They started calling us atheists a long time ago, unable to sense the double-negation through the fog of their own confusion: we didn’t believe in something that doesn’t exist. Nowadays there’s a bunch of them calling us (some of us) ‘evolutionist’. Point. Set. Match. This time they got it right!
Yep, I am an evolutionist. Have been since college where I learned a bunch of stuff about the world, and put 1 and 1 together, and – voila! – evolution explains pretty much everything going on, life-wise. Evolution explains Darwin’s finches. Explains 15 foot long giraffe laryngeal nerves. Explains ant societies. Explains primate societies. Even explains why some (many) (most) humans have a hard time thinking clearly about matters close to home. It doesn’t ultimately serve them.
We are thinking critters. That’s out adaptation. Can’t run faster than predators. Aren’t bigger. But we can think. Been doing it for eons. Long ago some post-ape ancestors started thinking out loud about the world and themselves. Came up with stories, real doozies, to explain things. Some of those stories eventually got written down. And Some people today still believe in them. Works for them too. Quick answers to the nagging questions of existence. Nothing else to see here. Move on folks, off to work, off to buy stuff, to eat, to sleep, to shit, to screw. If you are lucky.
Evolution, as a source of comfort, is a dry tit. Looks good, doesn’t satiate. Ideas can be right and yet not satisfy. And why should they. We didn’t evolve to find deep truths about the universe. We evolved to make more humans. We didn’t evolve to send kids to ivy league colleges. We evolved to make more kids. It’s easy to see why some (many) people keep going back to hear more of the old stories, to keep paying those that make a living off the old stories. Those stories are comfort food for a thinking primate. Fictional stories, but useful in the evolutionary sense. No need to learn a ton of biology, the long road of paleontology, the full swath of anthropology, a bunch of fancy math, how to think with precise logic. One hour of stories on Sunday and it’s back into the fray. Maybe say a few prayers during the week to keep up the ruse. Not that it worked for me.
So I’m an evolutionist. Never liked ‘atheist’. Still can’t say ‘humanist’ without getting a spongy feeling in my pit. Yes, the humanist ideals are all dead on. But the word itself sounds like mashed chickpeas. It doesn’t capture the essence of what is me. But ‘evolutionist’, wow! If you are going to call me an ‘ist’, that’s the one.