There are those who see Darwin’s contribution to life in terms of equating human life with that of other life forms, which they categorise as ‘animal’.
The secularising theories of naturalists do effectively counter the versions of creation as portrayed by Bible based creationists.
But to the extent that it is possible to declare such theories and ideologies wrong, both views are wrong.
One of the flaws with the thinking of secular naturalists, such as Darwin, lies with the use of the Western category of ‘animal’. They construct a fetish of the life form, removing it from its full cosmic context.
Once we accept that there can be no unmediated and direct access to ‘reality’ (of the kind much sought after by those seeking a certain kind of rational ‘objectivity’) we also appreciate that the category ‘animal’ is part of a complex cluster of categories. No doubt it is defined in relation to ‘human’.
These are not simple empirical categories, but carry baggage as a result of past decisions, struggles, battles, pogroms, and the whole dreadful catalogue of terror which is the negative part of our curious form of genius.
‘Animal” is not simply an ‘obvious’ part of reality but part of a tradition which, as a result of changes we identify as ‘the neolithic’, brings with it major changes in the way one part of life (us) relates with the rest of life.
The high level of the Being of other forms of life is reduced to comply with the specifications which make it possible to ‘domesticate’ those other forms – to mistreat them with less than the respect which their existence qualifies them for.
The relationships between those who domesticate and the domesticated have been subject to a major transformation over many, many generations (for those Ways which embraced this path).
Darwin took his model for ‘natural selection’ from the practices of ‘artificial selection’ which are made possible in farming ways of life.
Darwin’s ‘animalisation’ of humanity, while correcting for the excesses of Western religion, further reduces the cosmic level on which all our lives are situated.
The next step, having rediscovered a unity of life on the material level (similarity of bodily formations etc), is not to declare “We are all animals” but to realise that all forms of life have wonderful existential dimensions which are excluded by the category ‘animal’.
Whatever divinity there is to be had, all of life shares it.
In losing sight of the respect due to all life, we are taking down the wrong path in life.
Ironically in ‘animalising’ other forms of life, we end up ‘animalising’ ourselves. It makes ‘simple sense’ within the everyday conceptual structures by which members of a life-formation collectively interpret lived experience.
We must always reject any attempts to ‘animalise’ life, including those which do not acknowledge the worth of the life sacrificed to satisfy our need to eat.
This results in enormous problems for modern practices which have reduced the ‘preordained’ freedom of buffalo to roam the plains into stock-feed lots of cattle, mass butchered and minced into hamburgers for chain store franchises.
The wealth and power which results from these corporations are unlikely to encourage this kind of Cosmic-Being thinking in the secularising universities the corporate culture cult now controls.