Thursday, October 12, 2006

Summer for the gods

I attended a lecture at Washburn University tonight. Ed Larson, Pulitzer Prize winning author of "Summer for the gods", spoke from 7-8:30. Unfortunately, I missed the first 20 minutes of the lecture.

Larson’s book is an historical account of the Scopes trial. It puts to rest the notion that the flick “Inherit the Wind” was in any way an accurate account of what really went down.

He was an interesting speaker and tried to keep bias out of the account, though he clearly favors the evolutionary viewpoint. He gave an overview of the Scopes trial and then talked a bit about the 1987 Edwards vs Aguillard case, and last year’s Dover trial.

One question he was asked is where he thinks this debate is headed next. He felt that creation science will not be disappearing any time soon, but that supporters may lie low for a while due to the court decisions in Cobb county and Dover. He felt the public doesn’t want to create a further divide between people and communities.

I empathize with this concern and realize that many people even within a particular church may hold opposing ideas regarding the theory of evolution. While I don’t like to see such a divide between groups of people, I do think that these issues need to keep being discussed among scientists especially.

It worries me a bit when we dismiss scientific ideas on the grounds that they ~may~ have religious implications.

He mentioned that some countries still give equal time to the teaching of creation along with evolution. Larson has spent some time on the Galapagos Islands, and found it extremely interesting that they teach creation science in their schools!!!

One guy asked how people can dismiss evolution and yet still enjoy modern medicine, biotechnology, etc., etc. I had to laugh. I don’t know if people pose those questions out of ignorance, or if they are just so put off with creationists that those type of questions just pop out.

Creationists merely interpret the evidence differently than evolutionists. It’s been obvious since the dawn of time that we share similarities with the animal kingdom and that animals are able to adapt within a species. That is what is important for advancement in science. The notion of molecule to man doesn‘t amount to much in regard to scientific advancement.