July 26, 2009

Story of My Life # 2 - On Evolution, Me & The Fourth Grade

Story of My Life #2 - On Evolution, Me & The Fourth Grade

There are a few things in my life that can be accountable for most of my neurotic but lovable self; and since this is Story of My Life you’ll probably get to hear most of the eventually, like right now.

Even though I wouldn’t call myself a devout Catholic, I was born and raised one and yet, for 11 years, I attended a Seventh Day Adventist school, all because said hell hole was right across the street from my grandma’s house.

When I was in the Fourth Grade we had a unit on how the world was created in Science. Now, if you have been around as many Adventists, Christians and hard core Catholics as I have, you’ll probably know some of them aren’t too keen on the idea of Evolution, in fact some of them will deny it until their last breath, and that’s just the way of things.

That day, all the way back in fourth grade, when I was expecting an explanation about Darwin and Natural Selection and such (my cousin was two grades ahead of me and in a different school, so I had some idea of what was coming, since I sometimes read her textbooks); I got a kid-friendly version of the first couple of chapters of the Genesis. When the teacher was done I raised my hand and when he finally acknowledged it – they were a bit chauvinistic at my school, mind you, girls almost always got called last – I asked “What about Evolution?”

What followed was a very long half hour of the teacher laughing at me and asking me if I really believe that I - not us, not humans in general, but I - came from monkeys. And that was the extent of the explanation I got. Oh and I got called Monkey-Girl for about two months after that.

Back then I couldn’t understand what the heck was the big deal, my parents were Catholics and people of science at the same time –they both have degrees in Chemistry- and it had never been a problem for them to believe in Evolution and in God. I never thought I would get in trouble for believing the same.

When I read the summary for Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature, Evolution Me and other freaks of naturea little part of me went back to the fourth grade and as I began to read Mena’s story I remembered a few things about back then, so it was very easy for me to identify with her and her struggle between believing in God and in science and her ultimate realization that even if she hadn’t figured out all the details, she believed both.

Since I left that Adventist school almost a decade ago, I transferred to a public prep school and went on to a failed attempt at studying journalism and eventually ended up studying and getting a degree in biology and even though I no longer identify myself as Catholic the way I was raised, God continues to be an important presence in my life.

The key of it - as I learned and as Mena learns in Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature- is in finding the balance. I have science to explain to me any number of things and I have my Faith to sustain me when science cannot. And, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the perfect arrangement.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments produce endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands. *giggle*

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.