Universal Acid

Term
A concept that undermines the legitimacy of belief systems, systems of thought, and previously held hypotheses.
Explanation of Evolution as Universal Acid
“If Nietzsche is the father of existentialism, then perhaps Darwin deserves the title of grandfather” (62, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea)
“Karl Marx was exultant: ‘Not only is a death blow dealt here for the first time to ‘Teleology’ in the natural sciences but their rational meaning is empirically explained’ (62, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea)
“Did you ever hear of universal acid? This fantasy used to amuse me and some of my schoolboy friends — I have no idea whether we invented or inherited, along with Spanish fly and saltpeter, as parts of underground youth culture. Universal acid is a liquid so corrosive that it will eat through anything!…Little did I realize that in a few years, I would encounter an idea — Darwin’s idea — bearing an unmistakable likeness to universal acid: it eats through just about every traditional concept, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view, with most landmarks still recognizable, but  transformed in fundamental ways.
     Darwin’s idea had been born as an answer to questions in biology, but it threatened to leak out, offering answers — welcome or not — to questions of cosmology (going in one direction) and psychology (going in the other direction). If redesign could be a mindless, algorithmic process of evolution, why couldn’t the whole process itself be the product of evolution, and so forth, all the way down? And if mindless evolution could account for the breathtakingly clever artifacts of the biosphere, how could the products of our own ‘real’ minds be exempt from an evolutionary explanation? Darwin’s idea thus also threatened to spread all the way up, dissolving the illusion of our own authorship, our own spark of creativity and understanding.” (63, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea)
Source
Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Charles Darwin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *