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Evolutiion: To Believe or Not

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 30, 2005
Latest Update: March 30, 2005

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Index of Topics on Site Do You Believe in Evolution and Why?
This question came up in our discussion group and I think it matters for you to know how I feel about it. That will help you guage the extent to whiich you agree or disagree with my perspective. That's important if you're going to think this through for yourself, and critical thinking is, after all, is one of our endearing human qualities.
Sarah wrote March 30, 2005 - Message No. 3745:
i know that csudh students are taking some sort of religion course and i havent really involved myself with those sorts of discussions but do you agree with evolution or not and why?

jeanne responds: Wednesday, March 30, 2005. Message No. 3749:

CSUDH students are taking a fairly independent look at religion as a present social issue, Sarah. I'm working right now on getting essays from a variety of sources up. Meanwhile, here's a brief answer to your question:

evolution is a scientific theory that offers one plausible explanation for how life and our ecological world developed. We have lots of scientific evidence to suggest that evolution is a reasonable explanation. We call that kind of scientific evidence logos. At the same time we have a very long history of mythos, or explanation for who we are and how and why we are here in terms of ancient mythological beliefs that have existed before written records. Humans seem to need mythos as the story that fills in the human spaces in the scientific skeleton provided by scientific explanations.

Mythos depends on the stories as we have inherited them from our living histories. Logos depends on all that we have learned scientifically. Intuition and spiritual belief merge with mythos and logos to create the web of our understandings and beliefs.

Do I believe in evolution? Yes. I understand the theory and the evidence. Is it the "right" explanation or the only "explanation?" Well, it makes more sense in a common sense world than saying the world was "created" in 7 of our days. But mythos and spiritual beliefs require interpretation. So it's problable the creation story doesn't mean 7 of our days, or that it was a sacred spiritual time that doesn't mean the same as "time" as we use that word in science.

In other words, there are limits to my knowledge in mythos, logos, intuition, and spirituality. Those are human limits that another of our mythos stories tells us we shouldn't try to overcome by taking an apple from the tree of knowledge. There's so much I can learn and know about that that limitation doesn't bother me. But there are lots of people who refuse limitations. I call that the arrogance of "knowingness."

Does that help? I'll put this up on the site as a lecture. jeanne



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