Is American Society 'Evolving'?

There's a whole lotta evolvin' goin' on.  Sorry, Jerry Lee, but shakin' is out, and Barry O's evolvin' is in.

While celebrating the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on "Good Morning America," Vice President Joe Biden said:

I think the country is evolving.  I think there's an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage. ... And I think you're going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so-called DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act].

Biden also said that although he and the president have differed, in that Barack Obama has thus far supported civil unions but shied away from gay "marriage" equality, "[t]he president's policy... is evolving."

In response to the repeal, Barack Obama himself said:

My feelings about this are constantly evolving.  I struggle with this. I have friends, I have people who work for me who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions and they are extraordinary people. And this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about.

The transparently coordinated politics of Biden's openly soliciting the far-left/gay vote while Obama still ducks the issue in a grab for moderates could be the topic of this article, but it's not.  Likewise, Biden's telegraphing that DADT repeal had very little to do with any military problem, and instead was just the first wave of a multi-pronged move against marriage, is also not the topic of this article.

This article deals with Biden's and Obama's use of the word and concept "evolving."  Note that in the wake of the DADT repeal, Biden and Obama relied heavily on the concept -- they were evolving all over each other.  Note also that Biden believes it "inevitable" that the rest of us will soon be evolving, too. 

"Evolving" implies improvement and sounds so scientific; one would assume it to come straight from Darwin.  Marx and Hitler certainly believed as much.  Marx's "end of history" and confiscation of private property were justified as evolutionary.  In fact, at Marx's funeral, Engels famously compared Marx to Darwin, saying, "Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history."  Likewise, the Nazis were well-known evolvers, with their eugenics, pure race, and such. 

Despite the historical warning signs, much about today's progressivism is infused with this concept of evolving.  So we should ask, is the Biden/Obama/liberal "evolving" concept valid? 

First, from a timing standpoint, there is a real disconnect between Biden's social evolution and Darwin's biological evolution.  Biological evolutionary timetables indicate the emergence of anatomically modern humans about 200,000 years ago and humans who reached behavioral modernity at least 50,000 years ago.  In contrast, most liberal arguments against marriage, religion, tradition, and natural law hinge on a "that was then, this is now" framework applied to the last several hundred years, a period that doesn't register on evolutionary calendars. 

Although potentially gratifying to pretend otherwise, we simply have not evolved materially since Barack Obama's inauguration, the Enlightenment, this country's founding or, for that matter, in the last 2,000 years.  Therefore, the rules, mores, and beliefs that were relevant back then are just as relevant now.  In Chesterton's terms, the "democracy of the dead" applies, suggesting that we should strongly refuse "to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about."

Second, there is no support from recent history that we are socially "evolved," particularly given the 20th century's litany of atrocities and outrages.  Peter Kreeft has commented that "there have been more reported martyrdoms in the 20th century than in all previous nineteen centuries combined" [1].  Add our 40% out-of-wedlock birth rate, fetal farming, modern eugenics, 50 million aborted babies since 1973, and the ACLU's latest attack on Catholic hospitals to the handiwork of Mao (71 million dead), Stalin (23 million dead), Hitler (12 million dead), and the other deadly events of the 20th century, and any possibility of "evolving" quickly disintegrates.  Contrary to the Biden hypothesis, if anything, the facts suggest we may be devolving as our access to technology expands.

So Biden's evolutionary timetables contradict those of Darwin's better-vetted science, and the facts refute any idea of our recent cultural or moral progress.  It looks more like Biden and Obama are making this stuff up to push an ideological agenda and flatter those who might agree.  Coincidentally, many sociologists now even question whether the term social evolution has any meaning and whether its use reveals more about the person applying it. 

In the case of Biden, et al., this is a very valid question.  Look at the same crew's use of junk science to advance the new faiths of global warming, embryonic stem cells, and the multiplier effect.  Why not again hide behind a scientistic veneer, this time evolutionism, to justify a whole host of new bad ideas?

It is troubling to find that the concept of social evolution has often been posited as scientific to promote bigotry, unjust practices, and extreme ideologies.  It is possible, and even likely, that Joe Biden and his less-than-forthright boss are doing the same and are swinging away at marriage, tradition, and natural law with the truncheon of "evolution."  Such an attack would be very ambitious in scope and possibly more difficult to address than either communism or Nazism because it would share neither the physical nor personally immediate threat of Marx's theft or Hitler's murder. 

The "democracy of the dead" mandates humility, caution, and giving our ancestors more credit and respect than simply tossing out their long-established rules, beliefs, ethics, customs, and rites based on a weak marketing scam like "social evolution."  The concept is unscientific and bogus.  A far more rational response would be to run the other way when some aspiring social engineer approaches with the call to "evolve."  We can learn at least that much from a quick review of the last 110 years.  This is true at any time, but particularly when that social engineer is a junk science aficionado like Joe Biden, or Barack Obama hiding behind Joe Biden, and pushing an extreme ideological agenda.

[1] Handbook of Catholic Apologetics, by Peter J. Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, 2009, page 435.
There's a whole lotta evolvin' goin' on.  Sorry, Jerry Lee, but shakin' is out, and Barry O's evolvin' is in.

While celebrating the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on "Good Morning America," Vice President Joe Biden said:

I think the country is evolving.  I think there's an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage. ... And I think you're going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so-called DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act].

Biden also said that although he and the president have differed, in that Barack Obama has thus far supported civil unions but shied away from gay "marriage" equality, "[t]he president's policy... is evolving."

In response to the repeal, Barack Obama himself said:

My feelings about this are constantly evolving.  I struggle with this. I have friends, I have people who work for me who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions and they are extraordinary people. And this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about.

The transparently coordinated politics of Biden's openly soliciting the far-left/gay vote while Obama still ducks the issue in a grab for moderates could be the topic of this article, but it's not.  Likewise, Biden's telegraphing that DADT repeal had very little to do with any military problem, and instead was just the first wave of a multi-pronged move against marriage, is also not the topic of this article.

This article deals with Biden's and Obama's use of the word and concept "evolving."  Note that in the wake of the DADT repeal, Biden and Obama relied heavily on the concept -- they were evolving all over each other.  Note also that Biden believes it "inevitable" that the rest of us will soon be evolving, too. 

"Evolving" implies improvement and sounds so scientific; one would assume it to come straight from Darwin.  Marx and Hitler certainly believed as much.  Marx's "end of history" and confiscation of private property were justified as evolutionary.  In fact, at Marx's funeral, Engels famously compared Marx to Darwin, saying, "Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history."  Likewise, the Nazis were well-known evolvers, with their eugenics, pure race, and such. 

Despite the historical warning signs, much about today's progressivism is infused with this concept of evolving.  So we should ask, is the Biden/Obama/liberal "evolving" concept valid? 

First, from a timing standpoint, there is a real disconnect between Biden's social evolution and Darwin's biological evolution.  Biological evolutionary timetables indicate the emergence of anatomically modern humans about 200,000 years ago and humans who reached behavioral modernity at least 50,000 years ago.  In contrast, most liberal arguments against marriage, religion, tradition, and natural law hinge on a "that was then, this is now" framework applied to the last several hundred years, a period that doesn't register on evolutionary calendars. 

Although potentially gratifying to pretend otherwise, we simply have not evolved materially since Barack Obama's inauguration, the Enlightenment, this country's founding or, for that matter, in the last 2,000 years.  Therefore, the rules, mores, and beliefs that were relevant back then are just as relevant now.  In Chesterton's terms, the "democracy of the dead" applies, suggesting that we should strongly refuse "to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about."

Second, there is no support from recent history that we are socially "evolved," particularly given the 20th century's litany of atrocities and outrages.  Peter Kreeft has commented that "there have been more reported martyrdoms in the 20th century than in all previous nineteen centuries combined" [1].  Add our 40% out-of-wedlock birth rate, fetal farming, modern eugenics, 50 million aborted babies since 1973, and the ACLU's latest attack on Catholic hospitals to the handiwork of Mao (71 million dead), Stalin (23 million dead), Hitler (12 million dead), and the other deadly events of the 20th century, and any possibility of "evolving" quickly disintegrates.  Contrary to the Biden hypothesis, if anything, the facts suggest we may be devolving as our access to technology expands.

So Biden's evolutionary timetables contradict those of Darwin's better-vetted science, and the facts refute any idea of our recent cultural or moral progress.  It looks more like Biden and Obama are making this stuff up to push an ideological agenda and flatter those who might agree.  Coincidentally, many sociologists now even question whether the term social evolution has any meaning and whether its use reveals more about the person applying it. 

In the case of Biden, et al., this is a very valid question.  Look at the same crew's use of junk science to advance the new faiths of global warming, embryonic stem cells, and the multiplier effect.  Why not again hide behind a scientistic veneer, this time evolutionism, to justify a whole host of new bad ideas?

It is troubling to find that the concept of social evolution has often been posited as scientific to promote bigotry, unjust practices, and extreme ideologies.  It is possible, and even likely, that Joe Biden and his less-than-forthright boss are doing the same and are swinging away at marriage, tradition, and natural law with the truncheon of "evolution."  Such an attack would be very ambitious in scope and possibly more difficult to address than either communism or Nazism because it would share neither the physical nor personally immediate threat of Marx's theft or Hitler's murder. 

The "democracy of the dead" mandates humility, caution, and giving our ancestors more credit and respect than simply tossing out their long-established rules, beliefs, ethics, customs, and rites based on a weak marketing scam like "social evolution."  The concept is unscientific and bogus.  A far more rational response would be to run the other way when some aspiring social engineer approaches with the call to "evolve."  We can learn at least that much from a quick review of the last 110 years.  This is true at any time, but particularly when that social engineer is a junk science aficionado like Joe Biden, or Barack Obama hiding behind Joe Biden, and pushing an extreme ideological agenda.

[1] Handbook of Catholic Apologetics, by Peter J. Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, 2009, page 435.