SEED Film | E. O. Wilson on The Creation


(system) #1

Harvard naturalist, theorist, and humanist E.O. Wilson discusses his work with ants, his book The Creation, and why he writes with pen and paper. It's hard to picture, if you know him only by his scientific reputation, but E.O. Wilson confesses it freely: He loves watching preachers on television," writes the WaPo.

"Wilson is an internationally renowned biologist who has based his extraordinarily productive five-decade career at that great bastion of secular humanism, Harvard University. At 77, his work and his worldview are so thoroughly entwined with Darwinian theory that they're impossible to imagine without it. His reverence is for the wondrous creatures and intricate interconnections of the natural world, not for any supreme being."

The WaPo continues,

So what's he doing tuning in those evangelical sermons from the megachurches?

"I listen to them the way an Italian listens to opera," Wilson confesses with a lopsided grin. "I may be thinking of the texts as fiction, but I can't resist the old-time rhythm, the music and the superlative performances."

These rhythmic exhortations are the stuff of Wilson's childhood. He may have put aside the Southern Baptist faith into which he was born -- and, as a teenager, born again -- but he has retained his emotional ties to the culture surrounding it. All of which helps explain the herculean task he recently assigned himself:

He's trying to bridge the gap between science and religion in the hope of saving life on Earth.

We've addressed this book back in the day on the old blog, but thanks to Ms. Nixon's post about the Geoscience Research Institute taking their show on the road, I, once again, dreamed that our church talked about creation more inclusively. Holistically. Not apologetically, but evangelistically. Instead of using creation as a means to prove the literal truth of the Bible and thus our Raison d'ĂȘtre, I wish that we actually theologically cared for it. And preached it. And acted like we really believe that God created nature, and still communicates through it.

Instead of dismissing planetary problems as the effect of abstract sin, we should, at least, remember that according to Genesis, humans have been the cause of the global spread of destruction since the beginning. Who can identify as a Biblical literalist on origins and believe in free will and not believe in human-caused aleatory global warming?

However, Jesus came to change the metaphysical reality and told his followers that they had to do more that make just believers (even the devils do that), instead he said make disciples. And disciples don't destroy want God created, they care for it.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/363