[asa] Evolution - A Biological Law, a Social-Cultural Assumption

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Fri Jan 11 2008 - 08:40:16 EST

Evolution: A Biological Law, a Social-Cultural Assumption
  Despite the fact that most natural scientists who accept biological evolution have elevated (read: accepted) evolution as a biological law, much the same as gravity is considered a universal law; the same law is not applicable to human society and culture. Evolution may be a biological law, but it is simply a social-cultural assumption (though Darwin was nevertheless inspired by Rev. T. Malthus). This assumption of evolution in society and culture, including ethics, morals, values, language, meanings, purposes and teleology, is what the majority of Americans are rightfully and stubbornly against. It is not evolutionary biology that is the REAL problem. Clarify this argument and the difficulty of defending evolution merely in biology, geology, botany, ecology, etc. will be much easier to make.
  ‘Concessions’: what are they? They are not, in this conversation, places where one can buy ice-cream cones and cotton candy at a local fair. Concessions: this is recognizing that you have to give a little bit and be willing to stand back from your dug-in feet, head and heart. Concessions: this is what TE’s at ASA must be willing to make in order to become relevant, and not just a marginal group of religious natural scientists who have found a way to individually balance between being a scientist and being a religious person, that the average man or woman on the street hasn’t realized (and doesn’t seem to want).
  TE’s have much to give in concession because they have intertwined their theologies with evolutionary biology so deeply that they find it hard to admit there is ANYTHING that does not evolve (cf. discussion on ASA list last year). In this situation, aside from safely positing that the Creator doesn’t evolve, they are just as guilty as E.O. Wilson, D. Dennett, R. Dawkins, S. Blackmore, M. & S. Harris and S. Pinker of elevating evolution into a world-view that is beyond its theoretical province. The REAL problem is that TEs and ECs have (perhaps unwittingly) intertwined their theologies with social-cultural evolution as well.
  Question for American ASA voters: there is much talk of ‘change’ right now in the (long, long, long and drawn-out) lead-up to the U.S. presidential election in November. Would anyone at ASA like to make the argument that American politics are currently ‘evolving’ into the election of a new President? If using the term ‘evolution’ in this case is silly, we can expect TE’s and EC’s at ASA to acknowledge it and say so.
  Is it natural and just simple, everyday progress?
  Political cycle = no evolution.
  But then again, who ever said that social-cultural evolution has any valid status at all?

Looking for the perfect gift? Give the gift of Flickr!

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Jan 11 08:41:18 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Jan 11 2008 - 08:41:18 EST