Creation

I am looking forward to this movie which is announced for 2010, a specific date not yet given.

Charles Darwin was born in 1809 and his famous “On the Origin of Species” was published 1859. Darwin has changed our world view and the theory of evolution is – while widely accepted in the scientific world – still a matter if dispute and a matter of irritation for some believers (of the Christian, Yewish and the Islamic world).

Yet – as it happens so often – it means to simplify things when we hold a picture of Darwin as an atheist. This would stand in total contrast to the time he was born into. Charles Darwin was indeed a child of his time and that made him also a man of deep faith. His scientific research was both a source of enlightenment for him and a cause for conflict, doubt and inner struggle. His fight was not only one against the prevailing  scientific views of the Victorian era, against society and the church. It was also a fight with himself, with what he was brought up to believe in.

Today we can accept that faith and science do not exclude each other. Quite a number of famous biologists, physicists etc. are nevertheless deeply religious people. But what is hard to understand for a lot of people is this: as a scientist you may believe in God, but it is not blasphemious if you try to understand the world and the universe without turning to God as a last resort if something seems unexplainable. When one tries to understand the world in a scientific way one has to leave God out of the play.

When looking into the e-paper version of this Saturday’s Guardian I found this review of a book about Darwin, which has the focus on another yet not less important topic: the fight against slavery.

Adrian Desmond and James Moore: Darwin’s Sacred Cause: Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins. (Penguin)

The authors of the book want to point out that there was a real “moral passion” behind Darwin’s objective studies:

[…] an abiding faith in the “unity of mankind” inherited from his mother’s family, the Wedgewoods. Darwin was instinctively opposed to scientific racism but in the end he went much further than demonstrating that all races were equal: he showed that all species had a common ancestor. […]  (The Guardian, 16th Jan, 2010, Review, page 18)

This is a link to the homepage of the movie “Creation”.   Watch the trailer here:

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