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Remarkable Creatures > Question 2. Emerging Ideas

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 384 comments Mod
THE NOVEL POSES SEVERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT EMERGING PHILOSOPHIES OR IDEAS EXAMINING AND QUESTIONING "GOD'S PLANS" AS A RESULT OF THE DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS FROM THE AGE OF DINOSAURS. FEAR AND/OR EXCITEMENT AT THE POSSIBILITY OF CHANGE BOTH FRIGHTENS AND BRIGHTENS THE PLAUSIBILITY OF THE PAST AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO THE FUTURE. SOMEHOW I SEE THE DINOSAURS (EXTINCT AS THEY ARE) SIMILAR TO THE EVER-CHANGING WORLD AROUND US TRAPPING US OLDER FOLKS IN THAT CLIFF OF ROCK WAITNG FOR EROSION TO REVEAL THE SKELETAL REMAINS OF WHAT WE KNOW OR REMEMBER WHILE ALL AROUND US CLAMMERS THE SEAS OF TECHNOLOGY. RESPONSES?


message 2: by Julie (new)

Julie | 168 comments I was very intrigued with this aspect of the novel, and I enjoyed seeing the priest's reaction to Elizabeth's queries. Especially where God is concerned, people tend to be very hard and fast when it comes to their beliefs.


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (cajonesdoa) | 640 comments Mod
Wasn't it interesting while we were reading to have her come to the realization that there was life on the earth that no longer existed? The concept of creatures and life going extinct has not really been in her thinking, but when the idea was validated with the researchers that came to see her work/collection, it seemed to have created a whole new way of thinking for her. And yes, Julie, I too may be one of those classified as hard and fast where it comes to my own belief systems/religious beliefs, and my belief in God. But I like to learn new things from others too.


message 4: by Cheryl (last edited Nov 03, 2011 02:58PM) (new)

Cheryl | 134 comments MY HUSBAND FREQUENTLY REFERS TO US AS DINSAURS IN THIS EVER-CHANGING WORLD. PERHAPS IT JUST SEEMS AS THOUGH WE ARE RUNNING FASTER JUST TO STAY IN PLACE. I HAVE FOUND THE SAME OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE CHARACTERS IN THE BOOK AS YOU HAVE, CAROL, EVEN THOUGH I AM VERY STUBBORN AS NANCY AND ASHLEY WILL ATTEST. SINCE I SPENT THE FIRST 20 YEARS OF MY LIFE AS A FUNDAMENTALIST BAPTIST AND , BY VIRTUE OF EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE, HAVE FOUND THE MORE METAPHORICAL APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLICAL TEXTS THAT I MEMORIZED AS A CHILD MORE PALATABLE, I RATHER EMBRACE THE IDEAS THAT ELIZABETH ALLUDES TO. EVEN LOOKING FORWARD, WE CAN SEE EXTINCTIONS OCCURRING OR ON THE VERGE OF OCCURRING. PERHAPS MANKIND IS CONTRIBUTING TO ITS OWN DEMISE AS A RESULT OF ITS OWN PRIDE. THERE ARE TIMES THAT I FEEL LIKE A DINOSAUR, HOWEVER. I ALSO FEEL AS THOUGH I AM CHIPPING AWAY AT THE WALLS THAT HAVE BOTH IMPRISONED AND PROTECTED ME REVEALING A VERY FRAGILE SKELETON THAT WILL BE RELEGATED TO A MUSEUM ONLY TO BE BURIED AS THE ARK OF THE COVENANT WAS BURIED IN THE GOVERNMENT VAULTS AT THE END OF THE MOVIE THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. GOOD GRIEF! I'M RAMBLING. DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE?


message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol (cajonesdoa) | 640 comments Mod
I don't think I would call it rambling, but you sure have provided this old brain something to work on and think about. Your questions are quite deep...and I have been pondering for two days the content of each of them. I might chime in again as I keep thinking about your ideas. You have also tapped into one of my favorite sets of movies. I bet I've seen all of them at least 10 times (except Crystal). So if we are chipped away from our protective coverings and exposed...back to my religious background, if Christ does come again, and we are resurrected/restored into our mortal bodies to become celestial, even those extinct creatures will have the opportunity to be resurrected and restored too. Part of me thinks it will be sooner than later for Christ's Second Coming. That is going to be so cool and so scary, can't wait!


message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 384 comments Mod
Emily, agreed. And I'm so interested in yours, Julie's, and Alisha's responses to the religious aspects of this book, as we were all raised in LITERALLY the same church! Of course, even as bright-eyed young girls, we questioned A LOT. Remember? :)

The themes of the "possibility of change" and "emerging philosophies" are nicely presented in Remarkable Creatures. Miss Philpot does not shrug and say, "Oh, well. Found a fossil. Guess there's no God after all." She thinks critically about what she has learned, both scientifically and religiously, and comes to a conclusion that is pretty fluid and open-ended.

Being raised one thing and then actually LIVING a little bit, getting some education, and making sense of the world (or not), as y'all have alluded to, makes me think of how to "teach" Charlotte (my almost-2-year-old, for those of you who don't know). One of the things that reeeaaalllly rubs me the wrong way is indoctrinating kiddos, but you still want them to (a) be able to think abstractly and philosophically and (b) have a moral compass. I want her think and criticize independently, but it seems paradoxical to TEACH Charlotte to think independently of me. I guess that's one reason my little family has joined such a (gasp!) liberal church denomination.

Like I mentioned elsewhere, I just finished a huge book on fossils and evolution, and it was so interesting to me to read Remarkable Creatures and see a quasi-fictionalized account of the very earliest discoveries of fossils and the questions they raised. The fact that so many religious folks (but not all) have reacted in such a horrifyingly anti-intellectual way (e.g., blocking science teachers from even MENTIONING the fossil record) seems to me to be the worst possible way of adapting to an “ever-changing world.” In fact, it seems to me that such an approach to science is a stellar way to become extinct.


message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol (cajonesdoa) | 640 comments Mod
I like the diversity we all have in our religious views. Yes, Emily, the four of you all went to church together and got your foundation beliefs there. I'm quite sure I come from a much different background, but I have studied a lot of faiths to help me confirm my choices in the faith I have elected to stay with. Could be a lot more structured than others, but it fits me and the people I associate with through church. Your comment Ashley about indoctrinating your kids is a valid one. My thought is that we need to give them the foundation blocks so they can build their own testimony of what they feel they want to believe. I have a strong moral compass, and that came from my upbringing at home from my parents, as well as through my church. They need to work together, until the young or older one decides for themselves what way they want to go.


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