You’re an Animal, Too


One argument I occasionally hear in favor of God and against the scientific theories about the development of the universe and of life (which are, of course, two completely different things anyway) is that our world couldn’t have just come into existence by chance. I have to wonder how anyone would know this. Do we have probability statistics on universes and life coming into existence? Do people bet on them in Las Vegas?

It’s somewhat short-sighted to say that there has to be a meaning for YOUR life when you’re such a tiny part of the universe. And yes, that can be depressing, but it also means you’re really not any better or worse than anyone else, at least as far as nature goes. I understand how people are comforted by the idea of a supernatural intelligence being behind everything, especially since I frequently contemplate the meaninglessness of life. The thing is, a lot of people who turn to religion for answers also think their gods are kind of jerky. I guess they have to explain why so much of life sucks, at least from our perspective. But why devote yourself to a god who doesn’t really care? Yes, people will say God loves everybody, but some of the same people will say a lot of us are going to Hell. I think the world is too crappy to believe in a loving god, but not crappy enough to believe in the Fall of Mankind. One explanation I’ve heard is that God gave us free will so that we could love him on our own volition, which would be more meaningful than if we were just programmed that way. If that’s the case, though, shouldn’t the burden be on God to be more lovable? Why should humans be blamed for not liking somebody who barely makes an effort? I also think it’s a bit contradictory to say that God is beyond human understanding, and then give him human emotions.

Getting back to the issue of a human-centered perspective, I’ve never fully grasped why some people seem to be personally offended by the theory of evolution. Not just because it contradicts their view of the Bible, but because they’re really disturbed by the notion that they might be related to apes. What’s so bad about apes? Okay, maybe the smell, but we’d also smell pretty strongly if we didn’t make so much effort to mask our natural scents.

Besides, is it really that much better to be descended from someone made from a pile of dirt who knocked up his own rib, particularly with incest mixed in as well?

It’s not just the monkey thing, though, but the very concept that humans are animals.

I have to suspect that might be based on the same impulse as nationalism, which is to say that there’s really no point in existing if you’re not extra-special. It doesn’t seem entirely fair to all the other animals, does it? Why can’t your life have meaning without your having to outdo someone else?

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16 Responses to You’re an Animal, Too

  1. Lots of thoughts in this post! I’ll try to keep it short and see if I can show how the seeming paradoxes are comprehensible.

    “Our world couldn’t have just come into existence by chance”: I’m one of those who frequently says this. I find that the immense complexity of the countless lifeforms on this planet, from the smallest to the largest, the strongest to the weakest, each of which has a fascinating means to endure and thrive, cannot just have arisen by chance. Perhaps one lifeform, but the uncountable numbers of them? I also fail to be impressed by the evolutionary explanations that attempt to address this, or provide legitimate evidence for their hypotheses, and frankly I’d have to have even more faith to believe that every living specimen on this planet mutated from a single less complex organism. If that were true, and I know plenty who think God brought that about, then we should be seeing the transmogrification of living forms all around us. It should be clearly observable. With all of human recorded history and the uncountable lifeforms, this should have been commonly observed time and again. It never has. It’s not even in our myths. And the idea that it’s too glacially slow for us to see is nonsense. What is clear is that fully formed ancient plants, insects and animals preserved from millions of years ago (such as in amber) demonstrate that there has been no such transmogrification. Epoch-old flies are no different than modern flies. Epoch-old spiders are still spiders. When the coelacanth was discovered alive and well, and not extinct for hundreds of millions of years, it added further support to the idea that creatures mutating into higher life forms is a myth perpetuated by the dogma of the gatekeepers in the halls of science. I certainly don’t want to be dogmatic either on the issue, save to say I find the evidence for special creation (not creationism, which I vehemently disagree with) far more compelling.

    “Yes, people will say God loves everybody, but some of the same people will say a lot of us are going to Hell.”

    I don’t believe in Hell and I’m convinced that the Bible doesn’t represent it at all. I think that’s one of the more egregious errors organized religion has brought forth But religious leaders have been making egregious assertions for a long time. “God is love” means that the entire universe is beloved of God, and that every created thing has meaning and is special. In Ecclesiastes, God says that there is no superiority of man over animals. That such a concept is vanity. We have a special relationship with God because we can communicate in a direct way with him. But that doesn’t give us license to harm or destroy our animal neighbors.

    Love does not preclude justice, of course, but I find that God’s justice is rehabilitation. As for the idea that some are legitimately evil (and not just psychologically damaged), which I think is possible, I accept the conceptual idea that oblivion is an answer that would be used for such rare and extreme circumstances.

    “I think the world is too crappy to believe in a loving god, but not crappy enough to believe in the Fall of Mankind.”

    At the risk of sounding like I’m giving a flippant answer, I’d say the world is crappy because of what mankind has done to it (and each other), but not so unendurably crappy because of what God has inspired man (directly and indirectly) to do. I’d also argue that God has already worked out a plan to de-crappify the world and its human inhabitants! :-)

    “One explanation I’ve heard is that God gave us free will so that we could love him on our own volition, which would be more meaningful than if we were just programmed that way. If that’s the case, though, shouldn’t the burden be on God to be more lovable?”

    I guess this is a matter of perspective. For me, I see God as very available to those who seek him out and exceedingly lovable. The concept of grace is that salvation is a free gift for any who want it. It can’t be earned or bought. But having a happy and enjoyable life is something that comes of putting forth effort to listen to God and not continuing to act like an idiot to ourselves and each other, like so many do.

    “Why should humans be blamed for not liking somebody who barely makes an effort?”

    Organized religion has done a good job of turning people off to God because of the nonsense that they’ve taught about him. There’s a good book called The Misunderstood God: The Lies Religion Tells About God, by Darrin Hufford, that speaks to this. Thinking people and sensitive people are rightly offended and put off by the hideous depiction of God that the religious have put forth. This is an ancient problem that the New Testament addresses, as the religious leaders in Jesus day were doing much of the same thing, and Jesus denounced them repeatedly for it. Even in the Old Testament, there are numerous instances of God condemning the religious leaders for misrepresenting him and failing to stand up for the oppressed and poor.

    And to think I meant to keep this post relatively short! :)

    • Will says:

      the scientific literature does contain reports of apparent speciation events in plants, insects and worms.

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/15-answers-to-creationist/

      • Hey Will, I read the article in question and I’ve come across these rebuttals before. If you’ve got a moment I’ll demonstrate as briefly as I can why I find them half-baked and filled with appeals to authority.

        The author does what rebutters of ID commonly do, which is use science as one who adheres to the philosophy of scientism does: “Well, science says… blah blah blah.” Except that science isn’t mathematics. One can’t point to it as if it’s some indisputable fact that ends the argument with “case closed.” Science, according to the definition of the University of Indiana, is: “a process by which we try to understand how the natural world works and how it came to be that way. It is NOT a process for merely collecting “facts” about, or just describing, the natural world… Scientific knowledge is the inferences that scientists draw from the data – the models for how things work…. The rules of science are intended to make the process as objective as is humanly possible, and thereby produce a degree of understanding that is as close to reality as possible. One constant theme is that there is no certainty in science, only degrees of probability (likelihood), and potential for change.

        “Scientific understanding can always be challenged, and even changed, with new ways of observing, and with different interpretations. The same is true of scientific facts. New tools and techniques have resulted in new observations, sometimes forcing revision of what had been taken as fact in the past. Therefore, unlike mathematics, and contrary to popular perception, in science nothing is ever proven (in the sense of finality or certainty that the word suggests).” (check out the full article, which is very insightful, here: http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/unt.s.is.html)

        So, the author’s appeals to authority don’t pass muster. But let’s look at how science has been misused by the anti-deist adherents:

        Modern science has limitations and rules
        “Scientific explanations must be based on careful observations and the testing of hypotheses” and those “observations are confined to the biological limits of our senses, even with technological enhancement.”

        We need observations, but those observations might be limited by our senses, even with high-tech machines.

        “The mental processing of our sensory information is unconsciously influenced by previous experiences, which may result in inaccurate or biased perceptions of the world” and “scientific solutions cannot be based merely upon personal opinion, popular vote, belief, or judgment.”

        Interpretations can be biased based on our perceptions and worldview. Real science does not have an unchallengeable dogma.

        “It is impossible to know if we have observed every possible aspect of a phenomenon, have thought of every possible alternative explanation, or controlled for every possible variable” and “Science, as for any human endeavor, can be done poorly.”

        Scientists are human beings who make mistakes and are prone to error.

        “Scientific knowledge is necessarily contingent knowledge rather than absolute knowledge:
        a. Scientific knowledge is based only on the available evidence which must be assessed and (and is therefore subject to more than one possible interpretation), not on indisputable “proof”.
        b. The history of science is filled with numerous examples of scientific knowledge changing over time.”

        Evidence is subject to various interpretations and does not constitute proof. Thus, G.K. Chesteron’s reason for saying that “The scientific facts, which were supposed to contradict the faith in the nineteenth century, are nearly all of them regarded as unscientific fictions in the twentieth century.”

        What I’ve seen people like Dawkins do is appeal to the authority of science as if it’s unchangeable fact that is unquestioned by the learned amongst us and unquestionable except for those boobs who believe in a supernatural being. Then, when faced with the glaring lack of hard evidence, he spouts things like the author of the Scientific American article you shared with me says.

        Let’s look at an example of his response to the charge that “nobody has ever seen a new species evolved” (in other words, that macro-evolution has never been observed).

        “Speciation is probably fairly rare and in many cases might take centuries. Furthermore, recognizing a new species during a formative stage can be difficult, because biologists sometimes disagree about how best to define a species.”

        Right off the bat, he’s hedging, using words like “rare,” “difficult” and that scientists “disagre” about how to define. But let’s allow him to complete his refutation of how ID adherents claim no one has ever seen a new species evolve.

        “The most widely used definition [of a species], Mayr’s Biological Species Concept, recognizes a species as a distinct community of reproductively isolated populations–sets of organisms that normally do not or cannot breed outside their community. In practice, this standard can be difficult to apply to organisms isolated by distance or terrain or to plants (and, of course, fossils do not breed). Biologists therefore usually use organisms’ physical and behavioral traits as clues to their species membership.”

        Fine, scientists use different standards to define what constitutes a species. Mayr’s claims that a species is an isolated community that does not or cannot breed outside that community.

        “Nevertheless, the scientific literature does contain reports of apparent speciation events in plants, insects and worms.”

        At last. He’s going to show us how the scientific literature has the evidence to back up the claim that species evolve into other higher lifeforms.

        “In most of these experiments, researchers subjected organisms to various types of selection–for anatomical differences, mating behaviors, habitat preferences and other traits–and found that they had created populations of organisms that did not breed with outsiders. For example, William R. Rice of the University of New Mexico and George W. Salt of the University of California at Davis demonstrated that if they sorted a group of fruit flies by their preference for certain environments and bred those flies separately over 35 generations, the resulting flies would refuse to breed with those from a very different environment.”

        :-|

        His answer speaks for itself and no amount of scientific blah blah blah can disguise the fact that he’s using obfuscation to try to pull the wool over his readers’ eyes. He has nothing, so he drags out some study that showed that certain flies from a certain community after years of experiments would no longer breed with other flies, and therefore became a new species of fly.

        This is a demonstration of just how empty and hollow the hypothesis of evolution is! In the end, it’s still a fly. It didn’t become another organism, which is exactly what the ID argument he was supposed to be refuting is. Instead, he uses micro-evolution (which is a misnomer demonstrating the wide variation that exists within a species) as a bait-and-switch to “prove” evolution. Only it doesn’t. It does serve to show just how completely absent the evidence really is.

        The author then goes on to cite long-disproven fossil-evidence, such as what he claims is the “the most famous fossils of all time… Archaeopteryx, which combines feathers and skeletal structures peculiar to birds with features of dinosaurs.” That is laughable because it’s demonstrably been shown that the Archaeopteryx is a kind of composite animal, similar to the platypus. The platypus appears to have the features of a duck, beaver and otter, and characteristics not contained in any of them. Many claimed it was evidence for a creature in transition. The fossil evidence proved otherwise. A platypus was always a platypus. Same is true for the Archaeopteryx.

        Darwin said the fossil evidence would abound in transitional creatures. It would have to if every living thing on this planet evolved from lower life-forms. But that evidence isn’t there. It shows creatures appearing fully formed and all of a sudden. That’s the evidence and it far more closely aligns to the ID hypothesis. But scientists bent on the evolution story insist that tiny fragments of bones prove such nonsense like whales were once small rat creatures. I look at pictures like this, https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/23/20/0e/23200e8bd292d1adc4e999376b9a1c03.jpg, and have to ask who is really putting forth a fairy tale.

      • Nathan says:

        Saying “it’s still a fly” is ignoring the fact that “fly” is not an official classification but merely a generic term used to refer to certain insects. A dragonfly and a firefly aren’t particularly similar, but they’re both, loosely speaking, flies. How different would a new type of fly have to be to be accepted as proof of evolution?

        I’ve never put much stock in the use of “fairy tale” as an indication that something is untrue. (For that matter, wasn’t Chesterton a big supporter of fairy tales?) But really, simply saying that there hasn’t been any indication of a new species emerging within human knowledge (whether or not that’s actually true) is hardly proof of intelligent design. I know of no evidence at all that a new species has ever emerged from nowhere, which is basically what ID would indicate, right? If not, how DO new species come into existence? And if there’s a creator, why does this conscious being make so many life forms similar in structure and operation? Do they have a limited selection of materials? If something with features of both a bird and a reptile is not related to either birds or reptiles, why does it have those features at all? Just to confuse the poor zoologists?

        What I’ve seen people like Dawkins do is appeal to the authority of science as if it’s unchangeable fact that is unquestioned by the learned amongst us and unquestionable except for those boobs who believe in a supernatural being.

        How does coming up with ways in which things could happen without the need for interference from supernatural intelligence indicate that anyone who DOES believe in supernatural intelligence is stupid? If you believe in God, should that remove all curiosity from your mind? Is it insulting to God to have theories about, say, erosion, because it could have just been God chipping away at those rocks?

      • Nathan wrote: “Saying “it’s still a fly” is ignoring the fact that “fly” is not an official classification but merely a generic term used to refer to certain insects. A dragonfly and a firefly aren’t particularly similar, but they’re both, loosely speaking, flies.”

        Totally agree, and if, in fact, a dragonfly or firefly had emerged, then I’d give serious consideration to the evidence for macroevolution. But all that emerged was the same basic housefly.

        Nathan wrote: “But really, simply saying that there hasn’t been any indication of a new species emerging within human knowledge (whether or not that’s actually true) is hardly proof of intelligent design. I know of no evidence at all that a new species has ever emerged from nowhere, which is basically what ID would indicate, right?”

        I agree with this as well. No one has ever seen special creation either. Both are hypotheses that would require testing absent of observation. The two areas where I feel ID has the overwhelming upper hand is in DNA and the fossil record. More info on the former can be found here: http://cosmicfingerprints.com/read-prove-god-exists/

        Nathan wrote: “And if there’s a creator, why does this conscious being make so many life forms similar in structure and operation? Do they have a limited selection of materials? If something with features of both a bird and a reptile is not related to either birds or reptiles, why does it have those features at all? Just to confuse the poor zoologists?”

        Good questions! With the platypus it was discovered that it’s “duck” beak was actually very dissimilar from a duck’s and had different properties. So too with its fur and feet!

        Nathan wrote: “If you believe in God, should that remove all curiosity from your mind? Is it insulting to God to have theories about, say, erosion, because it could have just been God chipping away at those rocks?”

        Definitely not! (And my apologies if it came across that way). The problem is dogma. It’s a nasty thing no matter who uses it. The other issue is the logical fallacy known as “appeal to authority” which is a way for many to close the door on a subject. “Well, Scientific American said this…. so end of story!” That kind of approach that I’ve seen many employ does a disservice to science and what it actually is. When science is turned into ironclad rules, it’s denigrated into the untenable philosophical realm called scientism.

        Incidentally, if I’ve never said it before it bears noting that our conversations here are a demonstration of how reasonable, respectful and intelligent men debate. We should teach a course! :)

      • Nathan says:

        Totally agree, and if, in fact, a dragonfly or firefly had emerged, then I’d give serious consideration to the evidence for macroevolution. But all that emerged was the same basic housefly.

        But the theory of evolution has it that this change is gradual, so of course you’d get the same basic housefly. It would take many generations to get something significantly different. A housefly giving birth to a dragonfly is totally implausible based on Darwinian evolution, but quite possible within intelligent design. After all, why would a creator need to pay attention to genetics?

        With the platypus it was discovered that it’s “duck” beak was actually very dissimilar from a duck’s and had different properties. So too with its fur and feet!

        Yes, but when different animals end up having parts that have the same basic shape and function, it seems to imply a lack of creativity on the creator’s part.

    • Nathan says:

      I find that the immense complexity of the countless lifeforms on this planet, from the smallest to the largest, the strongest to the weakest, each of which has a fascinating means to endure and thrive, cannot just have arisen by chance. Perhaps one lifeform, but the uncountable numbers of them?

      Seems like I could just as easily make the opposite argument, that the world is so weirdly complex that it couldn’t possibly have come from a conscious mind, and could only have resulted from a crapshoot. But then, we can only observe the world as it is, not as it might have been if any number of factors had been different.

      With all of human recorded history and the uncountable lifeforms, this should have been commonly observed time and again.

      Human recorded history hasn’t been all that long, however. We’re talking, what, 4000 years out of millions? And humans can be remarkably unobservant about such things. How long was it before we stopped believing flies could come into existence from rotting meat? We’ve certainly found the remains of life forms that were similar to but significantly different than ones that are living today.

      When the coelacanth was discovered alive and well, and not extinct for hundreds of millions of years, it added further support to the idea that creatures mutating into higher life forms is a myth perpetuated by the dogma of the gatekeepers in the halls of science.

      That doesn’t mean that other animals couldn’t have evolved from the coelacanth, just that the coelacanth itself also survived. Evolution is one form of adapting to a changing environment, but far from the only one.

      At the risk of sounding like I’m giving a flippant answer, I’d say the world is crappy because of what mankind has done to it (and each other)

      I won’t deny that humanity has created a lot of problems for itself, but all of them? There are plenty of diseases and disorders, both physical and mental, that make people’s lives miserable and at least appear to be totally natural. Certainly other organisms were dying of disease before humans came into existence, right?

      • Nathan wrote: “I won’t deny that humanity has created a lot of problems for itself, but all of them? There are plenty of diseases and disorders, both physical and mental, that make people’s lives miserable and at least appear to be totally natural. Certainly other organisms were dying of disease before humans came into existence, right?”

        I didn’t want to bring a supernatural element into the conversation, but a Christian would argue that Satan has played a large role in the crappifying of the world, and generally through humans. While this seems to create a case of “the Devil made me do it,” in fact a deeper understanding of scripture reveals that the individual human generally has to open himself to such psychological manipulation, so the responsibility still lies upon him. M. Scott Peck wrote a fascinating book on this subject called People of the Lie.

        Nathan wrote: “Human recorded history hasn’t been all that long, however. We’re talking, what, 4000 years out of millions? And humans can be remarkably unobservant about such things. How long was it before we stopped believing flies could come into existence from rotting meat? We’ve certainly found the remains of life forms that were similar to but significantly different than ones that are living today.”

        That’s true about humans being remarkably unobservant. Yet, in those 4,000 (probably closer to 6,000 since the time of the ancient Sumerians), no living transitional species have been found or recorded. Evolutionary scientists say that it’s because change happens so slow (others, in attempting to explain the absence of living transitions, have suggested the opposite through the theory of punctuated equilibrium, in other words, that it happens instantaneously). But dogs still give birth to puppies and cats to kittens and humans to human babies. Evolution shouldn’t have conveniently skipped our epoch. 10,000 years from now, I can safely say the same situation will be in place, yet, as we can’t look forward, we have to look back. And that’s where I found (because I used to firmly believe in evolution) that the fossil record, when not manipulated by the imagination of scientists and illustrators based on biased interpretations, reveals evidence for ID:

        “Design may be inferred in the history of life when we see in the fossil record fully-formed blueprints which appear suddenly, reflecting the rapid infusion of large amounts of biologically-functional information into the biosphere. This could be reflected in the fossil record as the abrupt appearance of new types of organisms, without similar precursors. When we find the rapid appearance of new fossil forms that lack similar precursors (evolutionary precursors), we may infer intelligent design. In fact, the history of life shows a pattern of explosions where new fossil forms come into existence without any clear evolutionary precursors, concurring with design theory that predicts that species might appear abruptly.” (Read the full article here: http://www.discovery.org/a/7271)

        It’s an interesting subject and when not coopted by an ideological battle and its inherent biases makes for a fascinating study and debate.

      • Nathan says:

        Then would you say that Satan was corrupting the world BEFORE humans existed? I mean, it’s not like animals didn’t die of diseases before there were any people, right?

        Yet, in those 4,000 (probably closer to 6,000 since the time of the ancient Sumerians)

        Depends on whether you consider the beginning of history to be the beginning of writing. I’m sure there are oral records that predate that, but those are even more susceptible to change over time.

        Design may be inferred in the history of life when we see in the fossil record fully-formed blueprints which appear suddenly, reflecting the rapid infusion of large amounts of biologically-functional information into the biosphere. This could be reflected in the fossil record as the abrupt appearance of new types of organisms, without similar precursors. When we find the rapid appearance of new fossil forms that lack similar precursors (evolutionary precursors), we may infer intelligent design.

        While I find the idea of new life forms just coming into existence unlikely, even if it is true, why does that necessarily mean there was conscious intelligence behind it?

      • <>

        An interesting subject. Several have postulated that the Fall began with Satan, not with the first human couple, and that Eden existed as a kind of bubble protected from what was going on elsewhere, so that had they not usurped authority that deathless realm would have been expanded.

        In the Silmarillion, Tolkien puts forth a similar idea that Melkor (Morgoth who is essentially Satan) tainted the earth with the corruption of his very being. Whereas Sauran imbued his essence into a ring, Morgoth does so with the earth itself. Valinor is protected from this and is later even sundered from the dimensional plane (yet still accessible to it). Obviously, this isn’t serious scholarship, but it’s fun to see how authors take ideas and sow them into their stories.

        <>

        True, it doesn’t, though if life came into being as-is, “according to its own kind,” it does raise serious questions, e.g., something like the Cambrian Explosion fits well with the conscious intelligence hypothesis. On the other hand, science aught not to dwell on matters it’s not equipped to answer. The limits to science should preclude things that cannot clearly be observed and tested, and is time better spent exploring the mechanisms of life, not metaphysical questions. It’s an inappropriate tool for the job. Science and other tools can certainly play a role, but we have other branches of learning better equipped to look at those kinds of questions.

      • Nathan says:

        WHY life exists is a metaphysical issue, but I wouldn’t say HOW it happened is. Granted, it’s something science has not yet determined, but that doesn’t mean it’s outside the realm of science, or that there was necessarily anything mystical about it.

  2. Bryan Babel says:

    “It’s somewhat short-sighted to say that there has to be a meaning for YOUR life when you’re such a tiny part of the universe.”

    I find it interesting that in this case you are equating size with significance. Perhaps complexity might be a more determining matter as far as meaning goes. Consider these quotations:

    “And amid all the splendours of the World, its vast halls and spaces, and its wheeling fires, Ilúvatar chose a place for their habitation in the Deeps of Time and in the midst of the innumerable stars. And this habitation might seem a little thing to those who consider only the majesty of the Ainur, and not their terrible sharpness; as who should take the whole field of Arda for the foundation of a pillar and so raise it until the cone of its summit were more bitter than a needle; or who consider only the immeasurable vastness of the World, which still the Ainur are shaping, and not the minute precision to which they shape all things therein.”
    –J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion.

    “The two popular “difficulties” you will probably have to deal with are these. (1) “Now that we know how huge the universe is and how insignificant the earth, it is ridiculous to believe that the universal God should be especially interested in our concerns.” in answer to this you must first correct their error about fact. The insignificance of earth in relation to the universe is not a modern discovery: nearly two thousand years ago Ptolemy (Almagest, bk 1, ch. V) said that in relation to the distance of the fixed stars earth must be treated as a mathematical point without magnitude. Secondly, you should point out that Christianity says what God has done for man; it doesn’t say (because it doesn’t know) what he has or has not done in other parts of the universe. Thirdly, you might recall the parable of the one lost sheep. If earth has been specially sought by God (which we don’t know) that may not imply that it is the most important thing in the universe, but only that it has strayed. Finally, challenge the whole tendency to identify size and importance. Is an elephant more important than a man, or a man’s leg more important than his brains?”
    –C. S. Lewis, Christian Apologetics

    • Nice quotes, Bryan. Tolkien and Lewis! Next up: Chesteron! :)

      • Bryan Babel says:

        Hello, Joe. Here’s a quote from Chesterton, more or less in favor of evolution as a simple scientific theory:

        “If evolution simply means that a positive thing called an ape turned very slowly into a positive thing called a man, then it is stingless for the most orthodox; for a personal God might just as well do things slowly as quickly, especially if, like the Christian God, he were outside time.” –from “Orthodoxy.”

      • Bryan Babel: Chesterton, as usual, is correct! :) My issue with the subject is less on religious grounds than on scientific ones. And anytime I smell arrogance, be it on the part of the religious hierarchy or the scientific one, I know I’m smelling a rat.

    • Nathan says:

      I find it interesting that in this case you are equating size with significance.

      That’s fair. Perhaps a better way to put it would be that many humans seem to feel they’re more important than anything else in the universe, whether bigger OR smaller. I’m not saying that humans are UNimportant, certainly (some of my best friends are humans, after all :P), but rather that I don’t appreciate the arrogance of humans who think they’re the center of the universe.

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