Happy Birthday Chuck!


Counters
Yesterday was Charles Darwin's 200th birthday! So I half expected to be buried under assorted Darwinania and various mailings from the fundamentalist wing of evolutionary biology...
But no, instead they stood back and left the floor open for "the other side." And true to form, the first piece of news to come across my RSS reader yesterday referring to Darwin was from the same brains-trust that gave us a NI Enviroment minister who doesn't believe in Man Made Climate Change... with a news story from the Guardian referring to DUP MLA Mervyn Storey who is threatening to mount a legal challenge to the Ulster Museum under equality legislation if they go ahead with a Darwin Exhibition...

I despair...
But... what if their bluff was called and, under equality legislation, they were given exhibition space proportional to the properly peer-reviewed scientific research in support of either evolution or Young Earth Creationism, or even Old Earth Intelligent Design?

I'm sure they can find a suitably small cabinet for the latter.

I'll make my position clear... I'm a Methodist minister, with an unflinching belief in the truth of scripture. But I am not an absolute literalist... That way madness lies as you only get to the end of chapter 2 of Genesis and, reading it absolutely literally, you have got 2 contrary accounts of creation. I also studied biology however, and my honours specialism was in evolutionary and behavioural zoology... and everything I studied I found to be compatible both with my faith and with Darwin's theory of evolution.

Darwin's theory is and can only ever be that... a theory... but, in its amended form (because he didn't get everything right... he misunderstood the mechanism for inheriting traits, having ignored the work on genetics by his contemporary, Gregor Mendel... a monk) it is the best one we have to explain the evidence... Unless of course you play the trump card of almost instantaneous creation circa 6000 years ago... If God is omnipotent and had wanted to create the universe over a period of 6 earth rotations 6000 years ago, he clearly could have. But I don't believe in a God who plays tricks with humanity by placing fossils in rocks that can only be millions of years old, and giving us cosmological data that can only support an age of the universe which is measured in billions...

So I'll go with the properly peer reviewed evidence for the moment...

But then, be it with regard to climate change or the origins of life on earth, DUP MLAs don't seem to be terribly keen on going by scientific evidence...

Never mind...

But let me, belatedly offer a happy birthday to Chuck Darwin from at least one Northern Irish Christian... (I know I'm not alone... its just that my fundamentalist brothers and sisters seem to be a wee bit louder!)

ps. Just removed the "This Day in History" gadget from the sidebar, because yesterday, instead of Charles Darwin's birth 200 years ago, it had the aquittal of Bill Clinton...

Cheers

Comments

Anonymous said…
And Abraham Lincoln! 200 years old yesterday!
Indeed... Either of those two events were more worthy of note than Clinton being "let off"...
gadgetguy said…
And then there's that odd creature that claims that Evolution somehow proves that God doesn't exist...

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