Lesson 18- Evolution and Brave New World
I end my last program with a prayer to the Holy Spirit asking Him to renew the earth because it is obvious that many things that we are doing are failing or have outlived their usefulness. It is at time like these that God is challenging us to rethink the situation and to develop new answers to old problems. But in order to do that we have to face the Truth about ourselves by admitting that we have often contributed to the problems through our unwise behavior. The problem is neither Capitalism nor Communism. They are simply systems that we have invented in response to problems arising in human society. It is how we input into these systems that determines whether they contribute to our humanity or whether they detract from it. They both have features that are positive and, at the same time, ones that detract from whom we were meant to be.
Capitalism, as I have pointed out, emphasizes freedom, the individual, personal responsibility, creativity, private property and competition. The Church values all of these qualities so long as they are balanced by order, social responsibility, common values, the sharing of resources, and cooperation which is emphasized by Socialism and Communism. However, it leans a little bit more towards Capitalism because it is based on freedom and the Principle of Subsidiarity which requires that the smallest unit in society that is capable of handling a problem should take responsibility for it whereas in Socialism and Communism the government or some other central authority takes responsibility and control of major areas of people’s lives. In society this principle translates into let shoemakers make shoes, car makers make cars, and let individuals take responsibility for their own lives. In other words, the Church believes that God made us to be free but with freedom comes personal responsibility. It’s a risky theory because, like God, it has to chance that people will use their freedom responsibly. And, if they don’t, they will have to reap what they sow.
Capitalism, because it is free, is the most natural system because it involves Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest. I know that the use of these terms will raise warning signs in the minds of some of my listeners because they are often associated with the theory of evolution which to many people implies that we have evolved from animals. In previous programs I went into this issue in greater detail but I don’t have the time to address it here. If you are interested in learning more about a Catholic view on evolution you can find the 125 programs based on my logic/psychology course on the Internet at logic/psychology.com. This site includes all the audios and written texts of my programs which can be heard and read at the same time. It’s all free and they can be downloaded to your computer. Feel free to recommend them to your friends. For now, I will give a brief synopsis to help any of my listeners who are wary of any reference to things that might be connected to the theory of evolution.
We should not be afraid of the theory of evolution. When Darwin first proclaimed it in his Origin of Species in 1859, the reaction of many Christian churches was twofold: the conservative, fundamentalists, who interpreted the Bible literally, totally rejected it and used their efforts to convince everybody that the earth was only 6000 years old, while the liberal church embraced it and began to undermine the authority of the Bible. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, took a moderate “wait and see” approach because during its 2000 years history it had dealt with many new discoveries, ideas, and theories and knew that time would eventually show what was true and what was not. Jesus, the Truth, had said that there were many things that He had to revealed to His Church but that they were not ready to receive them. However, He would send the Holy Spirit of Truth to guide and teach them all things. In this way, the Church would able to maintain a balance between “faith and reason”, “revelation and science.” Then, through its power of “binding and loosening” it would be able to incorporate the old with the new without undermining the deposit of faith that the Church had received through scripture and tradition. So let’s look at some of the things that we, as Catholics, can accept from the theory of evolution.
First, as I have already mentioned in previous programs, Christian have a linear, progressive view of history which I have called the Judeo/Christian/Linear/Utopian Concept of History. In other word, history is developing towards a perfect society known as the Kingdom of God. Therefore, God must be using a theory of development to take us there.
Second, the philosopher Hegel proposed a dialectical theory based on the competition between a Thesis and Antithesis that resulted in a more advanced Synthesis as the method that God was using to take us to the Ultimate Truth, or Himself.
Third, things can change in either two way: revolutionary or evolutionary. Revolutionary change is fast and chaotic, such as the French Revolution or ? which are born with severe abnormalities. Evolutionary change is slow and orderly in which minor improvements are added on to existing things.
Fourth, Hegel’s theory is a description of evolutionary change and development. Therefore, it is also a description of the theory of evolution. Through it, the imperfections of the present are gradually eliminated and perfected through the challenges of reality or truth. In this way, Truth, or Wisdom, sets us free from our errors and misconceptions and leads us from the Kingdom of Mental Darkness into the Kingdom of Mental Light and Understanding.
Fifth, the scriptures talk of a Refiner’s Fire which, like the dialectic, God uses to burn out the impurities in our souls as the goldsmith uses fire to burn out the impurities in the gold ore.
Sixth, the scriptures and the philosophers of the Church, have always recognized that there is an animal component to our human nature which is related to our flesh and the natural world. In our flesh we share in common with them our organs, hormones, enzymes, passions, drives, and hedonistic desires which impel us to see pleasure as good and pain as bad.
Sixth, the natural world is a self-adjusting order, based on Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest resulting from the competition among species for survival. It is another example of the Hegelian Dialectic in which the existing creature is the Thesis, the challenge resulting from a changing condition in its environment is the Antithesis, and the necessary adjustment to the change is the Synthesis.
Seventh, the laws that govern the natural world are the laws of our God even though they often seem harsh to us. The Church throughout its history has rejected and declared as heresy any theory that suggests, as the early Manicheans and other heretics did, that there are two gods: the Old Testament god, who was evil and created the natural world, and the New Testament god, who was good and the author of the spiritual world. The natural world is merely a stepping stone to the next level, the spiritual world.
Eighth, as Christians, we are called to evolve from the natural to the supernatural level by being “born again.
The natural world was based on laws involving reward and punishment. The spiritual world is based on love and understanding through which the need for reward and punishment are removed because we have developed an understanding heart.
In conclusion, there is much that we find compatible with our Christian faith in the theory of evolutionary development, including the possibility that we are an extension of the animal kingdom. But, since the theory of evolution addresses the question of “how the universe developed” and not “who made it developed or why it was made” we reject any atheistic interpretation based on the assumption that it is accidental and meaningless.
Therefore, both believers and non-believers are saying that the mounting evidence seems to indicate that it is the result of Intelligent Design. That is a theory which we, as Catholic-Christians, can live. Now let me return to my major topic concerning the issues facing us in our current economic crisis.
At present, we are involved in one of those periods in history where reality or truth is reflecting back to us the “errors of our ways.” It is a moment of evolutionary and dialectical change and only those who respond correctly will survive by synthesizing to a higher level by adjusting . God is teaching and refining us right now and, if we can stand the heat, He is ready to move us one step closer to the Kingdom that He wants to exist on earth as it is in heaven. And, as in any dialectical movement, the results will be a combination of the past with the present resulting in an improved future. In more exact terms, it will result in a blending of two contending economic theories, Capitalism and Communism, in which the best in both will be preserved, while what is worst will be eliminated. I have already suggested that it will result in Capitalism on the Macro Level, where we will receive the benefits of freedom and competition, and Communism on the Micro Level, where we will receive the benefits of order and security. In the past, I have used a football team, in which eleven men are cooperating as a team or community in competition with eleven other men who are equally committed to their own group, as an analogy. As Christians we should welcome any system in which good and honest people are asked to compete with evil and dishonest people. Wisdom should always win out over foolishness and, in the process, force the fools to copy Wisdom if they wish to survive.
The major issue is whether we, the people, will go willingly as free intelligent people should, or whether we must be driven by so-called philosopher kings who want to take away our freedom in the name of progress and security. The Church and God say that the ultimate goal of history is “freedom” and, if the Kingdom of God has to be imposed upon us, it is no longer the one intended by God. Capitalism and democracy puts us in control and allows us to force those above us to conform to our wills. Marxists Communism and Socialism puts those above us in control and allow them to force us to conform to their wills. The test that God has put before us now is whether we, the people, are capable of being free or whether we will permit ourselves to be enslaved by those who promise us “bread and circuses”.
Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, predicted that the 21st Century will result in a scientific and technological dictatorship which will never collapse because the rulers will never, as the dictators in the past had, run out of “bread, through welfare programs, and circus, through the myriad technological toys invented to keep us entertained.” Through them we will be so distracted that we wont even realized that we are enslaved.
Here are quotes from some leading Secular Humanists and their plans for a New World Order following by a chilling description taken from Huxley’s Brave New World which describes what an anti-Christ society might really be like. The hallmarks of any anti-Christ society is that it is anti-Wisdom, anti-freedom, anti-crosses, anti-love and anti-God and that is what Huxley described in his book, Brave New World.
The road to responsible freedom is hard and dangerous as the story of Moses and the Hebrews illustrated. They wandered for forty years in the Wilderness of Sin because at every obstacle in their journey to the PromiseLand, a symbol for freedom , they began to complain and wanted to return to the “flesh pots” of Egypt, a symbol for slavery. And that is the crux of the problem facing Humankind. Will we like Esau sell our birthright for a bowl of soup? Will we like the Hebrews in the desert be willing to give up our efforts to reach the Promised Land, which is “flowing with milk and honey”, for the stale, crusty bread of Egyptian slavery? The answer for some secular humanist is “Yes!” because the road to “true freedom” is longer and harder than the “quick fix” of instant slavery. Freedom is too risky and slavery is more certain.
Let me quote a few of these secular humanistic thinkers who yearn to create such a world. These quotes are taken from a book entitled “The New World Order” by Ralph Epperson. Mr. Epperson writes:
...Manley P. Hall, perhaps the world's leading authority on esoteric words and language...wrote in his
book entitled LECTURES ON ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY:
"The time has not yet arrived when the average man is strong enough or wise enough to rule himself...Never will peace reign upon the earth until we are ruled by the fit."
Mr. Epperson continues:
....Another New Ager spokesman, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the "guru" sought out by the rock 'n roll group known as the Beatles has been quoted as saying:
"There has not been and there will not be a place for the unfit. The fit will lead, and if the unfit are not coming along, there is no place for them. In the Age of Enlightenment there is no place for ignorant people. Nonexistence of the unfit has been the law of nature." p.12
And again, Epperson writes:
...Another of the leading spokesmen for the Socialist position was George Bernard Shaw...He wrote a book entitled THE INTELLIGENT WOMAN'S GUIDE TO SOCIALISM, in which he stated:
"I also made it quite clear that Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and under Socialism you would not be allowed to be poor.” You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not the character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might be executed in a kindly manner, but whilst you were permitted to live, you would have to live well." p.15
And a little closer to home, he writes:
B.F.Skinner, chairman of the Psychology Department at HarvardUniversity, in his book entitled BEYOND FREEDOM AND DIGNITY....(wrote):
"We can no longer afford freedom, and so it must be replaced with control over man, his conduct and his culture."
These quotes might remind us of another utopian minded man, named Adolph Hitler, who set out to create a Third Reich that would last for 1000 years and would be people by a Master Race achieved through the elimination of the “unfit” and genetic engineering through selective breeding.”
It has always amazed me how some very liberal-minded intellectuals who are always reminding us of the horrors of the Holocaust fail to recognize its premises in some of the utopian schemes that they support. It reminds me of a statement that I once heard from a very wise woman. She said, “They problem with intellectuals is that they want everything to be perfect.”
In other words, they can’t stand problems, they can’t stand difficulties, they can’t stand “crosses.” In their eyes, the message of the Cross is absurd and so is Jesus’ admonition that “if you want life and you want it fully, pick up your cross and follow Me.” In their eyes perfection is the absence of struggle but in God’s eyes struggle that is the path to perfection. That is why God is the champion of freedom and why the utopians find it to be the greatest obstacle to the creation of their perfect world. Thus, the abolition of freedom is the first things on their agenda because it creates an uncontrollable variable in their plans. Therefore, finding the best way to eliminate or control it is their top priority. Force is a tried and true method but an even better method is to create a willing slave who is psychologically unable to resist. Thus, in Orwell’s book, “1984”, the state tried to get “under the skin” of its members through “mind control” techniques.
However, when it comes to the manipulation of human nature nothing is more chilling than Aldous Huxley’s book, “Brave New World.”If the goal of the Church is to synthesize what is best in Communism and Capitalism, then the goal of its enemies is to synthesize what is worst in both of them. And, that is exactly what Aldous Huxley did in his book “Brave New World.” Huxley comes from a famous secular humanist family and it is surprising that, considering his background, he would write a book that is almost an expose’ of what the worst case scenario might be if secular humanist forces were able to create their version of the New World Order. In fact, the plot and symbolism seems to be based on the prophecies in the Book of Revelation and thus it is also a vivid description of the Kingdom of the Antichrist.
Huxley wrote the book during the Great Depression in 1932 as a prediction of the effect of technology or machinery) on our society if we did not take care about their influence on our mind and values. All cultures have major themes that influence all the other social institutions in the society. Thus, for example, among hunting societies, the training of the children, the religious beliefs, social status, marriage and other social customs are closely connected to hunting. In Huxley's view, the "mass production" techniques developed by Henry T. Ford in his assembly lines would become the social theme in a technological society. Thus, birth, sex, marriage, child rearing, and human development and relationships would all be affected by the “mass production” and “quality control” techniques of technology.
In Brave New World, God or the Lord would be replaced by Our Ford (or in psychological matters by Our Freud - a reference to the impact of Sigmund Freud's theories on the mind of twentieth century man). Children would be produced on assembly lines and trained by Pavlovian conditioning to serve as cogs in the social machinery. Sex would become a recreational activity that would be separated from any feeling or commitment to the sex partner and would be totally separated from reproduction. Emotions, because they are free and spontaneous, would be outlawed and controlled by chemical "soma pills" (happiness pills) a legalized drug that children would be taught to take whenever life presented any difficulty. Anxiety, pain, and individuality would be outlawed in Brave New World. Children would be raised by the state to think and feel in the ways necessary to keep society operating. The leaders of Brave New World had discovered the technique of "soft slavery" which keeps the population under control by eroding away their sense of personal identity and responsibility.
Although much of the technology to bring about such a world was absent in 1932, recent discoveries in the field of genetics and chemical mood changers have created a condition in which such a world might be possible. Even more frightening, are the changes in our attitudes since 1932 that correspond to those found in Brave New World. Such a world would emphasize "order" at the expense of "freedom"; "other control" in place of "self control".
As I already mentioned, much of Huxley's book seems to be related to the prophecies contained in the Book of Revelations in the New Testament of the Bible. In this book, it tells of the end of the world, when, following a great economic collapse, war, disease, and plagues, Humankind turns over their freedom to an Antichrist system ruled by a beast with ten heads (there are ten World Controllers in Brave New World). One of the World Controllers name is Mustapha Mond. In the play Faust, the devil's name is Mesistopholes. Christianity has been outlawed, church has been replaced by community sings, and all the crosses have been turned into “T’s”, honoring Henry T. Ford, by having their tops cut-off.
The book opened with a tour of a "baby factory" where babies were being developed in bottles on an assembly line.
The Director was telling the students how babies are created. He showed them a conveyor belt in a sub-basement that was three stories high. On the belt were large bottles containing human babies at various stages of development. He explained that these babies were conceived through “in vitro” fertilization through sperm provided by the males and eggs provided by females who were encourages to volunteer them with the promise of a six-month bonus. The eggs and sperm were placed in a warm soup like liquid where fertilization took place. Each egg was examined for defects and those that passed inspection were placed in a large bottle lined with a uterus taken from a pig. A blood solution was introduced for nutrition and the bottle was placed on the conveyor belt where it would travel from the sub-basement to the top in nine months. At that point, they would be taken from the bottle or decanted.
However, the Director explained, they were not satisfied with just creating babies. They had a process called Bokanification through which a single fertilized egg could be cloned into 96 identical twins. When one of the students asked why the leaders would want to do this, the Director said, "My good boy! Can't you see? Bokanovsky's Process is one of the major instruments of social stability! Standard men and women in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed with a single bokanoskified egg. Ninety six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines." He quoted the planet motto."Community, Identity, Stability." Grand words. If we could bokanify indefinitely the whole problem would be solved. Solved by standard Gammas, unvarying Deltas, uniform Epsilons. Millions of identical twins. The principle of mass production at last applied to biology."
But even this was not enough. They manipulated and predestined every developing child for some specific function that would serve the state. There was a class structure consisting of Alpha, Betas, Delta, Epsilons, and Gammas. The Alpha and Betas were predestined to be leaders while the others, in descending order, were destined to do the more menial jobs. To make sure that they were suited for the task that the state had assigned them, each, during their embryonic development on the conveyor belt, was subjected to genetic and behavior modification designed to shaped them to fit into the part of the social machinery for which they were predestined. The Director explained how the oxygen supply to each child was adjusted to decrease their development to the level necessary for their role. When one of the students was foolish enough to ask, "But why do you want to keep the embryo from developing?" The Director said, "Ass!" Hasn't it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment as well as an Epsilon heredity?" "The first organ affected was the brain. After that, the skeleton. At seventy percent of normal oxygen, you get dwarfs. At less than seventy: eyeless monsters."
Then he went on to explain how they used heat conditioning to predispose the developing child to like the climate for which he was predestined.
The Director explained, "Heat-conditioning. Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Coolness was connected to pain in the form of hard X-rays. By the time they were taken from the bottle, the embryo had a horror of the cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to be miners and acetate silk spinners and steelworkers. Later on their minds would be trained to match the feelings of their bodies.We condition them to thrive in the heat", he said. "Our nurseries upstairs will teach them to love it. And that," said the Director, "is the secret of happiness and virtue: liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable destiny or fate.”
My department head at my last school was a good Christian woman who, because she was single, was able to travel the world each summer visiting foreign lands. She spent a number of weeks in Communist China where she was able to review their educational system. She was very impressed with the schools that she saw. At the end of her visit, the Chinese teachers asked her to sum up the goals of our educational system. She gave a fifteen minute talk about helping each individual child to develop his or her own potentials so they could set goals for their lives. When she had finished she asked one of their teachers to give a talk on the goals of their educational system. He stood up and in fifteen seconds explained that the goal of their educational system was to train the child to serve the state.
The reality of this was made clear when I interview one of my students from Communist China who was so advanced in mathematics when she arrived in the ninth grade that we didn’t have a course that could challenge her. She eventually took advanced calculus courses at DrexelUniversity where she scored A+. I didn’t teach her until the 12th grade, and being curious about her life in China, I decided to video tape an interview with her. When I asked her if they had schools comparable to our Middle or Junior High School, she said “Yes!” “Were they co-educational?” “Yes!” “Did they have dances and proms as we do? “No!, she said, “Because their job at that time was to be educated.” “Did they have coeducational high schools?” “Yes!” “Did they have dances and proms as we do? “No! Because their job at that time was to be educated,.” “Well,” I asked, “When do male and female students interact socially?” “Not until they are finished their education” she answered matter-of-factly. “Well,” I asked, “When did you mother and father meet each other and decided to get married? “After they had finished their college education.” At this point, I was very impressed with the discipline and wisdom of their system when compared to ours where my students told me that sex began in the fifth grade. Then she added that her parents didn’t live together for the first two years because the state assigned them to jobs that were two thousand miles apart. “Well, how were you born with your parents being separated by two thousand miles?” “It took them two years, but they kept trading positions with other workers who wanted to move where they were, until they were together again.” Such are the results when the serving the state becomes the major function of one’s life. That, by the way, is what the Principle of Subsidiarity is all about. It’s about personal growth and development at the lower and personal level of society by having people accept the challenges and crosses that God sends them to actualize hidden potentials within them.
I will have more to say about Brave New World in my next program because I see that my time is up. However, I want you to consider how much we have moved towards the premises of Brave New World since it first appeared in 1932. There was a Great Depression then which Huxley saw as the necessary conditions for having people accept the soft slavery that it offered. We are now facing a similar depression and the question is whether this is the one that will push many of us over the top.