150 years of Darwin
2009 is the 150th anniversary of the release of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species' and still we have doubters. Now I'm not about to say that Darwin had it all right in 1859 but basically he was on the money. But perhaps now, more than ever, the theory of evolution faces its sternest challenges from religious corners.
Intelligent Design (a more marketable term for Creationism) reared its ugly head in 1987 after the release of the book of Pandas and People and is gaining renewed popularity, particulary amongst Evangelist Christians across America. With 'science' institutions investigating this new theory and the fact that it is pushed into high schools to be studied alongside evolution and natural selection Darwin is getting a flogging. It would be (and has been) wildly condemned in the public forum if scientists denying the affects of smoking on the human body were found to be funded by Big Tobacco. Links between Design theorists and the huge budgets of Fundamentalist Christian organisations in the States go quietly unidentified. Why? Because Intelligent Design/Creationism is scientifically rediculous.
The Earth is not 6000 years old and a new line of species can not appear from nowhere. We are descended not from apes, but from a common anscestor 6 to 8 million years ago. But the real proof Darwin's 'survival of the fittest' is in front of us every day.
Friday night. You're going to the pub. You do what you can to look your best. You may have your dance moves down pat or be relying on wit and charm. Whatever. Like it or not, we are genetically programmed to want to pass our genes on to the next generation. You want to have sex. Everything you do in life you do, consciously or not, is to have sex. You exercise, buy nice clothes, work for money to buy nice clothes, save for a house (think cave), and on it goes. If you do all this, you know you will move up the pecking order and give your genes the best chance of finding the best match.
Evolution stares us in the face wherever we go, and the religious organisations know this.
Big Tobacco funding doctors = More smokers, more money.
Christian Churches funding scientists = More believers, more money.
One can't be wrong without the other.
Quickly, Magda's little outburst about cyclists on GNW has caused a stir. She picked the wrong group to target. Middle aged men write to papers and ring talk back radio. If it was targeted at surfers making swimming unsafe, young people swearing in public, or smokers giving us all a soar throat there would not have been a backlash. These groups would have laugh and say 'yeah, you're probably right, but oh well.' We build roads for cars, pull your heads in.
By the way, good to see Channel 10 backed up my criticism of the Encore Presentation by having 'Big Encore Friday.' Three shows from earlier in the week back to back. Salivating stuff. Was Celebrity Masterchef really that good? And Channel Nine played Hey Hey twice on Wednesday night. Great stuff programmers, your school holiday work experience program is really paying off.