Explorations: my author blog
“Why listen lady,” he said with a grin of delight, “the monks of old slept in their coffins!”
“They wasn’t as advanced as we are,” the old woman said. (From “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”, in The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor, Hardcover, 17th edition, FS&G 1981, page 149.)
G.K. Chesterton once wrote a poem about evolution. Its refrain went something like this: “Evolution – up, up, up/Evolutes us on, on, on”. Similarly, C.S. Lewis compared evolution to a sailor climbing the rigging of a sinking ship. My point isn’t that evolution is false. On the contrary, it is as solidly proven as a scientific theory can be. Evolution certainly happens. And so does progress. But evolution is full of turning back and cross breeding and dead ends, and progress is very far from linear. It’s a serious mistake to think that, just because people lived before us – say, a generation or so – we are more advanced than they are.
( Fierce mother with smoking gun, 1934-) (This image is taken from the 1934 "Man Who Knew Too Much", and you can find it and other stills from the film here.)