Friday, February 13, 2009

This was a response to Reg Henry, a syndicated columnist's, article about Darwin which appeared in the Metro West Daily News. I commented.

The Evolution of Evolution: Reg Henry's article in the February 13, 2009 Metro West Daily News "Darwin and the evolution of religious feeling" article WAS humorous as he wanted it to be. I agree with most of it. I think he covered the bases of what should not, I believe, even BE a debate. However, I have a few critiques of some of his thoughts. He says 'While the existence of God can't be proved scientifically, it can't be disproved either.' Of course, the answer to that oft quoted rationale for god is one cannot prove a negative. Moreover, the fact that he says 'Charles Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey must be proof even Darwin believed in god.' This is proof of nothing but the fact that Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey. My family is buried in Sharon Memorial Park, a Jewish cemetery near Boston, but that does not mean everyone buried there all believed in god. Even if Darwin believed in god it still would not prove the existence of god. He is right, though when he says 'searching, souls do find the essence of goodness in myriad places.' There are probably 6 billion different interpretations of god and they find it in many places. Sometimes one can find goodness even by reading the atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkin's book, The God Delusion.One of Dawkins's disciples once said to me when I discussed with him my fear of death and the bleakness of eternity without a belief in god, that it is too bad we cannot accept life as it is and find the beauty in life as it has developed, as it existed over billions of years and as it exists now without having to be all consumed by the worry of death and the nothingness of eternity.

Darwin has had a monumental implication for man and science. His impact was multifaceted and absolutely unequivocally correct. Darwin's influence for the good is undisputed and only increases over time. We see evolution at work all around us. Archeologists uncover hundreds of millions of years of it every day, biologists see it in the lab among viruses, the AIDS virus did, if nothing else, prove it by showing us how cleverly the microbiological world can outwit even the smartest guys in the room by morphing so that man cannot develop a vaccine to prevent its poison. We see it when bacteria do the same so that our most heretofore potent antibiotic weapons against infection are often rendered useless as the bacteria changes to avoid its own extinction. We see it, too, as the world adapts to the external phenomenon of global warming. All life on earth is changing and adapting because of it. Evolution is real and it is true. It occurred in the past, occurs now, will occur in the future and can be proven endlessly. It will be true until the end of our time on earth as evolution dictates we all must die and it will be true even after that although we will not be around, singularly, to witness it. One necessary ingredient for evolution is time and planet earth has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to have had plenty of that in its 4.5 billion year history. Happy 200th birthday, Darwin, we literally owe the explanation of life on earth to you!