Charles Darwin’s ideas, for example, have been culturally and philosophically resonant ever since they were first unveiled in 1859. Indeed, they’ve never provoked more vibrant debates than they do today. Darwin was perhaps the last scientist who could present his research in a way accessible to general readers; today, it’s hard to present original findings without a forbidding array of equations, or a specialised vocabulary. ‘On the Origin of Species’, which he described as ‘one long argument’ underpinning his theory, ranks highly as a work of literature. It changed our perception of human beings by revealing that we were an outcome of a grand evolutionary process that can be traced back to the beginning of life on Earth …
Today, it’s a real intellectual deprivation to be blind to the marvellous vision offered by Darwinism and by modern cosmology – the chain of emergent complexity leading from a ‘big bang’ to stars, planets, biospheres, and human brains able to ponder the wonder and the mystery of it all. Concepts such as these should be part of the public conversation. So too should some conception of the natural environment and the principles that govern the biosphere and climate. Science is the one culture that all humans can share: protons, proteins and Pythagoras’ theorem are the same the world over.Martin Rees, “The good scientist” at Aeon
This is astonishing to read because Darwinism entrenched racism as a scientific concept (as opposed the chest-thumping by drunken oafs); it did pretty much the opposite of making us all one culture. And so much modern cosmology is hard to distinguish from a flight from reality.
It sounds like he really believes it. Well that might be the world as Martin Rees needs to see it.