Friday, January 4, 2008

Faith and Evolution and Judy (and Punch)

My favorite paragraph from the readers' debate in today's on-line Times about Evolution vs. Faith {}:

"Religion isn't science. It is the belief in the unseen and untestable. Does evolution mean God doesn't exist? No. But God, as a hypothesis cannot be tested from personal experience. The assertion, "I have a personal relationship with God" doesn't wash. There is no way to determine whether that personal relationship is with the Almighty or with the Ever Hopeful/Needy Self. I once thought I had a personal relationship with God and, specifically Jesus. The sensation of that relationship was palpable. Then, one day, I was watching "A Star is Born" with Judy Garland. When she stood up at the end of the movie and said to the Hollywood crowd, "My name is Mrs. Norman Mane," I had an experience that was so close to my religious experience that I suddenly realized that I had no clue as to whether my religious experiences were, well, religious."

(The contributor is named Thurly. Thanks, Thurly! Judy forever! Art is religion!)

By the way: all the contributors, believers and otherwise, are pro-evolution -- but it IS the Times, and early in the morning - only 25 contributors so far. Wait till there are 400. Wait till the Bible Belt gets out of bed and starts reading. But who would want to read them all then?

I agreed with all the posters who said the problem was the lousiness of the educational system in this country coupled with the fact that people no longer read. My current reading is a terrific novel, Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red, about a society - Turkey in 1591 - where people are murdered by religious fanatics for deviating, artistically, from tradition. Or were there other reasons for the murder? Lust? Greed? Fear? Among the narrators are a corpse, a murderer, a woman in love, a Jewish go-between, a small boy named Orhan, several miniaturists, a dog in a storyteller's tale, a horse in a miniaturist's drawing, Death, Satan, a counterfeit gold coin and the color red. So much better than The Name of the Rose.

Pamuk rules, dudes, I mean, effendi. (No - that can't be true - or he wouldn't have been prosecuted under the anti-Turkishness paragraph of the constitution.)

P.S. I did not contribute to the NYTimes discussion. Gaea drew Ouranos from Chaos and they mated and had the Titans and the hundred-armed Giants ... Hesiod said it, I believe it, that settles it.

1 comment:

Dana Corby said...

We were having a similar discussion on the AODA list. I said that back in high school, when I first learned that some people think there's a conflict between science & religion (there wasn't in my family) I looked at the problem and came to the conclusion that there should never be a conflict because they address different issues: religion addresses causality and science addresses mechanics. If I can figure that out for myself at age 17, it has to be damn-near self-evident.