This Is Taking Too Long

If Charles Darwin were alive, he’d be 200 years old today, and there has been an enormous outpouring of ink commemorating the great man’s bicentennial. From reader JK comes a link to a Pew Research Center article on the degree to which acceptance of his “dangerous idea” — in many people’s opinion the most important scientific insight ever had by anyone — is still obstructed by religious belief (and in particular, Protestant and Muslim belief). Here.

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9 Comments

  1. JW says

    I think if religious folks would honestly think about this issue for a bit, they would realize that Monkey developed into Man is not so hard to believe in light of the Bible stating that God created Man out of good ol dirt. Which makes me think that this struggle here in the U.S. has very little to do with any actual conflict between the central ideas of evolution and christianity.

    Posted February 12, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    JW, there are lots of reasons that the modern theory of evolution is threatening to conservative religious dogma.

    It diminishes the central role of Man; it seems inconsistent with a benevolent and omnipotent god for there to be so many dead-end and pestilent species, and for the arrival of Man to have been so delayed and apparently so contingent; it directly contradicts the literal Genesis story; it appears to undermine the simple-minded account of morality that so many religious believers cling to; it provides a persuasive account of life that has no need of any gods at all; and so on.

    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink
  3. JW says

    Seems, appears, diminishes…yes. Absolutely. Which is why my guess is that this struggle is not a rational one at all.

    And I’m not even sure it directly contradicts the literal Genesis story in so far as it states that the animals came first, *then* humans.

    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Well, no, JW, it obviously is not a purely rational matter; that’s sort of the whole point. There’s that little issue of “faith”.

    The Genesis story also claims, among other things, that Man appeared on the scene as a direct creation of God, not as the biological descendant of nonhuman primates. That’s enough contradiction right there.

    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
  5. JK says

    Well, “fuel to the fire” as Granny always warned me against.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040024/

    Posted February 12, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  6. JW says

    One thing Malcom. If you were to come across a bunch of people arguing over whether blue and yellow paint *can* be mixed to produce another color that is wonderful to have (before they actually tried it) wouldn’t you simply chuckle and try to explain to them what the situation was, and if they are not willing to budge, simply not take them seriously and walk away?

    That’s precisely how I would *like* to view this whole situation. Of course the reality of the matter is that people are willing to tolerate behavioral extremities over the conflict, which makes it difficult for me to just walk away.

    Posted February 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  7. Kevin Kim says

    Genesis also presents two contradictory accounts of the order in which things were created, an internal inconsistency that some dedicated folks have been at pains to explain away — usually through clever reinterpretation of Hebrew verb tenses.

    Kevin

    Posted February 12, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  8. JK says

    Thanks Kevin, I started to mention that but simply figured that, well.

    By the way, I didn’t find out (lack of reply) but the “test” you provided was extemely (after some consideration) very helpful.

    Back to something not provided in the link I provided above, there is this pesky problem of bacteria adapting resistances to antibiotics. It used to be that (mind, I personally never experienced this) if a sailor for instance, caught a case of the clap in some locale a simple shot of pennicillin would clear any resistance the sailor may’ve had to emptying his bladder. Now (I hear) that once “single shot” isn’t what it used to be.

    God works in mysterious ways.

    Posted February 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
  9. pdg says

    here is a related link- from common dreams – a fine site indeed…
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/02/13-1

    Posted February 14, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink