New York Times writer Olivia Judson predicted today that Darwinmania will erupt next month upon the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s premiere announcement of the discovery of natural selection. The following year will be the 200th anniversary of his Feb. 12 birth, as well as the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species.
I have not finished reading The Origin of Species. (I have a habit of buying books, reading part of them, then buying more books.) But I decided to purchase it a while ago as a reference since Darwin’s theory still seems to be the subject of controversy, particularly in public schools where some argue that creationism and intelligent design should be offered in the science curriculum.
I guess, because the theory has been controversial, I expected the book to be more philosophical when I began reading it, but it’s essentially a science text about natural selection. The word “evolution” sparks debate, but for some reason, most people seem to be OK with the term “natural selection.” “Natural selection” makes scientific sense to those who get that animals have adapted over the years in order to survive and reproduce. The term “evolution,” on the other hand, will always have religious or anti-religious connotations.
The Origin of Species is filled with Darwin’s scientific observations about the natural selection of plants, insects and other animals. I haven’t really approached a part of it yet that isn’t scientifically reasonable.
I, personally, have never really understood why the idea of evolution and creationism couldn’t coexist. God may have said “Let there be light,” but there is a lengthy, intricate scientific process for everything. Those processes can be always described in more simplistic terms – electricity, the Internet, birth, existence.
Oh well, maybe someday I’ll finish the book.