A Darwin Day Scientific Treasury

Reading Darwin's booksAnyone who has followed my writings for awhile knows that I have a thing for men of science. I adored Sir Isaac Newton at an early age, I wrote a screenplay about Chief Chemist Harvey Wiley as a teenage girl (I think it needs a second revision), I’ve dissected Charles Darwin’s mind in college, and I interviewed Professor John Lennox a couple of years ago. I’m actually working on a new script that involves a fictional scientist, but that is a story for another day.

American President Abraham Lincoln and British naturalist Charles Darwin would have both turned 204 today. As of late, I’ve seen more Americans obsessing over Darwin. Some Democrats in Congress wanted to officially designate February 12th, 2013 as “Darwin Day” to recognize “the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.” (Hmmm, as long as science has a moral check and balance, if they had the nerve to specify…)

Since I never want my academic work to go to waste, I’ve recycled some papers that readers might enjoy.

DARWIN: DEFINING THE ORIGINS DEBATE

Written for an English literature class in 2010, this essay of mine dissects the rhetorical strategies of Darwin.

FIT TO SURVIVE: DARWIN’S ACADEMIC LEGACY

Written last year for a history class on Victorian England, this term paper of mine investigates the factors behind the acceptance of Darwinism.

MY VERY OWN CHICKEN GENETICS EXPERIMENT!

“Together with Marx’s materialistic theory of history and society and Freud’s attribution of human behavior to influences over which we have little control, Darwin’s theory of evolution was a crucial plank in the platform of mechanism and materialism – of much of science, in short – that has been the stage of most Western thought.”
– Douglas Futuyma

Armin Cifuentes/Ronald Martinez (Getty Images)

DARWINOCRACY: THE EVOLUTION QUESTION IN AMERICAN POLITICS

Does Darwin rule the electorate? Why does a stigma surround those who are skeptical of Darwinism, and how should candidates respond?

Jan Ingenhousz

Jan Ingenhousz, Dutch physician (1730-1799)

“We might conceive a little more of the deep designs of the Supreme Wisdom in the different arrangement of sublunary beings. The stubborn atheist would, perhaps, find reason to humiliate himself before that Almighty Being, whose existence he denies because his limited senses represent to him nothing but a confused chaos of miseries and disorders in this world.” – Jan Ingenhousz, in a piece of writing I discovered in the antique book, The Beginnings of Modern Science: Scientific Writings of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries.

“By your words you will be justified…”

As a writer I have always taken Jesus Christ’s admonition about words with exceptional seriousness:

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

~ Matthew 12:36-37

When I first entered work in the media, I proceeded with the attitude that there is a toxic buildup and inflation of words wastefully and hastily spent across the entire spectrum of ideas. My goal was to withdraw in times of intense confusion and discipline myself to develop words “fitly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11).

When the Supreme Court reached an unexpected decision in the Obamacare case under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, I withdrew from as many media sources as possible and set out to study the one thing that matters. I had no one to defend and no excuses to make. I was ready to accept the ruling for what it really is – not what talking heads proclaimed it to be after merely skimming its syllabus. I just completed a class in Constitutional Law a month ago, and I know a Supreme Court decision is meaningless when divorced from its majority opinion.

I pulled two all-nighters studying and writing about Roberts’ opinion. I watched the sun rise with the Constitution in my lap. However much a fine-print nerd I may be, I eagerly confess that I am not above praying to the Chief Justice of the Universe (Psalm 98:9; Jude 1:6) for further understanding of the ways of laws and men.

The answer I received was surprising. Both sides are probably going to hate me for this, but I’ve braced myself.

Whether Roberts interpreted a key aspect of the statute correctly or incorrectly is a matter of exhausting debate, but as far as I have researched, his decision is thoroughly justified by his excellent choice of words forming the law of the land.  A majority opinion is written with posterity in mind as much as (if not more than) the present, hearkening to precedent, clarifying legislation, and resurrecting the voices of the Framers into the word of law. Patience and self-restraint are powerful weapons for the Supreme Court.

Now, in the midst of this somber discussion, here’s a comical riddle for you (which I explain in my column): Chief Justice Roberts pulled an Elrond.

The quest is the citizens’ prerogative to accept or reject.

Without further mystery, may this column at least be a dose of antivenin against this week’s media venom:

Chief Justice John Roberts gives Obama and Democrats a Trojan Horse

After wounding socialism, why didn’t Roberts go for the glory and slay Obamacare while he could? Chief Justice stepped aside to let We the People do the honors.

SIDE NOTE: Although I didn’t mention this in my rather lengthy column, the judicial battle might actually not be over if more constitutional violations (i.e. under the provisions of the First Amendment, etc.) are discovered in further exploration of the massive PPACA legislation (we’re still finding out what’s in it, remember). But at this moment, the clearest avenue to repeal is through gaining full control of Congress and the White House.

~ Amanda