Two hundred years have passed since Charles Darwin’s birth, said Verlyn Klinkenborg in The New York Times. But the famed naturalist's central idea—“evolution by means of natural selection”—has aged well. “It is absorbed, with adaptations, into the foundation of the biological sciences. In a very real sense, it is the cornerstone of what we know about life on earth.”
Is it? asked Jonathan Wells in The Washington Times. Darwin’s theory wasn’t just evolution, or change over time, which “no sane person denies.” His point in “On the Origin of Species” was that “all living things are descendants of a common ancestor.” That remains an unproven assumption, yet "militant atheists" will tolerate no disagreement from those who see God's hand in these matters.
Actually, Darwin didn’t “pick fights over what he did not know,” said Rick Weiss in The Washington Post. His “keen observation” caused him to abandon the belief that God created the world exactly as it is. Still, he didn’t claim to unlock “the all-important question of creation” itself—if only the “soldiers in today's culture wars, whether in black collars or white lab coats,” had the same humility.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- A gay Mormon's complicated journey
- 10 things you need to know today: July 28, 2014
- The forgotten victims of the war in Ukraine
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Are there too many good shows on television?
Subscribe to the Week