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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Evolution vs. Creationism

Okay, so the title is more of a hook than a descriptor. This post will be about evolution, and creationism, but mostly about the much loved Mr Charles Darwin and artworks inspired by his theories and life's work. I'd like to open with my song-of-the-moment 'Charlie Darwin' by the Low Anthem whose beautiful melodies can soundtrack this post.

If you like the song I suggest you don't read on to find a deeper meaning in it, it's prettier if you don't. However, for those interested, Prystowsky, a band member, said of the song:
'What does love mean if survival of the fittest is actually the way that everything came to be?[...] It’s such a cutting theory to think that maybe our feelings of love and connection to our fellow man are somehow in our own interest, that they’re selfish . . . . That has a significant impact on the art that you make and the way you live your life.'
Moving on. The publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species alongside new discoveries in geology and paleontology forced victorians to realise that the world was far older than the bible ever suggested. This nurtured a fascination with pre-human worlds in a time when most believed in The Creation; and gave birth to an new artistic vision that attempted to deal with the religious consequences of the geological discoveries.

Robert Farrena, An Earlier Dorseta (circa. 1850)
'Evolution' at Burning Man, Nevada
Darwin has inspired such varied artworks as sculptures, like the depiction of the evolution of homosapiens (right), to stencil art (below).
'EVOL-ution', stencil art by KrieBeL

What prompted me to write this post was an oil on canvas called 'Darwin took steps' by Glendon Mellow. I saw it first at the Science Online conference 2010 and something about it really resonated with me. I particularly like his incorporation of Darwin's famous Tree of Life sketch (left) but mostly I just think he's a talented artist and love this piece.

'Darwin took steps', Glendon Mellow
Another artwork in a similar vein is that of Kilrizzy who edited this image together:

'Darwin, "I Think..."',Kilrizzy
I'd like to leave you with a piece of art that a young friend of mine drew for me that is a conglomeration of the ideas expressed in the other artworks I've featured. She expresses her angst at the geological propaganda steering her from her faith yet proclaims her belief in the path she's chosen. I pray you take this in the vein it is in intended.

Rebecca Louise Anne Frost, 11

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