Friday, June 17, 2005

A blush on the snow

Over on the Snopes message board, an unusually thoughtful discussion of Darwin and Christianity has touched upon the beauty and awe-inspiring power of evolution. As one who believes that God made the world through the mechanisms of evolution, I feel extremely strongly about this subject. To me, the story of evolution conveys God's grandeur far more thoroughly and beautifully than does a literal interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis (although I value Genesis greatly as poetry and allegory).

Another participant in the thread mentions the one-celled algae that, on many high mountain slopes, turn the snow pink. I only recently learned about this, in David Attenborough's
Living Planet book, and was glad to see I wasn't the only one to find it fascinating. Here's Attenborough's description:

These tiny plants take nothing from the world except sunlight and a minute quantity of nutrients that are dissolved in the snow. They feed on no other living thing and nothing feeds on them. They scarcely modify their surroundings, except to bring a blush to the snow. They simply exist, testifying to the moving fact that life even at its simplest level occurs, apparently, just for its own sake.

Lovelier than anything a creationist has told me.


At 8:50 am, Blogger John Frum said...

Sadly, those who believe that evolution is the product of a complex and powerful creator are consistently drowned out by the screaming, red-faced Bible Thumpers who believe that God does things in simple ways that are simple for men to understand...and women, too, with their man's assistance. A backward mindset, certainly, if not for otherwise intelligent people who think that way.

I recall Carl Sagan once attempting to explain four dimensional structures in terms of what a 2D being in a 2D world might comprehend of a 3D object. The 2D being would be limited by its 2D senses, only "seeing" the two dimensional part of the 3D object.

Bible Thumpers see God as a 3D being who created a 3D world. That's the extent and complexity of The Almighty, in their eyes. It seems hard for them to consider, if even for a moment, that what they "know" about God is only the part of God they are capable of seeing. For them, God is forever simple, while for the evolutionist God and His universe is mind-bogglingly complex. Now that's irony.


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