There are people that are secure in their belief that evolution is just a scientific theory. Not a theory like gravity, because they can drop stuff and see it fall to the floor. They see evolution as more a theory like the destruction of the ozone layer is causing climate change. They can see the climate change as it effects their daily life, they just can’t see how the use of fossil fuels makes things worse. I just can’t abide that.

Georgia has a Senatorial candidate that has dispelled the theory of evolution with the logic that “if man was descended from the apes, how come there’s still apes?” That’s not the most Herschel thing he’s said, but it does give an example of a person that is ignorant about a topic pontificating to a group of similar minded folk. Their ignorance confirms their suspicions, and everyone is happy to move along.

From Wikipedia: Is the theory of evolution a scientific fact?

Biologists consider it to be a scientific fact that evolution has occurred in that modern organisms differ from past forms, and evolution is still occurring with discernible differences between organisms and their descendants.”

It’s fun to discuss whether babies have innate fears of snakes and spiders and how those fears got planted in their little brains. My take is that it’s a survival of the species, natural selection type thing, but I’m willing to listen to the other arguments. Where I’d like to detour the argument/theory of evolution is in the area of personal growth and how that personal growth affects the general zeitgeist.

We use the word “evolving” all of the time. An artist might say, “my work is constantly evolving”, a politician might say “my position on the matter is still evolving.” What we are referencing is personal growth. We are gathering information; our opinions are becoming more informed and we’re able to make better decisions because of the increase in knowledge. At least that’s how I think it’s supposed to work.

We then take our growth and share it with our children so that they don’t have to learn by repeating our mistakes. It’s bad enough for one generation to test sticking a paper clip into a wall socket, no need to let our children experience the shock of learning the hard way. We can inform them of a dangerous situation, and they can put it into their lexicon and pass it to their children. The family evolves and prospers from not continually repeating mistakes made by the previous generation. At least that’s how I think it’s supposed to work.

Think about the things we’ve had to learn over the centuries that we bake into our daily lives to keep us safe. Fire, floods, lightning, high winds are natural occurrences that our past experiences have formed how we prepare for them today. Past experience forms current policy, and we learn “never get involved in a land war in Asia” and to “never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” I digress, but only to point out that as we evolve, we learn what works, but more importantly what doesn’t work.

On August 25, 1994, the assault weapons ban was signed into law. We can argue at length why a sunset clause was written into the legislation, but let’s just agree that the sunset clause allowed politicians to “do nothing” and allow the manufacturers of assault weapons to continue on as before. I can just visualize the NRA congress critters meeting with the weapons manufacturers over brandy and cigars explaining to their donors, “It’s just for ten years and then think about the pent-up demand when the law is repealed. Here, we’ll sweeten the deal with constant ads appealing to law-and-order acolytes.” The death-dealers took a ten-year hiatus on some of their wares and then this happened:

We’ve seen the videos of the Uvalde police, et. al. paralyzed by the fear of facing an assault weapon while children were being slaughtered. A suggested cure for their paralysis was to up armor all police with assault weapons. Watch this video to see how that might not really be a viable solution. The chief of police in the video recognizes he has a teaching moment.

We learn what works, and what doesn’t work and then we pass that knowledge on to our children and their children and collectively as a society we grow and prosper. Banning assault weapons works, unrestricted guns don’t. It’s time to evolve to where we were in 1994, with no sunset clause. Evolve.

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