Monsters and Men: A Brief Précis of Creation Typology
There lies at the core of Darwinism a dread realization that largely remains unrecognized by the ever-publishing, ever-disputing cadres of evangelical creationism. This realization is that human evolution implies human extinction—that the purported development of man is facilitated by the death of anything we might recognize as human. If one accepts the idea of created kinds, it is only in the context of a ‘creation typology’ that this extinction-producing change which evolutionary theory anticipates can be determined. By creation typology I mean the idea that God designed the world such that biological kinds endure through time, and remain within the adaptive framework established for them. Genuine creationism is itself profoundly intertwined with—indeed inseparable from—this notion of typological conservation. A creationism that abandons this concern with conservation in order to avoid the unpopular social (and genetic) implications of the Creation Ordinance of multiplication by ‘kind’ is vulnerable to corruption by notions of perfectibility and general ‘advance’—a direction of thought which would, most unfortunately, comport rather well with the progressive tendencies that have tainted ‘conservative’ evangelical eschatology of late. And yet the conservation of kinds is the only means by which created order can possibly be maintained in animal biology, or distinguished from utter fluidity of biological form, a fact which remains unacknowledged by most creationists. Where they speak of it, their insistence on limiting the scope of this conservation betrays an awareness of the sociological import of a fully developed and articulated creation typology.
This anti-typological view I am describing is all too comfortable with the conception of complete transmogrification of forms, a central tenet of evolution. How can we speak of man in the context of such change? It is nothing more than impertinence. What is ‘humanity,’ after all, if a human being is a wholly contingent form to which time indissolubly attaches? If a man can be anything that time and change may make him, then there is no such thing as man apart from time, the present moment. Soon enough, by this view of things, man will be no more, as he ‘becomes.’ Thought of in this way, man is no longer a ‘him,’ a person, but an object among objects, having no particular privilege. So decisively does such a viewpoint depart from the orthodox biblical conception of man, that it must be considered the philosophical offspring of the Marxist-secular theory of man. That such a capitulation is under way is not an idle concern, as several leading Protestant theologians and popular apologists, such as Doug Wilson, have embraced human genetic manipulation, and by implication trans-humanism (transmogrifying change), for just such reasons. That Wilson et al., in abandoning a fully committed creation typology, flirt directly with the kind of trans-humanism that has become a darling of the Neo-Darwinist ‘right’ is delicious irony. While it is true that modern genetics may be, and probably already is, producing monsters, can it recreate the homeostatic world in which they must live? It is to be doubted. Generally speaking, the evolutionary conceptions that taint creationism are unrecognized presumptions smuggled in from eschatology. As I have said, absent typological constancy, the created order is logically subject to alteration of a kind that countenances human extinction by radical transmogrification, and is subject to other effects of evolutionary change. What remains unexamined by many creationists, or is not admitted by them, is the role that biological instinct plays in the regime of typological conservation. The denial that intra-racial reproductive instinct has a place among the processes of conservation that God ordained is the scandal of phony creationism. In setting it aside, creationists are left open to every charge they are accustomed to level against their evolutionary ‘opponents.’ I will review the reasons for this in some detail in the following sections.
Typological conservation by the practice of endogamy, arising from human reproductive instinct, which certain interests are attempting to ‘civilize’ out of man altogether, is just that premise on which racial continuity is based. This conservation must logically extend to the orders of subspecies and race, else we suggest that God and nature unaccountably defer to the charts and tables of Carl Linnaeus. The view that the only barrier to reproduction (or genetic survival) that is of any consequence is that of the species derives principally from Mr. Linnaeus and his scientific descendants, and not from biblical exegesis. But God’s nature does not obey the taxonomist; rather, Linnaeus took his cue, where he was correct, from nature itself. That types of greater specificity than the species are largely preserved according to the inward law of reproductive instinct is a fact so commonly observed in as to be indisputable, and is a likely explanatory mechanism for the dominance of endogamy in human mating preference, lately under pressure both from the social developments of modern existence and ideological interests vested in remaking man in the image of their idols.
Like its ideological forerunner geocentrism, the form of creationism that is the standard fare of evangelical seminars and research institutes has become a rigid dogma and its propagandists a refractory priesthood. It is comedy that these same doctors once excoriated the inflexibility of evolutionary orthodoxy. Now they promulgate their own orthodoxy, and their own inquisition. Tainted as this anti-typological view is by Neo-Darwinist ideas about change, it must deny that there are definable biological kinds, or, at any rate, deny that kind is a conception that has human application or importance, though such populations are a matter of common observation in the biological sciences. All the same, genetic expression in areas as diverse as intelligence and disease susceptibility is powerful evidence that the human species homo sapiens sapiens is polytypic and not monotypic. Well-meaning adages such as “there is only one race, the human race” are simply desiderata of cultural ‘secularism’ and Marxism. Intended to erase illusory distinctions, this way of thinking ends by erasing quite real and important ones. Recall that it was only a short time ago in historical terms that liberal scholars were at work eroding the equally ‘illusory’ distinctions between men and women. That work is nearly complete, and the Christian Church, across its many denominations, has in large measure accepted the social outcome, despite obvious conflicts with scriptural social regulation. Where conflicts arise, it is the scripture which must give way to contemporary understanding of the role of women. This process of historicizing the social pronouncements of scripture cannot be dealt with in the present essay. Yet, such a claim (that there is but one human race) is manifestly untrue. Christianity must concern itself with what is true, not what is conveniently defended or fashionable. There are several human races, and their genetic differences are measurably greater than those that distinguish male and female of the same race, yet ‘traditionalists’ feel no compunction in maintaining the social taboos that surround femininity, while summarily discarding longstanding racial taboos that arose from biological imperatives which date to creation itself. It is small wonder that among Christians for whom the biblical sexual boundaries have fallen that the racial boundaries have similarly collapsed. Can the cordons between species be far behind? Zoophilia is a fact of human existence, just as is homosexuality. And yet the principled critique of homosexuality was at one time among the final barricades of the biblical faith, at which a vigorous defense was thought to be compelled by the fundamental tenets of the faith. But who bothers to defend them now? As with so many other concerns, secular society leavens the church, rather than the opposite. There are many things to which the instinct must supply its own judgment, which is a judgment of epochs, as over against the individual and his moment in time. By instinct the species and the race judge through the man, on his behalf, and on its own. Let us take a simple example. There is no minimum age prescribed for marriage in biblical law. Yet we do not hesitate to invoke instinct against extremity of youth in marriage, as a last defense against what can’t be countenanced. This is Christian discretion. But the Christian does not need to rely on such natural sentiments respecting the principle of endogamy, since, rightly understood, the Creation Ordinance of reproduction “kind after kind” inveighs against its antagonists.
The stripe of nominalism I have been describing, which denies the reality of types, partakes of several logical fallacies, such as the fallacy of continuum, but its principal weakness is that it casts off observed biological boundaries. These boundaries are two: that of fertility (most readily admitted by mainline creationists), and that of mate recognition. When the biological boundary of the first type is violated infertility results. When the boundary of the second type is crossed biological dead ends are the product. In the latter case, there remain few if any observations on which counter-theoretical claims can be based. That is, undirected hybridization is rare and results in a biological cul-de-sac. This kind of hybridization is referred to in population genetics as intra-specific. One of the chief characteristics of intra-specifically bred organisms is that their offspring do not ‘breed true’ and such continued interbreeding as does occur is rare. It is why exotic hybrids tend to have declining populations in nature. Their populations are thus limited, occupying ecological niches, because new members are few, and the characteristics of offspring tend to converge on dominant genetic traits. To visualize this, it is helpful to think of canine breeds. In nature, where hybridization is undirected, intra-specific breeding occurs, but subspecies and races tend to converge into a few stable varieties. This convergence into stable types is a reproductive law that governs creation. Thought of a different way, it is only possible to maintain a particular hybridization if intra-specific breeding among pure-bred parents becomes systemic. This is virtually never the case in nature, where convergence of hybrids with dominant subspecies nearly always occurs. Intra-specific competition tends to create the conditions of isolation that favor convergence. With the species homo sapiens sapiens, the ‘nature’ that is created by the existence of mating taboos is being overcome by social engineering, creating dissonance between the various reproductive instincts, among them the imperative of reproduction (the sex instinct) and the imperative of typological conservation. One point remains. That there exist in nature examples of inter-familial, inter-generic, and inter-specific breeding does not recommend them to us as a practice, and there are clear biblical directives forbidding them. Likewise, there are biblical directives against exogamy that are ignored, or rationalized away. It is an arbitrary custom of recent exegesis that intra-specific breeding is exempted, quite rare in nature, though not as rare as the other forms I have mentioned. Still, their relative infrequency speaks to a biologically marginal status, and their mere presence speaks to the corruption of creation. Intra-specific breeding also speaks to this corruption, with its various sub-optimal outcomes, and its phenomenon of convergence, a law of reproduction which works to undermine the viability of the original hybrid strain, which I have already mentioned. It has to be admitted that cross-racial mate identification does occur. Yet its infrequency makes it exceptional, the exception proving the rule. I have mentioned above the two types of reproductive barriers and their importance in the God-Ordained regime of typological conservation, classed as boundaries of ability and of instinct. My opinion is that it is as vain to conjecture on the reasons subspecies and races are, in fact, primarily endogamous as it is to ask why biological forms cannot in the main cross the species boundary in reproduction. That there are examples of inter-familial and inter-generic breeding argues that there is indeed corruption of creation in its very reproductive processes. The regulative mechanism that quarantines this corruption is infertility for these forms of hybridization, a mechanism which man is actively thwarting with genetic engineering. But beyond this, the instinct of endogamy and the phenomenon of hybrid convergence in nature must also be seen as God-ordained regulative mechanisms, which themselves are being undermined by the social policies of a technocratic elite.
It is argued, quite feebly I think, that the instinct of endogamy has a purely ‘social’ origin, and that policy is able, and correct, to direct the energies of the state toward its elimination. But where such phenomena are concerned, it is impossible to separate the social, the psychological, and the epigenetic factors, and to assign them malignant or benign ancestry. Humans cannot be studied in this fragmentary way. They function as wholes, connected to a set of environmental conditions that are as deeply embedded as physical traits. Febrile theorists of both the left and the putative right, in concert with Christian leaders, have been eager to dispense with instinctive discrimination from the very outset of the modern technocratic era. Their failure is the failure of men to fit the hopeful taxa of humanist utopians. The social experiment of racial inter-mixture among men has seen the continued presence of self-perpetuated isolation and competition. One might be excused a bout of confusion regarding the intent behind the stubborn continuation of such a failed policy, if the end of racial preference in mating is its goal. The absurdity of such an enterprise lends credence to speculation that inter-mixture of human populations is not the goal of such social engineering, and that racial antagonism and competition is instead the desired outcome. That in human experience the social factors of displacement and migration tend to strengthen rather than weaken endogamy is little noted among creationists. But man does not stand apart from nature. He is, though at its head as steward and regent of creation, fully a part of it. His nurture comes from it, the source of carnal delight with which God has blessed him. And yet the ‘nature’ of civilization in which humans live is only partly their own making. It is a vanity of humanism that it presumes man can remake himself entire, remap his destiny. The extremes of torture and of mind control show us that man’s needs are both social and physical. Though a man is well fed, isolation will drive him mad. Denial of this relatively fixed range and nature of social existence is itself a denial that man is a created being, with limits, and with traits as fundamental to his nature as is nesting to the eagle. Within this finite spectrum lie his instincts and taboos, with their immemorial provenance, which do not need justification, and cannot be eradicated without harm. Indeed, apart from Christ, man cannot be remade at all, he can only be destroyed. Liberal modernity, then, has the obvious goal of destroying man under the auspices of his supposed reinvention. The disintegrated man, an assemblage of purely biological responses, is a valuable commodity, the ideal consumer.
It is only in Christ that man is man, and that his instincts and drives contribute to his dignity as the crown of creation. The denial that man has a fixed nature is in the same vein as the denial that he is created qua man. The scientific tier of typological denial must also be briefly addressed here. The claim that intra-specific breeding carries with it genetic advantage, usually referred to as heterosis, or hybrid-vigor, is a common secular argument against intra-racial instinct in reproduction, against endogamy—as though instinct is susceptible to arguments. Such claims address themselves to populations, and not to individuals—the very populations that are denied more than nominal existence, it seems. The extension of this critique into the realm of sociology is manifest in the idea that endogamy has a negative survival value due to disease susceptibility. That is, there is a social imperative to racial inter-mixture. It seems odd, this approach, when we note that mankind survived this retardaire habit of endogamy these many centuries. Where Caucasians are concerned, the diseases due to inbreeding are quite rare. Indeed, Caucasians are the most genetically diverse of all human populations. Calls for greater diversity in their ranks are consequently out of touch with the realities of population genetics. Finally, disease susceptibility has merely to do with such factors as isolation or the size and diversity of the endogamous population, and not to endogamy itself. So widespread was this canard of endogamy’s bane during the heyday of eugenics in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries that it influenced (for the worse) the thought of such seminal Protestant theorists as Abraham Kuyper, whose writing is fairly littered with eugenic fables. Nevertheless, it is for this reason that racial, rather than ethnic boundaries are preferred in man, and why historically the exogamy taboo is the more pronounced across races than across ethnic groups or tribes.
As Christians, we are instructed by the Apostle Paul that man is without excuse in his self-imposed ignorance of God, for God’s existence can be and must be deduced from the features of creation. That is, the existence of God is ‘coercively demonstrated.’ Further, we are told that something of the character of God may also be so deduced (or induced, as it were). Can we learn anything about God’s image-bearer man from that same nature that testifies of the existence and character of God? I suggest we can. One thing we learn from this nature is God’s jealousy of the pattern of his creation, and the various and splendid regimes God ordained to maintain it in all its specificity and originality. Pursuant to this idea, I would like to undertake a simple thought experiment on the notion of typological conservation, if the reader will indulge a digression. If God did not intend for animals to reproduce ‘kind after kind,’ in all the fullness of the meaning of ‘kind,’ as is matter-of factly stated in the Creation Narrative, and so establish the genetic conservation of creation, it is perhaps not out of order to ask why he did not then imbue his created beings with the capacity for plenary production. That this conservation I have been defending extends to the infinitesimal reaches of biological classification we have previously established—that is, to the subspecies, the race, and the sub-race, and perhaps even to biological divisions we do not presently recognize or understand. Now, the doctors of Neo-Darwinist creationism, defined as those who reject the conservation of kinds in its fullest extent, may insist that this instinct of endogamy, that reaches down to the tiniest of populations and the smallest of biological distinctions, is an impulse introduced by the corruption of creation, or ‘happenstances’ of isolation (as though such isolation escapes Gods will). If so, it would seem that this idea of plenary production (as distinct from re-production—that is, production by kind from ancestry that passes on defining traits to its progeny) is now in view. By plenary production I mean only the ability of a biological entity to produce offspring of any and all kinds, and, perhaps, of no kind—that is, lacking resemblance to anything yet born, which would seem to grant the creative and generative potency over life to nature, apart from God. TO say this another way, God created, but nature creates. Were this the case, then the ability to distinguish the created order of existence from evolutionary pathways would vanish. But it is the continuity of forms that is the final bastion of creationist apologetics. The limitation of creationism to the preservation of an arbitrary scale of types, ignoring or despising the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of created racial types places them within the camp of the Neo-Darwinists. Their embrace of radical change within species seems to be only slightly less than that of the disciples of Darwin, Huxley, and Dawkins. If kinds are not conserved, then there is no standard by which we might determine what has changed, and further, transformed into something quite new. The very standard of judgment established for determining the truth of creationism is the conservation of types.
The notion of reproduction necessarily entails the idea that there is an identity that is a survival of the process of generation. This ‘residuum’ of the ancestor is simply that minimum set of traits that distinguish one kind of thing from another, a beings carnal inheritance. The inheritance can be greater, but it is never less than that which establishes identity. We have previously seen that ‘kind’ (or ‘type’) is a form of biological information that is conserved in reproduction, since the genetic boundaries so conserved prevent pan-sexual or plenary production of life. Genetic convergence of hybrids in the wild supports this conclusion. Only by means of re-production is genetic diversity possible, apart from random mutation or erros of transcription. And yet this diversity is patterned within a biological order that is maintained by the created processes of nature, including mating preference. Were it not so, all creation would fuse in a singular form, of merely numerical distinction, since all life would contain precisely the same genetic information. This, of course, is a highly vulnerable, unstable, and cannibalistic form of life which could not long survive. Sexual reproduction is the primary means by which the necessary degree of genetic diversity is maintained in populations, via the process of meiosis. Nevertheless both sexual and asexual reproduction, seen in certain varieties of bacterial and plant life, transfer information to offspring which limits future generations to a predetermined form. In its most popular incarnation, creationism is highly invested in the position that no new forms of biological life are created. Yet, paradoxically, those who promote it ignore or reject the importance of racial types in the maintenance of created forms. In the view of the author, they do so unnecessarily, and by slavish prejudice against the racial position, neglect study and recognition of the instinctive behavioral and epigenetic mechanisms by which even minute divisions of creation are maintained. In the world of the anti-racial creationist, there are no stable forms beneath the species. It would be simple enough to reduce such a position to absurdity, if one had the inclination or humor. Even this cursory exposition I’ve undertaken has shown that ‘kinds’ (or ‘types’), including the subspecies and race, form genetic and epigenetic boundaries of identity which order creation. By governing living things in this manner, God has limited life’s dynamism to the preservation of an inherited order, while also ordaining sexual processes for the diversification of biological information, and providing adaptive capabilities that allow for change coincident with external shifts in the conditions of life—the adaptive capacity itself being a regulatory mechanism that preserves the greatest amount of genetic lineage possible while ensuring survival. Even where change is seen, conservation rules it. I find it not only a matter of deepest faith, but also of blessed observation, that the creation still closely resembles what it once was, and in so doing, shows forth its Creator, and not ‘process’ or any other such impersonal vehicle of change, used as a stand-in for divinity.