Post(s) tagged with "Origin of Species"

The Stridency and Sensitivity of Carl Sagan ⇢

deconversionmovement:

Carl Sagan played an important part in my retreat from faith. His book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark was one of the first books of scientific critique of religion and superstition that I read in my years as a priest. Though I had read Bertrand Russell and other freethinkers long before, it was in the context of participating in religion and its practices at a professional level, when I had begun questioning practically everything about the church and its teachings, that Sagan’s work played a central role in slowly turning the mortar of faith into sand, and the whole structure began to totter. Indeed, soon after reading the book Elizabeth designed a book-plate for me (printing it on her press) which included one of the epigraphs from Sagan’s book: Ubi dubium, ibi libertas — “Where (there is) doubt, there (is) liberty.” Other books which played the same role were Darwin’s Origin of Species and Dennett’s Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. By the time that I read these books, I had already moved quite far from the centre of faith as the church understood and taught it. My mentor during this earlier period was Don Cupitt, whose works still are pregnant with meaning for me. Elizabeth and I met him at a Sea of Faith conference at Leicester University, when we were on our honeymoon in the UK in 1990.

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deconversionmovement:

Tree of Life
Life on Earth started around 3.8 billion years ago and has since evolved and          diversified through the process of natural selection to be adapted to          almost every environment possible. There are currently an estimated 1.9 million animals, plants, and          other forms of life on Earth.
Life can be found in every nook and cranny/niche of the globe, from the extreme         environments of deep sea hydrothermal vents and the freezing conditions         of the polar regions to the lush habitats found at the equator.
Looking back through time, by means of the fossil and phylogenetic record, we         can see that the Earth has been home to many more species than are alive         today. Taking a historical perspective shows that life is constantly evolving,          with the success and dominance of different groups waxing and waning over time.
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deconversionmovement:

Tree of Life

Life on Earth started around 3.8 billion years ago and has since evolved and diversified through the process of natural selection to be adapted to almost every environment possible. There are currently an estimated 1.9 million animals, plants, and other forms of life on Earth.

Life can be found in every nook and cranny/niche of the globe, from the extreme environments of deep sea hydrothermal vents and the freezing conditions of the polar regions to the lush habitats found at the equator.

Looking back through time, by means of the fossil and phylogenetic record, we can see that the Earth has been home to many more species than are alive today. Taking a historical perspective shows that life is constantly evolving, with the success and dominance of different groups waxing and waning over time.

Read More

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