Monday, February 16, 2009

In Honor of Darwin

Last week was Darwin's 200th birthday and many publications took this as an occasion to write about this great man and his work. Even though this has nothing to do with personal finance, I decided to also use the opportunity and celebrate the birth of one of the most creative and influential people ever born, while also telling you something about myself.

I consider myself somewhat of an empiricist and fancy myself a rationalist, someone who uses the available facts and a rational theory to make his decisions and to inform his view of the world. Where God is concerned, I am an agnostic, but only to the extent that I can't prove that God doesn't exist, much like I can't prove that fairies don't exist either (sorry for stealing that one from Richard Dawkin's recent book). Darwin's work is an inspiration to me. This is a man who single handedly developed a rational, empirical and amazingly testable theory that explains the origins of humankind and of every other living organism on the face of this planet. And he did so through hard work, brilliant deduction and inspired leaps of logic. Is there any higher honor or calling? Do you need any further proof that humans are an incredible species? By the way, did you know that the theory of evolution was also independently developed by Russel Wallace?

This is a man whose work underlies much of my own philosophy and perception of the world. It is people like Darwin, and Newton, and Watt to which we owe modern life as we know it, and science is the tool with which they have given us this bounty.

I would like to end this post with a quote from Kurt Vonnegut's "Timequake" which mirror's my own view of the world and of what I aspire to be:
"Humanists try to behave decently and honorably without any expectations of rewards or punishments in an afterlife. The creator of the universe has been to us unknowable so far. We serve as well as we can the highest abstraction of which we have some understanding, which is our community."
What have creationists done for us lately? (or ever?)

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frugal zeitgeist said...
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frugal zeitgeist said...

I particularly liked the part in President Obama's inaugural speech when he spoke about restoring science to its rightful place. It gave me the chills, and for once I'm not talking about the flu.

I get the best anti-spam words on your blog. Today: "probworm"

Shadox said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better... :-)