It’s Evolution, Stupid!

February 12, 2009

It is 200 years to the day since Charles Darwin was born (February 12 th , 1809). His groundbreaking book “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life” is almost 150 years old. The theory he propositioned has touched on all fields of knowledge that endeavour to understand life, from its origin to its conduct. It has stayed a hot topic ever since with its proponents intractable and its detractors unyieldingly adamant. That is how they have been for the last century and a half. That is how they look to be in the foreseeable future.

Darwin sought to answer one of the questions that has most baffled man since his known history; how did we come into being? Conceivably, that is how religion came into being. His theory, however, removed the need for divine explanations.

Converse to conventional thought, it is man who created God as an answer to all the questions he could not comprehend. As time went by, repeated probing and observation enlightened humanity. It comes as a surprise when we still have to debate on whether we were created or we evolved. That is even more baffling for the US than the developing world. While most of Western Europe is secular, it boggles the mind how and why America should have over 63 % of the population still believing in creationism. It beggars belief that only 14% percent believe in evolution there. Surely, how can you reconcile such scientific advancement as can be found in the United States with such ignorance?

This does not augur well with evidence. According to research quoted in The Economist, February 7 th 2009, “Gregory Paul, an independent researcher on evolution, and Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist at Pitzer College in California, have argued controversially that a belief in God is inversely correlated with the level of what might be described as the intensity of the struggle for existence. In countries where food is plentiful, health care is universal and housing is accessible, people believe less in God than in those countries where their lives are insecure. A belief in God, and rejection of evolution, they suggest, is most valuable in those societies that are most subject to Darwinian pressures.” That applies everywhere save the US.

In America, the controversy surrounding the theory has inevitably been dragged into schools. The Economist further reports that teaching of evolution has become a part of the nation’s culture wars, manifest most recently in the 2008 presidential campaign, particularly in the attention paid to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s statements in favor of public schools teaching creation science or intelligent design along with evolution. That is retarded!

The evidence that life has evolved through natural selection over a long period is standard for a 21 st century homo sapien. This is a statement of principle, honed through scientific observation, reasoning and experimentation.

It is understandable to want to believe that man has a higher purpose and not just reproductive success… that there is an intelligent designer watching over us and directing the world as a director does the theater stage. But all evidence points otherwise.

On this day, stop trying so hard not to understand and digest the reality that we are here by accident. Just live well as you only have one life to live.

Let’s give kudos to Charles Darwin for helping to enlighten us. If Einstein is the person of the 20 th century, then Darwin sure is the person of the 19 th century.

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