Devolution | Bleader

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Posted By on 05.10.07 at 06:43 AM

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Somewhere along the way, I lost the bad habit of Newsweek without picking up the good habit of the Economist. So a hat tip to Jim Krohe, who calls attention to the Economist's alarming reportage on anti-Darwinian extremism on the march not just in the U.S., especially Kentucky, but in Russia, Turkey, the Vatican -- even Kenya, where

"there is a bitter controversy over plans to put on display the most complete skeleton of a prehistoric human being ever found, a figure known as Turkana Boy—along with a collection of fossils, some of which may be as much as 200m years old. Bishop Boniface Adoyo, an evangelical leader who claims to speak for 35 denominations and 10m believers, has denounced the proposed exhibit, asserting that: 'I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or anything like it.'

"Richard Leakey, the palaeontologist who unearthed both the skeleton and the fossils in northern Kenya, is adamant that the show must go on. 'Whether the bishop likes it or not, Turkana Boy is a distant relation of his,' Mr Leakey has insisted. Local Catholics have backed him."

As this excerpt hints and the whole article makes clear, this isn't religion vs. atheism. This is knowledge vs. militant ignorance, not to mention freedom vs. theocracy, with religious believers on both sides.

Not to get all ironic about it, but the world the militant ignorant would usher in has already been described by Matthew Arnold, although he meant to be talking about something else: a world with "neither joy, nor love, nor light,/ Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain..."


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