Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Darwin


Chuck, you didn't set out to destroy Jesus or turn us from God, blah blah. Biochemists, geneticists, geologists, botanists, paleonologists, molecular chemists, heck even astronomers and physicists know you got it, and have fleshed out what you've told us to the point that it indeed tells the story of our flesh. But even you knew it didn't tell us of our spirits. That's a matter of personal faith. Not politics. Not schooling. Personal faith. Of course personal faith seems always be eclipsed by ignorance, stupidity, superstition, dogma. Or misappropriated by clowns in the right wing media, in politics, who misuse your name. I won't let my own folk off the hook. Braying pastors, warbling church ladies--did I say ignorant? Yes, I did.

Isn't it interesting how the people who want you banned even after all this supposed "evolution" of our intellect and understanding of the universe in the past two centuries--or put forth the new bullshit called "Intelligent Design" (which was invented out of thin air, people, recently)--are radical Islamic mullahs, and our own Christian wingnuts. Ironic indeed...
So happy birthday Chuck. Your brain was God-given. And there's nothing contradictory about that statement.

10 comments:

Chicama Vineyard said...

What a rare notion these days: the heart and intellect to be able to accept the science and naturnal history of who we are and what the earth and stars are made of, and also be a person of faith and Christian love. It is not that difficult. Why are we forced to choose?

classical one said...

To be quite frank though, very few scientists are people of faith. Darwin's descendents today (Dawkins, EO Wilson etc ) are not Christians. In fact a 1996 survey of the members of the vaunted National Academy of Science found 93% of the members had no belief in a personal God. We understand much more about science and evolution since the days of Darwin; consequently, it's doubtful Mr. Darwin would be anything but an atheist or agnostic if he was alive now.

Lisa said...

I'm not sure if that's true. My father is a retired chemist and instructor at Hampton U. in Va. (the REAL HU!!!) and he felt Darwin was a hero and maligned by people who didn't understand his work. Daddy is ALSO a Christian who was a deacon at our old church in Newport News. When your nose is in processes and details, he says, often it's good to pull back and find the Lord as a place of contemplation and refuge. He in way says this conflicts with his view that "intelligent design" should be a PERSONAL way of looking at the universe, but NOT a real "science" that by law has to be taught, and he hates religious fanatics. As for atheists he says he knows very few who are scientists, doctors and engineers. They are all either praticing Christians, Jews, Hindu, Shinto, Confucian etc. and YES Muslims! I think Nat Turner's riddle about a God-Given brain is right on it, and clever (and I done cheezing on you enough?). I plan to send a link to this post to my father.

Anonymous said...

SoCal 82Tiger:

Professor you know when both the left and right talking heads get a hold of an issue like this it provides each side the perfect platform to force the discussion to be a narrow question of either all science or all faith. You are either all in or all out with either side.

I suspect that such a narrow view and choice leaves the vast majority of folks including myself (and perhaps folks like Chicama and Lisa?) unable to have much enthusiasm when embracing either side.

The “true believers” on both sides reject those who proclaim validity to embrace both! There is nothing that prevents anyone from being a person who strongly embraces both faith and science; except for the scorn, contempt, ridicule, and rejection they usually face from your described "wing nuts" sitting on both political extremes.

I think Shakespeare might have got it wrong – The first thing we need to do is not kill all the lawyers: Maybe it should be – The first thing we need to do is kill all the right AND left wing nuts!!!

Then again, maybe lets just kill em all!!! :)

classical one said...

Lisa,

I stand by comments on the National Academy of Science- a quick google search will reveal how many of the top minds in science right now are not religious.

Why is opposition to science so deeply rooted in religion? Darwin was attacked by the Catholic church and others mercilessly: The same thing is true for Galileo, Copernicus etc. Do you know that 75% of American's claim to believe in angels, but only 25% believe in Evolution?

carl said...

Classical One: I subscribe to Nat Turner's general Misanthropic/Menckenesque view of the average American. What would Mencken say if he was alive today decades after the famous Monkey Trial. He laugh himself back into the grave and say those 75% who believe in angels are are no less superstitious than the average Bushman and Indian on the Amazon.

Robert M said...

Chris, stop making sense!

Anonymous said...

Re: Classical One and Carl

Science is here to answer and explain the how and why of what we can see or observe in our universe....

But science does not do so well to explain the how, why, (and perhaps what/who??) of how the sublime wonderment that is behind and beyond just the beginning of our universe...

To subscribe people of faith as all uneducated kooks is as simple minded a statement as the beliefs of the fringe fundamentalist religious groups you use in your rush to lump all people of faith together...

If all you are prepared to talk about is what you know or what you can see or prove about this universe, then you have closed yourself off to pondering what is there beyond what WE know...

Call it metaphysics, mysticism, or in your limited minds just plain religion. However you say it the point is that it challenges you take what you know and think beyond the easy task, and to ponder or pontificate about something larger and more profound....

That doesn't made you a religious nut...

FYI - Not seeing the wording of the survey you quote you should realize that declaring that you do not have a "personal God" does not mean you cannot be a person of faith. A Diest or an Agnostic does not as a rule have a personal God!

Anonymous said...

There's a program on now explaining gaps in the fossil record and filling a few to show how shore-scavenging doglike creatures became whales.
Shows skulls, ear bonesand organs, teeth. Salt water adaptations. Look, it all works for me. I'm a Jew and believe in God.

classical one said...

A personal God is one who sees all, and one who will judge you when you die so, that would encompass a Christian and a Muslim God.