Monday, November 11, 2013

EMT ~ evolution

MaryZorro said, "If we do choose to read Evolving in Monkey Town, I recommend that we also read the play 'Inherit the Wind' and watch the Spencer Tracy movie.  Although this gives a fictional account of the Scopes Trial, it is a metaphor for what we face in our schools and communities today with religion/science conflicts.  This is the year in Texas that we review the new science textbook adoptions and the battle is raging again as it does every time they come up.   Creationism vs. Evolution is as strong a conflict as ever."
"Inherit the Wind" ~ the play, available in book format

"Inherit the Wind" ~ the movie, starring Spencer Tracy
MaryZorro asked our first question a couple of weeks ago:
"I'll start the discussion by saying I don't think RHE is referring to biological evolution in her title or in her explanation of changes that she experiences."


Zorro said...

I don't think RHE is referring to biological evolution

And I was disappointed that she did not talk about a evolution from a biological standpoint. She did not clearly state a change in her understanding of the biological evolutionary concept. She was referring to the changes from a rigid formulaic Christianity to a more relaxed questioning maturity.

Examples of EVOLVE-

everyday usage: Her company has evolved from a hobby into a thriving business.

biological evolution example: Some flowers have evolved remarkable means of insect pollination.

alisonwonderland said...

I am certainly not a biologist - though I'm quite sure I saw the movie version of Inherit the Wind at some point in my life - so in reading Evolving in Monkey Town I wasn't expecting or looking for any real analysis of the scientific basis for evolution and not even an explanation of RHE's personal beliefs regarding evolution versus creationism (or how she reconciles the two).

What I did find was that the title of the book - as well as the summary of the trial RHE gives the reader - provided a catchy, even "fun" backdrop for RHE's personal faith journey. I think it is a brilliant construct for a book.

Shirley said...

I thought it was interesting that the author grew up in the same town and that she was able to use the analogy of the debate on biological evolution to the refusal of some churches and individuals to allow for the evolution of their beliefs to adapt to changes in life.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Rachel Held Evans isn't a biologist, either, Alison. She isn't a scientist at all, so I would have been very surprised if her publisher had allowed her to try to explain biological evolution. Rather, in this memoir she shares how she herself has "evolved" into something she didn't expect.

alisonwonderland said...

Yes, RHE uses the fact that she lives in Dayton, Tennessee - the location of the Scopes Monkey Trial - to great literary effect!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Have I mentioned that Dayton, Tennessee, is just 30 miles up the road from where I live? I'd love to meet Rachel someday.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Since I can't put a cartoon in these comments, I have added one to this post. It shows two snowmen, and one says to the other, "Don't be absurd! Nobody made us! We evolved by chance from snowflakes!"

It was posted on Facebook by someone who probably thinks it "proves" intelligent design. Want to set him straight, Mary?

One of you who has already read the book, feel free to ask a question or suggest something to talk about. I'll post it separately, so you can email me or leave a comment here.

Zorro said...

I want to visit Dayton, TN, on one of my trips to Tennessee. Although Inherit the Wind in fictional, it shows us the deep, old time religious beliefs of the people of the region, Bryan College, and the family of RHE.

"Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tennessee, United States. It was founded in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial to establish an institution of higher education that would teach from a Christian worldview."

RHE is making a courageous break with those traditions and beliefs. How has she had the courage to take on these changes so publicly?

Shirley said...

I don't know the answer of how RHE had the courage to question the beliefs so strongly held by her family and her church and school teachings. However, I agree that it was courageous of her to do so. Perhaps her questioning points out the "danger" of allowing one's children to have an education. ;)