Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Age of Uncommon Nonsense

LifeSite has a special report triggered by the Man “Plague Species” exhibit in the London Zoo (see Eric's TDE post from Saturday). John Jalsevac begins his article quoting Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails: "See the animal in his cage that you built, are you sure what side you're on?... Are you sure what side of the glass you are?"

The root of his article begs us to read Chesterton:

But the unfortunate fact is that “evolution really is mistaken for explanation”, which G.K. Chesterton points in Everlasting Man, which is by far one of the best books on the question of Man, and which everybody ought to read immediately if they haven’t already. “It has the fatal quality of leaving on many minds the impression that they do understand it and everything else; just as many of them live under a sort of illusion that they have read Origin of Species.”

Much like the Big Bang theory, the theory of Darwinian evolution creates the dangerous aura of The Answer, when it isn’t anything of the sort. It’s exactly the same monstrous fallacy so many made of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, making the ludicrous leap from the relativity of space and time to the relativity of morality, all to the absolute horror of Einstein.

However, contrary to mainstream reporting, being a “close-minded creationist”is not seen by many honest thinkers and believers as the only credible option to Darwinism. That Man may, in some mysterious, miraculous fashion, have resulted from a physical evolution of primates over a period of many, many thousands or millions of years, that led him to the point of coming into the full possession of his sublime and spiritual humanity is by all accounts possible. Remote, but possible, and all the more miraculous for its remoteness.

It seems quite reasonable that no matter how slow a miracle may happen, it still remains a miracle. Says Chesterton: “The Greek witch may have turned sailors to swine with a stroke of the wand. But to see a naval gentleman of our acquaintance looking a little more like a pig every day, till he ended with four trotters and a curly tail, would not be any more soothing. It might be rather more creepy and uncanny.”


Chesterton was fond of pointing out that we currently live, not in the age of common sense, but the age of “uncommon nonsense”. The man of uncommon nonsense—only too often a scholar of great acclaim—puts men and women into a cage and believes that he has proved something sublime. While the man of common sense visiting the zoo in the hope of glimpsing an exotic animal blushes on seeing an exotic dancer instead and promptly goes home to soothe away the distressing feeling that the world has gone completely loony with a drink and a Sinatra record.

"A lot of people think humans are above other animals. When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds us that we're not that special,” said another visitor to the zoo, who was evidently suffering from temporary amnesia that caused him to forget the pyramids, the Panama canal, and the complete poetical works of Pope.

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