The Official Winds eNewsletter
Copyright © March 2004
Superstitious Thinking...Part 2
The New World "Order"....
~written from the common sense perspective of The Winds of the Soul~
by Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.)
|The cognitive habits which comprise superstitious thinking are generally well protected, if not insulated, from ongoing honest criticism and challenge.||
Last month, I began speaking about the ways in which superstitious thinking has begun to infiltrate our culture and society, an opinion which generated a great deal of energy and interest from our readers. I want to thank you all for your pithy feedback. Some comments and questions in particular were exceptionally interesting and provocative. I hope to answer and explore these tidbits of insight within this months offering, which as promised, will explore some other examples of superstitious thinking in the academic and religious arenas.
You may recall that I broadly defined superstitious thinking as the means many now comfortably arrive at conclusions and entertain beliefs which, if examination allowed, would prove generally illogical, unreasonable, and unverifiable, or at least inconsistent within the realities of this world. The cognitive habits which comprise superstitious thinking are generally well protected, if not insulated, from ongoing honest criticism and challenge.
Copyright © 2003 Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.). All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, including but not limited to all forms of media print, audio, electronic and video reproduction, without the prior express and specific written content of the author, except in cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
|A recent case in point is in the field of Biology, where Darwin's Theory of Evolution is still taught without reservation or embarrassment within both High School and College curriculums. Indeed, such nonsense is still exhorted as truth in some of the finest educational institutions in the nation, including our most prestigious Ivy League schools.||
Offhand, one wouldn't think that any field within Academic climes would breed habits of Superstitious thinking, especially those in the areas of Science and Philosophy. But, as we will see, despite the advances and breakthroughs, even here, superstitious thinking continues to find fertile ground.
Historically, science has been replete with the enshrining of the superstitious and the rejection of the truth all because of habits of religious tradition, cultural insistence, and academic resistance. Any reading of scientific history reveals how difficult it was to break free from superstitious dogma, whether it was in the acceptance that the earth actually revolved around the sun or the discovery of the unseen microbial world.
All new ideas, even when they are true, have an uphill journey to tread before they are accepted. Looking back, it was often a mob-like mentality that seemed to offer the most resistance in the scientific world, despite the fact that the mob clothed themselves in academic and religious robes.
A recent case in point is in the field of Biology, where Darwin's Theory of Evolution is still taught without reservation or embarrassment within both High School and College curriculums. Indeed, such nonsense is still exhorted as truth in some of the finest educational institutions in the nation, including our most prestigious Ivy League schools.
You may recall that I wrote a little about the failure of Darwinian theories in this newsletter back in September 2001, (See the archives: "Has Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Been Proven Wrong?... And if so, Why Is It Still Taught in Our Schools?") wherein I pointed out that most of what Darwin has advanced has now finally been scientifically invalidated.
To quickly review this position, let us remember that for the past two decades, scientists from a host of fields have competently shown that Darwinian Theory cannot possible be correct because the very foundations of the theory have proven to be false.
For instance, from Geneticists we have learned that the first single-cell life forms on this planet had already within its nuclei all the genetic material needed for higher life forms----including genes for body morphology (body type), visions system, digestive systems, etc.
These replicated and published findings by themselves fly in the face of Darwin's notions, namely, that it was from simpler and less evolved organisms (those containing less genetic material) that higher organisms (those containing more genetic material) evolved. Indeed, why would single-cell organisms have at least 100 times the amount of DNA than we humans do? And more, importantly, why would they evidence DNA scripts containing information not needed by the present organism, nor could have possibly evolved from earlier life? Darwinian Theory has consistently and wrongly predicated just the opposite.
|And of course, not to be forgotten is the geological records themselves, which now clearly indicate that instead of a slow and methodical buildup of increasingly more complex forms of life as first theorized by Darwin, there was an explosion of life that occurred between the Cambrian and Precambrian Era of this planet, wherein most of the Phyla of life appeared to have "arrived" all within the same timeframe----there being insufficient time for Darwinian evolution to have accounted for it.||
On another avenue of investigation, Biologists and Mathematicians have since repetitively demonstrated that there has neither been enough space or time for the random and gradual evolution of all life to have occurred since the "Big Bang," again demonstrating a reality about the known and verifiable Universe which directly conflicts with Darwinian notions.
For instance, even the simplest protein structure would have needed at least 10120 times more (i.e., 10 followed by 120 zeros!) physical matter in the universe than there is in reality, and significantly more time than has already gone by for "random evolution" to be even considered viable.
And of course, not to be forgotten is the geological records themselves, which now clearly indicate that instead of a slow and methodical buildup of increasingly more complex forms of life as first theorized by Darwin, there was an explosion of life that occurred between the Cambrian and Precambrian Era of this planet, wherein most of the Phyla of life appeared to have "arrived" all within the same timeframe----there being insufficient time for Darwinian evolution to have accounted for it.
For those interested, a more complete summary of this analysis can be found in my book, The Winds of the Soul, pages 640-642. As I concluded there:
"(1) Since all life around us cannot possibly be derived by chance or from a series of random reactions with inanimate matter, there not being enough time or matter in the universe for a series of random events to have aspired to the degree and level of complexity of life we witness, and
(2), since the simplest forms of earliest life have been found to contain levels of sophistication in design and genetic direction that could not have possibly been derived from anything before them, for nothing before them existed of the same nature, then life must have taken its cue and direction from some point behind all of this; some intentional design and purpose had to have been pre-initiated, without which life simply could not have come to be.
Accordingly (la pièce de résistance), where there is substantial evidence of preexisting order, there must exist a significant, intelligent, and intentional purpose behind it, especially when in the absence of spontaneous, randomly evolved possibilities.
...And this idea is no longer considered outlandish in the scientific community. I, for one, see no disparity between the Bible’s commentary on the Creation and what science is now, at long last, discovering. Indeed, even Nobel laureates are suggesting theories of directed panspermia, or that life on earth was deliberately seeded from somewhere else in the cosmos. In other words, we are finding that there existed a track already present for the developing train of life to run upon, a predisposing direction specifically intended toward life from the very onset of creation, the power of which appeared inculcated within the first instance of space-time and the Creation itself."( ibid. pg. 642)
Clearly, Darwinian Theory has now, in reality, become a mere superstition---- which ironically is what diehard liberal evolutionists used to call (and some still do) Creation Theory. Oh, how the roles change! Even in the face of considerable scientific validation and re-substantiation, the few remaining liberal evolutionists still exhorting the party-line are still stubbornly looking for their "missing link," while everything that ever supported such a notion as a scientific possibility has since been swept away.
Although in the face of such evidence, science stops short of declaring that "God exists," it does finally leave the door open for those of faith to clearly reconcile the scientific evidence amassed and the Holy Scriptures. It does not, however, any longer give the same latitude of responsible discretion to Darwin's Theory of Evolution.
Yet, this academically interesting but now defunct theory is still robustly taught in our schools and universities as the sole and predominate theory of life. It's as if participating science departments suddenly became blind and amnesic, selectively discounting what has been published since the 1980's in most scientific journals and international publications of record (including Nature, Science, Scientific American, Time, Newsweek, to name just a few), demonstrating that the accepted doctrines of scientific method has been summarily abandoned for this sacred cow.
Clearly, Darwinian Theory has now, in reality, become a mere superstition---- which ironically is what diehard liberal evolutionists used to call (and some still do) Creation Theory. Oh, how the roles change!
Even in the face of considerable scientific validation and re-substantiation, the few remaining liberal evolutionists still exhorting the party-line are still stubbornly looking for their "missing link," while everything that ever supported such a notion as a scientific possibility has since been swept away.
Superstitious thinking is often the last vestige, the last and perhaps only visible evidence that a lie is being swallowed as the truth. It's the footprint left in the sand.... It's a both a tool of prejudice and selective perception that obscures reality testing, if not diminishes its importance all together. When this is witnessed, then we know that whatever is being argued by its perpetrators has a superstitious base. Don't be beguiled!
Thus, it is often used by those pridefully holding on to theories which are no longer tenable; a means to blind themselves to the truth standing before them. In an effort to hold their sacred cows above critical examination, they discount the evidence before them and marginalize the weightiness of any contrarian argument, no matter how convincing and irrefutable the evidenced amassed.
As we've noted before, within all superstitions, rests a configured favorite part of one's self-image, generally one that is wrongly self-serving, and yet entertains and protects a personally pleasing definition that is hard to give up. The connection between the superstitious idea and its holder's self-regard is psychologically incontrovertible: yet both are lies.... For those so inflicted, to abandon one is to abandon the other.
And thus it's so very hard for those harboring superstitions to ever change or relent from their entrenched positions---they will rarely ever admit to being wrong. In our academic example above, it's clear that those Darwinian evolutionists don't really want to see anything different as they've invested so much time and energy in grooming their entire careers by what now unflatteringly turns out to be false. Similarly last month, we examined the same dynamic in those U.N. Inspectors who really don't want anybody to find WMDs. See how it works?
|One would think that "religious superstitions" would be (or should be) an oxymoron, especially for those rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition since the God of Abraham has long since revealed and given specific instructions against the holding of any and all superstitions. But unfortunately that is not the case. Superstitious thinking has long been the impetus behind the parsing of the Scriptures to hold to this or that personal doctrine aloof from critical examination under the guise of being "unfaithful."||
Perhaps less surprisingly, superstitious thinking is also found thriving within many denominations of religion found within this country and the rest of the world. Let's not be naive....Every societal function and organization, including organized religions, have their "old guard" which often and wrongly protect their doctrine and dogma for the comfort of themselves over and above any truth that they may still cling to----and do it through the means of casting superstitions into the roll of the truth....
One would think that "religious superstitions" would be (or should be) an oxymoron, especially for those rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition since the God of Abraham has long since revealed and given specific instructions against the holding of any and all superstitions. But unfortunately that is not the case. Superstitious thinking has long been the impetus behind the parsing of the Scriptures to hold to this or that personal doctrine aloof from critical examination under the guise of being "unfaithful."
For instance, in just one example amongst many that I could speak about here, we find that there are those that openly and fervently declare that the Bible is the only Word of God that we will ever receive, and refuse to believe or hope in anything other than what is documented within its pages. They claim that in it contains all that God has ever wished to speak to us. Speaking to this superstition directly, George MacDonald stated passionately:
"Sad, indeed, would the whole matter be, if the Bible had told us everything God meant us to believe. But herein is the Bible itself greatly wronged. It nowhere lays claim to be regarded as the Word, the Way, the Truth. The Bible leads us to Jesus, the inexhaustible, the ever unfolding Revelation of God. It is Christ in whom are hid all the the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, not the Bible, save as leading to Him.....
....The one use of the Bible is to make us look at Jesus, that through Him we might know His Father and our Father, His God and our God. Till we thus know Him, let us hold the Bible dear as the moon of our darkness, by which we travel towards the east; not dear as the sun whence her light cometh, and towards which we haste, that, walking in the the Sun Himself, we may no more need the mirror that reflected His absent brightness.....
.....A man will please God better by believing some things that are not told him, than by confining his faith to those things that expressly said [or that which is only written in the Bible]---said to arouse in us the truth-seeking faculty, the spiritual desire, the prayer for the good things which God will give to them that ask Him.... "
|According to the tenets of Christianity, our sole repository of Truth should be found in Christ only, as the Bible itself so testifies, and not demean the Bible, the written record, as the only Voice we listen to. Guided by it---yes; inspired by it---yes; comforted by it---of course, but never should we be persuaded to believe that it and it alone contains every promise of every word God has and has yet to reveal to man.||
"...What should I think of my child, if I found that he limited his faith in me and hope from me to the few promises he had heard me utter! The faith that limits itself to the [written} promises of God [alone], seems to me to partake of the paltry character of such a faith in my child----good enough for a Pagan, but for a Christian a miserable and wretched faith. Those who rest in such a faith would feel yet more comfortable if they had God's bond instead of His word, which they regard not as the outcome of His character, but as a pledge of his honour. They try to believe in the truth of His word, but the truth of His Being, they understand not. In His oath they persuade themselves that they put confidence: in Himself they do not believe, for they know Him not. Therefore it is little wonder that they distrust those swellings of the heart which are His drawings of the man towards Him, as sun and moon heave the ocean mass heavenward. Brother, sister, if such is your faith, you will not, must not stop there. You must come out of this bondage of the law to which you give the name of grace, for there is little that is gracious in it. You will yet know the dignity of your high calling, and the love of God that passeth knowledge.... It is you who think so much about your souls and are so afraid of losing your life, that you dare not draw near to the Life of life, lest it should consume you." (George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, The Higher Faith, 1867).
As logically argued by MacDonald, not that the Bible doesn't contain the Word of God or lay claim to the fact of the many Truths that can be found within its pages, but it certainly never maintains in having been the sole repository of His Continuing Revelation to us.
According to the tenets of Christianity, our sole repository of Truth should be found in Christ only, as the Bible itself so testifies, and not demean the Bible, the written record, as the only Voice we listen to. Guided by it---yes; inspired by it---yes; comforted by it---of course, but never should we be persuaded to believe that it and it alone contains every promise of every word God has and has yet to reveal to man.
Why would anyone want to limit God so, demanding that the Bible contain all of His Word? This would only prove that that our discipleship is dull and unexercised, that we don't really have faith in the truth of His Character, or know the truth of the substance of who He really is, but rather parse the truth of His words from the True Godly Being that spoke them. And in such a move to separate the Breath from the Life which gives it, a climate of protected ignorance arises, wherein superstitious thinking would most assuredly thrive....
Yet many refuse the reason and logic presented, only to superstitiously believe and shamefully preach otherwise, encircling themselves within a bondage to the written word alone, which ironically serves only to limit their own relationship with Jesus Christ. It is odd that these pretenders of faith will call this condition "grace," isn't it, especially since it acts to defeat one's own faith in the end? Sadly, these notions only work to misrepresent Christianity to the rest of the world.
But nonetheless, such a superstition is not likely spurned by those so enamored, because it serves their prideful rule-bound notions of what God is all about, as well as self-justifies their further masking of their own lives from the scrutiny of His Light. Remember, the closer we get to God, the more His Light will reveal the darker corners of our life, bring our sins to our attention that we may in turn repent therefrom...
Again, we find that superstitions generally act to hide the truth about ourselves from being uncomfortably exposed. We recall that the connection between any superstitious idea and its holder's self-regard is psychologically incontrovertible: yet both are lies.... To abandon one is to painfully abandon the other, and is the reason why most superstitions are rarely abandoned. This is a pattern that you can take to the bank!
|When science, philosophy, and religion lose these refining attributes and that which makes them serviceable to our reality testing in general, (i.e., improving our civility, our compassion and mercy, helping forever love our neighbor as ourselves), then it is that they all become in danger of becoming superstitions----but only then!||
But there are some who contend that religion itself is a superstition, that since the idea of God is unverifiable and unprovable, any notion entertained thereafter must be by definition a superstition. To these I would reply that religion only becomes a superstition when it looses its purity and purpose----for true religion = true science = true philosophy, they being one and the same, yet different views of the same universe as examined from different questions and disciplines.
Because we have yet discovered everything about our physical world or yet to have made perfect sense of its workings, does not mean it doesn't exist, or that our investigation of it through the scientific method is useless. And because our understanding of philosophy has yet explained everything about our lives, does not mean that its exercise is futile either. Similarly, because our religions have yet circumscribed the truth of God, doesn't mean they are fruitless in pointing us in ever-better directions, becoming the sound foundation of families and nations. When science, philosophy, and religion lose these refining attributes and that which makes them serviceable to our reality testing in general, (i.e., improving our civility, our compassion and mercy, helping forever love our neighbor as ourselves), then it is that they all become in danger of becoming superstitions----but only then!
Again, the point I am making is that in the course of our lives, superstitious thinking may find us any easy mark. No matter our educational experience, religious persuasion, or how sophisticated we think ourselves to be, we are all prone to being deceived by superstitious arguments if we're not careful and remain guarded.
Interestingly enough, the best way to protect against such mishap is by following the Lord's admonition of becoming again like a little child. By assimilating and restoring this countenance, which means the gathering again of all those who we used to be, having the joy and wonder we used to experience without prejudice, our perceptions will not be so selective, our hope not so bound, our love always seeking the more perfect expression, such that all superstitions would be chased away, not finding any comfortable and self-serving place within us to lodge.
In fact, it is within the purview of all the children we used to be that we are the most safe, because the intimacy of His Spirit is all the brighter. Herein we are given the intelligence, the power, and wherewithal to ferret out any the unreasonable and the illogical, the misshapen and the badly constructed idea, keeping our foundation clean and free from superstitious thinking, allowing no dark thing to enter thereafter.
About the Author: Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.) is a Clinical Psychologist and Neuroscientist having been educated abroad where he completed his postgraduate studies at King’s College, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and then graduated and received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. He has been in private clinical practice and medical research for over 25 years, being active as an author, popular radio and TV personality, public speaker, and biomedical researcher. An expert in a number of fields including Forensic/Criminal Psychology, Child and Family/Relationship Psychology, and Neuropsychology. He has also served as an expert scientific advisor, product innovator and formulator, and professional consultant to the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries. He is the author of The Winds of the Soul~Heaven’s First Voice To Us, as well as numerous other scholarly papers and works.
Interestingly, for the superstitious, these child-like attributes are rarely manifest, they being anathema to its cause. To be sure, although the superstitious are often childish, hysterical, and perverted in their dark ruminations, they never hold to the pure child-like attributes which would deliver them from such a pit---being yet another mark of their character and further indication of the superstitious tripe they exhort.
So let's wake up and smell the coffee.... Let's search ourselves, examine what we're holding on to within ourselves. Gently but determinedly, let us cast out any kind of idea or thought pattern that can't stand the Light of ongoing self-examination, introspection, and retrospection empowered by His Spirit. Let us always be on guard for the vainly superstitious, for the self-serving argument, for the complicit and dark. Let us listen carefully, challenging what others are telling us as the truth. Let us "think" from the Light within us, and not be in so much of a hurry to buy something from the New World Order that hasn't been tested in the refining fires of His Spirit.
Why don’t you take a moment and become part of the discussion. Share with me your perspective, questions, and comments; tell me what you think of all this by emailing me at: DrYoung@WindsoftheSoul.com.
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