Who I am and Why I created Evolution and Us
If you read Evolution and Us, you may be tempted to think that I am a staunch Atheist that has lived my life reliant on the wisdom of science and wholly separate from religion and faith. That assumption does not even approach the truth.
While I do consider myself an Agnostic, I was not always of this mind. In fact, I was raised and lived the majority of my life (into my early thirties) as a member of a very strict, although slightly askew, Christian faith. And, I structured my life, including my marriage, around the tenants of that faith.
It wasn’t until I left the faith tradition of my family that I began to have a desire to understand how the world really works. After all, prior to leaving my religion, I thought I understood everything. The world seemed pretty simple, and, lucky for me, I had it all figured out.
It turns out that when you base every aspect of your life on a dogmatic architecture, you can become very confused and even depressed, when you decide to set that architecture aside.
That’s what happened to me.
I was left questioning everything in my life — my education and career choice; my nationality and sense of patriotism; my family history; my place in the world; and even my marriage. Fortunately, I was able to get through most of this relatively quickly (only took me about a year) and I was able to discover a sense of purpose in my life that I had never actually felt before.
Also, I discovered a renewed energy for learning and obtaining knowledge. This passion for new information eventually led me to the study of evolution. I began to read printed books, and to listen to both audio books and some very interesting discussions that have taken place on various podcasts.
You can check out the resources I’ve found informative here.
I’ve continued on in my pursuit to understand evolution and, rather than becoming satiated, my appetite for information about the evolutionary process and its affects on us continues to grow.
I thirst for it as if it were water. Darwin summed it up well in the quote below.
When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has had a history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, nearly in the same way as when we look at any great mechanical invention as the summing up of the labour, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting, I speak from experience, will the study of natural history become! — Charles Darwin
What I’ve found is that many of the questions I’ve struggled with about life, myself, and society in general can be answered either directly through the theory of evolution and the research related to it, or indirectly through the principles of evolution, which I have outlined here.
So What About Church?
While I do consider myself an Agnostic that does not mean that I am closed off to the idea of a higher intelligence, oneness with the universe, or an unexplained power beyond my own.
When I first lost my faith, I found it difficult to feel anything but disdain for religion. I saw religion as an elaborate lie used to control people in a way that was extremely burdensome and unhealthy. In my specific experience, I even felt a strong sense of betrayal at the hands of my religion.
But, as I’ve studied evolution, a strange thing has happened — I’ve began to see the evolutionary value of religion. And, based on the principles of evolution that I’ve come to understand, I see how evolution helps to explain the continued success of religions.
This is not to say that I believe the tenants of any religion are true. I’m just saying that from a survival perspective, I get it.
I’ve also had some experiences since abandoning my faith that I would consider spiritual. They were as powerful or perhaps even more powerful than anything I experienced in Christianity. However, I don’t believe they are related to an all-powerful being. Rather, they seemed to be more about my connection with the natural world, my genetic ancestors, and myself.
If you’re interested in reading more about how I see that evolution explains religion, let me know by highlighting this paragraph.
Onward and Upward
Now that I have found an appreciation and a passion for evolution, I am intent on pursuing a deeper understanding of the principle and how it affects me (and you) every day. Please take the time to read through the various pages and articles I have shared here on Evolution and Us, and let me know your thoughts.
Hopefully something I have to say will help you along your way (that rhymed!). If you have questions or comments please share — I love it when people share.
And, if you feel inclined to share you own story, I would love to read about it. You can always contact me by visiting the Contact Page.
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And again, welcome to Evolution and Us. Thanks!