Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I've always been a Darwin fan. The 1st 'big' book I read in English, when I was 7, was all about Darwin and how he discovered Natural Selection. Those Galapagos finches and all that. How come all those Bible Belt prtotestants in the US still get so hot under the dog collar about Evolution? Its a bit like protesting against electric light.
Captain Fitzgerald, who hired Darwin as a ships Doctor on the Beagle, planned for him to find conclusive evidence, in the remoter parts of the world, of Noah's flood and of the Creation. Many years later, when he realized what Darwin had in fact discovered, Fitzgerald killed himself.
Now the US courts have ruled that schools can't teach 'intelligent Design'. Thats was a legal ploy by Creationists to get around the seperation of church and state. 'intelligent Design' means that the world often looks as though it was planned, so therefore Darwin was wrong. No specific Deity is mentioned, but its protaganists hope that kids will first hear about the vague notion of 'intelligent Design' then get hooked on Jesus at some website or church dance. The couts ruled that its just religious instruction under another guise.
As far as I know, this is only an issue in the US. Protestantism is v. fundamental there, and for them truth comes only straight out of the bible, not via some other authority, such as a scientist. Darwin to them is like the Pope in Rome was to Luther : a lying peddlar of old bones.
The scientific community, on the other hand, says that the 'intelligent Design' people are damaging scientific education. Not so sure: there are lots of good scientists and engineers who believe in a Deity. The fact is that humans are adept at holding contradictory views. For an individual to be srupulously consistentin his views about everything is rare and probably unhealthy. Yes - Evolution is a long confirmed fact and No - Genesis does not give an accurate account of cosmology, but yes lots of people find comfortand strength and meaning in religion.
Let's accept contradictions.