Among the people whose ideas have changed the world, Charles Darwin is right up there with the most influential characters to walk this Earth.
From a very young age, most of us are taught the theory of evolution, and in many cases it is a subject that does not sit well with our upbringing on Creationism.
It is more than a little ironic that Darwin started out early adulthood with the intention of making a career in the church, but ended up setting out the theory that is more often than not is used to attack religion, the Divine spark and intelligent design.
Proponents of evolution parade their claims as cold, hard science and their root text is Darwin’s “The Origin of Species”.
Few people are aware that the full title of the Darwin text that provides the basis for evolutionism is “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle of Life”.
Do we need to point out the racial, pseudo-scientific underpinnings of the theory?
That said, among evolution’s highly unscientific and grossly unprovable premises is that at some point in the past, inorganic matter became living matter.
To put it bluntly, the claim is that given enough time and the “right conditions”, a rock will one day sprout legs and walk, or grow fins and swim.
Going further, evolution will have it that given enough time and the “right conditions”, that rock that sprouted legs or fins will evolve into an entirely new species.
In essence, this is how – over time and with the “right conditions” – a universe filled with inorganic ie dead matter became populated with an unquantifiable variety of life forms.
But here’s the catch, inorganic matter stopped changing into organic matter at some point, and species stopped changing into different species at some point.
This is something we are told to accept as scientific proof, but it really can only be accepted as an article of faith!
All real scientific inquiry will tell you that a rock will never walk inasmuch as a dog will never become a cat.
In short, evolution is a matter of faith rather than of science.
So what’s the point?
The point is something cannot evolve into an entirely new species.
Which is why the developing world has for many years now agonised about why the United Nations has not evolved into anything other than a club in which five countries have arrogated for themselves the right to tell more than 185 other countries how the world should be run.
The United Nations was created in 1945, along with its contentious Security Council that has as its only permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States (the P5).
In the 75 years since, these countries have taken it upon themselves to shape and reshape international affairs for better or for worse – usually for worse.
During that time, other countries have risen to challenge the monopoly of the P5. They too want the power to veto all United Nations General Assembly decisions, including on who becomes secretary-general.
Among these countries that have stepped forward are a Germany that is now sufficiently confident that its Namibian and Jewish holocaust past has been forgotten; a Turkey that has long chaffed at the ignominious tag of “the sick man of Europe”; and Japan, Indonesia and Brazil, among a few others.
These countries are pushing their agenda for an expanded Security Council for their own interests.
Which is why it is good that Africa has also come up with its own position on the Security Council, as captured in the Sirte Declaration and the Ezulwini Consensus.
In a nutshell, Africa wants two permanent seats on the Security Council. The continent is in principle opposed to the use of a veto, but says if the rest of the UN wants that instrument retained, then Africa’s two permanent Security Council members should also get it.
It was emboldening to see the leaders of Africa step forward this week in demanding that the UN evolve into something more representative of the world we live in.
But perhaps therein lies the problem.
The UN cannot conceivably evolve into a new creature that genuinely accommodates the views of the majority of the world 75 years after the P5 created it for an entirely different purpose.
Evolution is not going to spawn the United Nations that the oppressed people of the world are clamouring for.
On the other hand, revolution has tended to birth new political species.
A new international order requires a bold, radical approach that recognises that the UN is inherently flawed and requires more than just a few changes in the composition of the Security Council.
What is required is an overhaul of the international justice system so that might stops being right and all nations are truly considered equal.
To those who may think an entire overhaul of the system is too onerous and perhaps downright crazy, it would be instructive to recall the words of Thomas Sankara back in 1985.
“You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future.
“It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future.”