I believe in evolution. What do I mean by that statement?
First - no, not first, but at least first in this short presentation - I do not believe in so-called "creation." None of this wacky god-shit. Even wackier, so-called "creation-science". There's no science in it.
I do believe in science, though. This does not imply that I believe all the scientific theories out there. Nor does this mean that I support the work of all scientists out there. What it does mean is that I support personal observation - the use of one's faculties (both those of sensory input and of rational reflection) - as the best ways to interact with the world. Whether this amounts to "believing" and/or "belief" is immaterial, for what it does not amount to in the actual practice of this methodology is "faith", which is blind
So, when I say I believe in evolution, I mean several things:
I am of the opinion that, given the current evidence, humans evolved from apes, which evolved from ...
I find the concept of "natural" selection, as a broad principle, to be supported by the current evidence
I think that nature supports the "survival of the fittest"
However, this does not mean that I necessarily draw the same conclusions from these statements that many have done before me. In particular,
I don't think evolution points to or supports the concept of "social darwinism"
I don't believe that evolution is necessarily "progressive"; I find it to be rarely pro-active, and at best re-active
I don't think that just because "Mother Nature" uses natural selection, that we have to then keep our hands out of things and let "nature take its course"
I think that evolution is a structure that describes observable data. It is not teleological in nature, and it is not limited to "nature" in its scope, necessarily. But since it is descriptive, not prescriptive, it should not be used as a model upon which to base behavior.
One argument goes along the lines that through evolution and scientific materialism the human subject becomes merely and object. A world without god becomes a world without morals and without humanity. The two counter arguments I make are as follows:
We can and must keep the descriptive and prescriptive separate; just because evolution and/or science describes behaviors does not mean that society must follow such a model. Indeed, I find society to be merely a construct, and hence, social morals are also a construct, and therefore relative. However, as a construct, society provides a useful illusion, a framework (something that is constructed), one that provides us (individuals) with a way to step above our material needs, and so that even if our lives are finite, we can at least live them in some degree of enjoyment.
It is necessary to remember, and this is perhaps mildly ironic, that the scientific theories which are interpretted as making the individual useless and worthless are themselves based upon the belief that the individual has worth and that the individual's observations (either sensory or intellectual) are of value. By negating the individual, such theories negate themselves.
I like that "Darwin" fish (with feet) swallowing that stupid little "Jesus" fish - my brother had put one on my car one year. It evidently scared off one of his dates.