Biological Mythology and Social Disaster
By Chaitanya Charan Das
Once the philosopher Maxim Gorky was explaining the glorious achievements of modern science to the Russian peasants, “By the power of the latest technology, humans can now fly in the sky like the birds ?.and swim in the water like the acquatics?” That was thetime the World War I clouds were looming ominously on the horizon. Weapons with greater and greater destructive potency were coming up and were arousing widespread fear about the future of the human race. One of the more intelligent peasants therefore retorted, “But humans are unable to live like humans on the land. Can science do anything about that?” Maxim Gorky was left speechless.
Cut-throat competition, concrete jungle, corporate warfare, survival of the fittest. Such words, though commonplace in modern vocabulary, indicate a disturbing trend that has marked the modern times, a trend that has concerned and alarmed thoughtful people all over the world – a deep and abiding decline in the humane aspect of the human being. Morality, nobility, ethics, selflessness,compassion, humility, love – the ornaments that distinguish a human being from an animal are no longer considered of any value. In fact there presence is often seen to be a sign of weakness and their absence a sign of strength. People sometimes put on a facade of these qualities just to further their selfish goals. Samuel Butler summed up this trend as early as 1902 in his Note-Books, “Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.” This applies not just to the animals that humans maintain in the slaughterhouses, but also, in a figurative sense, to the way humans deal with others of their own species.
HOW DID THE MESS BEGIN?
This trend began with an upsurge of materialistic and atheistic values in the medieval times. When Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution in 1859, this seemingly scientific theory marked the beginning of the end of humanity (in the qualitative sense).
Evolutionary theory teaches that the first living organism developed from non-living matter. Then, as it reproduced, it is said to have changed into different kinds of living beings, producing ultimately all forms of life that have ever existed on earth, including humans. And all this is supposed to have happened without any intelligent designer.
This litany, having assumed the status of revealed truth, is elaborated in countless text books, paperbacks, slick science magazines and television specials complete with computer generated effects. As a reasonable explanation for the origin of humans, the story certainly works. And the evolution theory does seem to be based on factual observation, and the scientific method. But is it?
The evolution theory has two basic propositions:
1.The original life emerged from chemicals &
2.Primitive life forms evolved into all the variety of living organisms that we see today.
Let us see what the testimony of the facts is about these propositions:
Did Life Emerge from Chemicals?
There is no evidence of living organisms coming from dead matter; all life comes from previously existing life. A living man and woman come together to produce an offspring; after they die, the chemicals that constitute their bodies cannot beget life. A dead person cannot be cloned, the seed of life has to be taken from him while he is alive.
Practically speaking, at this stage of scientific knowledge most of the important chemicals found in the living cell including the gene can be synthesized in the chemical laboratory. And those in the forefront of microbiology and biochemistry have made a vigorous effort to put all the necessary chemicals together and prepare the first synthetic life in the test tube.
There are however no life symptoms visible when all these chemicals are combined. Even without taking so much trouble to synthesize all these chemicals, scientists can actually isolate the necessary chemicals from an already living body and then recombine them. If life were a chemical combination, scientists could actually make life in the test tube by assembling all these important chemicals. But they cannot do this. Despite great scientific discoveries and achievements, the bright hope for understanding life in molecular terms seem to be losing ground and many prominent scientists in various fields are beginning to doubt the validity of this concept. In the `Biology Today?, Nobel-prize-winning chemist Albert Szent Gyorgyi remarked, “In my search for the secret of life, I ended up with atoms and electrons, which have no life at all. Somewhere along the line, life ran out through my fingers. So, in my old age, I am now retracing my steps?”
Biologist Francis Hitching goes even further, “To put it at its mildest, one may question an evolutionary theory so beset by doubts among even those who teach it. ? It fails to explain some of the most basic questions of all: how lifeless chemicals came alive?”
Did one Species Evolve into Another?
Books and museums the world over portray the evolution of one species into another. But what does the record of the rocks say?
- On Insects: ”The fossil record does not give any information on the origin of insects.”- (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
“There are no fossils known that show what the primitive ancestral insects looked like.” - (The Insects)
- On Fish:”To our knowledge, no ?link? connected this new beast to any previous form of life. The fish just appeared .” - (Marvels and Mysteries of Our Animal World)
- On Reptiles Becoming Mammals:
“There is no missing link (that connects) mammals and reptiles.” - (The Reptiles)
- On Apes: ”Modern Apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere . They have no yesterday, no fossil record.” - (Science Digest )
- From Ape to Man:”No fossil or other physical evidence directly connect man to ape.” - (Science Digest)
“The human family does not consist of a solitary line of descent leading from an ape like form to our species.” - (The New Evolutionary Timetable)
Zoologist Harold G Coffin concludes: “To secular scientists, the fossils, evidences of the life of the past, constitute the ultimate and final court of appeal, because the fossil record is the only authentic history of life available to science. If this fossil history does not agree with evolutionary theory-and we have seen that it does not-what does it teach? It tells us that plants and animals were created in their basic forms. The basic facts of the fossil record support creation, not evolution.” Astronomer Carl Sagan candidly acknowledged in his book `Cosmos?: “The fossil evidence could be consistent with the idea of a Great Designer.”
No one has been able to demonstrate the change of species. Breeding and mutation lead only to variation within species, not a change of species. And they are characterized by the “rubber band effect”; species with variations, if allowed to mate naturally for a few generations, revert to their original characteristics.
When Darwin observed the morphological features of humans and apes, it seemed plausible to him and the people of his times that apes might have by gradual change in bodily structures become humans. But subsequent studies in biology, especially anatomy, have shown that there are vast differences in the internal structure of organs of humans and apes. IT is claimed that natural selection and chance brought about evolution but how they could have caused comprehensive changes in internal organs came about is a complete mystery. Thus the more scientists are studying the various species, the more they are realizing how improbable the evolution of one species into another is.
Saying that an ape evolved into a human by random changes and natural selection is like saying that a 586 computer changed by itself into a Pentium gradually. A child being unaware of the complex internal structure of the computer may consider the idea plausible, but a hardware engineer would die laughing at the idea. And if the idea were true he would be the first person to lose his job!
Evolution is taught of as a fact today, but nothing could be further from the truth. Biologist Paul R.Erlich in `Process of Evolution? calls the theory of evolution as “biological mythology”.
DOES IT MATTER?
Many people feel that whether humans had a chemical origin or a divine origin doesn’t really matter; their problems at work, at home and in their minds appear to be of far greater importance. But we would like to propose that most of the problems that haunt modern man are caused by a blunder at this first step. Humanity’s understanding of how it came about determines its goals, values and attitudes. “If I came from matter, material enjoyment is the goal of my life. And because my predecessors survived and prospered only due to their expertise in savage competition and warfare, I too have to do the same to succeed in life. Beg, borrow, steal, even kill, but get money and enjoy life.” “But if my identity is spiritual and God is my eternal loving Father, going back to His kingdom becomes the goal of my life. And I should therefore curb the animal within me and be caring, virtuous, magnanimous and devoted to God.”
Most of the world’s problems are due to a decline in character and morality in humanity. Mahatma Gandhi stated, “There is enough in this world for everyone’s need but not enough for one man’s greed.” Statistical surveys show that the earth can easily feed the entire world population and much more if the vast tracts of land that are currently used for producing non-essential cash crops like tobacco, drugs, tea, coffee, etc are used for producing essential food-grains. This is just a simple example to show how greed and not shortage is the real cause of the problem of world hunger. The same principle is applicable to all the problems of the world.
Evolutionary theory teaches that savage warfare and exploitation promote the highest good. It thus creates and fuels the greed that causes the problems of the world. Martin Luther King Jr commented in Strength to Love about the modern world scenario, “We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
Chaitanya Charan Das is a celibate teacher at ISKCON, Pune. An electronics and telecommunications engineer by education, he is also an editor for ISKCON’s global magazine “Back to Godhead” and is the author of eight books and over 200 articles, many of which are posted on his site www.thespiritualscientist.com
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