Saturday, June 17, 2006

Papa Darwin and Westernized Evolution

Western Thought and Translation
I have been fascinated by evolution since childhood, brought on by a famous drawing that once graced those "monkey science" books of the days when Julius Huxley began to make evolution popular again right before WWII with his publication of Evolution: the Modern Synthesis. The drawing showed a polywog crawling up out of a broiling mash of nucleotides, proteins, nitric acids--a cauldron of leftover matter from the Big Bang that started it all. Big Bang equals Big Daddy and Big Mommy, the only theosophy that recognized both genders in its God. Then the polywog turns into a duckbill platypus, which in turn becomes a mongoose or something, which becomes a lemur, which becomes a rhesis monkey, which becomes a chimpanzee, which becomes an ape, which becomes a Lucy of the Seringhetti, which becomes a Cretin or a Neanderthal, which becomes a nomadic tribesman, which becomes a Ghengis Khan, which becomes a Ben Franklin, which becomes a guy coming out of an office building wearing an Armani suit (the highest form of evolution to an advertising humanoid). That drawing hooked me. I had grown up with southern folks who had lived live through the Scopes Trial. Scopes was accused by the Tennesseean Snopes of guiding little Snopes bastards right straight into the pits of Holy Hell by teaching them that they came from monkeys rather than they were made from mud in the image of a perfect handsome White man God named Jehovah as antiscientifically set forth in their version of Big Daddy's Holy Book, as translated by snooty English prelates, one of which was later burned at the stake, as the King James version of the English interpretation of their God's Hebraic-invented Holy Book of Old Jewish Tales. All of that going on in backwardsly progressive Tennessee (Al "Give Up" Gore's home state), up in the hollows of the ancestral home of the still-Elizabethan (Shakespeare's time) Saxon-outcasts hilly billies, the same boneheads who before the Scopes Trial came up with the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tennessee.

I must here confess that a part of my family originated in Tennessee within the Lipscomb clan that was headed by a weird kind of thinking Anabaptist Kaintuckian named David Lipscomb--he has a university named after him in Nashville, the Athens of the Mississippi Valley, by the way.

Lipscomb was born in Kaintuck, that's right, same as old Dan'l "King of the Wild Frontier" [acc. to the great American historian, Walt Disney] Boone, Davy CrockofTexasBullshit, and Honest Abe "the Railsplitter" Lincoln. Lipscomb's father, a plain ole Baptist, got hooked on a new brand of AnaBaptist thinking that started within the Baptist church in western Pennsylvania and in old Kaintuck, started by older church leader types, like Alexander Campbell, another Kaintuckan, and especially in Campbell's Restorationist publication, The Christian Baptist. This Baptist Restorationists intended to take the Christian church back to the 1st century, the time of what they called "the original church," the Christian church movement founded by the 12 apostles that followed Jesus Christ around Judea helping him put on his roadside Essene teachings--they did have tents in those days, but I don't if Jesus had a tent, you know, like Oral Roberts and the early Hilly Billy, Texas Clodhopper "tent revival" circuit throughout Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas back in the post-Dust Bowl days.

The Restorationists, those David Lipscomb followed, were opposed to musical instruments in church. You didn't need instruments to worship God and Jesus; the very worship of these supernaturals gave you a heavenly voice which you sung as high and hard into the heavens as you could go. This Restoration ban led to the development within these churches of great a cappella choirs. Lispscomb was also a "separatist" when it came to the secular and the spiritual, following the New Testament proclamation of Jesus the Essene Judean, to give unto Caesar what's his and unto Jehovah what's his and never the twain shall meet. The separation of Church and State; that's what that's all about. Lipscomb lived this separation of Church and State actually down to his life itself; you lived one way in the secular world and you lived the Chrisitan way inside your church and your home or inside your church's dogma or inside your church's educational structure. Lipscomb decided it was anti-Christian to vote or to serve on juries--that has to do with swearing on Bibles--these guys didn't believe in swearing of any kind, so help you God, goddammit. During the Civil War (Nashville was occupied by Union Troops under U.S. Grant) Lipscomb got labelled a Christian anarchist when he and Tolbert Fanning declared themselves pacifists because, as Lipscomb put it, he didn't believe in violence of any kind against any human being, black or white, rich or poor. Tolbert Fanning was arrested as an anarchist for his pacificism.

Lipscomb got his "college" training at Fanning's Franklin College in Nashville. After graduating Franklin College, Lipscomb went to Georgia and ran a plantation (it's interesting to note here that Lipscomb's father, Granville, had moved his family from Kaintuck to Springfield, Illinois, before the Civil War in order to free his 4 slaves). Then Lipscomb moved back to the Nashville area, to become a very successful farmer.

Lipscomb and Fanning then formed a Restorationist church in Nashville that joined with the Kaintuck Campbellites in Louisville and called themselves the Churches of Christ, which is known today as The Church of Christ--remember, strict-Bible interpreters believe there is only one Church of Christ, and it ain't the Catholic Church (the Church of Saint Peter) and it ain't the Baptists (the Church of John the Baptist) and it ain't the Modernists--the Back East Congregationalists, Reformers, Roger Williams Baptists, and Unitarians--but, hell, you can hardly call Unitarianism Christian-serious. The first and only Unitarian church I ever attended, with a finely developed, both mentally and physically, flautist from Eugene, Oregon, I was sexually attached to, the head of my Sociology department at college preached a sermon using Evelyn Waugh's The Loved Ones as his text. No mention was made of the Bible or Jesus or even God; it was more a sermon you would expect from a Sociology professor who had been trained at the University of Chicago (source of today's devasting Neo-Con takeover punks and old gnarly Leo Strauss, the anti-Trotsky commie-at-first freak professor)--all about mores regarding death and burial in this country, the funereal ceremonies, etc.

There's a little background on my family's religious relationships led by old gentle David Lipscomb, so much a pacifist, he did not approve of American football--it was much too violent for his Christianity which emphasized the only commandment Jesus's followers had to obey was "Love thy neighbors as thyself" (Damn, Jesus talks like a Quaker, doth he not?) David loved his neighbors as himself, even his black brethren, though when he built Lipscomb University back in the US Restoration days, he built segregated schools, one for whites--the main campus on the Lipscomb estate grounds and one for blacks a little ways north of the white campus. The college was integrated in 1960, Praise the Lard.

I grew up in the penumbra of the Church of Christ because of my great-grandmother who originally was a "shoutin' Baptist," an Anabaptist, but when she came to Abilene, Texas, she got involved with what was to become the Mother Church of the Church of Christ due to her being a historical member of the church due to her being related to David Lipscomb and her primitive approach to Christianity. She did have trouble with this church, though, because she was not only a pacifist, but had helped hide black women and children from the Texas Night Riders (what the Ku Klux Klannish ex-Confederate soldiers mostly called themselves as they rode late at night just suddenly coming upon a house and raiding it--having perhaps already marked it as a potential white family protecting runaway slaves) back after the Civil War and thought the whole idea of slavery an abomination of the Christian principle of "Love thy neighbor as thy self" or the Golden Rule, which she followed opposing the Ten Commandments, "the Commandments to the Jews," she called them. and her interpretation of the Golden Rule was, "Do unto others as you'd do unto you," and that meant not only being kind to all human beings no matter their color (she loved the Native American culture, too; plus she was a very primitively intuitive woman who scared the hell out of kids and who I was sure was a witch) but being kind to all living beings including flowers. That didn't affect however her having a front-row seat in the Amen Corner of the Mother Church of the Church of Christ Church of Louisville, Kaintuck, and Nashville, Tennessee. Later, her daughter, my grandmother, because of my mother really, broke with the Mother Church, and went with my mother into yet another break-off of the original Campbellite Louisville Church of Christ that had been founded by a German immigrant named R.H. Boll. This branch of the Church of Christ differed from the original Church of Christ in that it believed in what was called "eternal life," which simply means once you're a Christian, once you've been immersed in the big tank of water, the baptistry, that sits behind a velvet curtained device just behind the pulpit in "baptizing" churches, you are a Christian for the rest of your life, until "the roll is called up yonder," no matter how far back on the escalator to heaven you slide (it's called "backsliding" to Christians), you still were on that escalator, and besides, when you're a Christian, you've got forgiveness guaranteed you if you "confess" your sins before Jesus himself, the good mediating son of God. This form of "baptism" is the basis of converting to Christianity in the "Baptist" Church, which gets its name from John the Baptist, the Essene dude who lived most of his life alone in the desert and who immersed Essene faithful in the River Jordan--"On Jordan's stormy banks I stand and cast a wistful eye...oh, who will come and go with me, I am bound for the promised land."-- immersion being the baptism that truly symbolizes you melding your body into the liquid body of Christ, or the Church of Christ. Dig? Remember the Shifters on the later Star Trek?

All of this to give you a background as to why I became so fascinated with evolution as a young man. I couldn't believe that crap I heard in that Church of Christ, which definitely by the time I was in it was not pacifist in the least and certainly not separatist at all since the Church of Christ at that time ran the city of Abilene, Texas, even to the point of dominating the local sports scene, because in spite of David Lipscomb condemning American football, Abilene Christian College had a hell of a small college football team back after WWII, undefeated in like 1950 under coach Tonto Coleman and a quarterback named Ted Sitton, and going all the way to the Refrigerator Bowl in Evansville, Indiana, where they lost to a Minnesota team from Gustavus Adolphus, whose original coach, Amos Alonzo Stagg, once was the oldest coach to ever coach football in the world who didn't quit coaching until he was in his nineties. Also the Abilene Christian College track team were of World Champion quality under track genius Oliver Jackson, culminating in the Melbourne Olympics where ACC dashman Bobby Morrow won three gold medals, two for winning both the 100-yd dash (he held the World Record in it for years) and the 220-yd dash and then one for being on the ACC world record holding mile relay team--this is before the days of meters; the days of the 100-yard dash and the mile run.

All of the above bullshit was just to get your attention drawn to this New York Times Review of Books review I found on BuzzFlash this morning. Modern evolution has gone so far beyond Darwin, who went pretty damn far, by the way, to me some Western thinking that is more monumental than anything else discovered in the 19th century by the snooty Brits. Charles Darwin wasn't a snooty Brit; he was a curious Brit who took advantage of the Empire's far-reaching interference to do what became the map leading to the true nature of flora and fauna in the Gestalt we call "the world." Read this review and realize how connected we are to, say, worms. Modern evolutionists call their form of study "Evolution and Development." These guys study how the embryo grows and how an infant matures into an adult. They evolved out of the Modern Synthesis evolution movement that came about in the early 1940s (see my early reference to Julius Huxley's Evolution: the Modern Synthesis) that argued evolution consisted of "small random changes-- variations -- [that] occur [in] organisms through mutations of genes." These changes give an organism a greater chance of surviving, persisting from generation to another through advantageous traits--"natural selection."

Here's a great finding from these guys: It was once thought that because humans were the most developed evolutionary beings they would therefore have more genes because of their so many complexities. Humans were supposed to have around 6o,ooo genes. Turns out, we only have 25,000 genes--only 11,000 more than the lowly earthworm.

Then they get into Hox genes and how wing genes can be extracted from a fruit fly and transposed to an abnormal place for wings on its body and still wing gene is "translated" as a wing and will grow as such. Wow. That's awesome thinking to me. I love guys who make their living by having to mathmatically reformulate life every day of their lives. Read this review. You'll find out, too, a giraffe has the same number of vertebrae as you. Evolution depends of a gene pattern. Darwin didn't know anything about Mendel's work, by the way.

for The Daily Growler

A Daily Growl Sports Extra With Marv Backbiter
Dammit, I missed the Ghana-Czech match; Ghana was kicking Czech ass 1-0 [they won 2-0] when I dropped out and watched another unbelieveably exciting Yankees game--again down in the District of Corruption against the Nats. It was 9-2 and then the Yanks brought in two Double A minor league pitchers who gave up 5 runs and suddenly it's 9-8 in the bottom of the 7th. Holy shit, minor league pitchers suck. Come on, minor leagues, teach better baseball to these young goofs. Pitching is so much the key to a great baseball team. [Yankees had a one-run lead going into the bottom of the eighth; they ran out of relievers so they brought Mariano Rivera in early. It was a big mistake; Mariano gave up 2 runs and ended up losing the game 11-9. It happens! The Mets also let lowly Baltimore sweep its series with them--today ex-Met Chris Benton shut the Mets down solid. Mets aren't that bad; Willie should have known how to handle Baltimore.]

So, hey, you F-ing doubters, the USA is tied with mighty Italy right this minute [the game ended in a tie; the US is so bad, Italy kicked their only goal by accident]--fresh off The Daily Growler wire service. I'd also not given any notice to the Dutchmen. They're undefeated and playing Argentina next. OK, the bets are in; I have l hat betting on Argentina; the wolfman is betting on long-shot Ecuador; I'm leaning toward Spain the more I hear and read about them; but who the hell knows? I gotta watch the Nederlanders and the Boys from the Pampas before I really notch my belt with an Espana flag.

I can see why soccer is called "football." It is played entirely with the feet. Why is American football called football? It should be called hand-and-football--or maybe appendageball.

for The Daily Growler

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