Monday, January 7, 2013

EVOLUTION, THE IMPORTANCE OF....January 7, 2013

 It has just struck me why a basic belief in the continuing 'evolution of life' on the planet is so very important in our times. When one believes that the nature of life is to be always unfolding into a future that is always becoming something different s/he is motivated, open-minded  and enlivened by the very important question, 'what is next?' Such a mind set frees one from those aspects of any ideology or religion that obsessively clings to the past and how ones forebears have experienced and interpreted the world. It also motivates one to want to cooperate with the unfolding of an improved quality of life on the planet, to be on the 'right side of history', whatever that is going to be. And it is surely to be something different than it is presently. To believe that such change is not the nature of life leads one to dig in their heels to keep the same beliefs and attitudes in tact, to be defensive against change rather than trusting and trying to cooperate with that which is very likely destined. The 'static view' of life  leads one to be committed to the past as being the 'good old days.'
Fossils Around The World- A Primary Way Of Learning About  Evolution
Such changes in our day likely include social ones like the unfolding equality of all races and sexual orientations,the definition of family, cooperation with factors that have made of us all a global community and the growing sense that our most trusted institutions(i.e. government, religion, and education) are in need of pronounced changes and reformation- not to the past but for the future. Belief in evolution pushes us to imagine what these changes should be and look like and to give our energy to such creativity. Such change always involves times of sadly relinquishing once important and cherished beliefs as structures of the past. Whether one places all such systems into a framework of essential, and somewhat anxious, change or considering them as being eternal structures needing preserved at all costs by human effort makes a very distinctive difference in how we live life and especially how we solve problems.

I don't think this difference is primarily one of political parties. Evolutionary thinking may actually be a way around our extreme political polarization for it is something that is not necessarily incongruous with parts of  various political and some religious perspectives. Probably the major force that keeps our country's majority from not trusting in an evolutionary perspective is a variety of religious belief which interprets 'God is the same yesterday , today and forever' as being a God who is static and not at the center of evolutionary change in the universe.  That is a tragic misapplication of that beautiful  statement. In a sense there is 'nothing new under the sun' but we already know there are fathomless ways the fundamental functions of nature can rearrage to always be bringing a 'new creation.'  As one who believes in such evolution and is also a Christian, I think a 'static view' of life and of the ultimate God is tragic and especially dangerous in our present time, one of tumultuous and necessary change.


In the past my religious opinion had led me to be strongly opposed to any serious belief in a general theory of biological, social and theological evolution. But I'm convinced there is no real threat to one's developing belief in God and the hopeful point of view for humanity  that Evolution generates.  In my strong 'vision' like experiences of mid- August of 1985  one of the highlighted initial themes presented in symbolic language was Evolution. Included in the symbols, which  in the context given was at once shocking and humorous, as the answer to my question regarding  the nature of our human origins was the head of a baby gorilla coming out of its mother's birth canal. This spoke very authoritatively instructing me to give much closer attention to the, origin, foundations and progression of evolutionary thought and to its very important,even essential, contribution to human knowledge and survival. Jim Hibbett

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