Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Note the new e-mail address in the sidebar, which is now preferred. (The old one will still work for a while.) As ever, my employer is not responsible for my offensive ravings.

Now let me say a bit more about this evolution thing. As you all know if you haven't slept through the winter, this year is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. Massive blog swarming is planned, along with other festivities, and the inevitable counterfestivities. So we can expect this thing to heat up. In fact, we're already getting very close to the birthday, on February 12. You can definitely expect me to participate.

So here's a bit of warm up. There are two main reasons why people don't accept the overwhelming evidence for evolution and the complete adequacy of evolution to explain the phenomenon of life on earth. One is that they were indoctrinated as children to believe otherwise and it's just very difficult for people to overcome the beliefs stuffed into their heads by their parents and other authority figures. All we can do about that is expose people to more and better information.

But the second reason is that a lot of people just find the real world we have discovered since the 19th Century to be unsatisfying. They don't want to live here, it doesn't feel good to them to believe that they are what they really are, and so they cling fiercely to a fantasy. This problem does not have to be intractable. It turns out that once you understand it, humanism can be a perfectly satisfying philosophy after all. So one of my contributions to the birthday party will be to serve as a positive spin doctor. I hope I can spin you into ecstasy as well.


roger said...

spin away. a bit of ecstacy will be most welcome.

i don't much want to live here either, but who knows where or when is somehow better.

C. Corax said...

Oh, man, every time I get a breather and look around me when I'm outside, or when I'm fussing over my dog, I think what a freakin' unlikely wonderful things this world and its inhabitants and its "home decor" are! I wanna be here!

Okay, this is a prayer poem, so that god stuff is mentioned, but maybe it's appropriate here:

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