And it has been one ever since. The forefathers of the theory of natural selection Darwin and Wallace had been so impressed by rapid social progress during the English Industrial Revolution that was attributed to free market competition, so they declared competition as a universal principle to assure progress in nature. Their opponents dreamed of consolidating feudalistic structures and envied all social progress as it threatens their traditional positions. Those opponents neglected scientific discoveries and social progress and propagated creationism or intelligent design instead. The balance of power between these two camps has held stable for years, but now a third camp significantly gains importance.
The ever growing crew of scholars in university’s ivory towers, who adapt an intermediate position.
Ostensibly, they oppose the unscientific views of creationism but ideologically they are close to it. This scholastic camp comprises well tenured professors in biology who are not at all interested to change the system that feeds them so well. They would not allow for free competition that eventually threatens their position. Instead besides the mandatory fusillades against creationists (they have to convince the taxpayers of their usefulness in the above mentioned balance of power), the main goal is to keep everything unchanged. Some grant application competition here, some cronyism there, but never as challenging questions. For instance the question how all this is related to progress.
Progress for them is a precarious issue, so it is best to sweepingly deny it. They even deny it in evolution which is in stark contrast to the forefathers of evolutionary theory. Wallace and Darwin rather naively believed that natural selection brings about not only genetic adaptation but also progress. That it doesn’t work as easy was welcome news to those scholastics who simply declare evolution is nothing about progress but adaption, but how evolution creates complex organisms, such as mammals, from simple ones, such as bacteria, remains obscure. The same as with creationism.
For those who like graphical representation, the position of the scholastic evolutionary theory, the real scientific evolutionary theory, and creationism is depicted here.
Please also see my blog entry here.
This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.