Saturday, December 4, 2010
In reading E.O. Wilson's article "Intelligent Evolution", my first reaction is skepticism and slight repulsion, as he takes his belief in Darwin's theories to an extreme level. In both language and content Wilson reveres this great unmasking of nature that Darwin has given mankind as a gift. hmm. In class it was discussed how Wilson uses language reminiscent of the Bible (similar to Darwin's in Origin) when encouraging Darwinism and openly bashing religion. The difference between this use of language is time and context. In Darwin's time writing in this style would have been beneficial to him in creating interest in his text while Wilson is purposefully using it to antagonize those on the other side of the argument. No where in Origin does it mention anything about religion, but the obvious atheistic connotations of the theory have been mis-used and placed as both an argument for and a main point against Natural Selection. Wilson's attack on religion in his paper seems somewhat petty for a man so well-educated, but he surely gets his point across. He even refers to Origin as "history's most influential book". So much praise of Darwin causes one to become suspicious of intent and also brings about the question of Darwin's own religious affiliations. I will admit that before the inception of this class I had assumed Darwin to be an atheist, but in learning about his life and writings that is clearly wrong. Other sections in this blog have pointed to Darwin's letter to Asa Gray as the perfect insight into Darwin's views on God and I would have to agree. As Darwin considered the "subject too profound for human intellect", I would suggest for people to attempt to separate Darwin from the question of religion before making any decisions on its validity. Everyone has their biases, but critical thinking allows for one to attempt to peer around those biases in order to find their true beliefs.