An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Is Change Progress? Why?

Over the recent years there has been a lot of discussion on Evolution vs Creationism (albeit more biblical style).

Causality is the giver of change and its derivative “Progress”.!

At the essence of this debate is the issue – what ensures that every change leads to “progress” (or at least perceived progress) for the creation.

There is some other associated questions with this main issue:

  1. Is every change progress?
  2. When is change “progress”?
  3. Can progress be real?

These are interesting intellectual questions that can give interesting insights.

Is every change progress: the reason why this is the main issue is because, mankind finds itself at the “helm” of the living creation that has been discovered. All because for some strange reason it can think and implement its thinking. So when we look back over our shoulders, we tend to see that there were several “steps” in the species past and present that seem to have gotten us here. We have very conveniently created a cascading gantt chart out of numerous species as if they could be neatly arranged in a timely queue to get the creation to where it is now.

The question that I have usually had in my mind is, if indeed the species train could be linked chronologically together.. then, pray, what made the unfortunate monkeys and the chimps in the zoos, miss it while their brethren boarded it? Somehow Evolution, despite its very scientific appeal, sound like a heavily intellectual exercise in across the board stereo-typing… and one, that has been thought of by a decidedly LINEAR mind that was the hallmark of the pre-Quantum era.

Of course, the Biblicals come in armed with the seven day theory. The question that disturbs one prone to logic there are plenty.. but I will stay contented by putting here only one. If the God was indeed the most powerful and the creator of all.. why the heck did it need the “rib” of its own creation to create the MOST improved of His creation? And if God is indeed a He, then how could He conjure up the very evolved characteristics of a woman?? How can you “give” something that you don’t have? Its like me giving off the White House in charity!! I don’t own it.. but what the heck. I will donate it anyhow!!

When is Change Progress: This is another interesting question the temporal span of its answer really decides what is Progress and what is not. Most of what we call progress is from a very small and myopic standpoint. What if the Third World War breaks out in another year and the entire mankind was wiped out save for two people.. how would they view our “progress”?

What if the time-span of the analysis of this question is expanded to infinity? Where there is no limit, and therefore, use of time… would one be able to view ANY change – good or bad (our value judgment, of course) – as Progress?

Is “Progress” real?: This brings me to the final question. Is Progress real? As we discussed in the second question – when the time-span is infinite or the time is irrelevant.. then no change may qualify as progress.

Let us also dwel on what causes a sequence of events to be change or progress. At the very heart of this thought is our effort to link one event as the cause of another’s birth! There is therefore, an inherent assumption of causality. For if the event where one could get cheap electricity through nuclear energy and the event of Einstein conjuring up E = mc2 were not linked in our logic then how could Einstein’s or science’s work have generated “progress”?

So, causality is the giver of change and its derivative “Progress”. What if causality itself was an assumption?! What if we had created causality? Causality exists because Time exists! If time was infinite.. or therefore not even a factor.. would causality be a reality? This question is itself mired in the causality! 🙂 (if this happened – would that happen? type of a logic).

So, we cannot in this time led, causal world contemplate non-causal, timeless Universe or creation. Any discussion to the contrary would therefore be our only “reality” although it wouldn’t be incorrect to say, that if there is finite Time and Space .. it is because there IS a possibility of an Infinity!!

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