Saturday, November 26, 2005

God vs Science

It is still utterly baffling to me that Christian fundamentalists cannot wrap their heads around the idea that evolution is entirely consistent with anything but the most literal-minded reading of Genesis:
It isn't very often that a mere visit to an exhibition counts as a political act, but that's certainly how it feels these days as you mount the steps of the American Museum of Natural History, overlooking Central Park. Admittedly, there wasn't a protester in sight when I visited this week, and staff have not yet faced picket lines or hate mail. This is, after all, New York City not Salt Lake City. But organisers of the museum's terrific new exhibition on the life and work of Charles Darwin acknowledge that theirs is an explicit gesture of defiance towards an anti-scientific Christian fundamentalism that is again running fast and deep in contemporary America.
Newsweek also has a nice potted account of Darwin's development of the theory:
Toward the end of the voyage, the Beagle spent five weeks at the remote archipelago of the Galapagos, home to giant tortoises, black lizards and a notable array of finches. Here Darwin began to formulate some of the ideas about evolution that would appear, a quarter-century later, in "The Origin of Species," which from the day it was written to the present has been among the most influential books ever published. Of the revolutionary thinkers who have done the most to shape the intellectual history of the past century, two—Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx—are in eclipse today, and one—Albert Einstein—has been accepted into the canon of modern thought, even if most people still don't understand what he was thinking. Darwin alone remains unassimilated, provocative, even threatening to some

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