Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Evolution Of The "Evolution Narrative"

Here's the/a/one, common, conventional schema:

Here's another, less common, far more accurate, version:

As HL Mencken remarked: For every problem there is a single, simple answer, and it is wrong. The point, of course, is that evolution is not one singular, simple narrative, and that humans are not the epicenter of it anyway. Evolution is a remarkably complex system, and humanity --"Man"-- is not necessarily (or even likely) its ultimate expression.

Which is the thing that pisses off the Xianist/Biblicalist/Theocrats more than anything else, I think. In the main, I think, they so vehemently reject environmentalism because they see it as retributive payback to the secular world for rejecting their "god."

My thanks, again, for the Nth time, to arch-atheist and science-blogger PZ Myers at Pharyngula, who links to the possibility that, we had to name a genre for the story of life, it would be a "soap opera." Myers writes
Both have lots of characters and story lines, every one full of anguish and drama, some ending happily (for a while), others ending miserably; individuals come and go, they get their brief period in the spotlight, then poof, everything moves on to the next big new event. There is no one grand goal for the ensemble, just a series of overlapping dramas, some ridiculous, some mundane, and the vehicle to tie them all together is usually something commonplace — a town or a hospital, for instance — and stories can abandon that unifying premise freely. And it never ends

Viva "General Hospital!"


Ruth said...

We're seeing a lot of the supremacist theory at play these days in stimulus bill discussion. Those People getting out from under the beatings of the executive branch absolutely threatens a lot of the wingers. Hopefully, they will evolve - in the sense that their descendants will be different.

Anonymous said...

Funny, over 150yrs the fossil record still shows there is a missing link. Not just ONE, but ALL links between species are missing......and then there is the Cambrian Explosion. Darwins attempt to replace God with an image of a tree should have been more like individual blades of grass. Not theories, just what the facts have shown now for a really long time.. Evo-of-knowledge