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I think of Social Darwinism as a paradigmatic intelletual error, confusing description with prescription, and natural existence with social morality. There is a Social-Darwinist extreme to software-design philosophy, too, in which it is sometimes hoped that sufficient iterations of usability testing can obviate the need for design decisions of any other sort.  

But evolution is slow, and its power should not be confused with efficiency or completeness. Iterative testing and adjustment is good for identifying and (sometimes) addressing specific execution errors, but largely useless for assessing conceptual shortcomings, much less missed opportunities and possible transformations.  

As a software designer, then, I'm basically a Social Creationist. I believe in people inventing things, and asking strange questions, and guessing and aspiring. I believe in experimentation as an artistic act more fundamentally than a mathematical one. I believe that you can accomplish far greater things by trying to tell your audience an inspiring and surprising new story of themselves than by the constant diligence of patching up the holes in the stories they have long since begun to wear out.  

And thus it occurs to me to wonder whether this opposition between evolution and creation, between the crawling struggle against entropy and the wildest wish to fly, doesn't pivot, of its own nature (or ours), around the axis between how we believe our environment is and how our society should be. Perhaps survival and intent are conserved in our beliefs. If you think the natural world was created in all its particulars by gods as living pedagogy, then it makes manifestly good sense to also believe that the subsequent operations of that created system are themselves intended and thus not to be much interfered with, and excessively detailed study of them is most likely to be a precursor to some evil. If you believe that the natural world is not authored, then the responsibility for morality falls entirely to its inhabitants, and every fevered curiosity is a spasm towards informing our own decisions by understanding their context and consequences.  

As therein lies the soul of our greatest impasses: some of us are trying to account for thermodynamics and live better before we die, and some of us are crossing our fingers and counting on the Rapture.
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