Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Abrahamic Darwinism

OK. The title is a little provocative and I don't really want to go too deep philosophically, religiously or biologically as all three areas are over my head, but I was thinking recently about an old friend, a wildlife biologist and good LDS guy, who told me some years back about a theory he had that the Abrahamic Covenant was the same thing as the biological law of natural selection--Darwinism. The idea is best reflected in the concept of the explosion of life to find its natural place in this world much like the "sands of the sea" or the "stars of the heavens" compared to the number of Abraham's promised descendants.

There is a book I read about the same time by a non-LDS but Christian author who hit on some of the same themes. It is not an overtly religious book. In fact, it's an amateur naturalist's wonderfully written description of a year on the slopes of Mt. Rainier. He was a veteran of the First World War who took his newlywed wife to spend an isolated winter as caretakers of the lodge at Paradise. (Yes, that's the real name). The book is by Floyd Schmoe, A Year in Paradise (The Mountaineers, Seattle 1959, 1979), and still in print!

Schmoe chronicals his observations of nature with a little history of the mountain and the National Park. He interweaves some great personal stories of the adventures he and his young wife had making a home in frozen isolation midst astounding beauty while she was expecting their child. He was fascinated by growing life as plants burst forth along with the coming childbirth:
This preoccupation with reproduction on the part of the plants has always interested me, and never more so than the summer we were awaiting our first child. All the vast energy of the growing organism is channeled in this one direction. . . .
No plant or animal believes in a second chance, an afterworld. "Heaven" is a concept for fearful men. To the plant there is no end to this world. In a very real sense each individual plant lives on in its descendants. Each seed or spore is a tiny, highly potent bundle of life. With its germination and growth the plant in effect gets a new lease on life, catches its breath, gets its "second wind." In reality life has not ceased. The parent plant, tired from the struggle, merely passes the ball on to a new carrier.
This is procreation, but creation is something more than reproduction. If the life passed on has been enriched, expanded, glorified, then procreation becomes creation. Creation hints strongly of immortality and eternity. . . .
With man, and it seems to me with other animals also, a great intangible enters the process and insures that procreation will also be creative. This element is love. Love desires good for the offspring, and desire is the greatest stimulant to the seeking out and finding of the ingredients of success and attainment.
Schmoe at 143-144 (emphasis in the original).

Sounds a lot like the Abrahamic Covenant to me.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen H.

      It is available from Amazon as linked above (I ought to sign up for their promoter program.) I found my copy at the Santa Fe, NM library discard sale.

    2. Thanks. Will check the used book store and then Amazon.


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