Freedom Expanded: Book 1—The Old Biology
Part 4:12 The great denials in biology of Social Darwinism, Sociobiology, Evolutionary Psychology, Multilevel Selection and Eusociality
Part 4:12A Denial-based mechanistic biology was bound to lose its way
Before presenting the great dishonest denials in biology of Social Darwinism, Sociobiology, Evolutionary Psychology, Multilevel Selection and Eusociality, the point should be made that trying to make sense of animal and plant behaviour, including our own human behaviour, while avoiding such fundamental truths as Integrative Meaning, was like trying to understand how a car functions having decided not to look under the bonnet at the engine—such thinking was bound to become lost and confused: ‘Right, I think the steering wheel must have something to do with what makes the car go; yes, turning it initiates lateral forces of obtuse magnitude, verifying the monopoly of progress……No, it must be something to do with having an empty boot; yes, the vacant atmosphere catalyses the breeding of rats in Russia, inversely liberating untold energy, and we have carried out studies from every angle to prove our new Russian Rodent Theory. The model fits the data admirably.’!!
This may sound like an absurdly exaggerated comparison, but unfortunately it’s frighteningly close to the truth. As mentioned in Parts 4:4B and 4:10, Plato recognised the destructive effect denial—especially denial of Integrative Meaning—has had on our intellect’s capacity to think effectively when he wrote that ‘when the soul [our species’ integratively orientated original instinctual self or soul] uses the instrumentality of the body [uses the body’s intellect with its preoccupation with denial] for any inquiry…it is drawn away by the body into the realm of the variable, and loses its way and becomes confused and dizzy, as though it were fuddled [drunk]…But when it investigates by itself [free of human-condition-avoiding, intellectual denial], it passes into the realm of the pure and everlasting and immortal and changeless, and being of a kindred nature, when it is once independent and free from interference, consorts with it always and strays no longer, but remains, in that realm of the absolute [Integrative Meaning], constant and invariable’ (Phaedo, tr. H. Tredennick). Plato also referred to the need to be able ‘to look straight at reality’ if we are to effectively ‘learn’ when he wrote that ‘this capacity [of a mind…to see clearly] is innate in each man’s mind [we are born with a truthful, instinctive orientation to the cooperative, loving, integrative meaning of existence], and that the faculty by which he learns is like an eye which cannot be turned from darkness to light unless the whole body is turned; in the same way the mind as a whole must be turned away from the world of change until it can bear to look straight at reality, and at the brightest of all realities which is what we call the Good [Integrative Meaning or God]’ (The Republic, tr. H.D.P. Lee, 1955, p.283 of 405).
Human-condition-avoiding, denial-complying, intellectual-not-instinctual, mechanistic, reductionist science has suffered very greatly from an inability to think truthfully and thus effectively; it certainly has ‘los[t] its way and become confused and dizzy, as though it were fuddled [drunk]’. And since biology deals with behaviour, it is in fact the field of science that is most responsible for investigating the issue of the human condition, and since virtually all humans, including virtually all biologists, haven’t been able to go anywhere near the issue of the human condition, we can expect that it is within biology that we will find dishonest intellectualism running wild; it is where we can expect to find extraordinary, indeed fantastic, examples of dishonesty, and the most extreme intellectualism, employing increasingly complex arguments, more and more convoluted sentences with bigger and bigger words, to the extent that what is being said or ‘reported’ has become virtually incomprehensible. But, the inability to genuinely approach the subject of the human condition having taken on the task of doing so was a diabolically difficult situation for biologists to be in, with the desperate end result being that in order to conceal their failings they feel they have no choice but to go all-out to create the impression of having presented a brilliant analysis when, in truth, their theories are devoid of substance. Untangling such extreme intellectualism is difficult—for students of biology it must have been a nightmare—but, since I have been able to decipher and explain the human condition, I should be able to penetrate and demystify any version of the human condition, even mechanistic biologists’ extremely dishonest, highly intellectualised interpretations of the behaviour of animals and plants. If I apply my soul-guided, human-condition-confronting-not-human-condition-avoiding mind that, as Plato said, can ‘look straight at reality’ and thus ‘see clearly’, I should be able to get to the bottom of what these biologists are psychologically attempting to do, as well as to the essence of their supposed arguments.
I should explain that while I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology at Sydney University in 1971, I, like the biology students I mentioned above, found much of the biological literature we were given to study very difficult to comprehend. But what I did gain was sufficient grounding in the principles of biology, particularly the principles of Darwin’s idea of natural selection, to be in a position to take my truthful, human-condition-confronting-not-human-condition-avoiding approach off on its own and start thinking effectively about biology, especially about the biology of the human condition, the result of which is the true explanation of the development of order of matter that is presented in Parts 8:2 and 8:3 (a brief summary of which will be given next in Part 4:12B). While I maintained an interest in, and awareness of, what was taking place in the world of dishonest, mechanistic biology (a summary of which is given in my 2006 book, The Great Exodus), I basically left that world and began thinking about behaviour, especially human behaviour, on my own, eventually establishing, in 1983, an independent institution for the study and amelioration of the human condition, which is now called the World Transformation Movement. What all this means is that to provide this in-depth analysis of the great denials in biology of Social Darwinism, Sociobiology, Evolutionary Psychology, Multilevel Selection and Eusociality, I have had to look at a lot of biological literature that I had not previously read because of its dishonesty. What I learnt when, in April to July of 2012, I carried out this investigation into the world of dishonest biological thinking was a great shock to me, as it will no doubt be for the reader, for as you will see, the journey that denial-complying, human-condition-avoiding, mechanistic scientific thought has been on is a truly amazing saga of intrigue and counter-intrigue that has reached a very sad and lonely place; a place, as Plato predicted, that has ‘los[t] its way and become confused and dizzy, as though it were fuddled [drunk]’. It has resulted in a situation where there are now two polarised, left-wing and right-wing versions of biology, both of which are completely ‘los[t]’ and ‘confused’—the same situation, in fact, that now afflicts the whole human race. Thank goodness then for the arrival of the liberating understanding of the human condition that safely and compassionately brings to an end this whole terrible, human-condition-afflicted, messed-up and traumatised state of the world.
I might say that it does seem a shame to subject the reader to the task of having to wade through all this human-condition-avoiding, denial-based, intellectualised biological thinking. Indeed, if you wish, you can avoid this nightmare and go straight to the denial-free, unadulterated, uncomplicated biological explanation of the story of the development of life on Earth that is presented in Part 8.
On the other hand, the full account of all the dishonest biological theories that is presented in Parts 4:12C to 4:12J is such an amazing saga of intrigue and counter-intrigue that you may actually want to read it, just as you would a high-drama, high-stakes crime novel—and a crime novel it certainly is, for there is just so much dishonesty involved, and on such an all-important issue as the biology of human nature!
If you do choose to read this 153 years of dishonest biology (from when Darwin published his idea of natural selection in 1859 to when this Part is being written in 2012) rather than go straight through to the honest biology, I will provide at least a brief summary of the truthful account of the development of order of matter on Earth that is more fully presented in Parts 8:2 and 8:3.