A New Season

Nearly to my surprise, the time has finally arrived. I’m now, as I lightheartedly define it, a Magna Cum Laude History Bachelorette of Science.

Diploma 1

 “Troy University – This certifies that The Board of Trustees of Troy University upon Recommendation of the Faculty Has Conferred on Amanda Christine Read the degree of Bachelor of Science – History – Magna Cum Laude – with all Rights, Privileges and Honors thereunto appertaining. In Witness Whereof the seal of the University and the signatures of its duly authorized officers are hereto affixed. Granted this month of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen. – Robert Bentley, Governor of Alabama and President of the Board – Jack Hawkins, Jr., PhD., Chancellor of Troy University.” (Photography by Abigail Read)

Diploma 2

Diploma 3

What are my plans now, you ask? Well, essentially, I want to do what I’ve been doing – only do it with more devotion and excellence. Column writing and screenwriting will take up most of my time, to be joyfully accompanied by art and farming. Our ex-Hollywood friends are building a house on our street, and Matthew Perdie is moving to Alabama, so this filmmaking business is about to get intense.

Meanwhile, it’s coming up on the third year anniversary of my column at the Communities at The Washington Times, “Not Your Average Read,” which is now housed in the Global section to allow for topical expansion…

Not Your Average Read

…ModCloth’s vintage dresses are a dream…

Mary (birthday girl), Amanda (recent graduate) , and Grandmomma go out.

Mary (birthday girl), Amanda (recent graduate) , and Grandmomma go out.

…Rachel, Dad, and I enjoyed Gary Sinise’s spectacular Lt. Dan Band benefit concert for Sgt. Ben Tomlinson…

Amanda & Rachel at Lt. Dan Band 2

Amanda & Rachel at Lt. Dan Band

…The fascinating life of Sir Isaac Newton provided a resounding finish to my senior seminar in history. Dean Karayanis made this meme in honor of my historical crush…

Hey Girl It's Isaac Newton

 …My oral presentation was delightfully interrupted by three-year-old Rebecca about four minutes in (the video quality is terrible because of the college software we were required to use)…

…Oh, and on June 18th, I’ll go to Michigan for a week to attend Acton University and visit with friends. It shall be splendid!

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.