30 June 2008

This week 150 years ago...

the Darwin/Wallace paper on Natural Selection was read to an underwhelmed Linnaean Society. To those of us who walked in the streets below, it was the first glimmerings of a great light.

There will be space occupied in the newspapers by this and the Daily Telegraph is off the mark today with a comment piece.

Charles Darwin was not the father of atheism, by a Mr Pitcher who on a little further digging turns out to be a Reverend Pitcher.

Indeed, Reverend. In some years of education about Darwin and evolution, and many more talking to people who know far more than I no one has ever suggested, even after injudicious amounts of booze, that Darwin was the father of atheism.

In this spirit, may I agree that Darwin was not the father of atheism, that apples are not oranges and entropy is not Treebeard with a hangover. We could fill whole felled rainforests with what Darwin is not, with what other people are not, with what things which exist are not, and with what things not yet invented are not or may not become.

But in this magnificent 18 months when we are celebrating the achievements of great scientists and explorers - Darwin, Wallace, Fitzroy, the entire crew of the Beagle, Darwin's supporters when his work was contra mundum - and of science in its infancy could the media not try to encourage this pointless comment controversy and not walk the tired, oh so tired God vs science path.

Science: good in its own right.

1 comment:

Karen James said...

Regarding the "underwhelmed" Lin Soc, I would like to refer readers to George Beccaloni's comment on my recent post in which I made the same mistake as Peter.

And don't miss George's brilliant exposition on this particular myth.