“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968


Friday, 15 August 2014

British ingenuity alive and well in Orpington.

We recently paid a visit to Down House the home of Charles Darwin. The house and especially the Head Gardener's tour of the grounds, where Darwin carried out many of the experiments that helped him formulate the theory of evolution, was certainly interesting enough. The top floor of the house is given over to an exhibition detailing the development of Darwin's work and his struggle with the scientific and religious orthodoxy of the day; a visit should possibly be mandatory for all creationist Islamo-Christian funda-mentals. But that's just my opinion!
The journey to Down House involved waiting for a bus in Orpington and we used the time to wander around the shops. It was here, in a local bakers , that we came across an interesting example of both evolution and the British ingenuity exemplified by Darwin's grandfather Josiah Wedgwood. I refer to the evolution of the Cornish Pasty. I am normally pretty conservative when it comes to pasties and reckon that the traditional filling takes some beating but I was unable to resist The Breakfast Pasty.  This gastronomic masterpiece consisted of egg, bacon, sausage and beans IN A PASTY. And they say that the age of British ingenuity finished with the hovercraft.

1 comment:

Dr Llareggub said...

Caught the comment about Darwin's struggle with religious orthodoxy. It wasn't much of a struggle as it fitted well with mainstream Christianity which accepted evolution as part of God's plan, although they are still debating the randomness in the theory. In Darwin's time some of the fundies were looking stupid and Bishop Usher's calculation of the age of the world was a bit of a joke. However, Darwin's appeal to geological evidence of the age of the Earth just bounced off the fundies. If God can create the world in a week, then he could create one that is quite old, just as Adam was created with a set of teeth. There was, and still are, scientific problems with the theory, but as the President of the Linnean Society concluded after Darwin and Wallace's papers on evolution had been presented -'It was a year in which nothing of any significance had been reported'. The Huxley debate - a storm in a Victorian tea-cup. Religion and fundamentalism has nothing to fear from Darwinism, but fundies ought to fear attacks on their philosophical absurdities. Dawkins can no more refute religion with his biology, just as he failed to provide Thatcherism with a biological basis for its philosophy of selfishness. If you want to undermine religion,go for its philosophical premises, science cannot touch it.

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