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Evolution: Mindful or Mindless

Earth Day reminded of evolution, which is what we’re supposed to be doing here. Some say life and love are mere byproducts of the mindless, purposeless evolution of genes. Both are tools used by organisms to pass on the molecules that will replicate their private little selves into the future. In his book, The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins argues that biology’s focus on organisms is misguided. Life should instead be considered from the point of view of individual genes “seeking to perpetuate themselves through countless generations.”

“Seeking to perpetuate themselves?” If evolution is, as Dawkins insists, a matter of random chance and natural selection, where does “seeking” come in? “Seeking” implies some sort of will to perpetuate. In fact, the term “selfish” in “selfish gene” implies some sort of desire in some sort of self. Is there no contradiction here?

According to science, the whole Universe started with a Big Bang, for which science has no explanation whatsoever. Materialists seem to assume that it, like the Universe itself, was a mindless, mechanical happening utterly devoid of consciousness or will. But if the Big Bang was devoid of will, then when and how did will arise? At what point in the evolution of the atoms, gases, stars, planets, the Earth, and its minerals, plants, animals and humans did will enter the picture and begin to play a role? If will, too, is a byproduct of life, then somehow, for no conscious reason and having nothing to do with will, life evolved. Once life evolved, it somehow developed the will to keep living, that is, the survival instinct. Or according to Dawkins, the genes themselves developed the will to pass their "selves" on to the next generation. A pretty complex desire for collections of sugar and phosphate groups.

If, at the very bottom of it all, the Universe is a collection of mindless, aimless, randomly bouncing particles obeying only the laws of physics and chemistry, where did the genes’ selfishness come from? And why? This will to survive or (for Dawkins) the will to replicate “self” into the future is the fundamental principle of evolution. If so, when and how did genes start caring about the future? Did mindless, randomly accumulated gatherings of particles start caring about survival merely because it enhanced their chances of survival, which they came to desire and pursue by random, accidental mutation and natural selection?

On the other hand, if the Big Bang was a manifestation of creative will in an inconceivably powerful mind, then our entire Universe was born of that mind, as were we humans, as a species and as individuals. We would then be the creation of a being that has been known by many names but, for purposes of argument, let’s call it Wakan Tanka, which is Dakotan for Great Mystery.

So the question is, what was behind the Big Bang? Nothing? Or Wakan Tanka? To date, we have no scientific way of proving either answer, so we are free to choose the one we prefer. On the other hand, some of us have actually encountered Wakan Tanka in ways that leave no doubt. For those who have encountered Wakan Tanka, the question evaporates. The idea that this entire Universe, including my own mind, is made of dumb, mindless, randomly careening, collecting-then-separating particles with no relationship to any overarching conscious will or purpose is absurd. And for those who have experienced Wakan Tanka, the use of power for selfish aggrandizement is insane because selfishness is self-destructive.

I bring this issue up because Rebecca takes power out of politics, and Terry helps to make that possible through love. Terry and Rebecca save the world by insulating power with love, which is precisely what the creator is hoping, but not insisting, we will all do.

 If you find this difficult to understand and even more difficult to believe, please read Terry and Rebecca Save the World because I wrote it for you. https://www.peacinstitute.org/grp

To read the book, use the + - slide to get the font the right size, then use your cursor to drag the page so you can see the part you're reading. 

To read previous emails, see Stevez E-mails at: https://www.peacinstitute.org/stevezemails

If you are interested in the Global Resolutionary Party, send me an email. ([email protected]) The GRP does exist. It has a Federal ID Number. If several of you show interest, we can create an online forum. If any of you wants to run for office on the GRP ticket, we can figure out how to help you. I am increasingly convinced that nothing anyone says will have any meaning at all until we have a party committed to mediation, the loving way to manage power.

Violence starts with taking or winning without caring about the loser. The use of power without love is destroying us, and taking down the powerful won’t save us. Mediation is the antidote to the endless power struggle currently failing to solve our problems. Mediation is the loving way to manage power, but to do what we need done, mediators must have the power to bring everyone to the table.


Steve Leeper

PEAC Institute · Montclair, NJ 07042, United States
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  • Steve Leeper
    published this page in Stevezemails 2022-04-27 21:51:24 -0400

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