All three books mention a lifestage of tremendous growth, expansion and self-improvement. This came naturally as an individual awakening; the joyous growth was not strained. But I refer to the period of growth and change as “evolution.” Further, I discuss this evolution both collectively and individually. However, the term evolution in this sense is metaphorical. It is not real evolution as seen as the constant gradual adaptation, change, or the origin of species. Evolution seemed to be the most fitting word to describe the drastic change over time. The word metamorphosis would fit also. It may be confusing when I go in and out of metaphor describing my “personal evolution,” to then return in my second book to an essay about real evolution; that is, the biological change and speciation of life on earth.
So I would like to clarify. It has been said that math is the only absolute. A few of my zoology friends and I have added (har har) to this an inside joke that says “there are two absolutes in the universe: math and evolution, because evolution is mathematical”. Rocks, metals, minerals, elements and compounds make up the earth, (and the universe) and these are very old. An element’s half life can be determined and the rate at which it decays can be calculated, helping to determine the age of the earth.
This is true. Yet it took a generous portion of time before I could see it clearly. I realized it was my own lazy thinking and at times I was either unwilling to see and/or indifferent about learning the facts. As for me and my asymmetrical-like brain, evolution is something that even now as a zoologist, I have to go over it and recall the facts, the steps. if I don’t, it is easy to get lost in the equation. I see evolution as a big math problem that takes time, work and effort (for some, and I was one of those) to see how the professor arrived at the correct solution/conclusion.
As a graduated university student in the sciences with a BS degree in health promotion and a zoology minor I have been on both sides of the evolution/creation debate.
First, evolution is fact. It is not something you believe, or disagree with or not. It is also not something you can dismiss as false only after taking a brief glance. No, look closer. If you take your time, study and look closely, you will also see how the professor reached his conclusion and solved the math problem.
If you “don’t believe” the answer to the math problem, that is “your bad”, and you’ll need to go back over it again until you see it clearly.
Take this simple math problem:
5 x 5 = 25
The above problem is absolute. Any other answer would be incorrect. Do you believe in that? Do you accept it? Do you agree with it? If the answer is no to any of these, that is your bad, and you’ll need to go over the problem again to find your mistakes.
This is a simple math equation. Yet, I recall hearing of highly complicated math problems in physics, which took Einstein hours to solve. Think of evolution like one of those-a big, wiry math problem; one that takes time and effort to reach the correct conclusion, or to see the answer clearly.
Natural selection, the random and non-random sorting, the Law of Succession, perpetual change, gradualism, common descent, natural selection, etc; the incremental changes in organisms from bacteria to fish, plants, trees and humans as they have been forming and changing over eons of time, millions, even billions of years. The earth is 4.6 billion years old. That is fact. And wow, that is old. Just when we thought we had it all figured out…
It is a good and healthy practice to consider things differently, and to expand your mind, taking on a new challenge.
Photo of a cast saber-tooth cat from University of Utah Museum of Natural History. These very large cats lived
recently in terms of evolutionary history. They became extinct after the last ice age about 10,000-15,000 years ago.
It is a problem that a general habit has developed of choosing to see evolution as something you can merely believe in or not according to your mood, preferences or whether it fits your belief system. It is a problem because collectively, this deliberate ignorance affects us. It influences what is valued and alters priorities. In terms of practice and behavior, when we know better we make positive changes. Whether corporate greed, private business practices, a school curriculum or individual sloppiness, this naivety and often a perpetual state of deliberate ignorance influences the outcome of humanity. In the long run, it affects the rest of us-all 8 billion humans. Knowing the truth (or not) and acting on it (or not) affects our nature and understanding of things. It affects policies, laws, programs; it affects education (such as what is allowed to be taught in a school curriculum). It affects our lives, society and the globe. Like it or not, it is now a global world. For better or for worse, the world wide web made sure of that. What you do does affect others elsewhere.
There is a big difference regarding whether this earthly home is 10,000, or 4.6 billion years old. The latter is true. It is mathematical. That changes your perspective a bit doesn’t it. Just when we thought we had it all figured out.
It is fine for individuals to take their own time and learn in their own style and pace. However, when policies, laws and ordinances are put into place that deny or withhold the truth, the evidence regarding the natural history of life on earth, that is willful and systematic manipulation of the facts. And that is a global social problem.
One of the most important aspects to consider is that believing (or rather, accepting evolution as fact, (since it is) is not against your religion. “Truth is truth.” -Staples, O. 2013 Life Is Conscious. At some point, all truth is integrated into parts of the whole. Creation and evolution do not have to be mutually exclusive.
“A growing body of worldwide clergy now believes that evolution is the natural method that god used to create the earth.” WSU professor. Only you can answer my one question for you: Why is this so hard to accept?
Enjoy your learning and study. For some, the concept takes time and effort like it did for me, but it is rewarding and a relief to see the facts stacked like layers of sediment formed in the earth’s plates over millions of years. You will experience that wonderful sense of accomplishment after you see the wiry math problem from start to finish, see how the professor solved it and you say to yourself “gotcha, I see and understand now; that makes sense. I accept the correct answer to that complex math problem.”
Enjoy your study, learning.