Junior Ganymede
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Darwin Prophesies the End of the World

February 29th, 2016 by G.

Descent of Man Evolution implies eschatology.

Evolution did not stop with the advent of Man. Technology and culture have upturned the evolutionary environment, but they have not eliminated it. Bad vision doesn’t impede an accountant from toting home juicy prey shanks that he purchased at the supermarket. But an allergy to peanuts or wheat could prove fatal. The mere fact that different human races exists demonstrates that evolution continues, probably in adaptive directions but at least randomly.

Further, evolution has occurred in historical times. Superior Ashkenazi intelligence probably developed during the Middle Ages. During that same time period, the English may have evolved to be less violent on average. Our population is probably right now responding to the Pill to become, we may speculate, more religious, more philoprogenitive, and more impulsive.

Salvation is for humankind. We are made in God’s image. God is of our species. He is and was literally a homo sapiens. He cares for every living thing, but he still recognizes, likely must recognize, a fundamental distinction between animal and man.

As a species evolves, whether randomly or adaptively, it eventually becomes something so different that it can no longer be said to be the same species. Saying that these future creatures would still be considered men because they share a biological lineage with us won’t do. The animals also share a biological lineage with us, but they aren’t men. So if evolution is true, our world must end.

There are two possible counter-arguments. The first is that God is greater than evolution and could perpetually tweak it to keep mankind human. Which is true. It would take a miracle to overcome entropy and keep the world from ending. And in a way, that is exactly the Latter-day Saint position. We do not claim that the world of men will end. We claim that it will go on, because God will miraculously terminate it in its current entropic form and miraculously remake it without decay or death.

The second is to argue that there are natural laws of some kind that prevent evolution drifting too far from a basic human form. Human biology may be wonderfully fit, or else contrary to the assumption and evidence of modern science, nature is embedded with teleology and stops when it has reached its end.

A third counter-argument is to attack the visions which have shown God to be a homo sapiens and to take the Catholic position that God’s “image” merely means rationality. This counter-argument implicitly assumes that rationality itself is not subject to further evolutionary development. Yet ‘fitness’ in the natural world has no necessary connection to progress. Devolution, simplification, and losing capabilities can be as adaptive as their opposites.

The gospel’s vision that our collective mortal existence will someday die is not an arbitrary development of near-eastern religious ideas. It is the logical implication of quasi-scientific speculations like Fermi’s Paradox, of solid scientific theories like evolution, or even of one of the bedrock principles of the universe like entropy.

Originally published in September 2013
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February 29th, 2016 07:26:01
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