2012-08-09 – Today, 8/09/2012, is launch day for my reconstituted blog. I’ve done three posts to give you some basic information about the blog. This fourth post is my first “real” post.
It’s dark now when I get up. It wasn’t like this a couple weeks ago. By the time I shower and get my stuff together and walk the dog and get out the door, it’s light, but the sun isn’t up yet. In a couple of weeks the sky will still be dark when I leave the house. The constellation Orion will still be visible in the sky with the Dog Star Sirius. It’s the dog days of summer, after all.
The first few blocks of my walk to the train go through a city park. I love this part of the walk for the even small distance it provide between me and city life. Sure, I can still hear the air conditioners thrumming from the surrounding houses and traffic from the streets beyond and even the clacking of early commuter trains at a greater distance. But in the park there are also the sounds of crickets and birds tweeting and hooting. The cicadas are quiet at this hour but once in a while you hear the tiny jackhammer of a woodpecker. The grass that was brown and dry a week ago is now green and moist with the morning dew.
Last week I began taking the pictures for my blog during my morning walk. Colors are vibrant in the twilight of the predawn. But each day it changes. I’ve seen it before, through cycles of years. And each level of light has another truth that it reveals. This was true thirty years ago as I biked the lakefront watching the ever changing colors of the water and it is true today as I watch changes in sky and foliage.
Earlier this week, I downloaded a new book to my iPad. I had been reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It had come up on a search for light and funny fiction. It may be funny fiction, but it is not light and it was going very slowly, so I decided to switch to my standby: nonfiction. Amazon recommended a book with the ponderous title Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology) by Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb. So I went from the light and funny title, which wasn’t to the ponderous, which I am just getting into.
You never know what a book will turn out to be in the light of day.
The thing that attracted me to the evolution book was the idea that these authors were going to be arguing for certain scientific challenges to the classical understanding of Darwinian evolution. You can do this in science. Ideas are not static. They develop, as the scene in my park changes, as the sun rises and becomes a bright light in the sky.
Creationism doesn’t change. As it was written, so it remains.
Some folks find that comforting. It is a rock of certainty that they can hold fast to. And I can understand that. But it is like the verse from the Bible: “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hastened not to go down about a whole day.” (Joshua 10:13)
Majestic. But, to me life is in the rising and setting of the sun, moving South during this season, moving North next Spring, South again next summer and so on for millions of years.
And when I’m done with my book on evolution I’ll get back to Wallace’s Infinite Jest.