A Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, Robert Wright is the author of two highly acclaimed books, "Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny" and "The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life." The Moral Animal was named by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 12 best books of 1994 and has been published in 12 languages. In his review of "Nonzero," John Judis hails it as a genuine advance in our understanding,
"....of how we came to be, and where we are headed... We---the sorry mass of humanity---have made history, but we have often proceeded blindly and without the least understanding of the great project in which we are engaged. Wright should be content that he has described, better than anyone in recent days, the nature and scope of that endeavor." (John Judis, The Washington Monthly, April, 2000)
As Judis makes clear, Darwinism is an evolutionary cosmology, a philosophical discipline that seeks to understand and account for the strictly physical origins and evolution of the Universe, the spontaneous generation of life from chemicals (abiogenesis), the origin, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws of evolution and matter that determine everything about it.
In their more candid moments, evolutionists generally admit that the spontaneous generation of life from non-living matter is a highly improbable event. If however, the amount of time available is without end then the problem of life from non-life is supposedly overcome. The following quote from evolutionist George Wald writing on The Origin of Life in Scientific American (August,1954, p. 48) speaks of this necessity:
â€œTime is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless there. Given so much time, the â€˜impossibleâ€™ becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait; time itself performs the miracles.â€
Darwinism and abiogenesis are the first two principle or primary doctrines of the worldview offered by Secular Humanists, Transhumanists, New Atheists, and occult spiritual New Age. Darwinism and abiogenesis replace the living God and the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo as the great explainer of the appearance of life in all of its forms.
Evolutionists are entirely dependent upon Darwinism and abiogenesis for their naturalistic worldview, the belief that modern naturalistic science is the great unifying answer to the most basic questions of human life.
In chapter 20, "The Last Adaptation," Wright briefly describes the first apperance of 'culture' as prehistoric hominids ride an evolutionary escalator up, up, and away:
"The first hard evidence of culture in the human lineage comes in the form of crude stone tools fashioned more than 2 million years ago. What made our ancestors start using stone tools? The consensus among archaeologists, according to one of them, is that the habitat was becoming "drier, less forested, and/or more dangerous"; these "environmental pressures for survival" forced early hominids to innovate." (nonzero.org )
In a Guardian article from December 19, 2008, Mary Midgly provides us with the origins of the escalator myth and its consequences:
"Humanist sages, from Comte through Julian Huxley to recent exponents of the strong anthropic principle, have steadily encouraged us to build up our appreciation of the human race into a full-scale edifice of self-worship. Science itself has seemed to be a central shrine within this temple, certainly not an iconoclastic force that might disturb it. Thus progress (smoothly dove-tailed with evolution) has increasingly appeared as an escalator, powered by our own remarkable abilities and bearing us â€“ perhaps with cybernetic additions and perhaps becoming immortal â€“ reliably on towards a distant and mysterious Omega Point."
â€˜So vast is the scale of this dream that no actual downturn in human affairs has yet really managed to dent it. Wars, famines and political disasters have been treated as mere surface blips. Today, however, things are surely changing. Any detached observer can see that our earthly prospects are becoming ever bleaker and that â€“ whatever other causes for this are involved â€“ human contributions to those prospects have been, and still are, fearfully destructive. The escalator myth has nothing to do with reality."
"If we ask, then, what religious change is most urgently needed today, the best answer surely is that we should debunk and explode this anthropolatrous superstition. We do not need it. Its bad practical effects are clear, not only in the mass of silly climate change denial which infests the internet but, more subtly, in the extreme slowness with which peoples and governments still respond to obvious dangers. But it is also bad in itself, psychologically and spiritually. It is bad religion. Self-worship is an appalling habit, which vitiates the deep understanding of human life that serious humanism calls for â€¦"
The tendency of the escalator myth is to invert reality and utterly destroy the vision of man as imago Dei by picturing him as an evolved ape, a creature driven and primarily determined by the laws of evolution and matter.
Whether we call it the progressive escalator myth, Darwinism or just plain evolutionary thinking, it logically contradicts the validity of coherent thought. Evolutionary thinking is not sane. It inverts creation and God's created order of being and makes it difficult if not impossible to even conceive of a created order and Revelation from which men have fallen.
Commenting on the consequences of evolutionary thinking, G.K. Chesterton observes that we do not see man "straight" when we see him as merely an animal, an evolved ape:
"It is not sane. It sins against the light; against the broad daylight of proportion which is the principle of all reality." (The Restitution of Man: C.S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism, Michael D. Aeschliman, p. 40)
Evolutionary thinking was for Chesterton a most vile foolishness:
"Something in the evil spirit of our times forces people alwayso pretend to have found some material and mechanical explanation" for their own wicked acts and those of other people, when they really do know that these acts are the result of "the non-mechanical part of man, the sacred quality in creation and choice (and so the) stupidest or wickedest action is supposed to become reasonable or respectable, not by having found a reason in scientific fact, but merely by having found any sort of excuse in scientific language." (ibid, pp. 41, 43)
Os Guinness concurs. In his book, "Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil," Guinness observes that,
"the scale and scope of evil has increased in the modern world." The Ottoman massacre of one and a half million Armenians in WWI and the Rwandan and Sudanese massacres in the 1990s that took the lives of 3 million people are "like a pair of grisly bookends that frame the twentieth century as the most murderous century in all history." In between the bookends are such atrocities as the "Ukraine terror famine, Auschwitz, the rape of Nanking, the Burma railway, the Soviet Gulag, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Cambodian killing fields, and the massacres in Bangladesh and Yugoslavia..." (p. 4)
Modern Westerners and Americans have consistently demonstrated a poor response to modern evil, said Guinness. Whereas America was once known for its tough-minded realism with its view of evil defined under God as sin, today the word sin has all but disappeared, even from pulpits, leaving sinless, egoistic Americans confused and argumentative over the word evil. So it is no wonder that Americans demonstrate "a chronic inability to name and judge evil and to respond effectively." (pp. 5-7)
A lethal combination of forces over the past century have damaged and created the sorry state of moral illiteracy, self-worshipping egotism, confusion, and intellectual cowardice. The primary culprit is progressivism's inverted exegis with its' materialist philosophy and evolutionary escalator:
"Progressivism in philosophy and politics has replaced evil with utopian views of human goodness and led people and whole societies to believe that people are truly getting better and better on an ever upward-march to peace and prosperity." (ibid, p. 7)
In other words, whereas the Genesis account speaks of manâ€™s relationship with God starting at the pinnacle of Creation week in the Garden of Eden after which degeneration commences, the escalator myth turns the Genesis account upside-down by teaching that life started out at the bottom and only after millennia upon millennia of evolution evolved its' way to the top via the old macroevolutionary amoeba-to-fish-to-dinosaur-to-ape-to-prehistoric cave-man story.
If the escalator myth is paradoxically true, then Robert Wrights speculative theory that instinct-driven apish cave-men fashioned crude stone tools more than 2 million years ago is a true account of the progressive evolution of life and man. According to this account we really are getting better and better when the exact opposite is true as Rachel Alexander makes clear in her article, "Culture of Rudeness Contributing to Government Dependency:'
"As rudeness is becoming increasingly common in our culture, Americans are finding it more difficult to work with each other. Far too many people now lack morals and manners. The U.S. has become a materialistic culture full of self-interest and lacking in respect for humanity. The outward manifestation of this is an inability to get along with others." (http://patriotsandliberty.com/?p=18664 )
In his analysis of modern massacres and genocides, Os Guinness concludes:
"The worst modern atrocities were perpetrated by secularist regimes, led by secularist intellectuals and in the name of secularist beliefs." (p. 9)
The scale and scope of modern evil calls secular humanism in its many permutations into question along with its so-called scientific cosmology grounded on two primary doctrines, Darwinism and abiogenesis. What will it take for secular humanists to wake up from their self-induced deceptions and finally take evil seriously? As Midgley said,
" Any detached observer can see that our earthly prospects are becoming ever bleaker and that â€“ whatever other causes for this are involved â€“ human contributions to those prospects have been, and still are, fearfully destructive. The escalator myth has nothing to do with reality."