Sunday, May 27, 2007
The evolution of creationism
Tara-Tara! Drumroll! Applause, applause.
A $27 million Creation Museum is opening in Kentucky - triumphantly demonising Darwinism with the "science of Genesis".
Recently we saw three Republican presidential candidates raise their hands to admit that they did not believe in evolution. Three out of ten. But, according to the Boston Sunday Globe, that is not representative of the country. The Globe asserts that fifty per cent of Americans believe that God created Adam and Eve just 6000 years ago - and the entire study of paleontology, geology, physics, biology and astronomy is meaningless to them.
This statistic chills my blood.
And, my mind reels at the leaps of logic that the creationist concept encompasses.
It's all about "faith". I recall my first husband urging me to join his religion by making "the leap in the dark" - which was faith. Blind belief.
I have never managed to make that "leap in the dark". I like the light. I am happy being illuminated by education.
This is not to say that I don't have a spiritual streak - for I have a deep sense of my place as a grain of sand in the vast organism which is our universe. I have profound love for life, nature and humanity - and believe passionately in the Dalai Lama's ethos of "compassion" as the core value for this life. Wonderment is no stranger to me. And yet, I cannot countenance the existence of a supreme being. If I were to do so, it would be with immense sorrow that any supreme being, intelligent designer, if you will, would, in fact, create so much cruelty and suffering. Why would an intelligent designer create disease and starvation, children in pain..?
Why would he/she give us an appendix or make the ageing process so degrading? Why would he/she make many religions and then make them divisive? And why would he/she create a complex paleontological record - just to test us?
It defies logic. To believe in all of this is not just a leap in the dark, it is a leap into a morass of denial. Which, of course, is the rub of religion - a prop humanity has required to cope with the concept of our transient existence in the chain of life.
Until the rise and rise of the combative creationists, I've been happy to respect the religions of others, seeing religion and ritual as an innate need.
But when we find a belief which seeks to crush science and human understanding, I recoil.
If they were to have their way, no more diseases would be cured and the earth would warm to environmental implosion. They would call it "God's Will".
They seem to have a pretty strong handle on God's Will. God wills whatever they choose. For some reason, enlightenment is not what they choose.
They have made the leap in the dark - and they are staying in the dark.