Edward O. Wilson’s pontificating that “it’s a toss-up” whether St. John the divine was doing hallucinogenic drugs or was a paranoid schizophrenic, is not news. Nor is it news that the Baptist turned deist favors the latter, as he announces with the usual evolutionary hubris in this video. It is all just more evolutionary metaphysics parading as knowledge. But if the media is the message, then the news here is that the Bloomberg financial news service found Wilson’s anti intellectualism to be newsworthy. Bloomberg’s cheerleading of evolutionary big health care at least falls somewhere close to financial reporting. But here, sandwiched between stories about the US economic recovery and the outlook for stocks, we have evolution’s raw religion on display. It’s a “Now for something completely different” moment and Wilson’s Monty Python-esque deadpan arrogance does not disappoint. But for Bloomberg news it’s no joke, and that’s the news.
[2:28] In the case of the book of Revelation, however, it’s a toss-up I think, when you read the ramblings of St. John the divine, on whether he was in fact doing it with hallucinogenic drugs, which was a common practice, even people celebrating ceremonies, religious ceremonies, in more primitive societies, or whether he was a paranoid schizophrenic. I favor the latter. And I’ve talked with psychiatrists who discuss what kind of rambling he did—what kind of dreams he had—they were fantastic, they were jumbled, they were reflective of his likes and hatreds and so on. …
Now I know that recent historical, history-oriented, interpretations of St. John the divine, would like to put it that John was using an elaborate metaphor and symbolic way of attacking Rome, seven, you know, heads, crown heads of the serpent and so on, for the seven Ceasars, and that may be true, it may also be true that John was suffering from the residue of the catastrophe of the destruction of Jerusalem which had occurred only something like 38 years before he wrote the Revelations, that may be very true, but nonetheless it has all the appearance of a paranoid hallucination, and that is I believe the correct way to look at it, rather than to constantly mine it as have evangelical organizations, and others, mine it for deep meaning about the future, the history and future, of humanity.
Religion drives science, and it matters.