The Storyteller is in Control
Evolution has introduced into science the art of story-telling where the story tellers, rather than the rules of science, are in control. Evolution is a narrative, not an appeal to scientific principles and laws. Evolutionary events are “unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible” in the words of famous evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky. Or as Harvard’s Ernst Mayr wrote, “Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques” for explaining evolutionary events and processes.
Evolution’s rejection of law seems to have translated to, more generally, a loss of principle. Evolutionists, for example, think nothing of tarnishing the good name of all who disagree with them. After all, they are a threat to science and the truth. No matter how accomplished, skeptics can expect discrimination. Blackballing, secret lists and delegitimization are all used to deny academic and professional benefits enjoyed by evolutionists.
Given the immense influence of evolutionary thought, it may not be surprising that this rejection of law goes beyond scientific squabbles. After all, evolution is the most influential theory in areas outside of science, in the history of science. Evolutionary science, whether cosmological or biological, resists the constraints of law, and for centuries we have likewise resisted the laws and principles of the land when inconvenient.
This week presidential hopeful Rick Perry gave an excellent example of this pervasive mode of thought. Commenting favorably on the on-going unlawful surveillance associated with controversial legislation, Perry explained that the law needs to be compromised:
we’ve been a country that always balanced our civil liberties against protecting our citizens. And that’s what this debate is about. But I will always, I will always err on the side of defending our citizens’ safety, but again being very mindful that our civil liberties don’t need to be trampled on. And if there are agencies or people that are abusing that, they need to be held accountable, and use every bit of the power of this country to punish anyone who is using the Patriot Act in a way that is not appropriate. And when I talk about appropriate, we all, I think, understand what I’m talking about here.
Perry, who if elected presumably would take an oath to uphold the law, explains that lawfully protected freedoms must be “balanced” with protections and that he will always make the law subservient to his common sense concerns. For Perry citizens are not guaranteed legal protections and that is appropriate because, after all, we all understand “what I’m talking about here.” Well at least we know that unlawful surveillance isn’t what he is talking about. As with evolution, the narrative trumps the law.
The fact that a presidential candidate would promote this ends-justifies-the-means view illustrates how pervasive it is. For centuries lawfully protected rights and freedoms have been “balanced” for those whom such protections didn’t seem appropriate. With evolutionary thought there is no law.