Friday, May 15, 2009

If Man Can Explain Darwinism, then Darwinism Cannot Explain Man

Metaphysical Darwinism, that is.

Consider the strange inconspicuousness of language. Picking up exactly where we left off two posts back, "the word is able to reveal much more by effacing itself in service than by emphasizing itself in dominion" (HvB).

In this regard, have you ever noticed that sometimes, if the writer is too gifted, the writing begins to draw attention to itself, rather than what it's supposed to be "about?" This isn't generally a problem so long as style is in the service of substance, but sometimes a writer can be so gifted that the gift starts to take precedence over its purpose. In a way, it can be as distracting as bad writing. Keep this point in mind for later, because it illustrates how intelligence can hijack itself, and one can get stuck on smart.

HvB continues: "In man's sense-bound language, then, the image is maximally transparent to the essence precisely insofar as it is not an expression but only a sign of the content that is to be spoken. It is precisely the inconspicuousness of the word that enables us to measure the excessive magnitude of what the mind holds within itself" (emphasis mine).

In my book, I made reference to this enigma in a number of places. Note that phrase the excessive magnitude of what the mind holds within itself, for it is one of the insurmountable realities for which Darwinism can never account. It is as if all animals are swimming beneath the Tide of Life. Then, while drifting along in this tide, along comes Man, who is able to poke his head out above the waters and survey the whole thing, even areas beyond the tide, e.g., the big bang. We are clearly in, but not of, the tide. If that weren't the case, you couldn't even understand this sentence.

On p. 100 of the Coonifesto, I asked the non-rhetorical questions, "leaving aside the matter of how and when [mankind's] creative explosion occurred, the question remains, exactly what did humans discover when they discovered art, religion, love, truth, beauty, language? In other words, what is the ontological status of this new dimension? Is this realm really nothing more than the banal and meaningless side effect of a complex neurological system? Or is it an ontologically real (but more subtle) world that we have the unique privilege of entering, an independent, virtual space with its own laws, attributes, categories, and characteristics?"

Now, for a metaphysical Darwinian, these are stupid questions with ready-made answers: there was no creative explosion. Don't believe your own eyes, and certainly don't believe the fossil record. Forget about those beautiful masterpieces that suddenly appear on cave walls 40,000 years ago. All that stuff -- love, truth, beauty, religion -- it's all just a trick of the genes. The only truth is random genetic copying error + reproductive success. And even that's not "truth," since a genetic replicating machine cannot know truth. Rather, it's just what we can know.

And there is no such thing as "reality," since all we can ever know is an effect of our genes. In other words, we are seeing what the genes show us, nothing more. You only imagine that you can raise your head above the tide of life. In reality, you're all wet, just like everyone else.

I am 100% certain that this is a false view of man, whereas the metaphysical Darwinian is 100% certain that he is correct. Indeed, yesterday Queeg said that Darwinism was actually a "fact," not a theory. This is such a childish view of science that it hardly needs rebutting. Headbutting is more like it. (No, that wasn't a physical threat.)

But Raccoons are well beyond the cramped confines of natural science anyway. Just as the Darwinian knows "for a fact" that he is just a side effect of his genetic programming, I know for a fact that the human world is indeed a "virtual space with its own laws, attributes, categories, and characteristics." And ironically, this conviction only grows, the more deeply I evolve into this space. I am quite sure that most of you have had the identical experience I have had, of gradually exploring and assimilating more of this space as it comes into focus. Look, there's old Krishna! Hello, Moses! How's the mishpokhe? Say hello to Eckhart for me, will you?

Indeed, I would say that it is precisely analogous to physical birth. In watching Future Leader grow up these last four years, it is like seeing a brain-damaged stroke victim slowly regain his faculties. Imagine the blooming, buzzing, and swirling chaos into which he was born. Ever so slowly, day by day, he brings more of this reality under personal control. But in the process, he's not just "conquering" reality, but colonizing his own mind. For what we call reality is mainly a projection of mental space. The more mental space you colonize, the richer reality appears.

But the Darwinian doesn't just colonize mental space. Rather, he is like the imperialist who subjects it to tyrannical control. Again, this is simply a truism. Read any book of sociobiology or evolutionary psychology, and you will see how they are able to reduce anything and everything, no matter how noble or lofty, to selfish genes.

Again, for the benefit of the retarded, I have no problem with natural selection, so long as it is in service to Truth. If it claims to be the total truth, then we're gonna have trouble. For if you cannot see that truth transcends the genes, then there's no hope for you at this time.

Let's go back to language. DNA is a language, just like speech. Let's suppose that, like any other speech, it has a meaning. Just as words do not refer to themselves, but become "transparent" in pointing to their meaning, I believe the human genome is transparent to its meaning. And what is it trying to say? Does it really just point to its own survival? Is the biosphere really just a tenured deconstructionist who believes that genetic language is a closed and self-referential system, with no reality beyond itself?

Here is what I believe. Take it or leave it. What Life is "trying to say" is Man. And what Man is "trying to say" is God.

At every level, reality points beyond itself to its meaning. Let's take the example of Future Leader again. Everyone loves a baby. But that's only because the baby is the quintessence of something that points to its own fulfillment. If the baby were arrested at that stage, he would be as much an occasion for joy as that paralyzed and demented stroke victim. He would be death, not life, being that life by definition reaches beyond itself. It is a "bridge" between matter and Mind, just as Mind is a bridge between Life and Spirit.

If man does not point beyond himself to spirit, then he rapidly devolves into a demon. The other day a reader paraphrased Dostoyevsky, who said something to the effect that to love man without loving God is the essence of the satanic. Do you understand why? If you are sufficiently "in" the human space alluded to above, then it's just obvious. But try explaining it to someone who is not in that space! Good luck.

Again we return to the critical relationship between truth and freedom, the latter being a necessary condition of the former. Thus, if the Darwinian wants to explain how man may know truth, he must first explain how it is that man is free. How is that rope over there standing up from the ground, all by itself? Easy. The rope is dangled from above, not just shooting up from below. Freedom "uses" genes, just as truth uses language to express itself. HvB:

"The excitement of the artistic language of, for example, architecture and music consists in the freedom with which nature-bound expressive forms can be used to bring out the inner contents of the mind. A necessary relation between essence and appearance, hence, a form of truth given in nature, is reshaped by a free relation, so that what is necessary itself becomes itself the expression of freedom."

This is again why it is axiomatic that if man can explain Darwinism, then Darwinism cannot explain man, and if Darwinism is true, it cannot be.


julie said...

"the word is able to reveal much more by effacing itself in service than by emphasizing itself in dominion"

Now that's interesting. Just a few minutes ago, as I was getting water for the dogs and filling my coffee maker, I was thinking about the story of Jesus and the woman at the well, where he asks her to give him water. In a sense, he was asking her to give him freely something that was already his, and in return he would give something much greater.

Anyway, back to reading.

Joan of Argghh! said...

You only imagine that you can raise your head above the tide of life.

And yet, Icarus ascends.

julie said...

How is that rope over there standing up from the ground, all by itself?


And there is no such thing as "reality," since all we can ever know is an effect of our genes. In other words, we are seeing what the genes show us, nothing more. You only imagine that you can raise your head above the tide of life.

To me, there is a certain irony in this as it basically means that if all we can know is what our genes tell us, reality is whatever we think it is since there's no way to know any different. And if we think we have experienced God, and as a result we are more likely to reproduce, why should we care what other walking piles of genes have to say about it? Their reality shouldn't matter to my reality. The only proper response is to laugh at them, one monkey screeching hilarity at another.

Whatever experience one has of the world gets cobbled together by neurons in a complex but ultimately meaningless game of stimulus-response, unique to each individual human but ultimately inaccessible from one to another; how can they possibly tell me that my experiences are any less valid than their own? There is no way for them to know it. But pretending for a moment that they're correct and that's all we are, I'd still rather exist in my delusional version of the world, wherein I am merely a tiny speck in the greater cosmos of truth beauty and goodness, than their dryasdust stripped-down meaningless "truth."

julie said...

Joan - that picture is incredible! Who'd have thought you could get that kind of image from the ground?

julie said...

Stereolab: tastes like strawberry-banana soda fished from the bottom of the ice chest at a family picnic. With a pinch of dust.

Ricky Raccoon said...

“gradually exploring and assimilating more of this space is it comes into focus.”

You did it now Bob. Too big.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Yesterday’s and today’s posts remind me of something David McCullough said about how we teach history today vs. how we should be teaching it. He gave a terrific little example illustrating the “crime” of facts vs. Truth. Although crime is the word I choose and he said history instead of Truth. Either word, a crime is committed, and it is against what keeps us human.

Here is history with facts:

The King died. The Queen died.

Here is History; the story of people:

The King died. The Queen died of grief.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Why, just last night,

“So, for example, the life principle of a plant manifests a purposeful totality that is organized according to an intellectual plan (although the plant itself is not intellectual and cannot plan) and that directly embodies as much of the idea of the divine intellect as can be structured into the living creature in the form of an indwelling "entelechy". Subspiritual though it is, the plant by nature behaves as purposefully as if it were endowed with a mind. Its truth, so to speak, transcends its factual existence at any given moment.”

HvB, Theo-logic, The Truth of the World, pg 57

Ricky Raccoon said...

BTW, Google Books has the Theo-logic here.

robinstarfish said...

Subspiritual though it is, the plant by nature behaves as purposefully as if it were endowed with a mind. Its truth, so to speak, transcends its factual existence at any given moment. That's what Populus Tremuloides said. ;-)

Ricky Raccoon said...

You speaka ma language!
Say hello to Eckhart for me, will you?

julie said...

Hm. Forgive the self-indulgence, but apparently, my secret theme for the day is giving & receiving water. I went to my Pilates floor class to find that I was the only student. Which is good, because the instructor knows me pretty well by now, and knows how to make it extra challenging, and she'll do things with me that she doesn't usually do when there are other participants. By the end, after much more than usual heavy breathing my mouth was as dry as the air here, and I mentioned that I should have gotten a bottle of water for the workout today (which I haven't done in months). So Dawn jumped up and said "Oh, do you want one?" "That's okay, I don't have a dollar on me," "No problem!" And in a flash, without even asking, I was given it. It didn't occur to me that there might be any deeper context (in my own mind, if nowhere else) until afterward.

wv says it has something to do with chess.

Bulletproof Monk said...

"On p. 100 of the Coonifesto, I asked the non-rhetorical questions, "leaving aside the matter of how and when [mankind's] creative explosion occurred,..."Funny you should mention, Bob. Just yesterday I ran across this article (pdf) on the earliest known finds of symbolic thought and art. The "first" indication of a creative explosion may have occurred around 100,000 years ago. I am curious to see how the time-line of human creativity changes over time as we discover more.

Anyway, back to today's reading...

Gagdad Bob said...

With all due respect to the person responsible for those scratches, they don't measure up the the cave paintings of Europe. Also, bear in mind that Darwinians would prefer to make the creative explosion go away in order to salvage their theory, so I would take the findings with a grain of salt.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ironically, most Darwinians don't even understand what they believe.
Or rather, they can't see the results of what they believe, much like leftists are blind to the end results of their ideology, despite what history reveals.

Some do see, but believe that somehow they can get the utopian (Star Trek-like) results they want this time.

Why? Because they don't know themselves, let alone gno themselves. How can they when they won't look up or in? I only pity them insofar as they don't attempt to take our life, liberty and property away.

Here's people who can't help themselves and they wanna "help" everyone else through dominion and tyranny.

Well, I say "Nuts!"

Skully said...

Mixed nuts! Because they love "diversity" so much. So let's show 'em some real diversity.

jaujau said...

Art Thou Banned by the Intellect of the Blogosphere,who shall not be named, but whom we sometimes refer to as Cankles? Because, you know, this is mighty fearsome blasphemies you posit against the Sooth sayers of Universitopia, brother.

ximeze said...

Fun Facts to make the moonbats in your life even more bonkers.

Say... there's gotta be some party-favor to liven-things-up potential here

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks for the great link, Ximeze!
From your link:

"The good ship Fleur set sail from Plymouth, England, on a 5,000 mile, "carbon emission-free" journey to Greenland. "The expedition was followed by up to 40 schools across the UK to promote climate change awareness." Then reality hit in the form of weather. Wind ripped the wind generator and solar panels from the yacht, and capsized it three times. The crew of the Fleur was rescued by an oil tanker loaded with 680,000 barrels of crude oil."

Ha ha! How sweet it is. I hope some of these idiots see the irony.

julie said...

Via Daphne, I came across this guy today. Down around May 10, this delightful gem appears:


In case you needed something to read tonight :)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I only disagree with the author of your link with one point, when he said this:

"President Reagan sent US Marines to Lebanon with rubber bullets for ammunition and the Rules of Engagement being "don't engage." The result was 246 dead Marines. I love Reagan and believe him to be the best President of the 20th century, but this was right out of Jimmy Carter's playbook. US Marines kill people and break things. If that's not the mission, don't send Marines."

Awhile back I was readin' about this, and this is mostly a lie, spread by leftists and moderate republicans. In Reagan's own words, and he regret's that he couldn't stop it he basically said:

Reagan's hand were tied by a democrat Congress during this whole affair.

As a result, we had the bombing and immediate withdrawal, and it didn't stop there. Hezbollah literally took over more than half the country.

Without interference from the democrats, our Marines could've prevented that from happening, or at least mitigated it after the bombing.
Reagan's strategy was sound, but the donks pulled their support of our troops, hangin' them out to dry (as usual).

Somalia anyone? Vietnam? When will our GOP leaders hold the democrats feet to the fire over their irresponsible actions leading to unnecesary deaths of our troops, thousands, even millions of civilians in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia, and tyrannies rather than democracies in those countries I mentioned?

PS- I don't blame the author because this is a common misconception, perpetuated by professional liars.

julie said...

Oh, fiendish Amazon - resistance is futile. It's offering Go, the Sidewinder and Soul Station for the low low price of $32.97. I think the mp3 versions are even cheaper.

I need some good working music tonight...

Gagdad Bob said...

To be honest, those three in particular could be the cornerstone of a modern jazz collection. Those are the best three albums by three of the immortals of hard bop. If you don't like them, then at least you'll know you don't like hard bop.

Gagdad Bob said...

One of the great things about Blue Note is the album covers (that's just a small sample). They were the first record company to present album covers as works of art. Great photos, striking graphics, and bold colors. Pound for pound, without a doubt America's greatest independent record label. I collect 'em like baseball cards.

julie said...

That's the great thing about being able to listen to samples - I already know I like them. Now I'd just like to hear the rest :)

julie said...

And you're right - those are awesome album covers. One more thing that's kind of flown out the window with digitization.

ximeze said...

Thomas Lifson has a follow-on regarding 'the solar house left in the dark with busted pipes that froze over the winter'

ximeze said...

sudden wounded-fawn Democratic syndrome?

Yes, Nancy, There Really Is a God Nemesis

Gagdad Bob said...

Gagdad fun fact: "Dexter" was in the running for Future Leader's handle, in honor of Dexter Gordon. Of course, we wouldn't have called him Dexter. "Dex" for short. Has a nice ring to it. Plus it looks cool: Dex.

Maybe a good name for a dog.

Anonymous said...

If I may chime in on the relationship between DNA, natural selection, and spirtual evolution--

Earth is a soul classroom, if you please. Souls come here to learn things. They come, they go, they come back. In the process they (we) gain something valuable.

While here, souls need a vehicle to "ride" in, so to speak. That is our body/mind combo. It is a really complicated meat-machine designed to house the spirit during it's educational sojourn.

The confusing thing is that these vehicles have a complicated process for developing themselves; that is physical Darwininian evolution. However, this evolution of the body is not directly related to the evolution of the soul. The two processes are associated but not exactly coupled. Whereas souls are eternal, bodies are mutable and constantly change and are recycled.

That being said, bodies are nothing to sniff at. Without them, soul progress grinds to a halt. The more evolved the body, the more can be experienced here.

This is why Bob, a spiritual evolutonist, is peeved with the Darwinist, a material evolutionist. Each describes a different arm, as it were, of the twin processes of evolution, but Bob is more correct, because he sees both arms where the Darwinist sees only the physical arm.

The correct discernment is to put them together. They work in tandem to create the elaborate "soul university" which is what our world is all about.

We all have tenure here, Bob. I thought you'd appreciate that.

julie said...

Dex would be a great dog name. Could be tricky as a kid's name, though - perhaps too easily mockable these days. We used to joke that we'd name our dog Flapjack, but it's not really a girl name. Although, given the first one's habit of shaking her head, it would have been very fitting.

julie said...

Today's news of the obvious (to those with raccoon vision, anyway):

"What's "striking and paradoxical" about this research, he says, is that it shows that reaching materialistic and image-related milestones actually contributes to ill-being; despite their accomplishments, individuals experience more negative emotions like shame and anger and more physical symptoms of anxiety such as headaches, stomachaches, and loss of energy. By contrast, individuals who value personal growth, close relationships, community involvement, and physical health are more satisfied as they meet success in those areas. They experience a deeper sense of well-being, more positive feelings toward themselves, richer connections with others, and fewer physical signs of stress."

Anonymous said...

My mother and Father had sex.

Obviously this can't be true because I can explain it.

Gagdad Bob said...

Believe me I've tried, but I just can't explain how my parents did. I think I must have been adopted.

Gagdad Bob said...

Good point, though. The idea of "you" being explained by your parents' sexual act is absurd.