RATIONAL THOUGHTS: Isn’t it enough to be part of an amazing universe?
The City of Kamloops has proclaimed the week of Feb. 12 to Feb. 19 as International Darwin Week, which celebrates the birthday of Charles Darwin and his contributions to science.
The vast majority of scientists now recognize the “theory” of evolution Darwin penned in his book, The Origin of Species, as scientific fact.
The amount of evidence that has been brought to bear leaves no doubt about our origins.
From the vast fossil evidence to recent advances in mapping the human genome and DNA evidence, there can be no doubt evolution by natural selection is true.
We are indeed related to every other form of life on this planet — right down to the smallest of life forms.
So, with so much incontrovertible evidence, why do some people still doubt it?
Why is this still a point of controversy with some?
More importantly, why are there publicly funded independent schools that insist on placing creationism on the same level, while teaching children the Earth is less than 10,000 years old and everything was created as we see it today (birds with wings, fish with gills, etc.).
The answer is, of course, religion — more specifically, fundamentalist religion.
What do these folks have to fear from evolution?
The simple answer is that it explains how we came to be without divine intervention and it therefore directly contradicts their dogma, which comes from a 2,000-year-old book written by men who didn’t know about bacteria, microorganisms or much science at all.
These were men who believed the Earth was flat and was the centre of the universe.
All of these Iron Age myths have long since been laid to rest by most of us, yet the obvious truth of evolution remains to some just a theory.
One needs only to examine the various bacteria and viruses we must deal with today to see absolute evidence of evolution happening right before our eyes.
Bacteria evolve to become antibiotic resistant; flu viruses evolve into something more virulent every year.
Yet the credulous cling to these long outdated myths and fairy tales, all the while claiming it is their faith that guides them, a faith the rest of us are not supposed to question openly.
Faith is defined as “belief in something for which there is no evidence”.
Many of us today look for and find a deeper meaning based on evidence and reason.
We know at an atomic level we are made of the stuff of stars that exploded millions of years ago.
We know we are not the centre of the universe and we know that when we depart this life ,we will once again return our atoms to the universe.
There is no divine purpose or plan.
We are all a part of an amazing and beautiful universe and, when you think about it, isn’t that enough?
I leave you to ponder this, from the final paragraph in Darwin’s great work:
“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”
Bill Ligertwood is director of the Kamloops Centre for Rational Thought, a Canadian Centre for Inquiry affiliate.
The centre’s website can be found here.