Jan 20, 2009 | 6
The greatest scientists often become the centerpiece of theater or musical works that expropriate their images and ideas as emblems of a particular historical era. Sometimes such a dramatic device works as intended. Einstein on the Beach, Philip Glass’s lengthy meditation on the physicist’s life and his role as a pivotal figure of the Atomic Age, comes to mind.
Just as often, the scientist as icon leads the artist astray. This year’s observance of the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth and the sesquicentennial of the publication of his masterwork, On The Origin of Species, means that it is now the 19th-century naturalist’s turn to become an object of artistic and historical license.
Sep 16, 2008 | 44
A spokesman for the Anglican Church says it should admit it wronged Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution is still considered anti-Christian in some circles, even as it's become a cornerstone of science.
"The Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still," Rev. Malcolm Brown writes on a church Web site marking next year's 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species.
"There is nothing here that contradicts Christian teaching," he says, adding that the church's "reaction now seems misjudged."
While the church didn't take an official stance against Darwin, its officials — in a widely publicized 1860 debate — made nasty arguments against his theory that species evolve through natural selection, the church says on its Web site. Today, some fundamentalist Christians argue that evolution can't co-exist with the biblical story of creation — a concept gaining new traction thanks to Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who believes creationism should be taught along with evolution in schools.
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