Sunday, February 13, 2005
The Conundrum of Faith-Based ignorance of human evolution
Charles Darwin was born February 12, 1809. He published On the Origin of Species at age 50. On the occasion of celebrating his birth and contribution to the fundament of human knowledge, a few thoughts on the uneasy coexistence of faith and evolution. It is sometimes difficult, particularly these days, to have faith in evolution when civilization seems bent on imploding over which flavor of faith others believe in, and the faithful and the faithless see one another as enemies.
Nick Kristof in the Times on recent evidence that the human inclination to be religious, to have faith, may in fact be genetic:
I actually agree --completely-- that faith is an instinctual human quality, that believing in something more powerful and communal than the self (using any name, natural phenomenon or image that one likes) is a participation in that power, that fate is a partnership with destiny and that inquiries into belief (I'm showing my Jewish roots here) formulates a necessary detente with the unknown. It's fine with me if you believe something else that works for you--as long as you don't fight anybody over it. Fighting for the right to believe in what you want is justified. But fighting to destroy those who believe differently is destroying civilization.
Edna Devore, Director of Education and Public Outreach, SETI Institute on the awe of unfolding the mystery of the exquisite miracle of evolution:
I personally think that even if you require some notion of God to justify the miracle of mankind, the sheer persistence, diversification and span of evolution is more impressive than the seven-day myth. But I'd settle for at least as impressive, when it comes to education.
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.
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