Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Life is about change
I have a couple of key philosophies to life. They might seem so basic as to wonder why I'd mention them but both apply to this series. The first is that change is inevitable and constant. Sometimes we welcome that change and sometimes find it threatening-- but it will always come.
So I understand things don't stay the same not even those things I like. Sometimes we fight change and that is how I feel when I see a certain group in the United States trying to end our public education system. It's not Constitutional, dontchaknow.
This attack on public education is partisan because the proponents almost always identify themselves as Republicans or maybe now Tea Partiers (who knows for sure what tea partiers stand for as a group) Basically, whatever political label the naysayers about education claim, to them, public education is of no value, costs money, and worse threatens their beliefs.
If education, in any culture, is downgraded to an option, downgraded to something that even becomes threatening, where does that leave the populace? Try uneducated, easily led, incapable of applying history and science to their decision making. It can lead to a group who vote for elected officials as they would on a reality television show and put more thought and emotion into the reality show.
What happens when people live in a world where they are seemingly removed from nature's absolutes, a world where they believe they have the right to teach their children anything and there are no facts, no basic truths to learn beyond what the parents want taught. What if the parental truth denies the physical world for a spiritual one that cannot be seen, where does that lead the culture in which they live-- especially if those people vote?
This dismissal of facts and logic is showing up in a part of our culture where we have a whole group of people who cannot spell, write a sentence, or communicate beyond a few letters strung together that are supposed to be just as good as learning to parse a sentence. Yes, I mean Sarah Palin with her missives from Facebook and Twitter that cable (both sides) throw at us as something worthy to read... if we can... Whatever she says, a whole bunch of people hang on it as they do Glenn Beck's revisionist history lessons.
What happens when this also occurs in science. When science's value is argued as though it doesn't matter what the facts are (except maybe with the Law of Gravity) and their god can overrule any mistakes they might make, when they want religious lessons to be taught alongside the facts of scientific evidence, tell me where that ends?
This is why even though one might not think so, the study of evolution is important. Understanding evolution is understanding that life is about change. It is about more than the past and it impacts many other areas of life.
When I drive south in Oregon, along the freeway is a big billboard showing photos of men and then after several of those, a photo of a chimpanzee and it says don't let them make a monkey out of you with a website to apparently avoid that risk of turning into monkeys.
If you do any research online regarding creationism, you will find websites putting down all the various fossils or bones that have been used to prove evolution, denying DNA has any meaning, claiming the earth is really quite young, and always with the end statements witnessing to that particular religion and how to be saved. When you read one of those sites, they always claim that anybody believing in evolution wants to do bad things or is a fool. They use their own holy texts to make their points.
The essence of physical life on earth is change. That's the most basic part of what we see everywhere but for religious reasons a lot of people deny that and not based on facts but on needing to prove their own truths can be trusted. There is no freedom to use logic, reason or even facts, if you have already made up your mind what you believe.
Because man doesn't live very long, he doesn't often see change in the rocks, the landscape, not often the other species of animals living near him; but he can see it in his own life if he's willing to look. We start out a baby, work our way through various stages of growth until we reach old age and the end of our days. Is that threatening? Well it is because then most in religions have had to come up with an alternative to death-- they don't really die. They get resurrected. Their god was resurrected bodily which I guess means he got trapped in a human type body until a future date to release him or is that trapped forever?
What some religious people perceive as fact regarding their physical bodies actually isn't because with faith they will be coming back with a perfected body... or end up in heaven with 70 virgins. Logic and facts are not only no part of this but they are threats to it. The teaching of evolution is a threat to it and there is a reason for that.
The photo at the top is me at 12 years old when I was geeky and not really ready for the changes coming in my life but they were coming anyway. Within a few years I had figured out a lot of it or so I thought...