A few years ago Rick Warren wrote a piece emphasizing that it was more credulous that a sky daddy created humans than they evolved from primordial slime. I was gobsmacked that some of my mellowly religious friends agreed. This argument has been called the credulity fallacy and a few other names that what is believable on the face of it is true. Posh, I don’t even see that it applies in the case of evolution.
Chris Mooney supports this insane argument in “7 Reasons Why It’s Easier to Believe in God than Evolution.” I suppose it’s really an excuse to justify the ridiculous mess we are in today. Maybe to make atheists seem less harsh when some of us ridicule religious fundamentals as dirt-stupid clods. Trust that a sky daddy is less intuitive than evolution is patently obvious to me and I think is to most people if they clear their head of Abrahamic nonsense.
The oldest image of a human made by a human is a mix of real and what some say are unreal qualities. Yet, she looks more real than the media images we portray as normative. The hegemony of modernism and westernism still plays. We act now as if being heavy were a biostructural collateral response to constant starvation, a so-called new problem brought on. Other societies have both desired heaviness and found it. Not every society starved. Not all heaviness has been a negative or compensatory response.
It takes an oppressive religion to convince others that evolution is not intuitive. What we’re seeing is mimetic tripe from the stranglehold of Abrahamic theology over most of the worlds developed philosophy, from sheer conquest, and not some Hegelian sense of Progress that we naturally, logically got ourselves in this mental quagmire inevitably and somehow honorably. So much so that even those who aren’t very religious still can pattern match “Oh, they think a sky daddy did it. That kinda makes sense to me as I can see how someone could think that is, so it must be true.”
Hogwash. What’s incredible to me is that anyone can look around this world and think it was created by a sky daddy and that humans were in any way always the same, in the image of God. It is utterly astounding to me that anyone can hold this belief without being in some sort of deep, deep denial. If anything it long ago caused me to overemphasize the nurture or cultural aspects of the human mind. It lead me to support postmodernism where every interpretation is a misinterpretation because there is just so much evidence that people will believe any old absurdity with abandon in spite of their heritage.
However, since then I have calmed down and do see there is such a thing as natural morality and natural immorality both of which can be rather easily manipulated and neither are particularly absolute because of evolution. If it became necessary to eat our children for lunch to survive it would happen and we would call it good, for good reason. That it confounds the idea of reproduction to survival would be a post hoc intellectual question. This is not to my point though.
How can one not see changes everywhere? How can anyone not see that all life changes, all things change, even dead wood burns, rocks flame in water, or attract other rocks? The seasons of the year? From day to night, from brown to green, from dirt to expanding plants wrought from seeds we can’t even see?
I look at my family and I see similarities and differences. I look at people and I see every manner of difference from tall to short, broad to thin, smart to stupid, fast to slow, a near infinite variety of difference. Bobby looks like Grandma and Suzy looks like her dad. Over and over again I see examples of inheritance and change.
In the animal world I see so much alikeness between animals, so much shared intelligence, shared ingeniousness, and even superiority that we humans can only be another stop on long multiple continuums of existence. A moving stop at that. Only a blinded person, stupefied by religion would look at a chimpanzee and not recognize a brother. Hell, look at a coyote, a horse, a pig, a dolphin and see relations. As did most Native Americans and Aboriginals. We talk to house mice because they are like us and we talk to machines because they are like us and not because we have problems with personification.
The idea of humans as a static entity is a relic of imposed religions. They won by conquest and not because they best fit a natural psychological makeup.
When Alfred Kroeber compended the lives of California Indians the diversity was utterly astounding. 1,000 different cultures in one state. Then it was popular to show how “savage” cultures were really on the same trajectory as Westerners but the result was the opposite. Rather than something like Campbell’s hero of a thousand faces you see 1,000 faces and not a hero among them, only developments in response to environment. Structuralism ultimately failed in its search for singular unity. Diversity is the rule and saying everyone eats food is a vast commonality that trivializes the differences.
Propp’s morphology of narrative may have resolved to close to thirty variants but that is a far cry from the singular admonition Abrahamic religions put forth. This misapplication of narratives to religions and structural culture bleeds out as a kind of biostructuralism that isn’t possible without adding a date and geography stamp to it, showing it as sliding designations on continuums.
This is still too much philosophy. Only a complicated, abstracted, transcendental view of nature encourages the ability to not see that humans are just another animal and a changing animal at that. If there is a natural view that is it.
There is no biological basis for the content of city-state level religions, above totemism, above tribalism, above local lore. It’s all collateral to developmental issues of population and production in changing environments.
We often say science is not intuitive as an excuse for why people don’t get it but magical thinking has been prevalent for as long as it can be traced. Watching a plant pop from the dirt is about as magical as it gets. Watching lightning race across the sky or spark a tree into fire is magical. Hell, humans can be raised so they don’t get the connection between sex and having a baby, just more magic.
It’s all magical, and thinking that somehow quantum mechanics, bigger numbers, and vaster distances are categorically different in their awesomeness is ridiculous. Humans and animals have dealt with this magical thinking for some time.
Evolution is actually more intuitive than a sky daddy and modern knowledge is not more magical than what was pondered tens of thousands of years ago. “Savages” practiced science when they asked a sister for confirmation on an observation. Further when they stood up to go take a look. With verification of bias when they said they had misobserved at first look.
Too often scientists conflate animism with dualism or consciousness as if we just learned about these differences. That modern science-based research-writers allow this silliness credibility shows just how rooted they still are in their Abrahamic inheritance.
Jim Newman, bright and well