Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Evolution, Shmevolution?

I had all kinds of ideas about what I was going to write about for today. Science and art. A term called The Beholder's Share. I was going to tell you about a great trip I had in Maine, where I spoke to librarians about writing non-fiction. I was going to show you a cool NPR story about the wind at sea looking like a Van Gogh sky. But then I opened up the New York Times Monday morning and saw this:

Pseudoscience and Tennessee’s Classrooms

Please read it. I'll wait. I can't say it any better than that because all I want to do is scream. Loudly.

But I will say this, once again, as I've said many times and I think as I showed in CHARLES AND EMMA: Science and faith can co-exist. It does not have to be either or. But science is science and religion is religion. Evolution really happens. Smart theologians, religious people, clerics, rabbis, priests, ministers have NO PROBLEM WITH EVOLUTION. (I guess I am screaming.)

Our children deserve to be taught the truth in school. Period, the end.

Global warming really is happening. Smart politicians know that. Teaching our children the truth about global warming leaves open the possibility of saving our earth. Not teaching them the truth closes that possibility.

I hate conflict and controversy. I got very little of it, thank goodness, when  Charles And Emma came out. I think because their relationship shows how science and religion can co-exist in peace and harmony with understanding. That's beautiful.

What's happening in Tennessee and elsewhere is not beautiful. It's UGLY. And stupid. I'm going to let Spencer Tracy say it for me: Inherit The Wind


T. said...

A couple of months ago INK had a blog post consisting merely of the cover of a book - no supporting text. I was curious enough to check out the quality/reviews on the book and immediately bought it.

The book was this one on evolution:

It's wonderfully illuminating! My five year old daughter and I are on the last chapter and will likely finish the book today. I can't tell who learned more; however, it's probably me! Let me tell you that learning the many facts that support evolution in their complex beauty does nothing but reinforce one's sense of the sacred -- in all of creation.

This book makes me feel more connected to our living earth and a living faith.

As a result of this book we also started the series of books by Hannah Bonner:


Unknown said...

Thank you Deb! I read that Times piece on Monday and couldn't help shaking my head in dismay. I wrote a post once where I cited a recent study where science took a look at what makes us adhere to our beliefs in the face of facts that prove otherwise. It's called "Motivated reasoning."
We tend to believe science when the facts corroborate what we already believe and discount it when there is conflict. Here's the link to the original article: http://cilc.org/calendar_event_detail.aspx?id=420&categoryid=2

Linda Zajac said...

Sad to say, that Tennessee is the second state to do this. Louisiana was first and I'm relieved I don't live in either place. It is unreal how politics and religion get swept up in things they don't belong in. Facts are facts.

Sandy Brehl said...

Thanks for bringing this to the table, and for Emma and Charles as well. (Loved it) They had such a thorough and balanced insight, not to mention tolerance of others' ideas, and that was a century and a half ago. Perhaps social evolution is moving in the wrong direction?

On the adult side of things, I wish that every HS kid (and teacher) would read Bill Bryson's A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING-

Unknown said...

We are living in very challenging (and at times incomphensible) times. Don't be worn down or feel defeated by such nonsense; resist it here, in social gatherings, and at the polls.

Anonymous said...

Deborah, I think my favorite quote from Galileo is:
“The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.”
― Galileo Galilei

Honestly, if God had wanted to write a science text book, he could have. But that was not his purpose.

As a side note, I adored "Charles and Emma." I'm curious why it's shelved as YA?

Kirsten Larson

Deborah Heiligman said...

Thanks everyone, so far, for your wonderful comments and book recommendations! As someone just wrote to me, we're fighting the good fight. I love that Galileo quote! Kirsten, how do you think C & E should have been categorized?

Anonymous said...

Deborah, I am just trying to figure out why some nonfiction is considered YA (especially when I love it equally as well as adult nonfiction). Is it that your book is shorter and uses simpler language therefore making it more accessible to young people? I can tell your research was as extensive as it would have been for an "adult" book.
Kirsten Larson

Annalisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah Heiligman said...

Kirsten, that's an interesting question. I wrote it for teenagers mostly because I love to write for kids. That's what I do. And because I also thought that this way I could tell the story I wanted to tell--the story of their marriage--without having to delve deeply into the history of the church, say, or to explain the science in greater detail. I wanted it to be a tight focus on their love story. I probably could have had it published by an adult publisher, but I chose to go this way. And it is a crossover. It probably has an equal number of adult readers, though I've never done a study. Perhaps this should be a subject of another I.N.K. post--how is writing nonfiction for kids different than (and not different than) writing it for adults.

Peggy T said...

I am no longer surprised at what small minded people do, but I am always delighted at the response of well-educated, open-minded, and dare I say "liberal" folks(in its true definition) to rise up and keep the flame burning. Science ain't dead yet - not even in Tenn.

Annalisa said...

according to you i'm a smart religious person...hurray! i feel better about talking evolution already. we teach our children evolution is a process that hasn't stopped, we are continually evolving both temporally and spiritually. such a great feeling to know that tomorrow is progress toward a brighter future based on choices we make today.

Cheryl Harness said...

We humans, here on God's blue-green Earth, seem to have evolved in such a way that we get silly when we're scared, when we feel that things are going from bad to worse. Sometimes this fearful silliness takes the form of writing one's Congressmen & demanding that one's comforting notion of the 'old time religion' be written into Law.