It is said that no one can stop an idea whose time has come. Thus there is a close relationship between an idea and the time when it becomes popular. Every idea is like a live specie which is born, becomes powerful and finally becomes old and dies. However, no idea is dead for ever as before it dies, it gives birth to its offspring which continues to compete with other ideas till its time has come.
One such idea is humanism, universal love or brotherhood. Though this idea is as old as human civilization itself, yet the first sign of its emergence in the modern world can be traced to the era of the Buddha around sixth century BC. He preached non-violence, compassion, love and universal brotherhood. However, in his lifetime Buddhism was still a little known faith. It became popular only after a few centuries when the appropriate time for the idea arrived.
The same message of humanism was propagated in the West by Jesus Christ. Still he was executed for preaching a message the time of which was not yet ripe. However, his gospel of love and compassion acquired its popularity many centuries after his death when Christianity was popularized by his followers. Today Christianity has emerged as the most popular religion of the world.
In the modern times, the message of universal love and non-violence was preached and practised by Mahatma Gandhi. Yet the western world which was then submerged in imperialism ad colonization ridiculed his principles of love and nonviolence as an impractical an idea. It was the time of Darwinism and Adolph Hitler was its biggest proponent. However, after the Second World War, the west started appreciating his gospel of love and nonviolence. Einstein, the greatest scientist the world has ever known, had only one photograph of a public figure in his room and that was of Gandhi. Times magazine also selected Gandhi as the man of the century after Einstein, above people like Hitler, Stalin, Churchill and Mao.
Gandhi, however, never took credit for being the originator of the principles of humanism - love and non-violence, which, he said, were as old as the rocks. Clearly the idea of humanism can never die and it keeps on emerging in different eras in its new incarnations. Another idea which is even older then the message of love is the law of jungle which can be described as the principle of “might is right”. It existed before the civilized society was evolved. In a jungle, there is no rule, no laws and no place for compassion and love. The superior specie has every right to kill the weaker species. It was given a new name and new dimension by Darwin when he wrote “The Origin of Species” and enunciated the famous principle of evolution viz. “Survival of the Fittest”.
Darwinism or Scientific Version of the Law of Jungle?
Evolution of species is one of the most difficult notions to explain scientifically. Darwin developed the theory that all species have evolved over a period of billions of years from the same basic organism and that all species are in different stages of evolution. He also stated that man is the most evolved specie. Thus, given sufficient time, any specie can evolve to human being. On the other side, the Church and theologians believed that all the species were designed and created by God in the same form as they exist today and that the differences in the species are permanent and one specie can never evolve to become another specie. Our commonsense tells us that an ant or elephant can never become a human being, howsoever long a time nature may give to them.
Before the theory of Evolution, most geologists adhered to the so-called Catastrophe theory that the Earth had experienced a succession of creations of animal and plant life, and that each creation had been destroyed by a sudden catastrophe such as an upheaval or convulsion in the Earth’s surface. According to one prominent version of this theory, the most recent catastrophe was the Flood of Noah, as recorded in the Bible. According to the catastrophists, species of plants and animals were individually created as immutable, that is, unchangeable for all time.
The first scientific attempt to understand the evolution of species was made by Charles Darwin by his two books “The Origin of Species” and “The Descent of Man” written in the 19th century. The theory is most commonly known as the theory of “Survival of the Fittest”. Most of the scientists use this theory to understand evolution. The theory, in brief, lays down that in the battle of survival faced by all species, only the fittest specie survives. Thus each generation will have fitter persons than in the pervious generation. The traits, which are desirable and provide positive benefit to the specie in the process of evolution, shall survive while the traits, which are not desirable, will banish over a period of time.
The principle of ‘natural selection’ was propounded by Darwin in Chapter 4 of The Origin of Species in following words:
It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. We see nothing of these slow changes in progress, until the hand of time has marked the long lapses of ages, and then so imperfect is our view into long past geological ages, that we only see that the forms of life are now different from what they formerly were.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUNG OF DARWINISM
All the human theories emerge from the human mind and hence, bear the stamp of the person who has pronounced the theory. Though most of us would feel that we are rational and unbiased yet no human being can be absolutely fair since each person is biased and prejudiced to some extent. Therefore, it is necessary to study the epoch when the theory of evolution was originated as well as the personal background of Charles Darwin.
Charles Darwin was born in 1809 in England. The nineteenth century was the peak of the British imperialism in the contemporary world. It used to be said that the British rule was so widespread on the earth that the sun never set in the British Empire. It was the time when the influence of science was rising in the western societies which were already reaping the fruits of scientific inventions. The theocratic States were defeated by nations which had embraced science. The British had already conquered the Indian subcontinent, which was ruled by religious princes - both Hindus and Muslims. Even before that, the British had conquered America, Australia and most of the African continent. Religion was on the decline and the Christianity was being fragmented into several segments. People were fast losing faith in religion while their faith in science was getting deeper.
Thus the evolution theory was pronounced in the most glorious period of Europe. Due to advancement of their knowledge of science and technology, mechnical revolution and its adventurism, the Europeans were ruling more than three-forths of the world. This was the time when they discovered new continents of America and Australia, defeated its original inhabitants or aborigins and settled there. In many countries of Asia and Africa, they ruled by converting these countries into their own colonies. These colonies were providing a good market for their manufactured goods, which was the fuel for the growth of the European economies. Thus it was only natural that Darwin not only thought that Europeans or the whites were the most evolved human specie in the world and that the Negroes or Blacks (who were mostly used as slaves) were the least evolved specie, just above the most evolved beast viz. Gorilla.
What Darwinism propagated was nothing but the popular view of the Europeans as it provided them the justification to rule over the inferior human races by application of force as they were the fittest specie and thus had the right to rule.
In fact, Alfred Russel Wallace was also working on a similar theory of evolution and one of the reasons why Darwin got the “The Origin of Species” published so early was that he was apprehending that Wallace would publish his theory before him. Thus Darwin was the voice of the Europeans in the nineteenth century. Unlike Darwin, Wallace did not dismiss the tenets of religion as such. In a letter to a relative in 1861, Wallace wrote:
"I think I have fairly heard and fairly weighed the evidence on both sides, and I remain an utter disbeliever in almost all that you consider the most sacred truths... I can see much to admire in all religions... But whether there be a God and whatever be His nature; whether we have an immortal soul or not, or whatever may be our state after death, I can have no fear of having to suffer for the study of nature and the search for truth...."
APPLICATIONS OF DARWINISM
Nevertheless, Darwinism was widely used by the Europeans to justify their rule over other human races whom they considered to be inferior. Much before the application of the theory against inferior human races, the theory was widely used against other animals, which were killed for entertainment and eating. One of the greatest admirer of the Darwinian theory was Hitler who had the belief that Germans belonged to the Aryan race which was the most superior race amongst all human races even within the white race and they had every right to rule over not only the non-whites but also other whites considered inferior to the Aryans.
Hitler was the biggest advocate of Darwinism
Hitler’ views were expressed in his autobiographical book “Main Kampf” (My Struggle) in the following words.
“For the establishment of superior type of civilization the members of inferior races formed one of the most essential pre-requites. They alone could supply the lack of mechanical means, without which no progress is possible. It is certain that the first stages of human civilization were not based on the use of tame animals as on the employment of human beings who were members of inferior races…Only after subjudicated races were employed as slaves, was a similar fate allotted to animals, and not vice versa, as some people would have us believe. At first it was the conquered enemy who had to draw the plough as only afterwards did the ox and horse take his place.”
Hitler thus found himself fully justified in killing of millions of Jews whom he considered as member of the treacherous and inferior race. His belief in superiority of the Aryan (German) race justified his drive to attack other Europeans and start the Second World War which killed millions of people, mostly Christians and Europeans. Hitler was not alone in thinking that his race was superior but most of the Europeans in that time (and many even today) considered Europeans as the most superior race, which was destined to rule.
FOUNDATION OF DARWINISM
In many ways there is nothing new in Darwinism as man and, indeed, animals are quite familiar with the law of jungle which had the basic principle of “might is right”. The Darwinian theory of “survival of the fittest” is only a close cousin of the law of jungle. In fact, Darwinism is a natural extension of the law of jungle which was in vogue since the creation of life itself and still prevalent in the world of beasts living in the jungle. The uniqueness of this theory, however, lies in the fact that it differentiates even the different human races and places the whites (Europeans) as the most superior race.
The might is right principle was used virtually in all civilizations from the time immemorial, probably from the birth of civilization itself. In India, for example, the most educated caste, Brahmins who were the highest caste in the Hindu caste system had the same superiority complex as the Europeans in the medieval era. Here also the higher castes were assigned the job to rule and create wealth but the lowest caste “Sudras” were assigned the job of serving the higher castes throughout their life.
Thus Darwinism is applicable not only to the members of different races but also to members of different sex i.e. brothers and sisters of the same parents. Darwin did not consider women to be as good as men and found them to be inferior. The place of women in the society was at par with slaves till recently in most of the societies. Women had no role in the decision-making and they were destined to serve the menfolk and the family throughout their lives. This condition of women in many of the societies is no different today. The only fault of women are that they are physically not as powerful as their male counterpart and not as brutal as males in wars and aggression. One weakness led to another and they were not considered to be intelligent, tough and fit to rule. Even today there are several restrictions on women in most of the societies and they are the worst victims of the opposite sex. They have to learn to live with rape, domestic violence, honour-killing, wearing burka (veils) and stay indoors even now.
That the inferiority of women species is without any basis is now well established. In almost all intelligence tests, women score as good and often better then their male counterparts; they live longer than most males, which shows that they are tough and sturdy. Yet they do not have physical strength as men as the nature has designed them for the superior purpose of procreation i.e. giving birth to children, which needs an altogether different biological design. Similarly the Asian races that were weaker in physical strength or the Africans who had much more physical strength but little education were considered less-evolved as compared to Europeans. As a matter of fact, in Darwinism, where is the place for the weak?
HUMANISM VS DARWINISM
Before Darwinism we had the law of humanism, which is the foundation of all religions. We believed that we all are offsprings of God and that He is fair and just to all of us. The concept of God itself evolved into His being an “all-loving-Father” who protects and love His children. Should this theory be true, then it is necessary that God must help the survival of not the fittest but of the weakest since it is the weakest who is in the greatest need of His support for survival. Bible says that if you serve the poor you serve Me. Thus the contrast between Darwinism and Humanism is very clear and both cannot be true at the same time. If Darwinism is correct, the natural forces should facilitate the survival of the fittest and if humanism is correct, then they should help the weakest.
Gandhi preached non-violence in the era when violence ruled the world.
The natural law is one, which is universally applicable to all species for all time. The forces of gravitation make no distinction between the status of man or animal. It also does not change with time. We must try to ascertain if the nature wants only the fittest to survive or it wants all living creatures to survive. The law of humanistic survival is just opposite to what has been propagated by Darwin.
The law of humanism seems to be closer to the law of nature since it assumes that each person should be treated equally. The extension of this principle includes even the animals to be treated fairly and justly. If this law is correct, then the nature must strive to weaken the strong and strengthen the weak. It should be like the force of gravity, which is acting on a pendulum in the direction of its equilibrium. If the pendulum goes up in the air the force of gravity tries to bring it down to the position of its equilibrium.
The other forces of nature, like friction, also work in such a way that they try to stop a moving body to the standstill position, which is the natural state of an object. Thus it always works in the opposite direction of the movement and thus forces the moving object to stop.
Another law of nature is the second law of thermodynamics applicable to all the objects having heat energy. It is observed that if two objects of different temperatures are placed near each other in any conducting medium, the heat will always flow from the high temperature to the low temperature object. This will result in the colder object become hotter and the hotter object becoming colder which will result in bringing the temperatures of both the objects to the same level. Even when there is no colder object nearby, all heated objects radiate energy, which makes them cooler gradually to the level of normal atmospheric temperature.
Similarly, water or any other fluid will automatically flow from the higher height (higher potential) to the lower height (low potential), the electric current also flows from High Voltage to Low Voltage so that electric equilibrium can be achieved. Thus virtually all laws of nature work in a way to provide equality to all the objects, which have different states or potential. All the laws of nature work against the powerful and in favour of the less fortunate.
However, man is never satisfied with the position assigned to him by nature and he has continuously been striving to elevate himself above the place assigned to him by the nature. So while the nature had made him weaker than many animals still he could emerge as the most powerful specie in the world by using intelligence. He developed pumps that can move water from lower height to a higher height against the law of nature. He invented Condensers (used in Air Conditioners and Refrigerators), which can draw heat from colder object and move it to the hotter object. By designin machines man can generate powers which are many thousand times more than that of the most powerful beast. However, the more he tries to move away from nature, the more forces of nature exert on him to ground him to the level of the rest of the species.
CONFLICT BETWEEN MAN MADE LAW AND THE LAW OF NATURE
It is evident that the law of nature is such that it always tries to bring equality rather than inequality. The forces of nature are such that they assist the weak while weakening the strong. The Darwinian theory, on the other hand, supports the strong thereby giving it further advantage over the weaker species.
If Darwinism were true, the strong race would become stronger while the weak races would become weaker. Thus the whole world would be ruled by single specie and a single race. The theory of Darwin is quite similar to the theory of capitalistic societies, which justifies concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few individuals. If this theory be correct, then the rich would become richer, the powerful would become more powerful and the weak would permanently languish in the life of poverty and humiliation.
The laws of nature are fortunately not based on Darwinism. For example, in the list of top 20 richest people on the earth today, there is hardly anyone whose forefathers were very rich. All the top companies of today did not exist in the beginning of the 20th century. In the beginning of the twentieth century the most powerful nation on the earth was Britain followed by France and Germany. In the following fifty years, these countries were reduced to only marginal powers while the USA and the USSR emerged as the most powerful nations and economies of the world. The USA which was nothing but a colony of the United Kingdom (of England, Scotland and Wales) just two centuries ago, became not only the most powerful country of the world but also the biggest economy after the second world war while UK was reduced to the status of just a regional power.
Thus the law of nature appears to promote equality and justice by promoting the weak and weakening the strong. The laws of nature are equally manifested in the context of individuals, too. Bill Gates, the richest man on the earth today did not belong to any business house and, just by his effort, became the richest person of the world in a decade’s time leaving behind the Sultan of Brunei and the Queen of England. He certainly did not inherit any superior business intelligence from his parents. Even the greatest mind of the twentieth century, Albert Einstein, belonged to ordinary parentage, not a genius by any means and none of his progeny could acquire the greatness compared to him.
One of the conclusions of the theory of natural selection was the superiority of white races as compared to other races due to their being at a higher stage of evolution. They were considered to be superior race due to their higher intelligence and morality, which gave them moral right to rule over other inferior races for their (of inferior races) own good. Yet this myth now stands shattered in just half a century of free world as studies establish that the whites have neither higher morality nor have higher intelligence. In many studies conducted in the USA in recent years, it was amply proved that the most intelligent race was not of whites but the Asians. For example, the average SAT score of the Asians was found to be much higher than that of the whites. The figures below show the SAT scores of different races for different income group and different educational background of the parents.
The SAT Score of different races vs parental education
The average IQ of the Asians was measured to be 110 as compared to 105 IQ points measured for the whites. Even the blacks, whom Darwin considered thousands of years behind the whites in the process of evolution, were found to be much smarter. Though their average IQ may still be lower than that of the whites, yet more than 25percent of the blacks were found to have higher IQ than the most of the white Americans. Clearly the difference may be less due to evolution and more due to the socio-economic conditions of the blacks. Thus it is evident that if the people of different races were given identical opportunities and social environment there would not be much difference in the intelligence level amongst them.
IQ scores of different races and ethnic groups among U.S citizen
Women, who for centuries have suffered humiliation and did not get access to education and social support, were long considered to be less intelligent. Darwin also believed in the superiority of men over women as he wrote in “The Descent of Man”:
"The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man`s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman - whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands”
Most of the menfolk still believe that women are less intelligent than men. The representation of women in power is quite negligible even in the developed world. Not a single woman was ever elected as American President in more than two centuries of its democracy. However, there is no scientific basis to prove that women are in anyway inferior to men. If they are shorter and less strong physically, they are stronger mentally and emotionally. The average age of women is more than men in most of the countries by good five years. Since most of the women get almost similar facilities as the male members of the family, the comparison becomes much easier.
The report of a Task Force established by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association, which was released on August 07, 1995, further established that women were as intelligent as men though their aptitude might be different in different criteria. The report concludes:
Although there are no important sex differences in overall intelligence test scores, substantial differences do appear for specific abilities. Males typically score higher on visual-spatial and (beginning in middle childhood) mathematical skills; females excel on a number of verbal measures.
It has been demonstrated in similar studies that the average IQ of women is not only equal to their male counterparts but sometimes found to be slightly better than that of men. For example, Deary et al. (2003) performed an analysis of an IQ test administered to almost all children in Scotland at age 11 in 1932 (>80,000). The average IQ scores by sex were 100.64 for girls and 100.48 for boys.
It can, therefore, be only expected that as the pendulum comes to the middle position of equilibrium by gravitational force, it acquires sufficient energy by which it not only reaches equilibrium but also crosses it to the other side. So any race or group which is inferior today, may become superior tomorrow by the law of nature and the one which is superior today may degrade tomorrow to give way to some new and better people. There can not be any fittest person, race or specie for all time.
Darwinian model of evolution does not seem to be correct, as it does not conform to the laws of nature, which instead of promoting the survival of the fittest promotes the survival of the weakest. Christ and Buddha had discovered the same principle thousands of years ago. In almost all religions, God is perceived as fair, loving and just that helps the poor and weak rather than the rich and strong. The Folly of Darwinism is that Darwin could see only one side of man i.e. competition or conflict. Darwinism has, therefore, no explanation for the other facet of human life i.e. cooperation or union. Evolution of life is due to this ever alternating nature of creation i.e. competition and cooperation. In other words, life is evolved out of the harmonious symphony of these two traits of nature. Darwinism fails to explain how the first life on earth was created or why different species are at different levels of evolution?