What a strange title for a first blog in Darwinian Ascension. Or not? Obviously I want to stress just a little bit more than that this is the beginning of a new blog. I think "Genesis" contrasts well with "Darwinian Ascension", well enough to give you an idea about what I will be blogging. It will be about Evolution, but not as much about the latest scientific findings than about what Evolution actually means, It will deal about how it applies in non-biological matters such as human society.
Dobzhansky was right, Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of Evolution. Better to say: Nothing makes sense except in the light of Evolution. Now that is a statement, but I think it will hold. Beware: I do not claim everything should make sense. Sometimes on a Friday night I drink too much and spent my Saturday morning trying to get my head clear. How do we explain this by Evolution? We don't because that really doesn't make sense. But strangely enough for a large number of subjects, key to understanding can be Evolution. But I am not that ignorant to fall into the trap of parsimonious oversimplification of things that are just there to enjoy, like a good bottle of wine that accompanies late night star-watching. The basic idea that everything might or could be explained by Evolution theory does always not mean we should.
Physics? Of course there are laws and constants, but these work only in our Universe since..... no better Universe is competing with it (at least not that I am aware of but maybe we are losing the survival of the fittest Universe. Any Physicist/Astronomer to comment on that? Carl Sagan might have....). From a scientific point of view, the existence of this Universe is explained by the weak anthropological principal: We are here so apparently the combination of physical laws and constants did work out to yield a Universe that contains life (as we know it!). But if you put Evolution on top of that, it really starts to make sense. Many alternative Universes might have existed that simply vanished since they were not stable, they appeared not to be a "Physically Stable Strategy", where of course I do refer to Maynard-Smith' "Evolutionary Stable Strategies". We do not have a clue about other putative universes in the multiverse, not in the past and also not now. But thinking about Evolution as we understand it from biology can very well help us understand other intriguing aspects.
Religion? Apparently this forms an attractive meme, even given the knowledge that we have and which shows what religion is. I guess we do not always reason rationally and I wonder why is that? Fashion? Can we explain trends with Evolution? Sure we can. Evolution can explain everything simply since the principle is so simple, strong, obvious and undeniable. This does not mean it is always easy to explain stuff. This is maybe the pitfall of Evolution. The theory is so darn simple, why is it that studying or working in Evolution is such a challenge? In short because the functional constraints act on different levels, I will get back to "functional constraint" in the very near future since this is something were we can learn from Evolution in biology.
Memes and Genes. I could also have called this blog Dawkinian Ascension. If Dawkins is the pit bull of Darwin, I might be Dawkins pit bull. Dawkins best known work: "The Selfish Gene" nicely describes memes. I will go into it in some of my blogs later on, for now let's just call the meme the cultural equivalent of the gene. So what do I mean with Darwinian Ascension? I hope, believe or somewhere in between, that Homo sapiens will in the end -or actually before it- be capable of really ascending above the influence of his genes (which should show I am not a greedy reductionist, Ha!). Meaning no religion, making rational decisions that go against our genes, all to benefit the greater good. What is the greater good? Well, we can talk about that can't we? Gaia, -just a name, no Zen here- is one for sure. Example: For my genes it would be really good if I would leave a lot of offspring. I can afford it. Darwinian Ascension however requires me to say: No more than two kiddos, better stick to one. Why? Because there are too many human beings. But there is a conflict. Mormons and other religious zealouts are breeding like mice. You wonder why? I do not, because they, or at least their $piritual leader$, believe this is a way to increment the % of Mormons. What a nice way to increment your power. Yes, religion can be a danger to Gaia.
Let me be honest, obviously I am atheist but moreover, I see religion as a real thread to our world. That is another stark statement that I might explain a bit. Religion puts humans of the real track. For the sake of the argument: Imagine I am right, there is no God, Satan nor Heaven or Hell. Then, what are we doing? We base ourselves and our morals, we judge others all on the idea that we should behave such and such just because...here you can fill in a number of options. What they all have in common is that they are NOT based on reason ONLY. Always, one moment or another, it will pop up. Yes, but the lord is merciful (shame on the creature, why can't he be righteous?), but it is written (by whom?), God told me (yeah but not to me so that is not a reasonable argument, other people with imaginary friends are locked up). Whatever. Religion has the function to take you away from the life that you have, all because of the afterlife. That is why churches do so well with the poor and why they are full during war and other periods of misery. It takes you away from the life that you can live, from responsibilities. All in duty of God, Allah, Yahweh, Sheevah or whatever the non-existing super-being is called, at least it is not you in the end. It can also explain why you are wealthy and why he is poor. If this super-creature exists, he should be held responsible for all his deeds. If he exists, he truly is Satan and I dare him. God works in mysterious ways, son. Yeah right, why not say that you also don't have a clue about life sometimes. But the blog is not about atheism, it is just that I am an atheist and I hate religion (yes not only the institution). Religion is the thing that really screws up our lovely existence. I do realize that that might be prejudice, now you know I know. I will write about religion but am open to arguments, as long as they are not from a holy book. All this not mean that everything religion puts forward is wrong, I just want to point at the fact that principally there is something really wrong with it.
Obviously I will react on Discovery Institute and other IDiot excrements of bovine, rather than divine, nature. That goes beyond my atheism, it has to do with the main drive for writing this blog. Why do we need a Deus ex machina to understand things if there is a perfectly reasonable explanation? DI and other IDiots say: "But you can't." Yes we can, maybe not now but in the end we will, but keep it real yeah. Ask me to explain why there are 11 or more different "designs" of the eye -this proves Evolution and disproves ID- but don't ask me to explain every little advantage there was at every step. So far Evolution theory has successfully shown that it can explain it all. Now show me an example where Evolution cannot explain or better disprove one single aspect of Evolution..
The IDiot way of "thinking" seriously affects the world. The mightiest power in he world is still the US of A which is screwing the world because of their poor education on the only thing that really matters: Evolution. About half of the population of the USA believes in ID rather than Evolution. Can you imagine how being an IDiot or an Evolutionut -that would be me- changes your view of the world? Can somebody explain to the US what Malthus' idea really is about? Darwin understood, Marx did but the US?
The blog will be on free will. Free will you will have when you accept that you are responsible, and bloody no one else. That you can act not in name of your genes but in name of memes that, in all good reason, appear to you as the best memes and are therefore selected as your memes.
Are we capable of ascending, ascending towards a higher level of existence, conscience? I honestly do not know but find it worthwhile exploring. THE problem is that at least in Biology Group Selection has never been shown, not even by Edward O Wilson.
One last remark: there are some spiritual blogs out there that are also based on/or deal about Evolution, I ran into one recently. These are likely rather different since they are spiritual in nature and typically claim Evolution has a direction. Darwin is turning in its grave for sure! Food for thought! Things to ponder and Blogs to counter!
Viva la Evolución