Modern Mythology and the Ahrimanic Deception-2
To sum up the foregoing, by the early 1800s educated people in the West were being convinced to throw out their former of view of the world inherited from their religion, and instead rely on the "experts" of science to provide them with one. Scientists regarded all the old superstitions of religion as having come about through people already having faith in fixed ideas, so they adopted a code of supposedly starting with no preconceived ideas and allowing what was observed only to be the basis for one's opinions. However, when you take your start from relying only on what is perceived by the senses, without strong guidance about how to interpret all that from some philosophy that emphasizes anything immaterial, this biases you towards believing that nothing came before the material world (since it so much dominates your thinking) and therefore everything is derived from matter--- which also makes it impossible to believe that anything survives after death. The earliest founders of science were also churchmen and had the spiritual ideas embodied in their Christian faith guiding their thinking--- but starting in the 19th century this dropped out, resulting in the materialistic bias which science still has to this present day.
In fact, as I mentioned as an aside last time, instead of being objective (empirical) and not having any philosophical bias, many scientists of the 19th century may now easily be seen to have inclined strongly to a belief system very similar to the old Stoic philosophy of ancient Rome: there is only matter, there may be no gods and if there are, they have nothing to do with human beings so we are on our own, nothing survives death, and the superior man is one who faces this dismal reality without flinching and still determines to be as good a person as he can. An exposition of this old philosophy which very closely resembles the story of the world in our modern science textbooks is "De Rerum Natura" or "On The Nature Of Things" by Lucretius. The Romans were just as good at seeing and using the material world as we are, and just as good as building up the materialistic philosophy that must result when you take your start exclusively from what can be perceived by the senses. (I intend to publish this article in a changed form; but just for anthroposophists, I'll put in here what I'm only hinting at so far--- many of these 19th century scientists were reincarnated Romans who had been Stoics in a former life.)
Now, to continue....
GEOLOGY AND DARWINISM-1
So, by the early 19th century, scientific thinkers felt themselves freed from the dogma of religion, and set out to investigate with an "open mind" all the questions of existence ----even though looking back at them now from our perspective, we can easily see that actually they frequently either had prejudices of thinking carried over from the Christian religion or else were inclined to re-create a materialistic philosophy similar to the one most popular in ancient pagan Rome).
Naturally, in seeking to create a comprehensive theory of the world to replace the one formally given out by religion, a central question to the freethinkers of the Enlightenment and afterwards was the ORIGIN of this world we inhabit. How had the earth come to have the shape we perceive that it has now? Up until their time, the only explanation in the Western world was the Biblical story of Creation seven stages or symbolic "Days", which in Scripture was quickly followed by its account of the legendary Flood. A scientific temperament, using inductive reasoning, however, could not allow itself to think in terms of sudden creation of living creatures nor of sudden earth catastrophes, because neither of these is what we can observe happening physically today.
Taking their start from what can be observed every day, the first natural scientists could see solid, fluid, and gaseous matter such as the earth's solid land, oceans, and clouds in the atmosphere. (At first, actually, they had no definite idea or word for the state of matter in which air and clouds exist; it first had to be classified as a single state, a classification which we take as natural now. It was only a few centuries ago that all air and clouds was first thought of a single "state" of matter, when through experiments it was realized that air is not nothing, but matter in a finer state then the solid or liquid. It was so dispersed compared to liquids and solids that it was referred to as "chaos"--- which evolved into our word "gas".) Thinking only in material terms, what they were able to imagine was only matter filling space in a fine condition from the beginning of time, so it was theorized that some gas or dust was given off by the burning sun and it somehow gathered into a cloud which condensed by gravity to become our earth. This was first theorized by the philosopher Immanuel Kant in the late 1700s, and is still basically the explanation of the Earth's origin taught today. (Where the sun and all the other stars and the universe itself came from, has never really been explained scientifically with any serious theory, and so the question is usually just sidestepped.)
The biblical story of Noah and the Flood did not resemble anything which could be experienced now and so had to be rejected. There WERE observed to be volcanic eruptions and catastrophes of wind and water like hurricanes, and for a long time Earth theorists speculated on how to account for the formation of the earth itself by variations of one or the other of these forces (called the Neptunean and Vulcanean schools of theory). Then, in the early 1800s the man usually considered the first geologist, Charles Lyell, popularized the "uniformitarian" school. In this approach to geology, there have never been any processes except what we can observe now and only going on at the same speed we observe now; therefore everything we observe--- mountains and valleys, rivers and canyons--- have all been formed by the action of gradual wind erosion, water erosion, etc.
It would not be until the 20th century that the enormous amount of evidence for SUDDEN geological catastrophes would be resurrected from the deliberate misinterpretations placed on them by this "uniformitarian" bias. For example, after generations of telling us that the Grand Canyon was formed by slow and gradual water erosion, only in the past 30 years or so have scientists pointed out the evidence that shows that it's much more likely it was a massive crack in the earth formed by sudden, wrenching earth movements, and this crack THEN was gradually eroded by the Colorado River into its present form over millennia. The same is true about familiar geological phenomena such as the enormous crack we call Niagara Falls. The Great Salt Lake in Utah and the surrounding Bonneville Salt Flats, most geologists now admit, are the remains of a large inland sea, an enormous amount of salt water which could only be explained by a tremendous flood of water from the Pacific Ocean which washed over what we now call the Western continental United States and was somehow trapped there, which was then gradually dried out by the sun over millennia, leaving the huge salt flats with the remaining water containing so much salt that no fish can live in it. (Similarly, the Dead Sea in Israel it is a large depression below sea level, in which ocean water must have been trapped ages ago, and when biblical scholars re-trace the directions in the Old Testament to where the legendary cities of Sodom and Gomorrah once were, they turn out to be right where the Dead Sea is now. Thus a geological phenomena that could only have been caused by a sudden catastrophe, is found right at the site of one of the most famous catastrophes in legend--- whatever may actually have happened there).
For a long time, the only scientists willing to discuss this evidence were also Christians, and so it was dismissed by official science; but for anyone with an open mind it has become too clear to ignore. It was suppressed in the 19th century because anything which gave any credence to "catastrophism" was perceived as supporting the biblical story of the Flood and therefore ignorant, superstitious religion, and so could not be allowed. When skeletons of whales and fish were found on the tops of the mountains, there was a deliberate conspiracy among scientists (caused by this subconscious bias in favor of a pagan Stoic philosophy and against Christianity) to interpret this evidence in any possible way other than admitting a worldwide Flood... for the good of the ignorant masses, of course. Even the very existence of fossils themselves is evidence of sudden geological catastrophes, as the skeletons of animals DON'T fossilize in the slow and gradual events we see around us every day, but are only explicable by their creation in sudden geological events, not normal conditions. When frozen mammoths were found in Siberia, quick-frozen with tropical flowers in their mouths, the scientific establishment had to go into overdrive trying to explain it in any way other than a sudden geological catastrophe, and they're still doing so. (An excellent summary of much of this evidence for sudden geological catastrophes was Immanuel Velikovski's "Earth In Upheaval" in the 1950s, and more recently the books of Graham Hancock, who also did an excellent summary of the evidence and the bias that suppressed it in the 1990s TV documentary "The Mysterious Origins Of Man" with Charlton Heston.)
But this very conservative-appealing doctrine of slow and gradual change was accepted back then, in the 1800s. However, it required that the great changes that can be observed (mountain-building, the eroding of canyons, etc.) had to be explained by a much greater time than had been thought of until then. Rather than thousands of years, which was as large a time-frame as people thought in terms of up until only a century or two ago, these theories required hundreds of thousands, and then millions, and eventually hundreds of millions of years in order to explain everything having happened slowly and gradually. Thus the dogma of the world being hundreds of millions, and eventually billions of years old, was gradually imposed -- -- -- a dogma which most people to this day believe has been "proven" by some empirical dating technique, but which actually was adopted long before such techniques were experimented with. By the way, these are not relevant to geology anyway: Carbon-14 dating, for instance, can only be used on ORGANIC material, and in addition before the last 5000 years give dates which are plus or minus 50% in error; while techniques such as potassium-argon dating, with its theoretical dates of billions of years, rest on the assumption that, even back in the theorized incredible heat of the early Earth, the processes used were going on at the exact same rate as we observe in a vastly cooled Earth today--- which is absurd. In reality, when for instance a human skeleton is found in a bed of coal a and it is said to be "10 million years old", that official age is based on assumptions about how long it takes wood to be changed into coal, nothing more... assumptions which recent observations have called into question. When scientists first discovered layers of rock strata in which were found fossils from the time of the dinosaurs, they theorized the coal was formed from enormous forests from those times, whose trees were somehow fossilized (although trees don't become fossils under normal conditions today). Rather than picture something like an enormous flood smashing down millions of trees and packing them together at the bottom of a sea that is suddenly covering them, so that the pressure would convert the wood into coal--- a picture of an event which would have been too similar to the biblical Flood to be allowed into one's imagination -- -- -- they pictured year after year of trees dying and falling into swamps, and that wood gradually being turned to coal. It was assumed that this transformation could only happen over millions of years; however, some wooden railroad bridges in Europe have already been found to be turning into coal in only a century, from the heat and pressure of their use by trains. It has also been found that oil is formed in a much faster time-frame the 19th-century scientists believed; and there are radioactive elements which have been pointed out in rock strata which have left radiation halos behind from when the rock formed, although these elements have a short half-life, meaning that these rocks, rock strata hundreds of feet thick which current theory says were laid down gradually over millions of years, must have formed very quickly, not slowly and gradually. Official science is still ignoring this evidence.
Now, why? Why should it make any difference whether a 1000-foot thick layer of rock strata was laid down bit by bit over a million years, or by an enormous flood in one year? Why should scientists so violently insist it can only be one and not the other? There is more to the story about why the uniformitarian dogma and denial of all the evidence for sudden geological events has been so vociferous than just the desire to ridicule the stories of Noah or the legend of Atlantis: it's because the central dogma of our "religion of Scientism", Darwinism, became inseparable from it. You see, Lyell's "Principles of Geology" was the book which Charles Darwin took with him on his voyage to the South Pacific, and which most influenced him in his way of looking at the world.
To Be Continued...
- GEOLOGY AND DARWINISM-2
In the war against religion of the 19th century, science sought to replace all the main elements of the Creation story. Instead of God creating the world, it just sort of happened, a bunch of gas and dust happened to gather into a planet. The majestic mountains and natural beauty of our world was to be thought of as just the accidental product of erosion and the other undirected forces. Most people could buy that, because it only required them to change how they thought about the outside world, not themselves. But when people went to church, they mainly wanted to know about HUMAN life, and the story in Genesis said that God created life and put in here on the earth. When science painted a picture of gas and dust somehow gathering into the planet Earth, anyone who wanted to keep his religion while studying science could just imagine a heavenly being guiding this process... but the origin of life, and especially human life, was another matter. The Christian and every other religion said that it had a divine origin, that it was an immaterial, spiritual or soul essence, PLACED into matter. This was anathema to demi-Stoic thinkers such as Darwin.
Perhaps no other branch of science besides astronomy had such respect and awe for the natural world as biology, up until the 19th century. Some of the greatest early natural scientists, such as Humboldt and Linnaeus, were motivated by their wonder and amazement at the spectacle of life in all its manifestations, each one of which they saw as a wondrous creation of the divine. By the middle of the 18th century, however, biology had begun its transformation from a science of Life into a science of living THINGS, the materialistic philosophy we have today which no longer even has a definition of life itself (the cause, for instance, of so much legal confusion in determining when a person has died).
Already, when Darwin looked at living things, he was only concerned with their material forms. On his famous voyage to the Galapagos Islands, he observed birds, finches, whose beaks were different on those islands then the beaks of finches he had come to know elsewhere, and by observing their habits he could see that finches with longer beaks would probably have had an advantage over others in surviving on these islands. So he deduced that the bird's ancestors had been short-beaked when they migrated to the islands, but that any that happened to be born with longer beaks would survive and reproduce because of their advantage in surviving. Over time, this would account for the change in finches in one part of the world and in another. Then he expanded these simple observations to produce a theory that would account for all the transformations of the material forms of living things, his theory of evolution. In this, every unique feature of living things, no matter how complex, could be explained by assuming all creatures started out the same, but adapted to different environments over time: as generation after generation reproduced, chance would cause some members of the species to be born with slightly different forms, and any slight changes which enabled a creature to survive better would result in that one producing offspring that survived, while creatures not as well adapted to survive would gradually perish. This was then used to explain why dinosaurs were no longer around, while the modern forms of living creatures showed great differences from ancient fossils of their ancestors.
However, the only way Darwin's theory could work was for the assumptions of Lyell's uniformitarian geology to be correct, providing the evolution theoretician with millions upon millions of years of things staying relatively the same. For a bat to have "evolved" out of a rat, for instance, would require who knows how many millions of years of rats reproducing and staying the same as earlier rats, and then one just happening to be born with a little webbing between its legs like a flying squirrel, and this providing some advantage to survival so that its descendants survived--- and then some of those descendants millions of years later just happened to be born with the webbing being something more like an actual wing, and somewhere along the way developing also the bat's radar, its longer ears, and so on. Darwin had studied the work of dog breeders in England and new that, without an intelligent being to guide reproduction, his theory of random changes in living things being passed along and gradually accumulating into the enormous change of one species to another, would require millions upon millions of years of creatures living and reproducing in order to be able to work. So, once Darwinism became enshrined as the accepted theory of biology, no change could be allowed to the underlying theory of uniformitarian geology, or else the official story would collapse.
Darwin first published a work arguing that these small random changes were what produced the different species of living things out of some simple primitive ancestor. As to where the original ancestor came from, since the materialistic bias was working, he and his followers could only imagine the material earth being there first, with lifeless chemicals in the early Earth's oceans, and perhaps these were struck by lightning and in some way we cannot observe today the lifeless minerals became the first self-organizing, reproducing cell. (The Stanley Urey experiments to supposedly 'prove' this are a joke: bombarding a mix of chemicals with electricity succeeded in making some amino acids, building blocks of protein... which is like saying a mudslide which produced a clot of mud like a brick accounts for how the Great Pyramid was assembled.) Given that theoretical beginning, he could imagine all living forms becoming as they are now through random changes in living things over hundreds of millions of years, and those which enabled creatures to survive being preserved in their descendants. But in his first book he avoided discussing the origin of Man. Once this theory had gained acceptance, then he tackled the subject head on, arguing that Man was just a transformed ape, that some apelike ancestor was born with the random difference of a slightly larger brain which enabled it better to survive, and then later another with a still slightly larger one, and so on----so small changes, each occurring at intervals of millions of years, could explain the great transformation from apes to human beings.
There is an interesting schizophrenia among evolutionists that is very sad to observe. If people want to hold on to their traditional religion in any form, be it Muslim or Jewish or Christian, when the officially atheist intellectual world has all accepted and aggressively pushes Darwinism, the way many people "split the difference" is to say, "well, all right, all living forms came into existence as they are now through this gradual process of change, but I can imagine some hypothetical God guiding or directing this process; and likewise, I'll buy that Man was transformed out of an ape, but my imaginary Divine Being likewise guided this process." I've often wondered whether Catholic or Jewish acceptors of Darwinism have ever really read a science textbook such as their children are propagandized with in public schools, or if they just don't understand the actual theory and the materialistic philosophy behind it. Because this theory, with its tiny changes every few millions of years, and so the hundreds of millions of years included in the theory, was framed the way it was framed explicitly to rule out any intelligent guidance of the process. It required the hundreds of millions of years of the uniformitarian geology to explain this evolution as having happened without any breeder or director. (Of course, as it has been pointed out, the theory was sold to the public by borrowing terms implying direction, such as "selection" which implies someone doing the selecting---but that was just window dressing, the theory is completely atheistic.) People who try to accept the theory of evolution and also have any religion are not really reading what the theory says: it is as explicitly atheistic as Marxism or Freudianism.
So what we have today is a group of theoretical explanations for the origin of the world, life, and we human beings, which all were created in order to replace the Bible in the modern Western world, in order to save people from ignorant, superstitious religion and help mankind progress into rationality. There's an old saying however that, "In war, the first casualty is truth"; and since this has been a holy war of science against religion, the utility of the theories -- -- -- in other words their ability to replace ignorant, backward religion -- -- -- has been concentrated on more then the actual evidence and the truth of the theories. This is also why there is such emotion and defensiveness about the subject of Darwinism, which today has come to mean the entire agglomeration of theories allegedly giving out our modern scientific explanation for the origin of the world, life and man. Ask for evidence of the Darwinian THEORY and you'll be met with howls of mockery, as if anyone daring to ask for its basis is an evil monster looking to send mankind back to primitive superstition yada yada yada. It's immediately clear on questioning it that it's a belief-system generating as much emotion as any religion, not objective science.
So, in public schools, rather than going over the evidence individual thinkers looked at and how they arrived at their conclusions and the evidence we now have pro and con, we are taught that the earth and the universe is billions of years old, and the material earth has slowly condensed out of a hot immaterial body which perhaps came from the fiery sun in some way, and the same origin is imagined for all the other planets. In such a story, emphasizing the vastness of the planet and its origin in conditions completely inhospitable to life as we know it now, it's practically unavoidable to consider we human beings and all other life on Earth as merely a later accidental appearance on a planet that just happened to cool off sufficiently to be in a state where life could survive. In other words, we human beings become minor characters observing a world that just happens to be there--- negating without even deigning to debate them, the teachings of every world religion, that we human beings are very important figures in a world which is not at all accidental but designed. Instead we are made to picture a great cosmic vessel, the earth, upon which we are, basically, barnacles.If an ideology was deliberately designed to make human beings feel like helpless ants or driftwood, it couldn't have acheived this purpose better.Starman
To Be Continued...