Atheism and the Long Lever of Darwinism: Moving the World
rbullock - 09/28/08
“Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I will move the earth.”
Never in history have atheists enjoyed such roaring intellectual fulfillment. Triumphantly parading a ragtag procession of kowtowed cultural Darwinists, browbeaten boards of education, a few fawning federal judges and (on a special float) a collection of tamed and harmless theists, today’s atheists strut brashly down Main Street Everywhere shouting “up yours!” to every measured glance from the sidelines. Give them credit–atheists have won the day, if not the era, by ushering in a world of practical public atheism where God is not even dead, he simply is not. Someone help us.
Atheists have always been a temerarious lot. But in the lost age of reason thoughtful atheism was more a philosopher’s leisure, something of a private intellectual indulgence, like pondering perpetual motion or musing Zeno’s paradoxes, suitable for thought-play among friends but little else of practical value. By all accounts being against logic and human nature (the two being inextricably bound), atheism remained for most of history a young man’s comfort and an old man’s folly, but in public the evidence of those thought fools.
That was then, this is now; a few short years of remarkable activity successfully transformed Western culture into a God-free zone marked by public institutions which, formerly God-filled in thought and speech, now permit their foundational lingua franca only as an anti-intellectual private indulgence. As the torch was passed the past was torched, with the last public vestiges of any Godly heritage reluctantly endured only as cultural artifacts–offensive but harmless reminders of a very different time. Not permitted to inform law, policy, or education at any level, God-thoughts are now a young man’s folly and an old man’s comfort, but in public the evidence of those thought fools.
Fools thought wise and wise thought fools, what in the world happened? Future generations will look back and marvel at the unfortunate complexity of fortuitous events, but simply speaking, Darwinism happened. In perhaps no other age has an elixir met a mood the way Darwin’s notions met a cultural temper. Decades before Darwin various lines of evolutionary thought developed, not only in biology but in geology and cosmology as well. In a sense, the world was primed for a catalyst to set off an irresistible movement toward a materialistic world view. For this reason scientists are correct when they maintain that Darwinism is “more than a theory.” It is much more. As stated by leading 20th-century Darwinist Ernst Mayr, “The Darwinian revolution was not merely the replacement of one scientific theory by another, as had been the scientific revolutions in the physical sciences, but rather the replacement of a world view, in which the supernatural was accepted as a normal and relevant explanatory principle, by a new world view in which there was no room for supernatural forces.”
Tags: Social Darwinism