A Case of the Emperors New Clothes
In 1837 a story written by Hans Christian Anderson was published in a final installment of his first collection of“Fairy Tales Told for Children.” The story was an adaptation of a Spanish collection of similar work written as a tale of moral conscience; Anderson’s work was a twist on that caution and warned of intellectual vanity and the pride of social acceptance. He titled the work, “The Emperor's New Clothes.” The classic fairytale concerns the deceptive business dealings of two supposed weaver’s. They boasted that they were the makers of the finest cloth to an emperor whose vanity in fine clothing knew no limits.
One day the two swindlers propositioned the emperor to make for him clothes of the finest thread and of the most splendid colors. Their cloth would have the amazing property of being invisible to anyone who was stupid or incompetent. This pleased the emperor since in wearing these new garments anyone who could not see them could be discovered as ignorant and unworthy of there post. In this way the emperor could eliminate the foolish and employ only the most intelligent and the most competent persons for their posts. He said to himself, “It would be wonderful to have clothes made from that cloth.” “Then I would know which of my men are unfit for their positions, and I’d also be able to tell clever people from stupid ones.”
Asking for a large sum of money, the best silk thread and the finest gold, the two swindlers set about to make the emperor’s new clothes. And as we all know, they pretended to make the cloth and to sew it into clothing. As the work continued all who were called upon to inspect the progress of the weavers found the cloth and the clothing to be invisible. For fear of being held stupid or incompetent, each concluded that the final garments were of astonishing brilliance and quality and this they conveyed to his Majesty.
In the course of time the Emperor’s servants, from his minister to his cavilers to the Grandmaster of ceremonies and even the Emperor himself, concluded that the clothes were invisible to them. But they would not admit this to others for fear of being considered stupid or incompetent. When the ‘garments’ were announced as finished, the Emperor stripped himself naked and the weavers pretended to dress him. Naked and in front of his mirror the Emperor decided he must proceed with a majestic display of his new clothes. All the city came out to see the Emperor’s new clothes; “No one wanted it to be noticed that he could see nothing, for then it would be said that he was unfit for his position or that he was stupid.” That day, “None of the emperor's clothes had ever before received such praise.”
However, a small child also looked upon the Emperor and saw only a naked man walking down the street. The child shouted, “But he doesn’t have anything on!” And one by one the people in the crowd murmured the truth of the child’s observation even to the hearing of the Emperor himself. Now knowing the truth of the farce the Emperor shuddered in shame, yet stood the more bold saying to himself, “The procession must go on.”
This simple fairytale of the Emperor’s New Clothes was certainly intended to entertain children but it also brings clarity to the truth of the human tendency towards the vanity of pride and the intimidation of social acceptance; far more complex concepts that were intended for adults. In simple terms, people generally want the acceptance and admiration of others and to ‘fit in’ to what the world thinks is important; the recognition, acceptance and praise of others. Fear of rejection or of personal loss motivates people to delusional thinking. Many marketing tactics make opportunity of this great human flaw and use it to seduce the buyer to make decisions on purchases that are irrational, irrelevant or useless to their real needs. Today we see peer pressure in the teenage years turn into “group think” in the work place; a term coined in the 70’s to define faulty decision-making due to perceived group pressures in business meetings. Such thinking has been shown to lead to a deterioration of creativity, reality testing, and moral judgment. It has led to political decisions to wage wars, commit genocide, create situational ethics, force human sterilization and massive government waste on useless programs that creates only bureaucracy. I also believe that at every level of public education that the fear of social humiliation and the pride of life has led to an acceptance of the theory of biological evolution; a failed hypothesis having no scientific validity yet promoted as fact through a systematic but often subtle mode of intimidation.
When discussing this phenomenon it is difficult to realize that there are people, many people, who would rather go along with a lie than to speak up for truth; to accept what can and what cannot be proven. In academia, students who doubt the Darwinian evolutionary ‘science’ invite ridicule and rejection of those who proudly embrace this view. Those who swallow the hoax think themselves a part of the intellectual elite. They discover freedom from moral responsibility and embrace the fancy that they have become intellectually fulfilled as atheists. In the one case, the truth about the emperor’s new clothes would not be admitted by intelligent and competent people for fear of social rejection. There was too much at stake for anyone who openly admitted the truth. They would be less than society’s concept of intelligence, sophistication or capability. Belief in the theory of evolution isn’t much different. Taught as fact in Western civilization from youth to graduate school and broadcast by every form of media as the paradigm for science, none can escape its subtile grip of social terrorism. After all, as the high priest of evolution Richard Dawkins has said, “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).”
The intellectual snobbery that accompanies the acceptance of biological evolution is often matched by the natural draw to immorality, and prejudice of anything and anyone religious. The course of living for those so enamored by the theory, their world views and life decisions would not seem so pathological save for the fact that just as all could see that the Emperor was naked, they would not admit it. That is, evolution is devoid of any proof or, in particular, of any scientific merit, yet those so gainfully employed as proponents of the theory, or so liberated from theological considerations, so seduced into a life of hopeless decadence or simply unburden by the concept and the shame of sin have too much to lose in admitting that the Emperor is naked! Regardless of what is scientifically obvious about evolution, i.e., it is naked, people will not admit to it and all the more boldly assert, “ The procession must go on!”.
Now I must admit, there are some believers in Darwin’s popular fairytale that they genuinely believe our ancestors were slime molds and their ancestors were just particles of stardust. They have heard the idea often and long enough that they have come to believe that what is improbable, even impossible is actually the fact of life. No critical thought needed. No second opinion sought. And by the time they have become what they have become, it is a non issue. They may live good, quiet and fulfilling lives, never knowing they have lived believing a lie. Had they looked at the front of the crowd they would have seen the Emperor for themselves and cried out as did the little child, “But he doesn’t have anything on.”
Make note here that the same could be said of religious people. Many aspire to a theology without a shred of evidence for what they believe. Most such people believe this is what faith is all about; believing in something that has no proof in fact. Like the evolutionist, such a faith in what is invisible, for example the person of God, is what religion is all about. From the unique revelations of the Judeo-Christian perspective, nothing could be further from the truth. But this leads us off the current argument.
What difference does any of this really have on daily living? Much in every way. The very first implication of a belief in evolution is the natural determination we place on the value of human life. If evolution is true, human life has no greater value than that of an earthworm, a fish, cattle or maple tree. According to the theory of evolution all living things are the result of rare molecular events which accumulated over eons of time to form a self replicating entity of some sort. Many more random events of this kind occurred, some of which were favored by environmental selection resulting in the diversity of life forms on Earth; whether preserved in the fossil record or living today. If this is the true history of life’s origin then beings like ourselves have only the appearance of something designed; a fortunate chemical accident existing and genetically related to every living being with no truly moral, ethical or unique value independent of that which we invent. Truth is relative not real. We have no greater right to rule the planet let alone consume its resources than that of a parasitic tapeworm. Our culture, psychology, politics and religions are by-products of evolutionary strategies to survive as a specie. What we do with our conscious efforts individually or collectively are arbitrary fabrications of our genes. Goodness and morality have value only if we first invent them and then collectively recognize them as useful to our success at reproduction.
From this point many evolutionist will and have argued that goodness and ethical behaviors are not determined by evolution or if they are they are a programmed reality that was selected for by the environment for our survival. Reaching the point of self-awareness is either a delusion which cannot be trusted or the natural outcome of the biology of having a big brain. Either way the universe holds no meaning to human life since we are the product of a chemical struggle to survive; the result of survival of the fittest. The natural inclination of this type of thinking was put to use in practical form in the politics of Nazism and communism resulting in the atrocities witnessed in the last 100 years. It should not be thought repulsive or frightening that a belief in biological evolution should give rise to an amoral social structure that finds a right, even an obligation to dominate and eliminate those of weaker status. The fittest should dominate and so survive to supersede its competition. This humanistic philosophy sees no problem in abortion, infanticide, eugenics (designer humans via controlled breeding), genocide or on a lesser scale, racism, healthcare rationing, government control of human freedom, or killing as a form of entertainment.
In fact, this author would agree that if evolution were a fact then our specie must choose to designate leadership that will govern to protect individual rights to freedom or all is chaos for each person will do what is right in their own mind. Some hard decisions need to be made about the survival of the competition. Indeed, we may, like Hitler, see that some nations are so barbaric or primitive that we are obligated to wipe them from the human population like an a uncontrolled cancer in order to protect and assure that a healthy population continues to advance. What we do with the infirm, the aged, and all those who do not contribute to our collective social decisions must be dealt with to assure the advancement of the specie or at least protect the majority strength and access to natural resources and whatever we collectively decide is of value. Materialism becomes the goal of such a world. Unfortunately, if such is the case, I do not believe mankind capable of arriving at a moral consensus nor achieving a collective ‘value structure’ by which all come together in agreement. Who will give the law? Who will be the arbiter of that law? Who will judge that law? And who will carry out the penalty for breaking that law?
This author does not believe that evolution is a fact. It has no basis in science, and is indeed only a poor philosophy; a fairytale for adults. It has no empirical evidence to support it let alone prove it did happen, or is happening or could ever happen for that matter. Our best hard sciences like mathematics and statistics, biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology, ecology, geology, oceanography, astronomy, botany, cosmology, physiology, information science, paleontology, and engineering and many more do not support evolution as a fact. They do not support it as a theory or even as a feeble hypothesis.
These sciences endorse another idea, however, that accounts for our existence and the reality of all that is living in the world. It is a bigger idea than evolution and it imparts intrinsic value to every living thing; humanity being the pinnacle of its achievement. Goodness, ethics, and morality are real and meaningful concepts and this idea guarantees inalienable rights to the human individual regardless of race, mental faculty, income, contribution to society or athletic prowess.
I believe real objective science performed with critical thought proves the existence of an intelligence or intelligences that can be known, in part, from the order of our universe. Surprisingly, the evidence points to a level of this cognition that is beyond our access. It is not of a natural order yet the natural order reveals its existence. Our very best efforts show it to exist beyond carbon atoms and sunlight and water into the domain of something beyond the natural - the super-natural. I do not believe science can attain to the name or discern completely the character of this intelligence. Access is second-hand and derived from the facts of life, deduced from a simple logic, and in many cases, a use of reverse engineering with the expectation that all things make sense for a reason. This intelligence or intelligences designed the universe and did so for a purpose. Amazingly, one of those purposes appears to be the deliberate intention to lead us to awe and wonder of the existence of that Great Awareness. We might, for practical purposes, name that intelligence “I Exist” or “We Are Here” or, and I think this most acceptable, the “I AM.”
That which can be known only leads to further inquiry as to who the designer is and this falls into the hands of philosophy and theology. The evidence from real science points to the one conclusion that we are here to find the “I AM.” All that is or can be known in this material reality is so deliberate in its existence, so finely tuned, it is as though humans in particular are here so that we would seek after further revelation of this intelligence and perhaps reach out and find that name, that affinity and possibly reach an admiration, if not an adoration of the genius that created what we can know. And yet, if we look closely, not superficially, but diligently, evolution as an answer will be found to be naked like the Emperor and the many of us who have adopted its absurdities will be found to be quite humiliated; having fallen for the farce. The truth, I believe, is clothed with much more glory, much greater purpose and such a truth accepted, indeed believed in, will be as one freed from the shackles of ignorance into a glorious liberty of an abundant life.
Dan Moran, Ph.D.