Throughout the quarter we have dedicated a fair amount of time to debating “The Wait.” This period in Darwin’s life is the 20 years between when he first began developing his theory of Evolution while aboard the H.M.S. Beagle and when he finally published his masterpiece, On the Origin of Species (1859). We have discussed many different possibilities that likely worked together to yield this wait, including his sickness, his other academic ambitions, his fear of being wrong and the list goes on. In the play Trumpery by Peter Parnell, which is now being put on in the Olney Theater, the long wait is attributed to an internal conflict within Darwin between Science and Religion.
Though the question of his religious struggles may not be supported by much information, it does present an interesting and compelling dialogue. A famous quote from the play comes as Darwin says, “If I finish my book, I’m a killer. I murder God.” For me this is a very interesting idea, because I live by my faith, but also understand and agree with creation through the forces of Evolution. I do not see God and the literal word of the Bible as linked together, but at the time of Darwin that was the stance of the church. Then if you were to image Darwin as a person of devout faith, he would certainly have had to struggle with whether his theory was worth destroying faith. I believe, however, that faith has survived, but the question does remain, is there a scientific discovery that would destroy my faith? At the moment I think of faith and science as controlling two different worlds of my life, but still I don’t want to deny science the opportunity to try and answer the questions that I have answered through my faith.
The final piece of the article that I would like to touch upon is the director, Jim Petosa’s comments about why Darwin. He talked about how Darwin “has made an enormous impact on the modern worldview.” I think an important part of Petosa’s comment that isn’t overtly said is that Darwin did not just change the way the scientific community saw the world. He is very clear that Darwin changed the way the entire world saw the view. I think this change was both in the general population’s understanding of the process of evolution, as well as their understanding of what is certain. Charles Darwin helped people to realize that just because we’ve always thought in a particular way, that doesn’t mean that we are thinking about it in the right way.
Full Article: http://baltimore.broadwayworld.com/article/TRUMPERY_Plays_Olney_Theatre_Center_6974_20100514