The Myth of Progress: 'Evolution' as a Degenerative Process of Humanity

The modern idea of progress, that is, the belief that all human endeavors of science and technology are leading us upwards from the superstitious ignorance of the past into a new era of discovery based on hard, empirical fact with improved living conditions as its result, is in dire need of examination.

The scientific doctrine holds the following beliefs in high esteem:
  • 1. Only that which can be measured is real.


  • 2. Past knowledge, whether ancient wisdom or previous scientific research, is proven false whenever a new scientific theory is formulated to replace it.


  • 3. Through the passage of time, matter moves from simplicity to complexity; a unicellular lifeform emerges and gives way to intelligent life, conscious Man.
Let us examine the above mentioned points in detail:


Myth #1: Only that which can be measured is real.


The scientific method relies solely on our physical senses to perceive and measure reality, or to be precise, physical reality. All of our instruments of measurement, computers, microscopes, telescopes, etc. which are used to verify phenomenon from subatomic particles to cosmic radiation are all limited to and contained within our physical senses. The world 'out there' is nothing more than an illusory hologram produced by the brain and sense organs, which interpret objective Reality through a narrow scope of perceivable wave and particle vibrations converted into vision, hearing, touch, and so on. All scientific discoveries are bound within this limited 'tunnel vision' of the universe, and all theories derived from this vague accumulation of facts are subsequently limited as such.

Is it not possible that there are levels of existence imperceptible to the senses? Quantum Physics and String Theory propose there are; although, they give no further insights into what that reality could entail, resorting to crude methods of random subatomic particle collisions (i.e. CERN experiments) in order to scrape together a somewhat cohesive theory of the universe. Have these scientists even considered the possibility of direct perception of non-physical realities? Have they even considered that 'intelligent lifeforms' could also reside outside of the physical?

How readily we have forgotten the ancient lore regarding the existence of the spirit realm. In past eras direct experience of non-physical domains was not only a known possibility but also the pivotal view around which a society functioned, facilitated by the role of a priest or shaman.

Which leads to the next point:

Myth #2:
Past knowledge, whether ancient wisdom or previous scientific research, is proven false whenever a new scientific theory is formulated to replace it.

The history of science is nothing more than a continuous scramble for recognition by means of disputing older ideas in exchange for a newly formulated theory that proves its worth through effective applications in daily life. Example: Watson and Crick usurp Rosalind Franklin's research on the double helix without giving her due credit, to proclaim their rise to scientific fame by revealing the structure of DNA, paving the way for future research such as the human genome project and animal cloning. All older theories and conceptions are considered obsolete, replaced by the new model.

This is not to say that current scientific theories are invalid; rather, there are no grounds for refuting preceding views simply because an idea is more recent and seemingly more 'practical'. The scientific truths of today soon become the ignorant vestiges of yesterday ad infinitum. If scientific findings proceed as they have since the establishment of the discipline, we can only expect that someday even the theory of DNA will become another outdated model, replaced by yet another new theory by prominent scientists.
Science is intolerant of ideas of the past, whether they be ideas once held in high esteem within the scientific community, or (especially) the many ancient 'superstitious' or 'backwards' ideas held outside the scientific field. As an ideology, science is a doctrine of constant change, a collection of workable theories whose only constant is the systematic refutation of all past knowledge.


At the heart of it, science (or rather 'scientism') is nothing more than a belief system. Belief that only the physical is real, belief that spiritual traditions are nonsense, owing to the impossibility of proving religious ideologies through scientific methods. However, by their very nature, spiritual truths cannot be proven by material-based science simply because these truths deal with realities of a supra-physical domain and are therefore undetectable to scientific methods, conducted by means of the limited physical senses.

And perhaps the most ignorant belief held by scientism is the assumption that consciousness is a product of the brain, and not vice versa...


Myth #3: Through the passage of time, matter moves from simplicity to complexity; a unicellular lifeform emerges and gives way to intelligent life, conscious Man.

One swift plunge into materialist thinking and separation from spiritual doctrines came from the proliferation of the Darwinian theory of evolution, proposing that human intelligence is an accumulative result of eons of growth of biological systems and adaptation to hostile environments. The Jesuit priest and paleontologist Pierre Tielhard de Chardin erroneously attempted to reconcile his religious faith with modern beliefs by formulating the concept that through the physical evolution of species on this planet, Life eventually became complex enough to give birth to consciousness, through the greatest of all creatures: Man, the child of the Ape. His concept of the noosphere, or the collective consciousness of mankind gave way to more recent theories such as James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis. These recent trends of idolizing collectivity and the Earth as the Supreme Being only give further insight into the dual fallacies of modern mentality: stark materialism polarized by chthonic reveries, that is, tendencies of earth-based veneration (as opposed to transcendent, celestial-oriented practices), and the collective hive-mind of humanity.

Today, some scientific theories even go so far as to propose that not only is consciousness a product of material development, but that Man's technology is an extension of our evolution; that is to say, technology is the next phase of evolution on this planet.
Ray Kurzweil is the most prominent supporter of this transhumanist vision, believing that the next stage in evolution entails the utilization of human ingenuity and technology to produce the last invention humanity will ever need to create: a sentient artificial intelligence, or as he naïvely describes it, a 'spiritual machine'. This machine is envisioned to rise so far beyond human intelligence that it will then proceed to pump out inventions of unfathomable complexity and brilliance, all suited to humanity's needs, as the exponential rate of progress finally culminates into the omega point of technology, the 'Singularity'.

The derailing snag in this futuristic fantasy is one overlooked assumption. A computer can never attain conscious awareness. Even if computer engineers could build a machine with all the neural complexity of a human brain, it would never emerge as a conscious, sentient being. Why not? Because the brain is not a machine. The brain does not produce consciousness. The modern paradigm has it backwards.

As doctrines from Eastern spiritual traditions relate, the entire ground of being of the manifested Universe and beyond is pure Awareness itself, residing in itself in an eternal present, whereby all phenomena emerge and receive their existence from this Source.

The physical state is but one realm among an infinitude of possibilities of manifestation. The brain merely acts as a receiver, not the source of awareness of a being. This misled conception is akin to mistaking a radio as the producer of a symphonic concert, instead of the orchestra itself. Our brain is the radio, consciousness stems from the Source, or Spirit.

Matter is not the origin of Life; matter does not 'evolve' through trial and error (i.e. Darwinian survival of the fittest), nor does it 'evolve' on its own accord (i.e. the human brain/computer ever increasing its capabilities); rather, matter is supported and vivified by the Spirit, without which all would be devoid of existence. This might be argued to be only a statement of faith; however, one need only recognize that any reference to a scientifically established 'fact' as refutation is itself merely a proclamation of faith belonging to the religion of science. The sole difference between the two ideologies is the actual possibility of direct experience and union with the Absolute, as proclaimed by spiritual traditions throughout the ages.

Conclusion

The past centuries of scientific and industrial developments are typically viewed as signs of the accelerating progress of the human species, endeavors born from the refutation of spiritual concepts and traditional ways of life. Our modern civilization is the very first of its kind in all of recorded history: ours is the first society to be structured and governed by a purely secularist worldview. The wisdom of the ages has been shunned and ridiculed, replaced by the modern arrogance of having reached the only true way of understanding the world, only to later reject and modify most popularly held scientific 'truths'. This technological leap and 'evolution' of our industrial capabilities is nothing more than a sharp plummet into the degeneration of humanity and ignorance of any higher truths. Consequently, as technological innovation increases, the need for real human intellectual capacity atrophies, giving way to a dumbed-down, dependent herd-like society. The priests of this scientistic cult lead its followers blindly down the path of 'unlimited growth and discovery' with no end in sight, like a progressive acceleration that continues towards some vague goal of infinite becoming, harboring untold chaos and nihilism in its wake.


Perhaps a traditional perspective on human knowledge and activity provides a wiser insight. The ancient Greek, Norse, Mayan, Native American, and Hindu cosmologies all described the world of manifestation as revolving around a cycle, with the world passing through various ages of spiritual enlightenment and ages of material ignorance and then back again. It is clear that we are currently in an age of spiritual decline, worshiping the material realm as supreme and Man as its custodian and ruler.

But just how long before this plunge downward can go no further, and we finally awaken from this artificial dream world?

10 comments:

Beyond the Lands of Engelsain said...

As you wrote this article today, coincidentally, I was considering why the speed of light (some 30 000 kms/second)was the only physically measurable top speed.
Science seems to say that wormholes occur,or that the very fabric of time-space bend and shift, if anything faster than that takes place.

Curiously enough that reminded me of a long forgotten myth in which if someone sailed far enough, they would fall from the world into forgetfulness after going over the horizon.

I wonder if in this specific case, and as a portrait of our infinite scientific ignorance, the wormholes and the time-space bending aren't just as nonsensical speculations as the ones before the Portuguese Discoveries...

great article,thanks for posting it.

hugs
Ricardo

Beyond the Lands of Engelsain said...

might I add spiritual ignorance as well :)

Thaddeus Griebel said...

Thanks for your insightful input; as you can see I added a few of your ideas here, and I'll keep the others in mind when I write an article specifically on transhumanism.

Beyond the Lands of Engelsain said...

I'll read it carefully when I get some rest time and I'll try to find whatever I may have contrributed with. Otherwise you can always show me yourself hehehe

I am looking forward to many more articles from you !

Lusk said...

Very nice article cuz. But I noticed no real sources cited. You could say this was all opinion based, but it seems like there are some things in here that books helped you compute.

But, good job on the blog. I would look around in the options for some sort of expanding this column. As to not so much scrolling while reading such a lengthy article.

Thaddeus Griebel said...

Thanks for the input, Lusk. I've incorporated links in my new article to support and give more info on the ideas presented.

Tomtor!! said...

Excellent article! Well written and very informative....but it needed soemthing more, like explosions and flashy stuff! I mean academic text is booooooorrrring. You should get with the times and add some gifs all over the place!

OJA said...

Nice article; very intelligently written. I work in a closed environment and have a unique opportunity to do nothing other than observe people for several hours at a time and think about this regression of humanity/civilization into a more primitive/tribal state. I have solidified a few categories symptomatic of this condition:

1) Poor language skills
2) Inability to form meaningful relationships; multiple partners
3) Body art
4) Lack of cognitive functions coinciding with an over-dependence on external stimuli

Thaddeus Griebel said...

Good point, though I would argue that primitive people were much wiser than the modern stereotype gives them. What we're seeing nowadays is not a regression, but rather a total degeneration of what it means to be human, reduced to mere sensory-operative consumerist/worker drones, uplifted mostly by commercial entertainment. And this degeneration occurring within the age of scientific 'enlightenment' is no coincidence; it is the direct result of the creation of a secular, materialist society, in which anything non-physical is denied and the meaning of life is reduced to mere sense gratification.

Shouvik Bose said...

Incredible article. Truth spoken.

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