Exegesis Issue #32
Exegesis Digest Sun, 28 Jul 1996 Volume 1 Issue 32
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 1996 03:05:56 +0000
From: "Francis G. Kostella" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Dale's Evolution and Cycles Theory of Astrology
The discussion everyone thought long dead rises phoenix-like from the ashes. ;-)
I must apologize for my lengthy delay in responding, and for my initial half-cocked rebuttal. The problem with being an intuitive type is that I know the answer before I find out how I got there. The other "problem" is that I've just recently "woken up" from the first few months of being in a daze while adapting to our newborn child and newfound parenthood. We're all getting a full night's sleep now, so I can actually think a bit more clearly about what my intuitive self is saying and I've been thinking about this topic for a few weeks, er, ah, months is it? Rather than revisit the prior posts in detail, let me summarize. If my summary is out of line, then please do not hesitate to correct me.
Dale's Theory: Astrology works because the process of evolution has incorporated the planetary cycles into the biological systems of planet earth. [Dale's original message]
Fran's Rebuttal: Evolution is faulty. Astrology is not limited to biological processes. There is no clear way for evolution to incorporate planetary cycles.
I want to reassert my refutation, hopefully along clearer lines.
Regarding evolution, to which Dale's theory is strongly tied, a quick quote from a pop science encyclopedia on the web, regarding "Critics of Evolution". You can see the original at: http://www.adventure.com/library/encyclopedia/ka/rfievcri.html.
Though it is the minority view in scientific circles, critics of evolution raise some interesting points. Here are a few: -- It is difficult (some believe to the point of impossibility) for life to arise from non-life, even if all necessary ingredients were mixed in abundance... That evolution causes minor changes is virtually beyond dispute, but some scientists ... don't believe it can cause major changes. This is because living beings are complex mechanisms and a change to one part of the mechanism affects other parts... Consider the bat, whose wing bones are, essentially, its fingers. If bats evolved from non- flying creatures, wouldn't the increasing length of these animals' fingers make them very clumsy and likely to be somebody's lunch long before the fingers became wings? -- The fossil record doesn't show gradual changes. Darwin said big biological changes result from eons of little changes. Some in his day . said the fossils didn't show little changes adding up to big changes. Many believed more study would close these gaps, but it hasn't... For example, most scientists believe jawless fish evolved into boney fish, which evolved into amphibians, then to reptiles and finally to mammals. This means genetic material should become increasingly different as you move from jawless fish to mammals. But it doesn't, they say. In fact the genetic material of boney fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals is about equally different from jawless fish - and from each other... Australian scientist Dr. Michael Denton said that if this evidence was available a century ago, "the idea of organic evolution might never have been accepted." While the critics of evolution hold a minority view, their objections suggest that the question is not fully resolved.
And Ted Holden's interesting pages at: http://www.access.digex.net/~medved/evolution/evolution.html takes a few more worthy digs at evolution. Some of the links to Creation Science (sic) put me off, but he makes good points without resorting to that silliness. You can check out the site on your own, and I recommend reading as much of the site as possible, I'll simply quote part of the preface:
The theory of evolution is in essence a modern religion. Like other religions, it seeks to answer the basic question of how, why, when, and under what circumstances our advanced life forms, including man, came into being. . I should note that that there is only one real answer to all such questions, i.e.:
We don't really know...
That seems simple enough, but many people who regard themselves as sophisticates seem strangely unable to deal with it.
I offer the above to demonstrate that one can be skeptical of the theory of evolution without being a "nutcase". Evolution as a theory of how to breed dogs or horses seems pretty solid, but as a theory about how life on Earth developed it doesn't hold water. For one simple example that fatally punctures evolution see the link on Holden's page to "Haldane's Dilemma". Mathematically speaking, it just doesn't work. But my purpose is not to refute evolution, I thinks that's been done fairly well already, but the weight of dogma and belief keeps it the "official party line". I do not deny that there is a history of development, only that evolution does not explain that development.
My point here is that binding a Theory of How Astrology Works (TOHAW) to the theory of evolution has an important implication: it lives or dies with evolution. If you posit, as I do, that the theory of evolution is a half baked bunch of "good little science" built up into a pseudo-religion and grand theory that ultimately rests on the strength of scientific dogma, then Dale's theory falls to pieces. Without evolution, there's no there there.
But many may not accept this view of evolution. Fine. Let me momentarily accept evolution as reasonable and argue from there. The suggestion is that evolution somehow "sees" planetary cycles. There are two problems here. The first is that there is no obvious reason for natural selection to prefer the incorporation of planetary cycles. The second is that "somehow `seeing' the planetary cycles" is a restatement of the As Yet Undiscovered Cosmic Rays TOHAW, which I believe many of us find unacceptable. Let me deal with these two issues in order.
Evolution posits the descent through long periods of time of minute variations in species. Over the long haul, natural selection chooses characteristics that support the survival and dominance of a species within an environment and those characteristics that hinder it are weeded out. Thus, a species in an environment with many predators might produce massive numbers of offspring so that a sufficient number survive to carry the species forward. So, where do planetary cycles fit in? Is the awareness of planetary cycles something that natural selection will choose, over, say, the ability to create more offspring than your predators will eat? A new attribute, arising randomly, must give a clear advantage to a species. Not only that, but this attribute must be strong enough to endure and dominate the entire species. Where is the advantage of planetary cycles that is strong enough to endure? I can't imagine any survival advantage to incorporating planetary cycles into the biology of a species. We're not just talking about one or two planets, say the Sun and Moon, we're talking about the whole thing, all the planets. And we're ignoring things like signs and angles and aspects, and why, say, any given aspect is operative.
But for argument's sake, let us assume that the predator of some species is somehow keyed to a planetary cycle and that the species we are investigating adapts to this pattern of the predator. But has our species incorporated planetary cycles into its makeup? No, it has adapted to the predator, not the planetary cycles. So what about the predator? From where did the predator develop the planetary cycle attribute? From some other species? But that leads to an infinite regression, we can't just posit that it is caused by some other species, it has to be a successful adaptation that benefits the species, or it has to come from the environment. So, at some point, these planetary cycles have to come from the environment. If we deny that they come from the environment, then we must posit that some mutations introduced planetary cycles into the biology of life on earth, and that these mutations were not only successful and beneficial to the species involved, but that they spread into the entire system of life on this planet! For this to be true, then there must be some great survival advantage to planetary cycles, but I cannot imagine what it may be.
And to further illuminate the issue, assume that there are 1000 mutations in a species in a given period of time. Let us be liberal and assume that 10% of these are beneficial mutations. Now let us be very, very liberal and assume that 10% of these are related to planetary cycles. In the tooth and claw world of evolution, how are the recipients of these planetary cycle mutations going to survive against other mutations, such as the ability to eat a wider variety of foods, or the ability to produce more offspring, or a more efficient attack or defense? According to evolution, an individual that is more successful at reproduction will dominate those who acquire a sensitivity to the Jupiter cycle. And we're just looking at one species. And my reading of evolution texts suggest that our 1000 mutations require millions of years, but I'm not an evolutionist so take this number with a grain of salt. I only want to point out how improbable it is for random planetary cycle mutations to take hold.
It seems inescapable to me that in order for this theory to stand, the planetary cycles cannot be mutations, they must arise from the environment. And this is my second point, the claim that evolution "somehow `sees' the planetary cycles" is a restatement of the As Yet Undiscovered Cosmic Rays TOHAW.
If we cannot articulate why planetary cycle attributes will take hold in a species, then we must posit that planetary cycles are imposed by the environment. But wait a second, this is the problem of the current "New Age" TOHAW, some cosmic rays emanate from the planets and show up in the effects we astrologers observe. Yet, no one has discovered any evidence of these cosmic rays. This is the same claim, there is an effect in the environment that only astrologers can see, nobody else can measure them. Except that here the idea is embedded in evolution, as if the requirement for proof of physical effects were not needed.
To talk about the environment in evolution we can cite geological or climatic situations. An ice age occurs, species attempt to adapt. Your mountains become islands, the species attempt to adapt. And so on. Where is the impact on the environment of planetary cycles? The local gravity changes somewhere out past the 23rd decimal point? The pattern of faint lights in the sky change? Why is your species watching the planets in the sky when there are predators out to get you and food is scarce? Why would a predator watch the planets when it needs to consume massive amounts of food, high on the food chain, to support that advanced musculature and respiratory system? Why would your clover "wake up" for half the year when the Sun is down, to watch the development of Saturn's position in the zodiac, let alone measure the angle between Saturn and Jupiter, which may not even be visible? And who could perceive Uranus for all of those millions of years before it was discover two hundred years ago, and incidentally, how did evolution so quickly incorporate Uranus into the structure of biological adaptation to planetary cycles?
We cannot just say, "it is there because I see it", of course we see it, we're astrologers. Linking astrology to evolution this way is to drag in a deus ex machina, it doesn't solve the problem and only introduces a complexity into the As Yet Undiscovered Cosmic Rays TOHAW. Worst of all, taking off my pro-evolution hat, it links astrology to the worst possible theory in modern science, the theory of evolution.
Let me backtrack a bit. I think Dale's idea is worthy once we accept that the theory of evolution is fatally flawed. The problem with evolution is not, as Creation Science (sic) claims, that no development has occurred on this planet, but that it does not fit the facts. The facts suggest that a lot of mysterious and surprising changes have occurred on this planet over the ages, and there's no reason to suppose that what Dale suggests cannot have occurred. The problem is that there is no viable replacement to evolution at this point and the orthodoxy cannot let go of evolution no matter how flawed. It seems that human societies require their priests to have a theory of what we are and where we came from. To quote Holden again, "We don't really know..." and that leaves us beyond the fringes of reason.
What do I think is a better explanation of the development of life on this planet? I'm voting for morphic resonance, but don't bet the house.
Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996 their respective authors.
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