Michael Meacher ('Destination of the Species')
'The Ultimate Purpose of Creation - Revealed!'
The inspiration for writing 'Destination of the Species: The Riddle of Human Existence' (O-Books) emerged from the author’s own need for a better understanding of our place in the universe, prompting questions such as: Is the world driven by pitiless, directionless chance as the Dawkins and neo-Darwinian view would have it, or is there a verifiable evidence of purpose detectable within it?
A Member of Parliament for nearly forty years, frustrated and disgusted in the corruption of modern politics, where conviction, vision, and sense of purpose have been replaced by personal ambition and manipulation, Michael Meacher turned to physics, biology, chemistry and cosmology in an attempt to find answers.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Michael Meacher about his latest book, 'Destination of the Species: The Riddle of Human Existence,' and first wondered, being that this new book emerged from his own need for a better understanding of our place in the universe, at what age did he first find such questions become so burning? "The issues I wrote about have really impacted on me over the last 10-15 years as my understanding and enthusiasm for science steadily grew and my acceptance of the Nicene creed as an adequate explanation of spirituality gradually waned, and I increasingly asked myself: what do I actually really believe about the ultimate questions of the universe, purpose and life? When released from Ministerial duties 7 years ago, and with more time on my hands, I began to systematise the ideas swirling around in my mind."
And, without giving the ending away, what did you discover: Is the world driven by pitiless, directionless chance, or is there a verifiable evidence of purpose detectable within it? "Again there was certainly no flash of illumination or discovery at any particular time, quite the opposite. I reached my conclusions slowly and laboriously, changing my mind a number of times as I progressed, until the accumulation of evidence as set out largely in chapter 11 seemed to me to point incontrovertibly to patterns implying purpose (final causes) not only in biological but also in cosmological systems."
Being that you have been a Member of Parliament for nearly forty years now, how did you manage to keep your 9-5 job going alongside the research and subsequent writing of this book - and find time to socialize, eat and sleep also?! "With difficulty (incidentally I still am an M.P.). But when you have a burning drive to try to understand and re-interpret some of the great mysteries of human existence – a tediously challenging, constantly difficult, but ultimately hugely rewarding enterprise – the intellectual and emotional buzz and excitement is quite enough to keep one going and to carve out even small amounts of time to keep it moving forward. I accept however that my wife and family paid a price for this and I am well aware of their patience and indebted to them for their support and encouragement."
What was one of the hardest parts of this book to write - and why? "The hardest parts of the book to write were part 2 where I tried to pull together the whole myriad of leads that were set out in extenso in chapters 2-9. What made it so difficult was not only trying to detect a pattern in what sometimes seemed an impenetrable fog of theories and ideas, but rather the fact that much of the evidence seemed to be cross-cutting and contrary – a sure sign that our overall understanding is still partial and imperfect. I dealt with the problem by acknowledging it frankly and then giving all the evidence on both (or all) sides of the argument before trying to reconcile it as best I could."
Finally, it's been said that you are 'frustrated and disgusted' in the corruption of modern politics, where conviction, vision, and sense of purpose have been replaced by personal ambition and manipulation. Assuming that you then turned to physics, biology, chemistry and cosmology in an attempt to find answers to the bigger things in life thereafter, if all this frustration and disgust still lives and breathes within you, why do you choose to still remain buried within it as a Member of Parliament for all these years? Do you still have great hopes for a change within said system, perhaps? "I didn’t turn to physics, biology, chemistry and cosmology to escape from politics; I turned to them because they were the necessary instruments for a very different but complementary quest. Yes, I do regard much of modern politics as degraded and corrupt, but just to walk away from it for that reason is in my view a total abandonment of responsibility. It is precisely because things are that bad that it behoves those I regard as decent and honourable people to stand and fight. It is only when things are that bad that it becomes, not merely an offer, but a duty."
"And yes, even in my darkest moments I have never given up real hope that things can be changed for the better. Only out of crisis comes fundamental opportunity. So many times I have noticed later that when I had thought that it was all over and lost, that is precisely the moment when the seeds of change were sown – only I was too fixated on the present to be able to see it."
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
Book Purchase link
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