Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature

Oh, and while I was rambling I completely forgot I also wanted to mention that I just finished listening to the audiobook version of Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande. I read from the ARC some, then listened to most of it on CD way back last month, but was finally able to finish it today, and I have to say–hurrah! Great job. Brande does a really great job at explaining the point of view of the many, many people of faith who also believe that science is learning things that perhaps God had a hand in, but also that science and especially the teaching of science in public schools don’t make a claim as to exactly how that fits into a particular belief system.

I loved going to BYU, actually, because it supported my belief in both. My geology class at BYU was an amazing experience, even if it was the only class I’ve ever flunked. Okay, that was more because it was an 8am class and oh, you DO NOT turn out the lights and show slides for an 8 AM class! I never knew half what was going on, and more’s the pity because what I did hear was amazing, and for that very reason I wanted to believe that I could stay awake and didn’t drop it. And what I did learn (among other things, I promise) was how geology fit into the personal worldview of my teacher as a practicing Mormon–something you can have a conversation about at a private religious college, of course. It was fascinating, and what I got most out of it is that there’s still a lot of the miraculous in science, and if we believe (meaning all people of faith who believe in A god) that God created the world, then perhaps the things we learn about in evolution can teach us about the possible means by which he (or if you so believe, she) did it.

Anyway, if that even made sense at this hour, there’s an excellent interview at the end that Robin Brande does with … a scientist much like the teacher character she creates in the book, whose name has escaped me, and it’s really pithy stuff. He was the author of Finding Darwin’s God, a book that explored Darwin’s belief system, and now that’s on my want-to-read pile.

Highly recommend Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature. Realism, teen girl angsty, but bringing religion in as a way of bringing the character’s inner life to life. And it’s just dang funny. I really liked how it portrayed this girl’s religious life positively, even while exploring the cattiness of a high school clique, without condemning the clique for being religious (rather, for being hypocritical and… the word escapes me. I got nothin’. I give up for the night).

Good night. Next time I recommend a book, I promise to do it while fully awake. I just didn’t want to forget about this!