Hegemonic scholastic Darwinism

Science historian John Schuler speaks of “hegemonic scholastic Aristotelianism” during the Middle Ages – lets unpack this a bit:

hegemonic – it dominated society and excluded opposition

scholastic – it resided in the schools, the universities that arose in the Middle Ages

Aristotelianism – it is related to Aristotle’s writings

Hegemonic scholastic Aristotelianism declined with the growth in modernizing movements – the Renaissance, the Reformation, modern science – and alternatives arose – mechanistic thought, scientistic philosophy – until the 19th century when universities increasingly became science-based, government-funded institutions as science became professionalized and grew in prestige.  Latin gave way to the vernacular as education was increasingly democratized.

There is something about universities that inclines them toward a common mindset.  Who will criticize you if you teach the conventional wisdom?  Universities are bastions of academic conformity which today means Darwinism, evolutionism, naturalism, and increasingly atheism.

So in the late-modern/post-modern era we have hegemonic scholastic Darwinism:

hegemonic – it dominates society and excludes opposition

scholastic – it resides in the schools, the universities in particular

Darwinism – it is somehow related to Darwin’s writings

This brings to mind the French saying, translated as “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

June 2014