Creationism v. evolution. I’ve been thinking about this argument a lot lately due to my reading matter.
I accept the Genesis account of creation as a skillful literary device depicting the unfolding of eons.
I believe in a master designer who, through intelligence far beyond my comprehension, knew that one day a nose would be needed to hold eyeglasses and that mankind would learn to make cream cheese and bagels and some sweet soul would one day bring them together.
I do not wish to be labeled a “creationist.” I know Earth is more than 6,000 years old, that dinosaurs once roamed the planet and trilobite fossils can be found on rocks.
I realize that some Demwit readers adamantly disagree with my belief and my faith and recognize that as their right.
About that reading matter: of the thousands of books I’ve read, one has finally toppled Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” as the most boring book I’ve managed to survive, which, according to its premise, makes me among the “fittest.”
I do not make this assessment to refute Charles Darwin’s theories in “The Origin of Species,” but I do wonder how many adherents actually made it through the book without becoming catatonic.
A theory does not have to be proved; it has to be disproved, and Darwin’s theories on how species evolved are irrefutable.
The next book up was Irving Stone’s “Clarence Darrow for the Defense: A Biography” (1941). It is merely coincidence that I listened to these two books back to back.
These brief passages from the famous lawyer’s arguments at the Scopes Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, July 1925, convey eloquently my own sentiments. (If you don’t know the history of this trial, stop monkeying around and click on the link.)
“The State of Tennessee, under an honest and fair interpretation of the Constitution, has no more right to teach the Bible as the divine book than that the Koran is or the Book of Mormons or the Book of Confucius or the Buddha or the essays of Emerson or any one of ten thousand books to which human souls have gone for consolation and aid in times of trouble. I know there are millions of people in the world who derive consolation in times of trouble and solace in times of distress from the Bible. I would be pretty near the last one in the world to do anything to take it away.
“ I feel just exactly the same toward every religious creed of every human being who lives. If anybody finds anything in this life that brings them consolation and health and happiness, I think they ought to have it. I haven’t any fault to find with them at all.
“But the Bible is not one book. The Bible is made up of sixty-six books written over a period of about one thousand years – some of them very early and some of them comparatively late. It is a book primarily of religion and morals. It is NOT a book of science, never was and was never meant to be.”
“They say I’m an atheist. I am NOT an atheist. It is no more possible to prove there is not a God than to prove there is a God.”
“They (Tennesse lawmakers) make it a crime to know more than I know. They publish a law to inhibit learning. This law says that it shall be a criminal offense to teach in the public schools any account of the origin of man that is in direct conflict with the divine account that is in the Bible. It makes the Bible the yardstick to measure every man’s intelligence and to measure every man’s learning.
“Are your mathematics good? Turn to I Elijah 2 (sic). Is your philosophy good? See II Samuel 3. Is your chemistry good? See Deuteronomy 3:6 or anything that tells about brimstone. Every bit of knowledge that the mind has must be submitted to a religious test.”
The argument goes on. Not much has changed since those hot, muggy, summer days in a little town in Tennessee – except an honest enforcement of the laws of this land.