Just in time for Darwin Day.
November 22 will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's "Origin of Species"
So of course the so called "Religious Right" (code word for "those who want to return to a medieval world-view) are up in arms.
The first inkling I had of this was an article in "The Telegraph" taking note of the fact that a very fine biography of Darwin done in Britan could not find an American distributer because they all were afraid of the Fundamentalists. Now this is an award winning movie with a stellar cast, including Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin and Jennifer Connelly as Emma Darwin.
So here we are in the land of "free speech" and everyone is afraid to screen a first class movie because it might upset the "Evangelicals". Of course there is the fact that said so called "Christians" are getting as violent as the Taliban may have something to do with it.
Then today I discover that Kirk Cameron, failed sit-com actor and right wing evangelical shill (I guess that's where you go when you can't even hold down a part on "Growing Pains") is fronting for an organization that plans to distribute 50,000 copies of an altered version of "Origin of Species" to students at various universities across the USA. This "very special edition" will have a fifty page preface filled with neo-conservative evangelical pseudo-logic "proving" that Darwin was wrong ant that reading him will lead to contracting warts, piles and the gout or some such nonsense.
The very best response to this silliness comes from a young Romanian woman...
Rather succinctly put!
There is more to this though. Being from a former Soviet Block country, she may have learned about "Lysenkoism" and what a detrimental effect it had on Soviet bio-sciences. (we certainly don't mention it in our educational system)
There is nothing quite like a religious/political mandate on reality to stifle progress in its tracks. Personally, I find it somewhat embarrassing that Americans need to be schooled in the concept of freedom by someone from outside our country, but it seems we do.
Here's the thing. Evolution is not a theory, it is an observable fact of nature. "Natural Selection" is a theory on how evolution operates. It is the best (most successful in producing observable results) of several theories about how evolution works, therefore it is the most useful.
There has, to my knowledge, never been even one scientific discovery that came out of taking "creationism" seriously. Not One. There have been thousands of extremely useful scientific discoveries from taking natural selection seriously. You do the math.
Creationism does not describe how the universe works, it describes neolithic and bronze age metaphor about the real world that is not as effective in describing reality as scientific metaphor is.
So here's the facts.
The Earth is not flat
The Sun does not revolve around the earth
The earth is not the center of the universe
The moon is not made of green cheese
The world will not come to an end if Gay people get married
Evolution is a fact of biology
The real, burning questions is:
The number of people who eat daily at "fast food" joints suggests yes, the number of people who are nothing more than tape recorders made from meat for their religious/political/social groups suggest yes.
But yet I have hope (Pollyanna optimist that I am)