Darwin’s pessimism and Flannery’s hope

Published in 2010, the year when the author reaped the distinguished award as Australian of the Year, Tim Flannery’s book, Here on Earth: an Argument for Hope, offers a ray of hope in salvaging the last remaining species of the planet and in regaining the lost functioning of the Earth’s life-support systems.

Published by The Text Publishing Company, Vic 2010

The battle to avert an impending apocalype is to resuscitate Gaia– derived from John Lovelock’s theory that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. This self-support system, however, has been imperiled by men’s greed. Flannery argues that men have waged war against nature. Men have turned Gaia-killers. Among the notable examples is detailed in Rachel Garlson’s book, Silent Spring. The book inllustrates the entent of how capitalists have murdered birds and other species when DDT was used as pesticide in the US in the 1950’s. Certainly, there are other human follies that destroyed the life support systems of the earth such as through massive carbon emissions and wanton logging. Although many NGOs have convened and proposed solutions, the inactivity of many advanced nations are delaying the action that help avert an impending apocalypse.

Flannery outlines the theories of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace focussing on the origin of species, the concept of natural selection and the survival of the fittest. Species evolve through time and they differentiate through time and according to their environment; and those who adapt well survive and those who do not perish.

The survival of the fittest in the animal kingdom that has prevailed throughout history. The war is not only man against man but man against nature. Darwinian theory is devoid of morality and spirituality.

Time has changed though. There is a universal awakening that believes only love and compassion can save what is remaining on earth. Flannery is offering the wisdom of ancient past. Only love can heal humanity and can perhaps bring back the life-support system of Gaia.

Meanwhile, I picked a DVD from the video shop to see a movie related to Darwin, and lucky enough I got this: CREATION

Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin

Opened in 2009, Creation portrays Darwin as a man who suffered anguish resulting from his work and discovery. A responsible family man, he knew however, that although “there is no God’, the church and religion hold the fabric of society together. He was haunted by the death of species such as a tiny bird which could be eaten and consumed by worms so that that the food chain will continue. From decomposed species give life to plants and so on. The death of his child pushed him to see phantoms and led his body to exhaustion.

If Darwin’s remarkable contribution to science is to be reckoned with, indeed, the entire humanity is plagued into an abyss of pessimism. Flannery’s book, however, takes flight uplifting the spirit offering the world with new-found hope.

More about the movie:

Creation is a psychological, heart-wrenching love story starring Paul Bettany (A BEAUTIFUL MIND, MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD) as Charles Darwin, the film is based on “Annie’s Box,” a biography penned by Darwin’s great-great-grandson Randal Keynes using personal letters and diaries of the Darwin family. We take a unique and inside look at Darwin, his family and his love for his deeply religious wife, played by Jennifer Connelly (A BEAUTIFUL MIND, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM), as, torn between faith and science, Darwin struggles to finish his legendary book “On the Origin of Species,” which goes on to become the foundation for evolutionary biology. The film co-stars Toby Jones (FROST/NIXON, INFAMOUS) and Jeremy Northam (GOSFORD PARK, AMISTAD), and was produced by Jeremy Thomas (THE LAST EMPEROR, SEXY BEAST) at Recorded Picture Company with BBC Films and Ocean Pictures. From director Jon Amiel (“The Singing Detective,” ENTRAPMENT) and writer John Collee (MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD) comes CREATION. Source: http://creationthemovie.com/

Australia Day focuses on Aborigines, refugees

This year’s Australia Day has seen both old and new issues come under the spotlight, including indigenous culture, asylum-seekers, gay marriage, and climate change.

These issues, however, cannot be solely discussed through political means but through the arts.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard poses with Geoffrey Rush

Academy-award winning actor Geoffrey Rush was named the 2012 Australian of the Year in a ceremony at the Parliament House, Canberra. In his acceptance speech, he urged Australians to consider the importance of arts to nurture and uplift the spirit of the nation. Rush spoke of urgent issues that affect the nation which can find solutions in the arts.

Rush says Australia is one of the oldest nations on earth where inspiration abounds. He noted that going back to the root of the nation through aboriginal history, culture and performing arts, Australians will be able to find “our dreaming” which leads to the heart of the nation’s being, the ABC quoted him in his speech.

The ABC added, “In the past, Australians of the year have used the spotlight to focus on social, political or environmental issues, but Rush does not see it as a automatic megaphone.” As a performing artist, the event is an opportunity to spotlight current issues through the arts.

SBS, a multicultural public broadcaster, also noted Rush of his support to local writers to write stories about people who come to Australia by boat.

“I put a call out to the writers of Australia, we’ve had a bumper year in television drama, people are starting to watch it in great numbers..I  would love a writer to write a fabulous great miniseries,” the SBS quoted him in his speech before reporters.

Six Australians are featured in the SBS documentary :Go Back to Where You Come From"

SBS has produced a documentary last year entitled Go Back to Where You Come From” which featured six Australian volunteers who were challenged to take part in an adventure to experience life as a refugee. The script took them to the local communities where refugees have settled down, then flash backward to the horrific journeys by sea, asylum-seeker camps, and to the tricky and dangerous places on earth. Featured places include refugee camps in Malaysia, war-torn Jordan, Iraq, and Congo. The mini-series has elicited various reactions from televiewers while Fairfax media lambasted the series claiming it as a story for the manipulated and gullible participants.

Rush is a stage and film actor. His first film Hoodwink was featured in 1981. He rose to global fame in 1996 with the film Shine for which he won an Oscar. More recently, he appeared on Munich, Pirates Of The Caribbean and The King’s Speech, for which he earned a BAFTA. Rush is an ambassador for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and UNICEF Australia, as well as patron of the Melbourne International Film Festival.

News Link: Asian Correspondent