Saturday, June 04, 2005

Darwin Revisited

I have been thinking a great deal this week about 2 dominant creation narratives I see and what their implications are.

Narrative #1: The Judeo-Christian-Muslim (and probably several others) Narrative

God created the world with hope and life and purpose. He created human beings to create and to care for the whole of the cosmos, beginning with the birds and trees and animals and what-have-you. History will eventually culminate in God's Kingdom breaking forth and eternal peace and justice will be served. History is going somewhere, we are invited to be a part of God's Kingdom now, and to help invite others into the healing of/mending of/caring for/redeeming of this world.

Narrative #2: Darwinian Evolution Narrative

Sludge became intelligent and grew legs. Species fought for existence. Survival of the fittest. Natural selection. Only the strong survive. Get to the top to ensure longevity. Who knows where it goes, but Darwin's thoughts have been transmitted, in this age of holism, to social structures: survival of the fittest, climing the ladder, etc.

So, for most of this week, I have been saying that I might be able to buy into these two stories working together, but their social implications are starkly different: caring for the poor vs. caring for myself, the last will be first vs. the first will be first and will stomp out the last, etc.

I had a breakthrough last night. Mind if I share it?

What if these two narratives are harmonious after all? What if 'the fittest' isn't what we think it is?

Let's go back some tens of thousands of years ago. Dinosaurs ruled the earth, right? They would have seemed the fittest. All big and on their way to the top, but then they crash for some odd reason. No one is totally sure why.

Or let's bring it into the here-and-now. Remember Enron? Perhaps appeared to be the fittest. Or what about SUVs with all their "GET THE HELL OFF THE ROAD OR I'LL RUN YOU OVER" sort of superiority?

Or what about Babylon? Greece? Rome? The USSR? These empires crumbled. Perhaps ours will soon as well.

But weren't all these set up to be 'the fittest'? Perhaps as the Kingdom of God breaks into our present from God's future, the fittest will survive. Perhaps the fittest are those who live in rhythm with God? Perhaps those who seek others before themselves are the ones who actually are 'the fittest'? Perhaps those who choose not to climb that damn corporate ladder, or those who take vows of poverty, or those who serve the least of these will be called greatest in the Kingdom and will be called 'the fittest' by Darwin?

I understand that there is probably a great deal flawwed with my logic, but there it is, rawness and all.

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