Darwin was (Plenty) Wrong, while Lamarck’s now Resurrected,
"Faith Healing" and What that Means to You
It is a well-known LIE common among the simple-minded that so-called "soft sciences" like sociology, psychology, human-goal attainment, etc. are subject to far greater change than that taking place in the hard sciences. The soft-sciences have long been considered ever-shifting ground compared to “hard science” explanations of how the world works. Of course, that's totally bogus, a lot more change takes place in the hard sciences a lot faster.
Till relatively recently, biology and especially genetics, had been considered a semi-soft science. There were the experiments of Gregor Mendel pubished in 1866; and before that there was Darwin’s book “The Origin of the Species published in 1859, the year before Lincoln’s election and little else had changed. Darwin’s ideas were considered more troubling because they dealt with life capable of movement (animals and apes and men); but Mendel’s was actually relatively hard science that could be replicated by observers. Darwin’s “Natural Selection” (largely sexual selection) misnamed by the press as “Survival of the Fittest” was, after all, only a theory.
In fact, however, biologic theory has also galloped apace. There came in the late 19th and early 20th century discovery of chromosomes and genes and much later DNA. Today biology is considered a much harder science and genetics (with the publishing of the human genome) is by most of the great unwashed all wrapped up into a neat little package called “bio-tech” which definitely sounds like a hard, hard science to the point of virtually being an industrial art so that the term “designer genes” has become much more than a play on words. Rajjpuut, to that says, slow down, Pilgrim, slow down.
It turns out today, however, that in many respects biology, as a hard science, is going back to the drawing board. For one thing, Charles Darwin in his later writings said that he regretted having given nature (meaning “genetics” -- the word genetics didn’t exist in his time) too much credit and to have sorely underestimated the effects of nurture and the environment in shaping life. Wow, the misnomer term “survival of the fittest” in popular thinking certainly sounds like a “struggle,” a battle just to live and then above that a struggle to ensure survival by living long enough and fighting hard enough to overcome others in unrelenting battle and viola! to mate . . . and yet the great Darwin is saying, "I didn’t give the environment enough credit." Think on that, if you want to disappear down Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole . . . the fittest by genetics isn't necessarily the fittest overall and nurturing "group dynamics" and nature itself play a greater role . . . Rajjpuut has often insisted the greater truth might be "Survival of the Luckiest," surely Darwin didn't mean that?
As it turns out from the more recent ideas placed into mathematical form by a scientist named John Nash (Nobel Prize Winner and the subject of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”) now-a-days extrapolated into biology and even evolutionary theory, cooperation (including nurturing) seems to be every bit as important to survival and reproduction of the individual and the group as fierce competition does. Survival of the most blessed? Most beloved?
And then there is the amazing fact that the scientists (virtually all of them men until the last fifty years) did what women are often accusing men of doing: they thought (figuratively) with their gonads and not with their brains. Or, more precisely, they put the center of control (and dare Rajjpuut say, “intelligence”) in a living cell (the smallest indivisible unit of life itself) in the cell nucleus. As it turns out, that idea from our high school biology classes is totally wrong: the center of cell intelligence is their external membranes where they interact with the world and the cell’s nucleic areas are actually predictably enough “the gonads” of the cell.
More importantly, for the thinking populace, knowing about all these recent changes in the field of biology, we can now examine a little idea published in 1867 which was nothing more or less than highly emphasized “survival of the fittest” extrapolated onto the societies of man himself in a poorly conceived book published in 1867 “Das Kapital” subtitled “a critique of political economics” by Karl Marx with large chunks of editing by Friedrich Engels. Marx said specifically, he intended to make a science of understanding human economy as related to politics and to reveal to the world an understanding of the evolution of political-economic life forms. He began at what he called the “cell” level and worked his way continually broader from there until he was talking about the “struggle for existence” between capital and labor (the business owner and the worker). Marx postulated a survival of the fittest occuring between economic-political systems across the broad sweep of history all around the world, never ceasing. He raked capitalism over the coals and talked about the benefits of socialism which would definitely outlast and defeat capitalism and eventually the final triumphant result of all these political-economic systems battling away over time: tah, dah! creation of the communist utopia where “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” had replaced the barbaric animal exploitation and battling which Marx claimed was the fundamental fact propping up all capitalism.
Marx, of course, never paused to see all the co-operation necessary for capitalist entities to grow and prosper, the subject of this brief and poignant essay . . . .
And the enablers of Marx throughout modern history, the Keynesian economists who advocate inflation as a most useful tool for governments (actually, it turns out, only for totalitatian governments) also have overlooked tranquility and cooperation in their understanding of the world of real micro- and real macro-economics . . . put even more briefly . . . .
And summed up into a whole consistent theory here:
Returning from Marxism based upon the ill-conceived "survival of the fittest" notions, it now appears that strange Frenchman our high school teachers used as a strawman in postulating the FACT of EVOLUTION based upon Darwin’s work, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was possibly much more right than Darwin was and he was right almost sixty years before Darwin’s book. His speech of May 11, 1800, at the Paris Natural History Museum set forth Lamarck’s theory of evolution which was every bit as systematic as Darwin’s was but earlier and included soft-evolution as part of the process. When we were kids, the biology profs made fun of Lamarck saying that according to him if you cut off the tails of two mice and bred them . . . of course their offspring would NOT be tailless so Lamarck was an utter fool . . . and continuing on with a lot of such nonsense that, naturally, a close reading of Lamarck shows he never said or meant. Lamarck, like Darwin, made mistakes but he was first, and today's up to the minute science may actually be proving, he was actually better.
Lamarck, coming much earlier than Darwin and living in mostly religiously-orthodox France rather than more worldly Britain as Darwin did, was the object of much hate and derision. Despite all this he stuck by his guns and remained true to evolution. Lamarck stressed two main themes in his biological theories. First, it was the environment which gives rise to changes in animals. He cited examples of blindness in moles, the presence of teeth in mammals and the absence of teeth in birds as evidence of this principle. Secondly, life is structured in an orderly manner and that many different parts of all bodies make it possible for the organic movements of animals. Thirdly, the whole process is the result most usually of great, great amounts of time. Although he was not the first thinker to advocate organic evolution, he was the first to develop a truly coherent evolutionary theory. He outlined these theories regarding evolution first in his Floreal lecture of 1800, and then in three later published works:
- Recherches sur l'organisation des corps vivants, 1802.
- Philosophie Zoologique, 1809.
- Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertèbres, (in seven volumes, 1815-1822)
It now appears that Lamarck was largely correct, that the environment (as Darwin said in the last years of his life -- and which obviously includes nurturing) is a much more prominent cause of evolution than recent thinking led us to believe; and that Darwin was wrong about the role of savage competition as the single largest driving force in shaping evolution, to wit cooperation within a group and even cooperation within the environs themselves play a much greater role than Darwin might ever have conceived. And for those of you who read our first link above (the little "I, Pencil" essay) it definitely appears that Marx totally missed the boat, basing his ideas upon Darwin’s faulty model of evolution and the faulty term “survival of the fittest,” he created a winner-take all model in which only the ends mattered, the end totally justified the dialectical-materialism to come. That is the world that Barack Obama was raised in, courtesy of his mother Stanley Ann Dunham and his grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, and his birth-father Barak without a 'c' Hussein Obama, Sr. and that world view (where the glorious state can seriously consider 100% taxes**) is finally and inalterably proven wrong here and now.
For more on the biological background in a format accessible to the layman: try (Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.’s book “The Biology of Belief” which received “The Best Science Book of 2006” award, one of several stimulating works tying cooperative evolution, quantum-physics and psychology together. In a certain sense, we have returned to square one: “it is done unto us, in accordance with our faith.” Of course, now it’s possible to say that faith has a scientific explanation . . . and that evolution is no longer a theory, but a provable fact and they're both part of God’s Design. And, yes, there is clear scientific evidence of the power of faith healing, placebos, and medical miracles of the sort that certainly until now were not considered "hard science." It's all akin to the History Channel showing from translators that the term "Red Sea" was a mis-translation and that it just meant a big river of the time and then going to the river in question and finding tons of ancient military artifacts such as chariots and shields and swords and finding out about an earthquake that took place at the time. Where does faith leave off and science begin? Why not enjoy both? What an amazing world we live in!
Ya’ll live long, strong and ornery,
** as shown here at the link below, in the words of Barak Obama, Sr. but not mentioned in his son's first autobiography "Dreams from My Father" what the real dreams of his father were . . . .