Thursday, February 14, 2008

a belated Happy Birthday...

Charles Darwin
born February 12, 1809

Praise him or vilify him, there can be no denying that Mr. Darwin's brilliant intuition changed the world. It is almost impossible to over-state the accomplishment of what this honest and thoughtful man did.

Very soon a movie will be released that will try it's best to link Darwin's theory to all the evil that followed the publication of "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" (usually abbreviated to The Origin of Species). This is grossly unfair to the man. Any idea can be perverted to support any manner of horrible action(s).

This movie will also go out of it's way to tear down Mr. Darwin's arguments, while ignoring the very sophisticated and concrete arguments of modern evolutionary theory. It should be noted that the arguments we use to support Evolution today would have been inconceivable to Darwin. Regardless what a creationist or an advocate of Intelligent Design may tell you; the frame work of evolution is very well established and is in no danger of collapsing. This is just the wishful thinking of people who are scandalized by the concept of humanity not being a specially designed creation. I've never understood how being the legacy of 4 billion years of evolution is somehow demeaning to our dignity. I find it a deeply spiritual truth.

This brings to mind the movie "Inherit the Wind". Henry Drummond as portrayed by the great Spencer Tracy is being cross examined by Matthew Brady. During their exchange Mr. Drummond says he thinks one thing is holy:

"The individual human mind. In a child's power to master the multiplication table there is more sanctity than in all your shouted amens and holy holy hosannas. An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral, and the advance of man's knowledge is a greater miracle than all the sticks turned to snakes or the parting of the waters .... The Bible is a good book, but it is not the only book .... How do you know God didn't speak to Charles Darwin?"
It's these thoughts that give me hope for the future of humanity!

R.

1 comment:

hoverfrog said...

Some people have tried to tear down Darwin's arguments for a century and a half without success...often without even reading them. I don't think he's in any immediate danger.