RE: [asa] How theistic evolution was explained to kids in 1964 (stars and wonder)

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Tue Jul 29 2008 - 17:10:01 EDT

I'm going through some knowledge books with my 7 year old son now. We started about 2 weeks ago, and first up is the cosmos (galaxies, solar system, and planets). How hot is the sun? Which planet is the farthest from the sun? What is a black hole? All that stuff. It is good for me, too, as I'm also learning and I appreciate even more the majesty of God. Wow, our planet is so special and unique, 2/3 covered with water (instead of covered with sulfuric acid clouds at a 460 degrees surface temperature, like Venus). Then, to see all the stars in the Milky Way, and the Sun is just one of 400 billion stars in this one galaxy... kind of puts things in perspective!


From: [] On Behalf Of Iain Strachan
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 12:26 PM
Subject: [asa] How theistic evolution was explained to kids in 1964

I wonder how many people on the list were first inspired to take an interest in science with the "How and Why Wonder Books" series? The first of these books that I got as a kid was the How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs & the amazing facts presented in it were a true marvel to an 8 year-old and sparked my lifelong interest in science. All my schoolfriends and I were entranced by the descriptions of these enormous creatures that lived all those millions of years ago.

Today, in clearing out the loft, I came across these books stacked away and long since forgotten. I found the following marvellous section in the How and Why Wonder Book of Primitive Man, written in 1964. It struck me as a very inspiring and straightforward explanation of how to reconcile evolution and belief in God:

When Darwin's books on evolution were printed a hundred years ago, many people said Darwin did not believe in God's plan, but in a horrible universe run by lucky accidents and greedy fighting.  They said he was making man out to be nothing more than a brainy ape.  But these people need not have worried.  The theory of evolution says certain things happened.  It does not say, and it could not say, why those things happened.  If God made the world and runs the world, then evolution is God's plan.  And it is a majestic and beautiful plan.  With evolution, even accidents are part of the plan of life, and even the lowest creature is part of the family life.  The theory of evolution does not say man is only a brainier kind of ape.  It says that for two thousand million years living forms were tried and improved and tried and improved in preparation for the arrival of man as we know him upon the scene of life upon the earth.
   Donald Barr - 1964
Just thought I'd like to share it with the list.
Non timeo sed caveo
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Received on Tue Jul 29 17:10:39 2008

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