Running With Hares and Hunting With Hounds
The English proverb, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” refers to someone who chooses to hold two contradictory or opposing positions. Someone who lives and embraces a contradiction tries to eat his cake, yet still hold it in his hands. Someone “dumb and dumber”, in other words, or someone fundamentally dishonest.
Yet our world is awash with such destructive contradictions. Take the following, for example: if we were to ask, Is there such a “thing” as a universal human being–that is, a distinct creature found in the world that is distinct from and superior to all other life forms–the resounding answer would be in the affirmative. The notion of universal human rights asserts it to be the case. The science of genetics insists upon it.
But, on the other hand, it is also widely believed and taught that human beings came into existence by means of an evolutionary process–which necessarily implies that some human beings are more advanced in being than others. That further implies that some humans are more human than others.
Historian A. N. Wilson rolls the dice on the doctrines of Charles Darwin in this regard:
The easy way in which Darwin assumes the superiority of Northern and Western and white human beings to those of other climates and hemispheres will bring a blush, or an embarrassed smile to many readers today. There is something, for us, chilling in Darwin’s meditations on the contrast between those “Eastern barbarians” who overran the Roman Empire, and the “savages” who wasted away at the prospect of British colonization. He cheerfully speaks of the “inferior vitality of mulattoes”. Savages have “low morality”, insufficient powers of reasoning to recognize many virtues, and “weak power of self command”. Darwin accepts Malthus’s view that barbarous races reproduced at a lower rate than civilized ones and he appears . . . to believe that acts of genocide, if perpetrated by the British, were somehow part of the Natural Process. [A. N. Wilson, The Victorians (London: Arrow/Random House, 2002), p.375.]
Darwin, in quiet, reasonable tones indicated he thought it an “OK thing” for European colonists to rock up to Tasmania and organize a “hunt” for the native Aborigines, herd them into a coral, and ship them off to Flinders Island in 1832–so that the more advanced civilization could take over and do something “worthwhile” with Tasmania. It’s what every sane, rational evolutionist would sign up to.
But–and here is the point–Darwinism logically and inevitably moves in that direction. To stop its relentless inevitable logical corollary–that since all the universe is evolving, some species of human being must be naturally inferior in being, and others superior in being–by introducing premises about equality, and universal human rights is logically contradictory.
You cannot both eat your cake and continue to hold it in your hand.
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