from one baby

I may be jumping straight into the deep end here with nary a floater round my arm, but, however, and nonetheless. This morning I drove the car (instead of riding the bus) to work and so could listen to NPR, which program was featuring a story on the evolution of pigmentation in human skin, and how it may have taken as little as 2,500 years to go from black to white or vice versa, and may still be evolving in people groups (i.e., race is fluid).

And, you know, the (Darwinian) mechanism of evolution is the random mutation: one baby is born with a gene that produces melatonin, and then his family moves north a little and he’s better able to adapt to the UV-content of the sunlight there, and so he survives his non-melatonin-gene-carrying brothers and sisters and lives to produce children who carry his gene, and they survive their cousins and peers and so on until everyone has the melatonin-producing gene and they can all move a little further north because their skin is adaptable to periods of sun and shade. But all from one baby.

The thing that struck me is the parallel with the Kingdom of God: that it’s like a tiny bit of leavened dough, that was hidden in a whole mess of unleavened dough, and slowly leavens the whole thing. And it’s like the spread of discipleship to Jesus, too: that from a tiny band of followers — and let’s face it, the odds against them were massive — the life of Jesus spreads and spreads and a mere 2,000 years later it covers the earth. It’s even Spencerian — that followers of Christ were strong enough to withstand even unusual punishment by the status quo, that they were fittest to survive. You might say that Christ-following evolved, from a tiny spiritual mutation: the notion that righteousness does not come from being ‘in’ with the ‘in’ crowd, but from knowing Jesus and being known. (Or even, not to be too clever about it, from one baby).

So there: I’ve proposed a (semi-mystical) connection/correlation between faith and evolutionary theory. There may be an element of design in it after all. Now, take me to task…

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