Reductionistic scientism would have us believe that every feature of living beings has to have a selfish purpose. Evolution based on survival of the fittest, as “The Theory of Everything,” is as fundamentally flawed as are any other single principles that are supposed to explain everything. In logic they are called “self-sealing arguments.” Once you have started a sentence with “everything is …” there is in principle no way to argue with you, because you have already proclaimed that anything anyone will say can be explained by your single principle. The anti-ideological thinker Karl Popper put it this way: any explanation has to be falsifiable in order to be verifiable – or it is not scientific.
And yet, the splendor of fall foliage has no survival value at all. It is simply there, magnificent beyond measure or justification. No science or pseudo-science needed here: enjoy, beyond all theories or theologies.
Dachshunds, on the other hand, with their anything but magnificent legs, are perhaps the best argument against the also, supposedly, all-explaining pseudo-science “creationism”: a purposely bred offspring of the wolf (to fit into the holes of badgers). The purpose here is not nature’s purpose but our purpose, inscribed on the hound’s genes without mercy. Not even religious fanatics can argue that the gods created dachshunds, anymore than they created hybrid tea roses for the Queen’s garden. Asses, maybe, but mules definitely not.
And if there be dachshunds, what else has snuck in on the Seventh Day?
Even if the gods were the creators of everything, they certainly have not sat down with us and explained to us how to explain everything, based on one single principle, be it those gods we created on the Eighth Day or the dachshunds Queen Victoria cherished above all.
A little honesty can keep us sane: nothing is everything, nor can anything explain everything, nor can anyone explain all, not even badger-hounding, short-legged yappers who know all the Queens secrets. And scientists like Oxford’s Richard Dawkins, with his Selfish Genes, sometimes had perhaps better quietly enjoy the purpose-free splendor of aspen, while sipping their uselessly muddied waters at tea time.
Who is more dangerous: irrational politicians, from Texas to Alaska, or excessively ambitious scientists, from Oxford to Berlin, who overload science until it becomes a bowlegged ideology itself and has lost its survival value?