The following is a poem by Wendell Berry. I hold him in some of my highest respects, so I hope I am not infringing on his property rights by publishing this here. I am fascinated with the theory of the origin of species by natural selection in the struggle for life. My big problem is that the two arguing camps have not discussed whether or not the country pastor who is the father of this theory had any internal struggle between his faith and what he was seeing and discovering. I think he did not have such a personal struggle, especially because at the end of his publication he acknowledges the one who must have created all of this, in all of its unthinkable complexity and unthinkable connectedness. I hope that by the time Darwin's 300th birthday rolls around, it will be well understood that the argument has nothing to do with the integrity of God's Word or the integrity of the scientific process, but that they are both corroborated by one another. Happy 200th birthday, Sir Darwin.
WHILE ATTENDING THE ANNUAL CONVOCATION
OF CAUSE THEORISTS AND BIGBANGISTS AT THE
LOCAL PROVINCIAL RESEARCH UNIVERSITY, THE
MAD FARMER INTERCEDES FROM THE BACK ROW
"Chance" is a poor word among
the mazes of causes and effects, the last
stand of these all-explainers who,
backed up to the first and final Why,
reply, "By chance, of course!" As if
that tied up ignorance with a ribbon.
In the beginning something by chance
existed that would bang and by chance
it banged, obedient to the by-chance
previously existing laws of existence
and banging, from which the rest proceeds
by logic of cause and effect also
previously existing by chance? Well,
when all that happened who was there?
Did the chance that made the bang then make
the Bomb, and there was no choice, no help?
Prove to me that chance did ever
make a sycamore tree, a yellow-
throated warbler nesting and singing
high up among the white limbs
and the golden leaf-light, and a man
to love the tree, the bird, the song
his life long, and by his love to save
them, so far, from all the machines.
By chance? Prove it, then, and I
by chance will kiss your ass.