Last night, in a rare move, I went to The Old Vic theatre to see a production of Inherit the Wind (directed by Trevor Nunn, starring Kevin Spacey). The performance itself was a joy to watch and received a standing ovation, but the subject matter, for me, was far more absorbing. Inherit the Wind is based on the 1925 Scopes Trail, more commonly known as 'The Monkey Trail' (coined by the journalist H.L. Mencken). Scopes' innocence or guilt was, in one sense, not the issue being debated. The jury had to decide whether Darwin or the Bible was correct – predictably for a Tennessee jury in 1925, they chose the Bible.
150 years have passed since The Origin Of Species was published and it's been 84 years since the Scopes Trial. The issue of Evolution (or ‘evil-ution’ as it’s referred to in the play by the character Matthew Harrison Brady, a fictitious William Jennings Bryan – three time presidential candidate and lawyer for the prosecution) in American schools is still contentious. Speaking from my own experience, the amount of knowledge of Evolution people gain from their education is scandalous. The smallest, most unimaginably barren and simple conception of Evolution is all that must be taught to students at schools in the U.K. The wonder of science and the 'grandeur' that Darwin spoke of will never be appreciated until this changes. So, if you know a thing or two about Evolution, and the subject is raised in conversation with a friend, I urge you to make sure they understand the theory - and that it really is marvellous.
Catholics beware! Hitchens & Fry are on YouTube and they’re not pulling any punches. Here is the first part of the Intelligence Squared debate (don't let John Onaiyekan's lack of argument put you off; the debate really kicks off when Hitch gets going) -
I've had one query about citations for articles, or the lack of them. However, this is not an academic blog, and should not be taken as such. All that is required is submissions be reasonable, not make indefensible claims and, if asked, produce a defensible case for opinions and statements not supported in the article. The last point is not essential and well-written rational pieces, without citations, will always be welcome.
Last of all, I'm very pleased to announce Young Freethought has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in our sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.