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The Plain Truth – March 1980
The Plain Truth – March 1980
The Key To Human Survival

from Herbert W. Armstrong

IF YOU and I were discussing the matter of what subject I should write about in this month’s Personal, you might say, seriously, “Mr. Armstrong, in view of the deadly seriousness and the urgency of this time, I think you should write on the most urgent problem in all our lives right now – the question of whether, and how, we may survive!”

I would agree. The one BIG QUESTION in all our lives, right now, is that of human SURVIVAL!

But I hasten to add, survival alone is NOT ENOUGH! We must have survival in PEACE, in happiness, in joy, in prosperity and plenty, and in abundant well-being for ALL!

And that’s a pretty big order! If anyone has the answer, for the sake of humanity he’d better speak out! I am prepared to give the ANSWER – and it is going to be PLAIN SPEAKING, without pulling any punches! It’s time for PLAIN SPEAKING! YOU are betting your life on someone coming up, in time, with the right answer!

To get to the crux of the problem immediately, realize first that these existing conditions and evils are merely the EFFECT! For every effect, there has to be a CAUSE. Our problem of immediate urgency is to find the CAUSE, not only of present evil conditions, but also of what is the not-being-used CAUSE of peace, happiness, and abundant well-being!

If we are going to learn that CAUSE, we need first to ask: What has made MAN as he is? How did humanity come to be on this earth? Or, going back even further, how did the earth, itself, come to be?

That may seem like going a long way back. But this futile search for PEACE goes a long way back – as far as history goes – or farther. Man’s troubles, evils, and wars extend back to the beginning – or prior to the beginning – of history. To find the right answer, we need to go back even to PRE-history! That takes us even to the question of ORIGINS – of BEGINNINGS! And we shall come to the right answer quicker by beginning at the beginning!

Many scientists have devoted their lifetimes to researching and studying this question. Many scholarly books have been written setting forth the results of these lifetime studies, purporting to tell the story of the origin of the earth and of mankind upon it. Yet is it not significant that their studies, theories, and hypotheses fail to tell us WHY man is as he is, or HOW he got that way, WHY man seems always to be befuddled with unsolvable problems, WHY he is always in trouble, WHY humanity is harassed with so many evils, and WHY these evils are fast increasing?

This is no light matter. Ignoring humanity’s present dilemma will not cause it to go away. Human SURVIVAL hangs in the balance! We need the right answer – and we need it NOW!

And we can know!

The fruits of the speculative assertions of science have not been peace, happiness, universal prosperity, and abundant well-being. The world, instead, is SUFFERING! It is very sick!

To come to a knowledge of the RIGHT ANSWER, we need to understand what is wrong with the scientific method. WHY have the findings of modern science NOT produced peace and universal happiness? What has been wrong with the scientific method?

The world has had science, of a kind, for a very long time. But what we know as MODERN SCIENCE began its dramatic rise roughly 170 years ago. Even then, the new knowledge in the fields of science and technology developed very slowly at first.

Until this advent of modern science, the world had gone along for thousands of years virtually on an even keel – with no material progress to speak of. It was primarily an agricultural world, using primitive farming methods. The cast-iron plough was not invented until 1797. The disc plough was not invented until 1896, when I myself was alive and a growing boy! The first harvester came in 1836.

Abraham Lincoln once explained how mechanical and industrial progress could not develop until the invention of printing, about 1450 by Johannes Gutenberg in Germany. Even so, there was not much development in printing until the beginning of the 19th century. Suddenly, German inventors emigrated to Great Britain to patent their inventions in paper making and the rotary press, which immensely increased productivity in printing.

Think of it! Through those long millennia the world was virtually without means of transportation or communication! Transportation on land was by foot, mule, horse, camel, elephant or in vehicles drawn by these animals. By sea, it was by slow-moving sailboat. Fulton didn’t invent the steamboat until 1803. And the telephone, to provide communication, did not arrive until 1876. The telephone was in its infancy when I was a boy.

In my own lifetime, we have whipped past the machine age, the jet age, the nuclear age, and the space age. Much of the acceleration of inventions was stimulated first by the printing press, which made possible a greater diffusion of knowledge and exchange of ideas, and then by more rapid means of transportation – the steam engine, the steamboat, the automobile, the airplane. And finally, the telephone, telegraph, radio, TV.

But what was the original impetus?

With the emergence of “modern science” around the beginning of the 19th century, scientists assured the world that man had progressed to the point where he then could dispense with the superstitious crutch of religion and belief in God. Now humanity could rely on the new messiah – modern science.

“Given sufficient knowledge,” said the scientists, “we shall solve all of humanity’s problems and cure all the world’s ills.”

To replace religion and belief in God, scientists and educators had substituted the doctrine of evolution. The tools modern science used in the production of this new KNOWLEDGE were a stepped-up use of those man had employed since the dawn of history – rejection of revelation as a source of knowledge and the use of observation, experimentation, and human reason.

So the production of KNOWLEDGE increased at a constantly accelerating pace. The world’s total fund of knowledge virtually doubled in the one decade of the 1960s!

But, paradoxically, as knowledge has increased, so have humanity’s problems, troubles and evils, at almost an equal rate of acceleration!

What’s wrong with the dictum that knowledge is the sole need for solutions? We are face to face with the stern FACT that increasing evils have escalated alongside increasing knowledge! That is not to say that the increased knowledge caused the growing evils. It does mean that the knowledge produced did not cure existing evils, or prevent new evils!

The ANSWER becomes plain. There was something wrong with the knowledge being produced, or else the needed MISSING DIMENSION in knowledge was not being discovered.

To the dictum of science that given sufficient knowledge, mankind’s problems would be solved and humanity’s ills cured, I add this: Solutions come from the right knowledge that supplies the right answer – the true CAUSE of both the evils and the CAUSE that would produce peace and joy and every GOOD result; and, secondly, solutions come from the application of that knowledge. For I have always said that knowledge is of value only to the extent that it is used!

In this feverish development of knowledge production, scholars in universities have been placing great emphasis on academic freedom. Academic freedom is defined as the independent judgment allowed teachers, scholars, scientists, and students in the pursuit of knowledge.

Science as a whole and higher education have exercised the academic freedom to postulate a creation without a Creator. They have engaged in the activity of knowledge production with total rejection of any possibility of the miraculous, the supernatural, the existence of God – or anything outside the realm of the material. They have utterly rejected revelation as a source of basic knowledge!

When I engaged in research on the theory of evolution, I studied Darwin, Haeckel, Huxley, Vogt, Chamberlain, and other exponents of the theory. But also I looked at the other side of the question. But I would venture to say that most of those whose higher education has been acquired during the past half century have been taught and have accepted without question the evolutionary theory, not having examined with any seriousness the biblical evidences of special creation. The world’s “best seller” has been dismissed without a hearing.

Is it not human to err?

Could it be possible for the most highly educated minds to have been intellectually misled or deceived? Could they, viewing only one side of the question, be infallible, entirely above making mistakes? For many years now, I have observed that errors almost always come when a person starts with a false basic premise – carelessly assumed as self-evident and taken for granted without question – and then builds on that false basic hypothesis.

Suppose we now appropriate the academic freedom to question that which educators have dismissed without examination.

Is it possible for us to find the EXPLANATION of why MAN is as he is, WHY the world is filled with evils? Is it possible for us to discover the CAUSE of all human suffering, anguish, unhappiness, and inequality? Is it possible to find the CAUSE that would produce peace, happiness, abundance, and prosperity – the CAUSE which world leaders have apparently overlooked? Is it possible to find the key to human survival?

The answer to the preceding questions is “YES!” Yes, it is possible to answer these basic questions that have haunted man as long as he has existed. Yes, there is an answer to these questions that deal with man’s very survival. If you want ANSWERS to these questions, write for our booklet Why Were You Born. It’s free for the asking.