Belief Systems; A History in Evolution
Showcasing the impact of evolution theory ,science and religion on individuals beliefs, social structures and systems
The age of enlightenment was a period of change, fuelled by a need for a better life. After the development of modern science, humanity sought to find answers that they believed the church could not provide. The answers propelled humanity forward in reducing ignorance and developing new tools to improve the human condition.
Advancements in biology, physics, and chemistry enabled scientists to probe the very limits of physical reality. Over time science discovered various clues as to how the universe was structured. Discoveries like the sun being in the centre of the solar system, the earth being spherical, and the vast emptiness of outer space were revolutionary in killing ignorance.
People majorly attributed the ignorance to the church, whose teachings and practice spoke of totally different things. The church also had its views on humanity as there were many views back then that tried to discover a way to a better life. The issue people saw with the church was that it would force its views using tyranny to instil fear. The element of tyranny was by echoing statements like; God should not be questioned, all non-Christian will go to hell, and my favourite life will be better after physical death, we will go to heaven after all.
We shall discuss the Latin Church in more detail in another article. These statements caused people to develop a sense of helplessness. Life back then was hard, and people suffered a lot under monarchs and religion. People just wanted a way to improve their lives, wanted to be free, as they did not want to live under condemnation.
The age of enlightenment brought this for most, and it spearheaded the advancement of modern science. Individuals in the age of enlightenment believed in humans being subject to the laws of nature. From this, they tried to discover these laws of nature and how they are structured.
Over the centuries, discoveries were made, that improved human living drastically. Science gave people hope, hope for a better life. The results could be seen and understood to some degree. Diseases stopped being curses, and science offered solutions to even how long people lived. Slowly people started moving away from religion which was not offering solutions but instead was condemning the masses.
Science was curious to discover whether a being called God existed. The issue here was that they could not measure what God was. The concept of God delved too much into the metaphysical and thus was hard to measure. However, even humanity had a metaphysical element but could be measured to some degree, but this being could not.
In the vast emptiness of space where everything seemed chaotic, where was God? Why would He create such a reality? Adding to the issue was the question that popped up after all this, what if He does not exist? Science had built its foundation on questioning everything, and the questions had to be solved. The issue was that separating humanity and the metaphysical was not possible. The metaphysical being in the form of morality, consciousness among others.
The first mistake was the mixing of the metaphysical and a discipline that studies the physical. In this confusion, people asked themselves, where did we come from if God does not exist? An existential crisis imbued.
In the 17th Century, some scientists were interested in nature and had their views on the different species that existed and were in extinction. Things changed when a scientist called Jean- Baptiste Lamarck in the early 18th Century, proposed his theory of the transmutation of species, a Theory of Evolution. People asked if this makes sense in nature, and humans are subject to its laws, then could humans have evolved?
In 1858 Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel proposed their Theory of Evolution, which claimed two different species could share one common ancestor. The theory was revolutionary, and with the discovery of DNA and mutations, it became more mainstream. It received criticism as it did not answer some questions posed to it, however, with evidence backing it up, dug-up fossils revealed more to human history. Advancements in carbon dating showed that humans had been on earth way longer than previously thought, millions of years.
Due to the physical evidence backing it up, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was built upon over the years. Humans became, to most evolutionists, truly an animal, just a different kind. It grew to become not only a theory of origin but a theory of existence. A theory of existence requires you to believe in it, one can argue against this but, it does require some level of faith.
The Theory of Evolution has become a modern belief system that has been incorporated into structures. Human structures had always been based on a hierarchical system. This system, however, is neither bad nor good as it depends on what the criteria for the hierarchy are.
Most human hierarchical systems often have a power-based criterion that builds them. The problem is not the hierarchy itself, not even power, it is how people view and use power itself. Power in itself is neither good nor bad, it just is, like fire, and is every single human’s right. Power is often associated with a tyrannical element but this is corruption, not power. Power in itself is competence, wisdom and being of service.
The challenge after evolution theory was the view of humans as animals and survival of the fittest idea. Humans and life itself as evolving removed the idea of a creator. However, if Evolution did choose in a way, no matter how random, it would mean Evolution itself would be a creator.
Evolution creates a strong case if you look at the physical nature of reality as we sense with the known five senses. The issue with Evolution is that it cannot explain what consciousness is, why it evolved and why it is crucial for experience. Not only that, it fails to explain why humans have it, and theirs is linked to what is called the metaphysical, the unknown.
Evolution is incomplete as humanity are not just animals, they are more and care for things Evolution cannot fully explain. If we were to discover and understand what the metaphysical is and who humans are, concerning this, then the theory would be invalid. The metaphysical exists, and Evolution theory is not valid as it was created based on an incomplete picture. People can agree to this if the truth is shared, right? I believe not.
The issue here is that the theory has made human animals, giving people an excuse to do whatever they want whenever they want, with whomever they want. It again goes back to that same conclusion, so is the Evolution Theory, Science or even Religion the issue? Are belief systems the issue? No, the problem again is the same, a human way to dictate what is right or wrong in their eyes.
If a theory supports this way of life, they will gladly eat it up as a society. If it does not, they will change it to suit their needs, like the Latin Church. The core issue is that most humans "love" to do whatever they want, whenever they want, expecting no consequences, and will even use or change belief systems for this.
In a series of articles, we will explore various concepts of what being human is. We shall delve into history and the metaphysical and offer a different perspective of various human struggles all to show how maladaptive belief systems affect us and make us forget who we are. We are more than animals and are unique beings with a great capacity to heal, love and transform. For this to be achieved, we will need to understand what separates us from animals. In a series of articles on Consciousness and Morality, we shall explore the unique nature of human beings.