, right up there (pointing to a random cloud) all for you when you go to meet him. At the very least, you'll get brushed off with a sigh, a smile, and the rolling of your subject's eyes.

Why? Science.

"But... But... But... The Earth is only 6,500 years old, and people lived alongside dinosaurs, which Noah had on his Ark, and..."

"Not so!" Science has proven that the Earth is a metric assload older than just six and a half millennia.

New trains of thought are replacing old, outdated trains of thought.

Mental Natural Selection.

This is why the Church is afraid. This is why they're trying to exert their influence in this manner. It's a last ditch effort to save itself from becoming obsolete. Darwin's "theory" of Natural Selection states that the weaker version of something dies off as the stronger version comes to dominate. Religion is an ages-old concept based on fear. Science has grown by leaps and bounds, especially in the last 200 years. In that time, Science has undercut Religion time and again, and has come to a point where it is ready to overtake its predicessor as the dominant train of thought.

The extreme Right knows it, and they're trying one last time to sound the cry of "Heresy" by being sneaky and trying to duck around a provision, written into the Constitution by the God-fearing founders of this country, specifically designed to discourage the promotion of a single religion. After all, this country was founded on Religious Freedom, not to be a single-faith theocracy with that faith's doctrines taught on a mandatory basis.

Sorry, Fundies. But schools are paid for by Tax Dollars. Tax Dollars are collected and distributed by The Government. And The Government isn't allowed to get involved in Religion thanks to The Constitution of the United States. That's why your Churches don't pay any Tax Dollars. No Tax Dollars, no Influence. And just in case you thought Seperation of Church and State is nowhere implied in that great Constitution of ours, here it is in white on black:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That pretty much covers it. If the US Constitution says that the US Congress can't do it, you've got a problem. No State can override the Constitution. And Congress can't override it, either. Seriously. Are you going to commit political suicide by trying to ammend the Bill of Rights?

You see, Public Schools are just that. Schools run by Public Funding. Teaching the Christian idea of Creationism, over the Theory of Evolution or any other Religious idea, is the sponsoring of one particular brand of religion using Public (Government) funds. It's unconstitutional.

In short, you're going to fail. Again. And this time, your attempt to use Science's strategy against it by attacking instead of being attacked first, will be the final nail in your coffin. Say a prayer for yourselves. The next "victim" of Natural Selection is you...

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