I had cause to travel up to Leicester last weekend for family reasons, and was there presented with a saved cutting from the local organ, the Leicester Mercury, consisting of two items of reader correspondence (in response to a previous item, which I haven’t seen), one pro-, one anti-evolution, conforming to the time-honoured media trick of giving platform to both sides of the, er, ‘debate’. Nothing remarkable about laypersons expressing their opinion in a letter to the editor; and it doesn’t take much nous to guess which side of the church the naysayer sits: the recycled creationism / Intelligent Design language is a giveaway (why on earth do we deferentially upper-case that oxymoronic moniker?). But I found a couple of sentences interesting:
‘It is far easier to believe in a super-human God, than to believe the made-up tales that evolutionists teach.’
A super-human God?! (Not super-natural?) So it’s the ordinary human ‘evolutionists’ that make up ‘tales’. Just imagine: a massive worldwide scientific conspiracy to hoodwink the people. To what end? What would this serve? And all such a waste of time, especially, as our anti-science-meister then informs us,
‘Incidentally, did you know that on his death-bed Darwin became a Christian; denounced his theory; and regretted that he had ever written it?’
I’m not going to smart-arse-ly explain here that this is almost certainly nonsense, a hoax perpetrated by one Lady Hope, probably trying to drum up needed funds from eager audiences in pious America. The point is… so what if he did? Any notion that Darwin might have denounced his own ideas (without evidence) disproves nothing. Whilst he is rightly associated with, and venerated for, arguably the most brilliant scientific theory ever, the strength of evolution is such that we might almost explicate that it is independent of Darwin; that it has nothing to do with him. Although Darwin provided its explanation, it didn’t require his existence to be. It stands alone in its explanatory power. It matters not how our individual subjective prisms might colour our perceptions. Evolution just is.
Ignorance is forgivable – we are all ignorant to some degree on most things. But wilful ignorance is another matter. Resorting to apocryphalness just because it conforms to ones ideology, worldview or prejudice is lazy justification for shoddy investigation. Anti-science indeed.
- Pink Floyd: Animals
- Jethro Tull: Aqualung