The Horizontally Warped and the Vertically Weft Behind
Then again, maybe I don't need to steal it. Let's see... a quick search of vertical evolution yields ten wordy posts, which I suppose is nearly enough for a book. Out of curiosity, I counted the wordys: 17,199. Enough for a children's booky. Hmmm. A Young Person's Guide to Vertical Evolution....
Although there can be no conflict between true religion and real science, the materialists don't see it that way because they can't -- or refuse to -- see it that way. Caldecott:
"The tendency in the evolutionist camp is always to turn the theory of evolution into something more than it is, indeed to transform it into a religion..." (He cites a book by that title which I'd never heard of.)
My only quibble is that the problem isn't with the fact of evolution but with the theory of evolution by natural selection alone. Why limit onesoph in such a way, when there can be nothing in the theory itself that excludes other factors. It's analogous to, say, promulgating a theory of human development via nature alone or nurture alone, when there is obviously an interplay of the two.
Caldecott makes the point that for a certain type of mind, the theory "has to be true, for no other type of explanation would be acceptable..."
In other words, as we have said many times, it's really an a priori conclusion pretending to be a theory -- like the frog (pardon my French) that says "I have a theory that all insects are alive," when dead insects simply don't register in the frog's perceptual field. Or, a child might say, "I have a theory that when I walk down the street at night, the moon follows me." The supposedly neutral perception is really a subjective projection -- or a projection of subjectivity.
And even leaving aside the theory -- or the subjective projection -- that all biological diversity may be reduced to random copying errors, it vastly exceeds any rightful claim -- and any sense of proportion -- by insisting that "all life on earth can be traced back to one primitive organism, developing spontaneously and by chance, probably from a primordial soup of electrified chemicals" (Caldecott).
How is this different from any other degenerate creation myth? It is what I call the "godlessness of the gaps" approach, whereby, when confronted with an irreducible mystery, the person banishes it by fleeing into the comforting delusion of either scientistic necessity or blind fortuity. Both "solutions" simply eliminate the problem by a kind of special pleading.
Paradigms matter. For example, can we understand more about the cosmos by employing a machine metaphor or an organism metaphor? The Raccoon says: why limit ourselves to one or the other? Complementarity, baby. Almost always, when one reaches a metaphysical paradox, it is simply an orthoparadox -- for example, form vs. substance, or wave vs. particle, or time vs. eternity, or boxers vs. briefs.
Why pretend we know what consciousness is, when it is strictly impossible to do so? I say this for the same reason that it is strictly impossible for the eye to know what vision is like. Caldecott quotes the philosopher Jerry Fodor, who correctly points out that "Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious."
I mean, right? And not only:
"Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious." I, however, do have a slight idea of what it would be like to have the slightest idea of what it would be like to have such an idea. Problem is, I haven't the slightest idea how to express it.
Speaking of which, Caldecott suggests that "God speaks to us not in human words but through whatever happens to us, moment by moment."
To be clear, this doesn't exclude words, it just places them in the total context of one's life. We may regard the statement "as a reference to another kind of causality, at right angles to the kind investigated by science but not in contradiction to it" (ibid.).
Exactly -- like contextual and relational right brain vs. linear and particulate left brain. Thus, the events of our lives "have their normal (efficient, material) causes, the kind studied by science, but they also have a higher explanation..." The vertically aware simply recognize "a higher level of order or meaning, supervening upon and assuming the lower-level of material cause and effect" (ibid).
Material science is (or pretends to be) entirely time-bound, using material and efficient causes to predict in the direction past-to-future, or to deduce the past from the present. Conversely -- no, complementarily -- religion uses formal and final causes in order to intuit top-down explanations and to apprehend future-to-present causation.
Bottom line? "Horizontal and vertical causality are like the warp and weft making up a single fabric" (ibid), the very fabric we use to weave the cosmic area rug that ones to pull twogather the threeds in this vast womb of souls.