Yesterday Emerson and I went to see the dinosaurs in Crystal Palace. As is often the way I ranted at him about a lot of things and he listened and made excellent and constructive comments and agreed with me, humoured me and challenged me. I had been all a bit grumpy that morning and it was exactly what I needed. Coincidentally that morning I had been looking at various things about evolution. Firstly this via Ben Goldacre about Miss America.
The fact this is even asked as a question bothers me. Now I don't understand science. I don't understand how things work, and I have yet to meet a person who can explain to be how we know a lightbulb gives out light rather than sucks in dark. But I love that there are people out there who do understand science. Things I don't remotely understand have put people on the moon, allowed a magnetic strip to pay for my shopping and mean that anyone with an internet connection can read my ramblings. Although it's still important to try understand and also continue to be inquisitive and questioning I remain very ignorant. But I know that the world I live in today is only possible because the scientific establishment has made it so. And if I trust science enough to fly in a plane without it falling from the sky I'm going to have to say yes to Evolution. Next year maybe they can ask Miss USA if germ theory should be taught or it should be replaced by the idea that disease is a punishment from God?
And talking of germ theory, have you been to see Dirt at the Wellcome Collection? No? Then you should. And afterwards I can bore you at length about it's implication on religion :-)
Continuing along the science and evolution theme I read this yesterday. A scientist's response to a little girl who has been brainwashed into creationism. It's beautiful and I love the part about good and bad questions.
"You already knew the answer to the "Were you there?" question, but you don't know the answer to the "How do you know that?" question. That means the person answering it will tell you something you don't know, and you will learn something new. And that is the coolest thing ever"
That's something I want to do more of- ask questions where I genuinely don't know the answer.
After the dinosaurs we wandered around Crystal Palace and saw amazing veiws and bought second hand books and ate Brazilian cake and ranted about religion. I found myself, again, going on and on about how amazing the podcast of A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum is. I'm only half way through and I'm a better person for it. And a global, millenia-long history of human society and belief has been very helpful for my poor little religion addled head. And simlarly to the science thing- I am so glad and so grateful to live in a world where intelligent people have learnt so much and recorded and shared so much.
And while I'm banging on about sharing and humanity and how glad I am to be alive, I went to see this last week. It was epic and beautiful. Go see it if you can.