The ascent of man hardly paints a scintillating picture of evolution; the figures are all heading toward the same gloomy path in a manner that is only comparable to the average resident of Grimsby. In addition, the insistence by Richard Dawkins to rationalise every aspect of human life that in turn has changed the absence of belief into a rabid, proselytising non-religion.
But reason and rationality holds no sway with Creationism, instead they imagine a hugely more enjoyable pre-modern existence allowing humans and dinosaurs to coexist (who doesn’t want to nip down to the local Co-op on the back of a Triceratops?). Creationism also casts God in a similar role to Richard O’Brien circa The Crystal Maze, setting traps and tests for all humans, which combines the belief in the impossible with the egotism of a minor celebrity.
This glib dressing belies a serious point, that evolution requires more belief than the other alternatives. It’s easy to have a fully enclosed system of being when the answer to all questions is God, but the quest for knowledge requires patience and an understanding that not everything has or will have an answer. My jaw is constantly agog when I meet people who don’t believe evolution, not because I am a thought-dictator (well, I am to some extent), but because of their selective need for evidence. To point out the holes in evolution, most of which are a sad indictment of basic science education only to unsubscribe when it comes to proving their own can only be called hypocritical.
But these fickle dalliances with rationality are to be expected from all religions; love thy neighbour as long as they don’t show an over-active interest in interior design; be good and be admitted into heaven/Valhalla only if you believe that type of God; freedom of speech and liberty is permitted as long as it doesn’t hurt the feelings of the Almighty God.
Science in the end has been undone by its own definitions, or inherent lack of. As with any academic area, the need to be precise is key, but the ability to create a comprehensive definition that withstands the test of time is an impossibility. A theory must stay a theory as the continual quest for knowledge can support it one day but render it as useless as Ed Miliband in the Daily Mail HQ the next. Whilst evolution is thus far scientifically proven, the research spanning multiple different fields could raise fundamental questions as to its validity, but instead dubbing it blasphemous and burying them, they will form the centrepiece of new studies and further explored. The scientific belief in reason seeks to question all we know; the religious belief in the unknown questions reason itself.