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Mimesis and Identifying the Intelligent Designer

Photo: Spiral galaxy NGC 7469, by ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, L. Armus, A. S. Evans.

I have been writing about French philosopher René Girard’s idea of mimetic behavior, including in the scientific community, and in particular with regard to intelligent design (here, here, here). I noted that a supernatural being would seem well suited as the designer. To my mind, and to the minds of many others, God fits the job description nicely. However, that answer is unpopular with materialist scientists, and it has been excluded from science by the philosophical view that says nothing except the material world exists. 

It should be noted that materialistic atheists have no proof that this is true. It is simply an assertion based on their philosophical view, enforced by the effects of mimesis. Others say that even if supernatural beings do exist, we couldn’t weigh or measure them or otherwise detect them, so they can’t be studied by science. We can’t detect them. Therefore, they are not here. This is a logical fallacy. If we can’t detect supernatural beings, we can’t know whether supernatural beings exist or not. They can’t prove or disprove they don’t exist. 

The ironic thing is that we can detect the signs of evidence of intelligent activity, just as archeologists or forensic scientists do. When we demonstrate something could not have evolved without intelligent guidance, it is evidence for design. There are many such things in chemistry and biology, too many to include here. I have attempted to illustrate one of the basic ones.

Just to be clear, the predominant view of scientists is that evolution produced every living thing. It is either an article of faith or it is a view held to accommodate one’s colleagues, with good reason. This view is enforced just as strictly as were the Covid vaccine mandates. If you publicly subscribe to intelligent design, you will lose your job. If you don’t lose your job due to seniority, you will be shunned, and it will be very difficult to get your papers published. If you are even suspected of rejecting or doubting evolution, you face extra scrutiny to see if you believe the party line. 

The Evolution Mafia Is Quite Effective

But worse than that, evolutionary propaganda is everywhere — in advertisements, all academic disciplines except maybe music, popular fiction, and non-fiction, video games and entertainment, and of course, education. It’s hard for young adults to withstand the propaganda once they leave home. Even teens in high school buy the message. I take it back. It is in music, too.

The problem is that this propaganda tends to corrupt our understanding of ourselves. Evolution as a theory of everything is not harmless. Neither is what passes for public discourse. It is a brave soul that dares to take an unpopular point of view.

How much do we lose because of this? We don’t know how many ideas collapse under pressure, or how many improvements have been shut down. How many musicians and artists who weren’t fashionable gave up their art, barely scraped by, or starved? People of all sorts with unpopular views either submit and conform or face persecution. René Girard saw the scapegoat mechanism everywhere in human history. 

Mimesis Is Not Going to Go Away

We are social creatures, meant to be together. That means social pressure is real and can be intense. Yet in every generation, brave individuals who believe in their idea, their cause, resist the pressure. At the deepest level, human beings want to live lives full of meaning and purpose, that build rather than tear down, that lead to interior freedom and self-actualization. If each person becomes aware of what truly drives him, or what her thick desires are, and acts on them, they become true individuals, separate from the pack and capable of creative activity. Their work can bear fruit, even if not in their lifetimes. They may be geniuses, or just weirdos, but it is possible for individuals to find and follow their thick desires. and to lead an anti-mimetic life. To put that in more familiar terms for those of us who believe in God: God designed each of us for a purpose. If we listen to God and follow him, we will find that purpose, and bear much fruit.

N.B. Still skeptical? If so, here is a reference to the effect of mimesis in science, not from an ID scientist at all. It was in the news recently: “I Left Out the Full Truth to Get My Climate Change Paper Published,” by Patrick T. Brown, writing in The Free Press. It’s an article worth checking out in full.