It happens that I have found myself recently involved in discussions of, and in thinking about, creation and evolution. This is a little surprising to me because it is essentially a settled question for me, and for most of the people I know. However, #1 daughter and I are reading Richard Dawkins together, and my Tuesday night class is contemplating creation.

One of the things that has led many believers in evolution to conclude that evolution itself was all God’s idea is the existence of the human conscience, and of goodness itself. C.S. Lewis has written on this topic with clarity and wit, and those who are interested in the question of ethics should read him. But The Selfish Gene argues that altruism and “being nice” are adaptive — so it is still all about reproductive success, and human consciousness is purely trimming. Dawkins — one of my favorite science writers — is not only a bold champion for evolution, but is also one of the most prominent and evangelical atheists of our day. (If you want to read a lot of interesting folks getting very het up over this, check out The Panda’s Thumb. If you want to read something by Dawkins, try this. And then go read his books, of course.)

The class Partygirl and I are taking holds a completely opposite view. If evolution rather than the literal 6-day creation took place, the materials argue, then not just the rest of the Bible, but all moral standards are unnecessary and irrelevant to our lives. If we refuse to accept literal accounts of creation, then we have to accept that all religions are false, and any philosophical views of our own are just more false religions that we have made up. (If you want a quick look at the idea of a moral law, check it out here.)

As is so often the case for me, I am not convinced by either of these extremes. I am enjoying reading and discussing Dawkins with my daughter. And I intend to keep my mouth shut in class.

This will surprise some of you. I like a good theoretical argument as much as the next fellow. Probably more, in fact, unless the next fellow is a member of my family. Around here, creation vs. evolution is small talk.

However, what I like is a nice theoretical disagreement, not one which involves anger, personal attacks, or people deciding that I need to be saved.  I’ll just discuss this with my daughter.

And I’d love to hear what you think.

I finished the knitting of the Headline News cap. I had given up entirely on the instructions, and just decreased as best I could figure out as I went along. Here it is blocking. The variations in color are the result of dampness, but the oddity of the stitches comes from figuring it out as I went along.


Taking the whole thing out and beginning again, or perhaps giving up entirely, might be a good idea, but blocking can do wonders. I will wait and see. I also have not completed the finishing of the brim, though it is knitted.

I can’t really recommend this pattern. It might have worked better had I followed the instructions precisely, but I doubt it. I dislike idiosyncratic abbreviations like “pu” and “sm,” even if I think I figured out what they meant (I had copied the pattern from a library book –there might have been a key in there somewhere). It seems counter-productive. Why not just use the standard terms? And the brim, though it is clever, is not as attractive in its shaping as it could have been. It does appear that my hat will turn out to be, as another knitter described it, a baseball cap rather than a newsie cap.

I may give this one to a little girl and make another in a larger gauge. If so, I might go ahead and follow the directions exactly and see what happens. Really, who knows what I might do?