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Comments and responses
BY HORST FRIEDRICH
Première publication : septembre 1997
Mise en ligne : 30 juin 2003
Carlos Bonet Betoret’s fine - because thought-provoking - piece EVOLUTION, DETERMINISM, MATERIALISM to my mind, clearly shows the limits of what Western science and philosophy can do for our understanding of the universe. His definition of determinism ("l’évolution biologique et historique suit le principe général de produire des structures de plus en plus compliquées") provokes several questions. Like Christian theology, it is characterized by the central idea of ’’progrès’’. Isn’t such an evolution, then, simply the product of "theologizing" linear Western thinking ? Isn’t cyclic cosmic evolution a much more realistic proposal ?
Besides, my COLLINS gives quite another definition of determinism : "The philosophical doctrine that all acts, choices, and events are the inevitable consequence of antecedent sufficient causes". This sounds like the Eastern concept of "karma" ( but is rather a weak imitation ). Should, then, Bonet Betoret have inserted "inevitable" into his definition ? But is there really anything inevitable in the universe ? We cannot say, because as yet we do not really understand it. Could Sheldrake’s "morphogenetic fields" be of some help here ? Maybe, but I fear that for our good friend Bonet Betoret the concept will not be materialistic enough. Continuing in this vein, will we ever arrive at a true understanding of what "evolution" is all about ? I see the grave danger that we stray into the realm of quasi-philosophy and quasi-science, into the realm of confused thinking.
We will have to integrate courses in crystal-clear Vedanto-Buddhist philosophy into the curricula of our scientists ! Decidedly, I feel that, we Westerners should - once for all - throw the concept of materialism overboard, because it leads to the untenable idea of a mechanistically, machine-like functioning universe. The age-old concept of consciousness as the "stuff", from which the universe is made, has infinitely greater explanatory potential.
Then : Darwinism ! Charles Fort, that arch-enemy of ideological Neo-Scholasticism, stated already in 1919 : "... but Darwinism of course was never proved : The fittest survive. What is meant by the fittest ?... There is no way of determining fitness except in that a thing does survive. Fitness, then is only another name for survival. Darwinism : That survivors survive". How can we still call Charles Darwin "le plus grand homme de science de tous les temps" ?
The late Prof. Joachim Illies, in his posthumous Magnum Opus DER JAHRHUNDERT-IRRTUM, has super-abundantly shown that Darwinism is a materialistic ideology, masquerading as serious science. As Prof. Max Thürkauf writes in its foreword : Darwinism is not a scientifically, or experimentally, verified truth, but belongs to the realm of pure speculation ! And speculation ( though, per se, quite legitimate in science ) should not be "sold" to the general public as a verified truth ! Likewise, the great palaeontologist Prof. Oskar Kuhn, in his : DIE ABSTAMMUNGSLEHRE, TATSACHEN UND DEUTUNGEN, writes : "Heute ist Darwins Lehre als falsch erkannt". And he adds the remarkable observation : "Schon allein die Tatsache des Fehlens fast aller präkambrischen Dokumente ist, Grund genug, vorsichtig zu sein bei der Frage, ob wir es mit, einem einzigen, allumfassenden Evolutionsprozess zu tun haben",