Showing posts with label Charles Darwin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charles Darwin. Show all posts

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Going To Hell!

Right around this time of the year we talk about Charles Darwin in class and every year, I get a few students that question Darwin and evolution. This year, I was asked by a young woman what I thought.

"Evolution is scientific fact but that doesn't mean that God doesn't exist. What if He began the process for evolution? I think there is room for everyone to be right here."

I realize that's kind of a cop out answer (everyone wins!) but being open minded is something I try to pass on to my students. After class was over, the young woman came up to me and said, "I didn't want to say anything in front of class but people that believe in evolution are going to hell." She stormed out of the room in all her seventh gradedness and left me pretty much speechless. What sort of parents does a person like this have to have to bring them to this point? Worse, this recent poll shows that Republican belief in evolution is actually falling. Seriously?!?

I guess in some ways I was hurt by what she said but as the next class rolled in, another young woman came up to me and asked me how old I was. I told her I was 47 next month. Her jaw dropped to the ground.

"Everyone thinks you are 35!"

Ah, the life of a teacher...

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Opening Minds

Reverend Jim directed me to this truly magnificent piece over at

Yet in many ways, a version of that conversation is taking place today in the West. There are those who side with Paley against Darwin: Life is designed, and therefore did not evolve. There are those who side with Darwin against Paley: Life evolved, and therefore is not designed. There are some for whom Darwin rules out Milton: Animals and humans have always died, so there was no Eden, no Adam, no Eve, and no fall. Then there are those for whom Milton rules out Darwin: Yes, there was, so no, they haven't. 

Still others agree with Darwin and Paley, but not Milton: Evolution is designed by God, but a literal fall never happened. Some even agree with Darwin and Milton but not Paley: Evolution happened, and a literal fall happened, but the design argument is just a God-of-the-gaps thing, and we shouldn't use it. And many proponents of each view get rather angry with people who hold a different one. It's all very confusing. 

To make a complicated situation worse, there is a tiny minority of oddballs who think all three of them were essentially right, and who believe in the fall of Adam and Eve, the argument from design, and Darwinian evolution. Oddballs like me.

Is this an indication that some minds are opening? I hope so!