Thursday, December 24, 2009

Variations on a Theme

It can be quite frustrating when people refuse to accept science (or anything for that matter) because they fear it may not coincide with their religious beliefs. I could sit here lamenting for hours about how infuriating these types of people can be. I won’t. Instead I would like to explore why these people frustrate me.

I just graduated from BYU with a bachelors of science. During the coarse of my studies I have had the opportunity to study a variety of subjects including molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, physiology and human anatomy. Each subject is complex in its own way, with mysteries waiting to be unraveled by the inquiring student. The more time I spent with a subject the more its usefulness was magnified and the more profound its insights became. Religious people should be able to relate to this since the same thing happens with the gospel. (LDS people see Alma 32).

Understanding this, how can somebody dismiss a scientific theory without even understanding the science it is founded on? Surely not in good conscience! Obviously I am referring to evolution here, but I don’t think I need to limit it to that. It is bad for someone to dismiss anything purely out of fear stemming from not understanding. In the end, this type of attitude will damage the religion it is trying to protect.

I am almost finished reading Your Inner Fish and a line inspired me to write this quick post. Neil Subin says, “when you see these deep similarities among different organs and bodies, you begin to recognize that the diverse inhabitants of our world are just variations on a theme.” This was profound to me, but only because I have invested in discovering some of the “deep similarities” that we have with other living things.

In order to understand the conclusion you must first see the supporting data. Please, before you dismiss evolution, do your homework.