Evolution is a Fact – Get Used to It

I just read the most wonderful and entertaining book, “Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum” by Richard Fortey. As the pages dwindled I actually slowed down to reading only one or two a night because I didn’t want it to end.

In the book, Fortey speaks several times, passionately, in defense of evolution. I could tell this was a man who was getting very tired of people doubting the fact of how human life on this planet appeared.

As he says, “The descent of all life through evolutionary processes is not a ‘theory’…so overwhelming is the evidence…that one could say that it is as secure as the fact that the Earth goes around the Sun and not the other way.”

Then he mentioned something I’d never heard of before: the Creation Museum in Kentucky. I had to see. I went to the website to mock, but I ended up a little bit nauseous.

At first glance, it is a museum of the Bible, and it is designed to look and feel like a real museum. But it is not just, “Here’s a scene from the Garden of Eden! Look at Eve take the apple from the snake!” It is a full-on attack on evolution.

As Fortey says, “I look forward to a Museum of the Flat Earth, as a counterbalance to all those oblate spheroid enthusiasts.”

Here’s one of the workshops being offered at the Creation Museum:

“Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution: intriguing animal design features that are best attributed to the Creator and have not been satisfactorily explained by evolutionists.”

Evolutionists?! I guess I really am terribly naive, because I hadn’t up until now accepted the number (and strength of will) of people who have bought into this idea.

Here’s the class that really turned my stomach:

“…a great new kids workshop called ‘Monkey Business’ that teaches one of the greatest truths a student can ever learn—that people did not come from ape-like creatures! God created humans in His own image on day six of creation about 6,000 years ago! Now that’s a fact that should make us sit up and take notice!”

THIS IS NOT A FACT!!!! STOP LYING TO CHILDREN!!!!

I wonder about the dinosaur exhibits they have pictured. All it says is, “Biblical history is the key to understanding dinosaurs.” Hmm. Do they have “evidence” that the dinosaurs were also created 6,000 years ago? Or are they just showing some outrageous examples of the impossible fiction created by those pesky scientists? Either way it didn’t stop them from throwing in some models to lure in the kiddies and their parents’ dollars.

Growing up in the ’70s, the wonders of science were all we heard about. I can still hear the narrator’s voice from those crazy science & technology movies we’d watch in school: “Scientists are working today to…science has shown us…the world is a better place today because of science” (music swells).

As I became a more spiritual person, I did wonder how to rectify science and God. I once heard a scientist say one of the most compelling quotes I’d heard on the subject: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”

He even pointed out that if evolution was sparked by God, then what a clever way to birth your creation. But that did not change the fact that the big bang, followed by evolution, is how God chose to do it. Not by molding some dirt into a human doll.

I was reminded of Fortey’s quest last week when Obama finally released his birth certificate. More outcry from the birthers – another group of people who think that if they yell loud and long enough that whatever they’re yelling will become The Truth.

A commentator I heard on NPR said he wasn’t concerned so much about the political ramifications as the fact that coverage of all Presidential news for the past few months had been colored by lies. That just because people are being very repetitive and pushy about something does not make it fact. And that what the news should be concerned with today is the truth and only the truth.

In a time when we wonder if America can compete with the rest of the world, basing our belief system on blind faith or talking heads will cripple us. It is unfair, no matter how strong your faith in God, to raise your children to ignore scientific fact. It will make them weak and ignorant.

I recently stood in the Boston Science Museum regarding the giant sequoia slice along with a father and his young daughter. I smiled at how he tried to explain time to her, and how long this tree had stood. How can one imagine this very tree soaking in the sun while the Magna Carta was being signed? I wondered if the slice came from the same tree as the one in the British Museum, and I remembered Richard Fortey’s impassioned words:

“I want to drag all the visitors to the Museum up to the tree and explain about time, and how we exist atop a vast history that has made us what we are, and that we ignore that history at our peril.”