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Happy Darwin Day. Born Two hundred and fifteen years ago today.

As the Humanist association put it. "It's a day to reflect on Darwin's underpinning values – his humanism – and to recognise what was once considered radicalism has become common sense to most people today.

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, as laid out in On the Origin of Species, was profound, controversial, and even 'blasphemous'. We see, as Darwin did, the 'grandeur' in viewing life this way – with 'endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful' having evolved, and in the idea that human beings are free to shape their own fate in the one life they know they have.

Darwin Day simply reminds us that it's taken millions of years to be here. And that for as long as there have been human beings, not only have we looked for an explanation for the origins of life, but we've also looked for a way to live a good, fulfilling life, too.

In recognising this, it's clear to humanists that our search for moral guidance need not extend beyond our own collective wisdom – because human compassion, morality, and cooperation have, and always will be, evolved."

Fernapple 9 Feb 12

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"I think Darwin's idea of natural selection is the best idea anybody ever had, ahead of Newton, ahead of Einstein. What it does is it promises to unite the two most disparate features of all of reality. On the one side, purposeless matter and motion, jostling particles; on the other side, meaning, purpose, design."
-- Daniel Dennet


Darwin's work informs my whole world view. Evolution, verified by mountains of solid, independently verified evidence, is an absolute knockdown argument against any literal interpretation of Genesis. Evolutionary biology demonstrates that NO supernatural interventions were necessary to account for ALL of the diversity of life we see on Earth. It makes it really easy to be an atheist.


and for most evolution has ground to a halt. For some others it hasn't.


I would like to know if a Biblical concept exists that is as far-reaching in its implications as evolution.

Evolution is recognized by science to be accurate and correct. As such, it represents the true answer to the metaphysical question of where we come from. As evolution answers one of life’s basic questions, it also becomes the most profound answer gained from science.

One may reasonably suppose that evolution is a UNIVERSAL applying to life throughout the trillions of planets in the trillion galaxies (10^24?).

The forms of evidence for evolution are many and no evidence is contradictory. If one assigns a correspondingly high level of confidence to evolution's correctness, one must wonder how all the religious texts managed to miss it, being in direct contact with the supreme being and all.

All those gods were well informed, but they didn't think it important? It doesn't seem like something that should have been missed. Perhaps Humanity was dumber than shit until Darwin and Wallace came along. That would seem to be the case. We should be humiliated by such stupidity.

What is curious is how so many Christians embrace the notion of Social Darwinism, at least as long as they (the Whites in power) are wealthier than the non-Whites. Actually, the Whites that especially love the notion of Social Darwinism are degenerate assholes.

Every truth can be found again, as many times as you like, and it is the same every time. But every lie dies with its followers, can never be found again if it is forgotten and no two are the same.

@Fernapple Ricky Gervais said it well.

@Betty The idea of destroying all our scientific knowledge and starting over is scary. And once it's gone, there's no guarantee that it takes "only" a thousand years to get it back. Maybe it takes ten thousand years. We could literally bomb ourselves into the stone age.

@Flyingsaucesir Yes, but the loss of all scientific knowledge in this case is only hypothetical, to show the difference with religion. I certainly hope that it will not happen in reality.

@Fernapple @Flyingsaucesir @Betty We are at least as temporary as any other species, and probably more so. The understanding of time is relative, so we live a long life that lasts an eyeblink.

@racocn8 Yup, our whole planet is a speck of dust in the cosmos, and our lives but a momentary glow.

@Flyingsaucesir Yes the point in part being, that as R. Dawkins put it. If we were ever to be contacted by aliens from another planet, then we would probably find that their evolutionary theory was exactly the same as ours, but their religions, if they had any, would be quite different. To which he then added the joke. "Unless of course. The alien visitor is their Darwin, and we are her Galapagos."


Well said, and thank you for saying it. 🙂

Betty Level 8 Feb 12, 2024

“…with endless forms most beautiful and most awful….”

I think that Darwin chose the "wonderful " word, because it is neutral in moral and humane terms, since something may be, for example, wonderfully awful. ( Using awful in the negative sense which, I think you mean, though it is a modern usage that probably did not exist in Darwin's day. Awful originally meaning only raising awe, or pretty much the same as wonderful today. )

Which raises the interesting issue of whether, beautiful too, can be neutral in humane and moral terms, and whether it should have a different usage when referring to things like scientific proofs. As in we do not find parasites attractive, yet you could, in theory, have a beautiful proof about their behaviour. Whether, evolution as a theory, could be said to be beautiful, in the way that the mechanism of mutation plus natural selection works to produce complex things, even if those things such as diseases which are repulsive to us. As in, it is a beautiful, and remarkable development that the malaria parasite, was provided with a way to use mosquitoes to infect mammals. Even though we do not see it as good for us, in human terms.


Happy Darwin day 🙂

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