Friday, March 25, 2005

Conversations we keep on having

I'm old enough to remember the 'hair' conversation from the sixties. It went something like this: "Get a haircut, freak". Or "Are you a boy or a girl, huh-huh." As the sixties gave way to the seventies, the anti-hair faction fell silent, the pro-hairs winning by default. Soon long hair on men was just another way of proclaiming your 'creativity' and ponytailed 'art directors' reported to CEOs. Glad that's over, I thought, and how nice that something as peripheral as the length of one's hair is no longer a factor in judging one's worth. Then my peers' children reached their teens.

Boom. "Get a haircut or lose the car". This from guys I knew from personal observation had long flowing locks twenty years ago. Why do we have to do this all over again?

The Evolution 'debate' reminds me of the Hair Debate in that it's both ever recurring and ever pointless. The debate is over. The science of evolution is established. That some people want to enshrine their particular creation myth is one thing - to try to pretend it is science is absurd.

Darwin's Origin of Species was published in 1859, almost 150 years ago. It is now an accepted part of the science of biology. To continue to debate it is to embrace willfull ignorance.

Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe was completed in 1522. Do you suppose that in 1670, with well-established colonies in Virginia, and a burgeoning global trade, there were people still be arguing the shape of the earth? Galileo was forced to recant that the earth moved around the sun instead of vice versa in 1633. Do you suppose that in 1783, after the American Revolution, people were still arguing the Stationary Earth Theory? Endowing university chairs and foundations to research the Stationary Earth?

The 'Debate' is over. Species evolve. Get over it.

(For those who would claim that evolution does NOT explain the actual origins of life, I offer the following recommendation: A. G. Cairn-Smith's Seven Clues to the Origins of Life.)


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