Why Darwinists Reject Evolution
I'm afraid that some readers -- probably for perfectly understandable reasons -- don't fully understand my point about spiritual evolution. I am not attempting to "Aurobindo-ize" Christianity." Rather, it's just that I see some rather obvious and fascinating parallels. Furthermore, I think a kneejerk anti-evolutionary stance is merely "customary" rather than intrinsic to Christianity. In fact, I believe it can be shown that the idea of a static universe is at the "human margin" of Christian theology, as opposed to evolution, which is at the heart of the divine revelation and intrinsic to a created world.
The concept of evolution is a key that unlocks countless mysteries, whereas the idea of a static universe only puts in place numerous impasses to our reason. And since God addresses himself to human reason, I have a hard time accepting any theology that insists that we must bypass our God-given reason to "understand" the divine memo.
Remember, whenever I use the word "evolution," it is never in the watered-down Darwinian sense of random "natural selection," but in a much grander cosmic sense, of which Darwinism can only be a small subset. Darwinists quite clearly abuse the plain dictionary definition of the term, and whenever someone redefines a word in order to make their theory work, you should be suspicious, for that's not science, only semantics or some other evasion. You can't define something by redefining it out of existence. Science naturally does this for methodological reasons, but then supernaturally conflates method and ontology, which is -- to use the technical term -- "stupid."
For example, my dictionary says that evolution is "a process of change in a certain direction", i.e., "a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state." Being that the essence of spirituality involves changing into a higher and better state, whereas Darwinism merely involves intrinsically meaningless change, it is actually religious believers who accept evolution and Darwinists who don't. For a strict Darwinist, nothing can be intrinsically "better" or "higher" on pain of undermining the whole theory. Organisms can only be relatively better adapted to their environment and therefore reproduce more successfully.
It doesn't take a genius to notice that Darwinism violates this straightforward definition of evolution, since it cannot speak of directionality, lower and higher, or better and worse, being that these categories can only be located on a vertical plane that transcends the flatland Darwinism of random mutation.
Even if a Darwinist argues that his theory is superior to yours, he has taken himself out of Darwinism, and is making an appeal to criteria that quite obviously transcend Darwinism. Why do you think that contemptuous Darwinists always want to prove that they are so much smarter than you are, hmm? Suffice it to say that the answer will not be found in Darwinism but psychoanalysis.
Ironically, you could even say that Darwinists specifically do not believe in evolution, being that they reject its very possibility (i.e., directional change into an intrinsically higher state). Rather, they believe in change, a very different thing. In this regard, they are very much like progressives, who also believe in change, but not genuine progress, since their metaphysic abolishes any absolute standard by which real progress can be measured. Indeed, progressives must generally abolish permanent truths in order to facilitate the changes they seek.
Again, one of our central ideas is that, specifically because this is a creation, it must also evolve and burst forth with creative novelty. The cosmos is permeated with meaning, and meaning has no meaning outside teleology, or final causes. In other words, the meaning is the cause.
Or, put it this way: if this weren't a creation, then we would have no trouble explaining why the cosmos has no creativity, novelty, or progressive development. We certainly wouldn't have any difficulty explaining the absence of the human intellect. But this is not a single level creation. Rather, it contains implicit degrees of being that serially unfold within time. This is a living cosmos; or let us say that it is infused with the life principle of "dynamic interior wholeness," which is why biology is even possible. Such a principle could never occur in a cosmos where it wasn't already implicitly present.
And it is also composed of Truth, which is why truth may call out to truth in the human subject. Only like may know like. We can know of no cosmos other than a cosmos capable of self-revelation and self-knowledge. But a cosmos capable of self-knowledge is an astonishing thing to contemplate. Here again, there is no Darwinist who doesn't suffer from a severely constrained imagination, thereby foreclosing the very space of vertical recollection.
In an "evolutionary creation" (which is again a redundancy), time will not be reducible to mere physical duration. Rather, it is the essence of creative transformation, which was one of Whitehead's central principles. He was one of my early guiding lights in these matters. Here, let me drag out my dog-eared copy of Adventures of Ideas. There he writes that "The creativity of the world is the throbbing emotion of the past hurtling itself into a new transcendent fact." His point is that each moment represents an instance of the cosmos transcending itself like a "flying dart hurled beyond the bounds of the world."
Hmm, let's see what else we have in here. Although I am not a full-blown Whiteheadian, he is nevertheless one of those people whose ideas have long since blended with my own psychic substance, so it's interesting to go back and look at some of my highlights and marginalia from 25 years ago. "This notion of... history devoid of any reliance on metaphysical principles and cosmological generalizations, is a figment of the imagination. The belief in it can only occur to minds steeped in provinciality -- the provinciality of... minds unable to divine their own unspoken limitations." Ho! Whitehead wasn't the most coherent or linear writer, but his books are filled with barbed little zingers like that.
Although Whitehead obviously accepted Darwinism as far as it goes, he wrote that, as applied to the human realm, it posed "a challenge to the whole humanitarian movement" and "weakened the Stoic-Christian ideal of democratic brotherhood." Who could argue with that? "For two thousand years philosophy and religion had held up before Western Europe the ideal figure of man, as man, and had claimed for it supreme worth." But two thousand years of accumulated divine-human wisdom can be wiped away with a single book of anti-intellectual Darwinist barbarism.
Just poking around at random now. Here's another good one: modern scientism canalizes "thought and observation within predetermined limits, based upon inadequate metaphysical assumptions dogmatically assumed. The modern assumptions.... exclude from rationalistic thought more of the final values of existence," circumscribing reason "by reducing its topics to triviality, for example, to bare sensa and tautologies.... The world will again sink into the boredom of a drab detail of rational thought, unless we retain in the sky some reflection of light from the sun of Hellenism." All men will be as repetitive, narrow and tedious as Charles Johnson.
Ah, here is Raccoonish sentiment: "We speak in the singular of The Universe.... There is one all-embracing fact [O] which is the advancing history of the one Universe." This is the "community of the world, which is the matrix of all begetting, and whose essence is process with retention of connectedness..." Indeed,
"We habitually speak of stones, and planets, and animals, as though each individual thing could exist, even for a passing moment, in separation from an environment which is in truth a necessary factor in its own nature. Such an abstraction is a necessity of thought.... But it also follows that, in the absence of some understanding of the final nature of things... all science suffers from the vice that it may be combining various propositions which tacitly presuppose inconsistent backgrounds. No science can be more secure than the unconscious metaphysics which it tacitly presupposes." Ho!
The point is -- now confirmed by quantum physics -- everything participates in everything else in ways that are far beyond the ken of 19th century atomistic science. Furthermore, in a post-relativistic cosmos, both space and time are nonlocal, so things are also temporally connected in ways that materialistic science cannot disclose.
This led Whitehead to the inevitable conclusion that each moment had a subjective and objective component, of which you might say that our minds are the individualized beneficiaries. In other words, the process of our very own mind reveals something intrinsic about the way the cosmos evolves. Scientistic materialists believe the same thing -- that the mind mirrors reality -- except that they only consider things from the linear/left brain point of view, instead of from the synthesis of the "higher third" that comes into view in the integral evolution of what Grotstein called the "transcendent position."
To say that God "participates" in the world, or that the divine is immanent within the creation, is another way of acknowledging this reality. This is the reason why the world is so full of beauty, truth, novelty, delight, surprise, -- and evolution. Evolution can occur because the cosmos is shot through with implicit divine potential to be realized in time: "The creativity is the actualization of potentiality, and the process of actualization is an occasion of experiencing." Thus, you might say that true creativity represents the quintessence of God "experiencing" his creation through us. Which is why it is a sin to bore God in the manner of a Queegian liztard.
The matrix of the world is the mother of our becoming -- the mamamatrix of evolution. But this matrix must be fertilized by the divine seed in order for things to grow and develop. Truly, our vertically challenged materialistic brethren are suffering from a spiritual (second) birth defect.