From God's humanization to Neo-Darwinism (ESOTERICISM EPISTLES - VI)
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From God's humanization to Neo-Darwinism (ESOTERICISM EPISTLES - VI)
God's humanization, vulgarization of the spiritual aspect. Creationism. The theory of the divine project. Neo-Darwinism
20 th September 2007 - Athos A. Altomonte writes:
I would like to continue on the way that leads to the distinction between the ideas of ‘universal thought' and ‘multidimensional thought'. But I decided to give priority to a particular statement by Giuseppe Barbone, who acted for me as a launching pad towards a new horizon.
‘The Truth eternally vibrates outside and inside us, one must be able to read it. It is not possible to read a musical score without knowing music' : since I don't have any elements pro or con this statement, I can't do anything but make an ethical consideration.
Nevertheless I consider this thought highly desirable. Obviously I belong to the category that can't read the ‘score of life'. So much so that I can't recognize any Truth in it that deserves a capital ‘T'. I can only see realities of different calibers, to whose welfare or benefit we only participate marginally. Otherwise, we wouldn't have such a criminally suicidal attitude towards ourselves and the life of the planet.
I don't feel the vibration of Truth inside myself either; perhaps some appreciable intuition for the ‘ microcosmic dwarfs' that we are. What I feel vibrating inside and outside are my realities, which are true for me. But outside myself my truths go back to being what they are: personal opinions, perhaps shareable but still debatable, interchangeable and variedly interpretable. If it wasn't so, it would mean to have reached a degree of universal understanding. Whilst we are only a huge pile of emotional dust, a planetary mixture of polarizations of different consciences, never completely decipherable. And if it wasn't so, this time it would mean to have reached both the apex and antapex of ourselves, as single individuals and as humankind. But since both goals are far from being achieved, my intellectual honesty drives me to feel closer to the human meanness rather than to the centrality of Children of God.
But let's talk about what opened a wide horizon for me to reflect. The presence of God and creation. Giuseppe writes ‘…the truth in its perfection keeps perfecting itself, God, perfect being, grows in perfection…' .
First of all we must get rid of the oxymoron (*) that something perfect can be subject to further perfecting. Since there isn't a greater or lesser perfection, there are two options: the subject has reached perfection and therefore it is not perfectible any more, or it is still subject to perfecting, therefore it is not perfect yet. But to the purpose of my reasoning the oxymoron doesn't really matter, since I look beyond and above the concept.
(*) Oxymoron from Greek ox oxýmoron , from oxýs, sharp and morós, dull. Stylistic procedure consisting of placing terms of contradictory meaning in the same expression; for example an eloquent silence.
The idea of a transcendent Entity subject to perfecting itself in the immanence of the human virtues is a typical product of the creationist thought, which fights to survive the evidence like a stranded whale.
In the oldest elaboration the idea of supreme Entity was abstract and respectful of a plan considered unreachable by the human thought. In the first oral traditions of the Veda the supreme Entity was defined ‘without clothes' (without shape) and in the following Rig Veda , highlighting the idea of impenetrability it was defined ‘The man of which nothing can be said'.
It is the neutral Brahma or Brahman, supreme principle, impersonal therefore unknowable, animator of the universe from which all is emanated and all returns, incorporeal, immaterial, not born, eternal, without end or beginning. It must not be confused with Brahamà, the male essence (male in cosmogony means fire of will), Creator of the Pantheon that cyclically disappears (like night) and reappears (like day) after regenerating itself. This reminds me of a passage of the Masonic ritual, where it is said that the workers are led from work to recreation and from recreation back to work.
The two stages, the emanation of the universe called the ‘Brahamà day' and its retirement called the ‘Braham night' both last 4,320,000,000 years and they are produced by its breath, the only attribute comparable to the human sphere.
Like in other cosmogonies, even mythological ones, deities worked as mediators between men, of which they showed all characteristics, and a plan unknowable to men. But these forms of abstract and intelligent respect started fading with Hebrew mysticism, when its creator, Moses, humanized the supreme Entity recognized from the start as an impersonal non-Principle and therefore unknowable, animator of the universe from which all is emanated and all returns incorporeal, immaterial, not born, eternal, without an unknowable end or beginning.
Ehjeh ‘Aser ‘Ehjeh, (I am Him who is). A Unique God, this time, opposed to the polytheistic plethora, but three-fold, where three divine aspects were concentrated on one ‘person'. The idea of multiplicity remained, but the number had decreased. In this ‘I am' there was the seed of his materialization. What contributed to degenerate the idea of an Entity of pure abstraction was the denomination (that not all of his followers have taken) God, which was soon perceived as Of Me (in the sequence of me, mine, me - see note 1). This has made it similar to the image of man, personal and strangely carnal. God indubitably reveals himself as a God in the image of a physical man, therefore with the role of antithesis. Therefore it is not the spiritual body to be the ‘materialized' image of the supreme Entity, but he becomes the physical body of man.
As a consequence God has the configuration of a man. Simply another folly of ‘his guardians' who consecrate this human image that doesn't have any correspondence with the original perfection. Nevertheless, the image of a tragically apocalyptic Divinity, full of pain and suffering, resists in the collective imagery, despite Jesus, who indicated him as Love, Forgiveness and Compassion.
Luckily, this tragically humanized God is only an invention made to turn him into an instrument of power from a caste that expected ‘tithes' (today it is called protection money) on every public earning, compiling social, alimentary and behavioral rules, disciplining to their own images (Jesus called the hypocrite Pharisees, priests of the Sanhedrin ‘white sepulchers') every public and private activity. They turned him into an ‘instrument of death'. God of the Armies of a people that called itself ‘the only elected'*, ready to march with them against ‘common enemies', bringing back to light the worst superstitions of the previous Moloch.
This ‘religious delirium' has been passed on into the three monotheistic branches born with Abraham. Hebrew, catholic and Islamic religious without common sense or shame move miserable parts of the humankind, spreading the idea of God as an instrument of death, leading them to spiritually massacre themselves whilst physically exterminating their enemies.
* marginally, I'd like to mention that in this world there's no people that doesn't think it's superior, unique or God's favorite. This makes me think to a form of reversed democracy: where everybody is special, nobody is special!
I can't say for sure if a superior Being peeps and judges me from behind the manifested cosmos, but I can feel inside me the existence of a spiritual dimension; although it is alien and distinct from the mud of the professionals of faith.
I imagine the world and the universe as chaos in search of order, like any man who has matured a healthy intellect wishes to improve himself and the little space where he lives and that surrounds him. In this we will run along with ‘mother nature', itself anything but perfect, for which I can only wish that after various selections will learn better to play its role. Provided that man doesn't manage to throw a spanner in the works, not eliminating it but eliminating himself, because the planet can suffer quite a lot more than the little damages that perhaps one day will kill us.
But leaving aside the consequences (by now present) of the ecological catastrophes looming over us, I'd like to continue the distinction between religious convictions and scientific evidence.
The creationist thought of the Western culture has moved its steps from the literal interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, whose notions have been actualized by the recent attempt from the theo-con (especially Americans) to save them from the irrationality of its own contradictions (in order to bring them back in the scholastic didactic from which they had been excluded), changing their parameters and making them simile to a pseudo-scientific theory called ‘divine project'. Nevertheless they haven't been able to overcome the evidence brought by neo-Darwinism.
At this point it looks like any possibility of a reasonable confrontation between thesis and antithesis, between the religious and scientific poles has been closed; we are back to the old fight of a faith that sees itself superior to any objective examination. They defend ‘essential truths' that clash with indubitable evidences. They defend the gaps of their truth saying that they are ‘metaphors'. They should explain publicly, once for all, if they are metaphors or, as they say when they are alone with nobody to confute it, that they are the Word of God.
In this ambiguity between public and private, the creationist thought has become a giant with clay feet. The first ‘truth', that of creation, is the first to fall.
The discovery of fossils dated millions of years ago, for example, tells us that the first signs of life were well beyond the 6,000 years mentioned in the Bible, or that Sunday of 4,800 years, result of the ‘ very precise calculation' , as it has been called, by an eminent theologian. Still a metaphor or Word of God?
But let's talk about Eve, which is not the female partner of a couple with white skin made to the image, we assume, of a white race God, an image only for whites that for centuries has provided an alibi for the slavery and the killing of 250,000,000 (two hundred fifty millions) of native Americans. They said that black people were not mentioned in the Bible because they didn't have a soul.
It's a shame to delude the extremists of the white supremacy but the former Eve, mother from whom we all descend, was a black African who lived 460,000 years ago. And the certainty comes from the mitochondrial DNA test (*) that is transmitted unaltered by the maternal side and that makes her presence at that time certain.
We know that the mitochondrial DNA's resistance to time is about that of the former Eve and this gives the idea that what today we consider Eve might in actual fact be the extreme ramification of a previous evolutionary lineage; therefore she could be the last exemplary of her predecessors, who might go back to older times.
This destroys the idea of a ‘world' created in seven days a few thousands years ago. But science doesn't only explain times and selections. The haematic DNA test demonstrates without doubt the first migratory lineages of that group, who lived in Africa and of which we still carry the signs in our blood.
The group which we come from became migratory to escape glaciations. Since they were hunters it is quite natural that they followed animals, since they were both looking for nourishment. Vast migrations were possible because many lands, which are today separated, were joined by ice blocks. Therefore glaciations originated the long movement of the humankind through continents, leading the different groups to adapt to different habitats, selecting changes that have affected their features up to producing the racial differences that we all see today.
The first trace of the journey carried out by the original group has been found in the blood of the villagers in the south of what is today India . Then, surprisingly, among the Australian aborigines (but the part of sea that separated the two continents wasn't what it is today).
In India the group obviously separated; the second went towards the actual Mongolia , from which they went up towards Europe (we are talking about travels occurred during hundreds of thousands of years) where the Cro-Magnon deprived of power the evolutionary line of Neanderthal . Through Alaska they populated America , starting with the Red Indians, among which the Navaho seem to be those who preserve the most signs of their African predecessors.
Today in our DNA we preserve the mixtures that followed in the long intertwining of human groups descending from the first African branch. Our journey is that of our ancestors, which will continue in the future generations.
For this reason, our blood is the most reliable Book of the humankind.
(*) Mitochondrial DNA
With the progress of genetic technology, it has been discovered that DNA is a precious treasure for the scientists of human evolution, since it is preserved unaltered.
In this field of research it has been ascertained that mitochondrial DNA is transmitted via maternal side to the children (male and female), on the contrary of the nuclear DNA that derives from both parents. What characterizes the mitochondrial DNA is its property of ‘molecular clock' that allows to go back to the genealogy of each individual following only the maternal lineage.
To support this theory, we can mention the studies by Bryan Sykes , professor of human genetics at the university of Oxford , which, together with his staff, has re-built the most complete genealogical tree of the human species thanks to the huge amount of information on DNA.
Mitochondria are tiny structures present in every cell. They are not in the nucleus, the small cellular compartment that encloses chromosomes, but outside, in what is called cytoplasm. Their function is to help the cells using the oxygen to produce energy. The more the cell is metabolically active, the more energy is needed and the higher the number of mitochondria it contains. The cells of active tissues such as muscles, nerves and the brain can contain up to a thousands mitochondria each.
Deep down in the center of each mitochondrion there is a little fragment of DNA, a mini-chromosome long just 16,500 couples of bases; really tiny if compared to three billion bases of chromosomes in the nucleus! The discovery of the existence of DNA in mitochondria was a great surprise, also because these molecules are very particular. For a start the double helix of this DNA is circular. Bacteria and other microorganisms have circular chromosomes, on the contrary of multi-cellular organisms, such as man. The following surprise was that the genetic code of the mitochondrial DNA is slightly different from that used in the chromosomes of the nucleus; mitochondrial genes code for the enzymes that catch the oxygen and that carry out their activity inside this organelles. In any case, many genes that regulate the functioning of mitochondria are strongly placed in the chromosomes of the nucleus.
How did mitochondria form? It is thought that once upon a time they were independent bacteria which, hundreds of millions of years ago, invaded advanced cells installing themselves into their cytoplasm. We might call them parasites or we could say that their relationship with the cells is a symbiotic one, where both cells and mitochondria have a function useful to both.
22 nd September 2007 - Antonio D'Alonzo writes:
First of all we must remember that Darwin wasn't the real founder of evolutionism, but rather its most brilliant theorist, the man who brought the theory the most crucial and decisive resolutions. The debate on transformation had already started with Maupertuis and Buffon, who supported the derivation of species from a limited number of primitive species through processes of epigenesis (or ‘metamorphism' ), polemicizing with the ‘fixist' theories by Linnaeus on the immobility of the species created by God. The metamorphist theory found valuable interpreters in Robinet and Bonnet, but most of all in Lamarck, who stated the importance of the environment for the transformation of the living species. Metamorphism was supported by Saint-Hilaire and Charles Lyell as well; but especially the philosopher Herbert Spencer stated the importance of the principle of ‘survival of the fittest' among the living species in the instance of changed environmental conditions. Spencer published an article in 1852 on the magazine Leader , called The Development hypothesis.
On the origins of the species by means of natural selection by Charles Darwin was published only in 1859; although we must remember how the English scientist had been working for years at the evolutionary theory. Darwin talks about a proper ‘natural selection' for the strongest and most resistant individuals of the various living species, able to transmit the ‘winning' characteristics to the next generations and to contribute to a proper improvement of the species. The existing species have not been created by God, but they evolved from a few primitive species. But it is especially in his explanation of the human origin of anthropomorphic monkeys that Darwin clashes with the Church. In the Genesis the creatures of the earth and the human beings are created directly from God in the sixth day; how could they accept man's descent from monkeys without questioning the whole theological structure of Christianity?
Darwinism had great success, in particular with the theory of ‘natural selection' but it was often used by ‘bad masters' who used it to spread racial, social and ethnocentric theories inside totalitarian plans aimed at imposing the right of the ‘strongest'. The theorists of racial Darwinism have never reflected deeply on how the markers of superiority of a race are not natural but geo-cultural. Likewise economic differences can't be explained with the theory on the success of the ‘most deserving', since there is disparity in the distribution of resources to start with. Ethnologic Darwinism as well, which considers history as a kind of ‘railway' journey broken by the same stations, has been soon confuted by the consideration that the different human groups don't walk along the same historical development and that there isn't an indefinite and universal progress applicable to all ethnic groups. Indeed, the western society can be superior to another under the technological point of view, but it will be inferior from an ethical point of view (in some cases also from an aesthetic point of view).
Furthermore, evolutionism was not only used as a theoretical platform for racial or ethnocentric doctrines, but – as in the instance of Marxism – it was also used to guarantee the redemption of oppressed people and the end of oppression. By accentuating the most properly ‘evolutionary' aspect – history aimed at a goal – on the ‘selective' one, Marxism postulates that history will naturally produce an equalitarian society. It is only a matter of finding the way to accelerate an event that will occur anyway. After all, evolutionism seems to be founded on the same Judaic-Christian idea that history is not a continuum lacking a meaning destined to return in the senselessness of circular time, but that it is led by a superior goal to the final redemption of the oppressed people (socialism), towards salvation (the return of Christ or the Messiah), towards the total domination of nature (scientific positivism).
The twentieth century, with its war disasters and the fall of ideologies, has disproved this optimistic eschatology. With Shakespeare we started thinking that history doesn't have any sense but it's only ‘ a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.'
In this new cultural atmosphere certain aspects of Darwinism were interpreted differently, in particular it was questioned the idea of natural selection as a process oriented to the triumph of the ‘stronger' or the ‘best'. After all, how to explain the extinction of dinosaurs, real masters of the earth until sixty five million years ago?
In the evolutionary fight it is not sufficient to be the strongest or the best members of one's own species: the Neanderthal man was much stronger and resistant than the Homo sapiens sapiens.
In neo-Darwinism the accent is on the casualness of selective processes, proper ‘clumsy attempts' of the natural selection to adjust the structure in process. No divine Planner could have ever conceived such an original structure. In the eighties, from the meeting of embryology and Darwinism the neo-Darwinian ‘new synthesis' was born. In neo-Darwinism of the ‘new synthesis' convey molecular genetics of development (in particular the theories on biological heredity and on the genetic mutations by G. Mendel), cytology, paleontology, botany, systematics, plus the ‘old' Darwinian theory. The supporting fulcrum of neo-Darwinism is the casualness with which genetic mutations are produced; chance doesn't only exclude the possibility of a goal extrinsic to history, but also the possibility of a creator.
Starting from the nineties, in the United States the theory of the Intelligent Design spread, aimed at assimilating evolutionism with the possibility of a transcendent plan.
According to the creators of Intelligent Design , evolution doesn't happen casually, but it responds to an intelligent plan that denotes the possibility of particular divine interventions in history. But intelligent Design is a purely theoretical elaboration, without any scientific fundaments. As R. Dawkins writes (see new atheism ) the evolution by natural selection is an economical way of generating life, which doesn't require any divine intervention.
In The Creation , Peter Atkins writes that a God who wanted to organize nature to make it self-sufficient shouldn't do absolutely anything. In conclusion, it springs to mind the ironic argument used by Nietzsche to dismiss faith in God: ‘if really there was a God, he would have manifested himself during the centuries. Nearly two thousand years of Christianity and still no sign of him!'
(1) In Italian the word ‘God' translates with ‘Dio', which is a contraction of ‘di io' ( of me ).