Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ending Essentialism

When a Young Earth creationist expounds on his thoughts of reality, or an Intelligent Design proponent bends your ear on the same subject, what you are really hearing is essentialism.

Plato came up with the thought that there is a perfect universe that has the perfect example of everything a mind could conceive. The essence of a substance or form was eternal. Man was man, and somewhere somewhen there is the perfect man.

This is the basic theme of a YEC, god created man, man has always been man. God created all life, all life never changes its essence. A beetle is a beetle, a snake a snake and so forth.

This is the concept that needs to be challenged, since if you could show that idea to be false, then you would have nullified that view. There are many examples of the essence of a creature changing. Darwin started the ball rolling with his finches. Showing that there is no essential form that a certain animal must maintain can be easily shown; animals adapt or evolve to suit their surroundings.

Again, there are many examples of adaptation that species willingly display, but how do you get a YEC to listen? I have no clue. I am not sure that their willful ignorance can ever be exposed as such.

Does all the drama revolve around the simple saw, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink?"

Whenever I hear a family member describe how intelligently we are designed, I always wonder if he has ever imagined that wearing dentures means his teeth were shoddily created, or that the mechanical valve pumping his blood and keeping him alive is possibly better built than his failed valve?

For evolution to be a common fact, essentialism must be defeated.

Have fun.

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