Evolution or God – a fair question?

The year which has passed has not, indeed, been marked by any of those striking discoveries which at once revolutionize, so to speak, the department of science on which they bear"

So wrote Thomas Bell in his review of the scientific year of 1858. As president of one of the most eminent biological associations, the Linnean Society, one might have thought he would be in a position to know. Yet in July of that year, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace had presented a joint paper to that society that laid out the principles behind what was to become one of the most famous scientific theories of all time – the theory of evolution by natural selection. Although Darwin had been known to have been quietly working on a theory of evolution for many years, the revelation to him that Wallace, working in far-off Malay, had also arrived at similar conclusions compelled him finally to publish. Thus came about, along with Newton’s Principia and Galileo’s ” Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”, one of the few truly famous works of science – Darwin’s “On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” (to give it its full and correct title), published 24th November 1859 – this time to a storm of interest.


Why was it that Darwin’s theory created so much interest and controversy? He was by no means the first to propose an evolutionary theory – such ideas had been slowly drifting around in and out of the scientific establishment since the 18th century. But both he and Wallace – a respected naturalist in his own right – had had the opportunity to do something that previous workers largely had not – to travel broadly around the world and closely observe the workings of nature. It was this broadened understanding of the natural world – seeing how animals and plants interacted with each other and with the environment – that opened up the possibility for proposing a serious mechanism for how this astonishing diversity had come about. Darwin was thus not only the first serious evolutionary thinker, but also the first ecologist.


Why did Darwin come to the conclusions he did? One of the most important reasons was that he came to see that the distribution of organisms was closely related both to their environment and to their own close relatives. It became clear to him, after the landmark voyage of the Beagle in the 1830s, that very closely related species were not randomly scattered around, but instead lived right next to each other, typically separated by barriers such as mountains, rivers or the ocean. This was most clear in systems of islands such as the Galapagos, where the famous example of Darwin's finches – a group of closely-related birds - was found. Oddly enough, Darwin seems not to have been too interested in these iconic birds at the time of the voyage itself, but rather came to see their significance a few years later. In particular, what struck him was that despite their unique occurrence in the Galapagos archipelago, they were unmistakably similar to birds also found on the nearby South American mainland. Why would it be that such similar birds would be found just there and in the Galapagos, when the environments were so different? By the time of the second edition of his book The Voyage of the Beagle in 1845, Darwin felt able to hint at his slowly forming theory when he wrote “Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends”. In other words, just as he came to see that the species of the Cape Verde islands had spread there from Africa, forming new species as they adapted to their new environment, so the Darwin finches were all descended from a single species that had managed to cross the 600 miles from present-day Ecuador to the Galapagos, evolving as they spread from one island to the next. It was exactly this sort of detailed observation and data that gave Darwin's theory the solid backing that the vague ideas of previous thinkers had lacked. Around these observations coalesced many others – the distribution of fossils in the rock record, the presence of apparently non-functional organs in related organisms of which the most well-known was probably our own appendix, and the ability of human breeders to mould and shape domestic animals to produce more meat, wool, or simply to look spectacularly different – ideas that after the agricultural revolution of the 18th century could hardly fail to impress.


Darwin had originally planned to write some enormous monograph on natural selection, but his discovery that Wallace was working towards similar ideas pushed him into early publication of what might be called an abstract of the longer work which would doubtlessly have been full of references, notes and the rest of the typical scholarly apparatus. This work in its entirety was never to appear; and thus Darwin's most famous contribution to science has a rather unusual flavour. Somewhat anecdotal without being sensationalistic, it was written for a popular audience but yet contained serious science by someone who even before its publication was highly respected and whose fame (unlike the lesser-known Wallace) virtually guaranteed that it would be taken seriously. It's often said that the Origin of Species is the most accessible of all the great works of science, and while this is probably true, the average reader coming to it is likely to be dismayed by some fairly difficult passages, especially a particularly gruesome discussion of fancy pigeons (which Darwin had something of an obsession with) that occurs right at the beginning. If one perseveres through this though, a remarkable – and remarkably modern-reading – set of sharp observations and shrewd conclusions follows, still a mine of interesting evolutionary thought for the modern scientist.


I shall turn to the religious reaction to Darwin in a moment, but what about the scientific one? Darwin's thought was in many important ways not a cause, but a product of his times, and various sometimes sensational publications in the years before the Origin had brought the idea that species could change through time into respectable scientific spheres. In many other ways, too, the idea that species were not creations of God in a short period a few thousand years ago was becoming easier to accept. Pioneeering geologists – including the Reverend William Buckland in Oxford and the Reverend Adam Sedgwick in Cambridge - slowly built on ideas that had emerged at the end of the 18th century to show that a universal flood could no longer tenably be thought to be responsible for the layers of rocks with their characteristic fossils. And from the pens of writers such as Hutton and Lyell came compelling data and texts that showed the earth, far from being of recent origin, had instead existed through countless eons of time. Given the earth's apparently endlessly cycling through such unimaginable time, when deserts could seen once to have existed in Devon and vast coally swamps to have covered much of Europe, the idea of species staying constant whilst all around them was in flux started to fade. Early consternation was caused by the discovery by Cuvier in France that certain types of animals had apparently gone extinct, in direct contradiction to 18th century ideas of the perfection of nature – the “best of all possible worlds”. And perhaps most important of all, the work of the early German critics of the Biblical texts – the so-called “higher criticism” - weakened adherence to a literal reading of the cosmogeny of Genesis. The problems were greater than simply knowing who Cain's wife was. The realisation that the bible contained a great number of different types of writing – history, law, poetry and many others, raised the revolutionary idea that perhaps reading these texts as if they had been written by modern scientists with their particular preconceptions and interests was highly anachronistic. The time was ripe for Darwin to step hesitantly and modestly onto stage.


Although initial reaction to what quickly became known as “Darwinism” was in many quarters quite hostile, by the 1870s, the idea of evolution – the transmutation of species – was widely accepted in the scientific world. Some scientists indeed thought that Darwin, by choosing to publish in this somewhat unconventional way, had abandoned the solid foundations of building on a mass of data in favour of rather uncontrolled speculation, but as more evidence about the natural world came to light, such objections were slowly silenced. More important reactions came from the palaeontologists, who were often opposed to Darwin because the fossil record did not seem to support the slow and gradual change that his theory seemed to demand – a topic that arose again in the 1970s in a somewhat different guise under the name of Punctuated Equilibrium that excited much controversy in the following twenty years. Nevertheless, it is perhaps not so well-known as it should be that by the end of the 19th century, Darwin's own contribution to evolutionary theory – Natural Selection, the words that stood in the title of his remarkable book – was largely discredited, and remained so for something like half a century. Thus, the very reason by which Darwin thought he could prove evolution to be true was quickly discarded by those he persuaded of evolution.


Darwin's problem was that he knew of no good mechanism for the core requirement of his theory, that the attributes of organisms that gave them the ability to compete successfully against their less fit fellows could be passed on to their offspring in a way that could preserve them, rather than just swamping them out in countless other more useless features. Darwin's own theory about this was speculative and (it turned out) tiresomely wrong. Shortly after the Origin was published, Gregor Mendel, an Austrian friar working in the garden of his abbey, produced the key: variations in plants did not blend in their offspring, but were rather inherited discretely, in an “either-or” manner, thus allowing Darwinian natural selection to work on them. When this work was rediscovered at the end of the century, it at first rather ironically added another nail to Darwin's theory though: the size of the mutations Mendel described seemed incompatible with Darwin's ideas of imperceptible change leading slowly to adaptation. By the first two decades of the twentieth century then, Darwin's ideas about evolution were in almost total eclipse, only to be revived by the technical mathematical formulations that both triumphantly vindicated him and gave rise to the so-called “Neodarwinian Synthesis” that is the cornerstone of modern biology.


I've given this very short introduction to the origin of the Origin, so to speak, not because I've forgotten that I'm not standing in a university lecture, but because I want to emphasise how ordinary it all was. The controversy that has always existed about evolution has given the whole subject a curious status all of its own, lifted out of the normal run of science by its apparent direct challenge to theistic ways of thinking about the world. What really happened was this: the voyages of discovery of natural history undertaken in the first third of the nineteenth century, and the first really investigation of the geological record, revealed a world that was clearly not compatible with traditional ways of thinking: and under such pressure, everyone's ideas perforce changed. In this sense, the Darwinian revolution – for such it was – is cut of exactly the same cloth as all other really major advances in scientific thought: not driven primarily by ideology, but by simply trying to get to the bottom of what the evidence was really saying. Given that regularities exist in the world, it is inevitable that scientific theories can be made to encompass them.

How did the religious world, then, react to this remarkable work? As one might imagine, the reaction was a mixed bag. It can be summed up as resistance by the conservatives, welcome by the liberals, and (of course) a hesitant dither by the large body of moderates. Not much changes. Yet resistance was – in retrospect – perhaps nowhere near as strenuous as might be imagined. The trouble was that the theologians had managed to get themselves into something of a tangle without any help from Darwin. During the nineteenth century, it became obvious from the rocks that each period of time was characterised by a particular set of organisms. In the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, dinosaurs had roamed around in the South of England; in the Cambrian, trilobites had swum around in Wales. In the sort of compromise that rarely works (despite its enduring popularity), a theology of “special creations” was cobbled together, which smeared the creative acts of Genesis through various “eras”, a protracted creation punctuated by gigantic cataclysms that wiped out the previous inhabitants of the globe. The last of these misfortunes was taken to be the Flood; an idea that was reluctantly abandoned when the realisation set in that the deposits in question could be reliably attributed instead to the Ice Ages. In any case, in what way was such a theological theory any more compatible with the biblical record than what the scientists were coming up with? This realisation, that without some theory of evolution, understanding of the world simply became a blank, was much responsible for the perhaps surprising acceptance of evolution by the mainstream of the Church of England at least, from being mostly hostile in the 1860s (but then, many scientists were as well), through to gradual acceptance from the 1870s onwards. It should not be forgotten, after all, that when Darwin died in 1882, he was buried with all honour and ceremony in Westminster Abbey; and the committee for the memorial fund for Darwin had the Archbishops of Canterbury and York as members. Even the Roman Catholic Church, which was notably stern on such matters, just about kept its official silence until its declaration in 1950 that, as far as it went, and with some important qualifications, Darwinism was not incompatible with the faith.

Nevertheless, despite this apparent acquiescence – indeed, in some quarters, such as by Charles Kingsley, the author of the Water Babies, the positive welcoming, of evolution, it would be wrong to characterise these early years as being all smooth sailing. As society became increasingly secular, and perhaps more important, as the study of the natural world stopped being the preserve of country parsons with not enough to do, and became instead the job of professional scientists, a gap started to grow being the churches and the scientists. At one level, this was deliberate – Huxley, Darwin's Bulldog, was a great champion of the intellectual freedom of scientists, unrestricted by theological disapproval, and did much to create and nourish a new class of professional scientists. In the turbulent years of the 1870s and and up to the 1890s, two books in particular were published, by John Draper and Andrew White that, by a tendentious historical survey of the relationship between science and religion, attempted to show that the dark oppression of religious dogma stood in stark opposition to the bright light shown by fearless science that ever falls on the path towards truth. Although Draper's book in particular is little more than an anti-Catholic rant, and although both books are dismissed as being essentially polemics with little or no historical value by modern historians of science, their influence was deep and prolonged – even today their ideas circulate very freely on the internet and are vigorously defended by those inclined to such things. They are both, of course, absolutely awful books. They were influential in generating the myth, so common today, that science and religion have always stood in warring contrast to each other, and it is true that one can find people then, and now, who will say that Darwinism destroyed their faith. However, the exact reasons for this apparent incompatibility are much harder to explore – there was more a general feeling for some that that was the case than a crisp and easily stated case. Indeed, when pressed about exactly what it is about natural selection and science in general that somehow rules out a religious understanding of the world, one often finds the answer simply dissolving into vague comments about how unpleasant the world actually is, of which more in a moment.


So at last I can come up to the recent and think a little about the present-day conflicts that have been so prominent in recent years, driven of course by prominent opponents of religion such as Richard Dawkins. The reason that I have not mentioned this name before – perhaps you expected it in the first sentence! - was that I think it's somewhat important to put the modern disputes into some sort of context.


Like some thinkers of the nineteenth century (but perhaps surprisingly, not that many so far as one can document at least), Dawkins writes that his childhood and adolescent christian faith was shipwrecked by his discovery of natural selection. The extraordinary diversity and beauty of the natural world, with all its intricate interactions and balances, can be best seen, not as the direct work of a master craftsman – a divine watchmaker – but as the meaningless outcome of an enormously long period of selective processes. With considerable skill, Dawkins and other prominent evolutionary thinkers have shown that even the most remarkable organisms and their behaviours need not be attributed to special creation, but can be very fairly be regarded as the product of blind selective processes. Indeed, the title of Dawkin's first, and in many ways most successful books is the Blind Watchmaker, and although both scientifically and theologically I have many differences with him, I am happy to acknowledge the debt I myself owe to this work. In it, he shows in the most robust way imaginable that the imagined scientific objections to natural selection as the principle driver of evolution are largely based on a misunderstanding of the theory. Indeed, what natural selection fully means in a scientific sense remains rather poorly understood even amongst the scientific community – even, one might say, amongst biologists. It is without doubt an extremely powerful theory that has all sort of remarkable ramifications that are still the object of active research. But if natural selection has such explanatory power, then how (one might ask, as Richard Dawkins did in his debate with the Archbishop of Canterbury of Canterbury the other day) does one squeeze God into the picture? What is it that God is meant to be doing in all this? Isn't it really, then, a straightforward choice, between a powerful and well-demonstrated scientific theory, that of natural selection, and a rather more flaky one, that of God, whom after all the only person to ever see was Moses, and even then only the “back parts”, after all?

I think the problem that scientists have with religion and science (the minority, that is, that have thought in any way seriously about the matter) is that to them, it seems that religion sometimes reserves to itself the right to make scientific statements about the world, irrespective of what physical evidence suggests. The dismal story of so-called creation science is illustrative of this. By taking the early parts of Genesis in a strictly literal sense, one might then say that the bible gives a straightforward scientific narrative of who the world came into being – first light, then the heavens, then dry land and the plants, then the animals and birds of the oceans and air, then the livestock of dry land, and finally humans. But we have known for about 200 years at least now that this reading of Genesis is simply untrue – it does not correspond in any interesting way to how the world appears to be (and that is, after all, the only we can take the world, as it appears!). That was the anxiety generated in the nineteenth century – it became obvious that what the bible taught, or was thought to teach, was not true – and if not true at this point, why should it be trusted elsewhere? Similar worries underly much of the modern religious resistance to evolution, I think. When one looks at Genesis a little harder though, a few more interesting things to reflect on emerge. The first is that there appears to be two different creation stories combined in the first three chapters, one about the six days of creation, and the other about the creation of man and woman, the garden of Eden and the fall. Certain elements of incompatibility remain between these different accounts, but it is notable that final editors did not feel the urge to remove or soften them, suggesting that whatever their intent was, it was not to create a fully unified scientific account of creation. And the second is that, when compared to other creation stories of the same sort of era as Genesis, what is wholly remarkable is how little Genesis says. Genesis says hardly anything about the actual acts of creation, but merely declares God to have created the world. The fussy details present in other stories, such as the importance of huge magical eggs, or dismembered giants, or floating masses of jelly (as in the Japanese creation), are all pared away in the final version of Genesis that came down to us, and the text simply and majestically declares: “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth” - a masterpiece of restraint whose remarkable nature is hidden by only its familiarity. Finally, one might note also that the profoundly ethical view that the ancient Hebrews had of the world is also overlain on the stories from the start: the wrongdoing of Adam and Eve in taking the forbidden fruit; the declaration of the crime of Cain in murdering Abel; and most startlingly, the wrongdoing of humans as a whole that leads to its almost entire destruction in the flood. It is easy to take these early acts of punishment as signs of a brutal and vengeful god until once again, one sees the alternative versions. For example, in the flood story of Babylon, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the gods destroy humankind, not because of their sinfulness, but simply because they become annoyed by all the noise the humans are making! One might think that what we are seeing here is the reflection of early societies on catastrophes that afflicted them: the Hebrews were almost unique in the ancient world in seeing them in primarily non-magical and ethical ways. They took a story they probably inherited and softened it in various ways: by adding an ethical reason for the appalling events, and in one of the most tender moments in the entire bible, by the addition of a poignant touch: that God closes up the door of the Ark behind Noah and his family. Thus, a capricious story of destruction is deftly turned instead into one of tender rescue.


I digress somewhat. But the reason for doing so is that the modern obsession about the first 11 chapters of Genesis, which harps continuously about their scientific inaccuracies and impossibilities, to me entirely misses their point (these chapters are to me some of the most extraordinary writings to have been preserved from the ancient world). Rather than being a scientific account – which in any case was not even a way that anyone would think about the world for another 2000 years or so after they were finally brought together - they are a profound ethical and psychological reflection on what it is to be human in a world full of danger, injustice and suffering – a suitable topic for pondering in Lent, indeed.


I don't think, then, that Christianity should be disturbed by the discovery that the formation of the world was not as traditionally thought. But is that the end of the story? I don't think so. If we accept that the living world – and deeply embedded in it, that includes humans of course – emerged as the result of many millions of years of slow evolution caused by the blind processes of natural selection, then where does that leave the insight of Genesis, that this world, beautiful but tragically imperfect, was the work of God, in a labour so profound that even God rested on the day after its completion? If we are to retreat from the providential view that God somehow made special sorts of direct interventions to fill in alleged gaps in scientific understanding, shouldn't we be compelled to eliminate God all together? Isn't it actually a fair question to ask if we have to choose Evolution or God? This is a common narrative indeed today, and the answer we are supposed to choose is coming loud and clear from the usual suspects.


I want to ask a few questions , then, that might lead to some sort of response to these issues. And the first question I want to ask is: what do we actually mean, even as Christians, by creation? This fairly obvious question seems to me to lie at the heart of many misunderstandings, both by the religious and atheists. For there seems to be a persistent attempt to see God as part of the causal chain of Nature – by creationists who insist that special divine interventions must characterize particular parts of the formation and evolution of the world (including, one might add, dictation of the first chapters of Genesis!), and by scientifically-minded atheists who insist that any God must be in some way measurable against the standards of the world supposed to have been created by it. For despite the point being often denied, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that recent writers consistently see God as something like a super-strong or powerful version of a human, or electricity, or gravity or somesuch. Seen in this light, of course, neither creation nor God guiding evolution in any way make any sense at all – rather than solving the problem of creation, the postulation of a God simply exemplifies it – and, one might think, in spades too. Such a God not only adds nothing interesting to our account of the world, it actually makes the world intolerably hard to explain, and thus gives up all the hard-won scientific advances we have made in the last two hundred years or so. I give this round to Dawkins – but this is not the end of the question. For to have a real doctrine of creation – of God making something new, must surely involve something else too: God must make some space for there to be creation at all. For if God is all in all, how can there be genuine creation, the making of something that is more than simply a sub-department of God? Such ideas have been explored by the Jewish theologian Isaac Luria, who talks mysteriously about the “shrinkage” of God, of a deliberate limitation of God by Himself to create something that can be considered to be something truly apart from God Himself. No wonder he rested on the seventh day. And although such views have hardly been considered by Christian theologians (Moltmann being an exception), such a view – that God's work of creation involved voluntarily-entered self-limitation, even humiliation, fits well with Christian Lenten reflections of the work of the cross too, which reveals a similar movement. Thus, although some christian theologians and some scientists have pondered God's acts in creation as acts of power – with the secondary question of how such a being could both exist and exercise this power, a more truly Christian (and indeed Jewish) understanding of this stupendous work is not as an act of power (for if so, there would be not true creation at all), but rather an act that embodies the traditional “theological” virtues of faith, hope, and love: not our faith, hope and love, but God's. For God to truly to create – to make something truly different – God must give up power, and thus inevitably the creation cannot fully reflect the will of God. Paradoxically, only by giving up power can God then be free to act within a creation. Or to put in an even more recognisably Christian form: God does not run the world, but sustains and cares for it. The God of power turns out not to be God at all, but merely one created thing among others. So at all costs, Christians must resist the temptation to see God as a mechanism of the world, that can be investigated like rainfall patterns or how the liver works.


When the evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane was (apocryphally) asked about what could be learnt about the mind of the Creator from the creation, he is meant to have replied "An inordinate fondness for beetles”. And there are indeed an enormous number of beetles. More seriously though, one way in which science has helped theology to think about the creation seriously is by revealing the truth about what it is actually like, and this truth is not always comfortable for us to bear. St Francis of Assisi could write movingly, in his hymn of the creation, the “Canticle of the Sun”, about how contemplation of the natural world leads to praise of the creator, but this sentiment can sometimes seem naive today. We know that the natural order that emerges through natural selection is not always a nice one – animals and birds routinely allow their weakest offspring to starve or be abandoned, parasites inflict untold and horrible suffering, and even the sexes war amongst themselves in the endless battle to pass on the best genes. For those only interested in the God of power – the God of micromanagement, one might say – such patterns create a profound problem. To what extent are we to affirm that even paralysed caterpillars being eaten from the inside by parasitic grubs are the direct work and intention of a loving God? It was precisely these sorts of contemplations that seem to have slowly turned Darwin himself away from religion and the old sense of providence, of God's caring intervention in the world. And I think at the end, the objections many scientists have to a religious view of the world come down to this: their objections turn out not to be scientific (these objections seem to be impossible to crystallise when one asks hard questions about them), but about the oldest problem for the theist of all: the problem of evil. And this is where the problem with the new atheists for me reaches its critical point. Here is a quotation from Richard Dawkins on the topic: “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” Now what I want to know is – and I think it is a question to be urgently asked – what sort of statement is this? Is it a scientific statement, judged against the control of a world where we know God exists? Or to put it more crudely, how on earth could someone know something like that unless they had an exceptionally clear view of what a created world would be like? Once one allows, as I have argued, that any creation worth the name must be free, then surely this is not an absolute but a relative question – a subjective, not a scientific judgement. And that is precisely the judgement that the Christian is invited to make – so see the world, despite everything, as God's good world.


For there is surely another side to this story too. The most materialist scientists are given to wonder at the glories of the creation, and even parasites can possess an extraordinary power to fascinate. There is, as Darwin noted in the famous closing passage of the Origin, a grandeur in this view of life. Perhaps it is after all possible to come to a chastened appreciation of the creation, in which (as even St Francis says in his canticle) the place of suffering and death can take their right place along side the simple child-like pleasures afforded by watching young animals play, or finding the first snowdrops of spring.


Perhaps what I have said just now may been as some sort of evasion, of a polite stepping-around of the vexed question of God's action in nature. If we allow that everything that happens is in a sense natural, then in what sense is God involved in the world at all? Isn't it after all simpler to leave that component out? I think the answer to this – which will certainly not be a scientific one – must come back to our own place in the creation, the moral implications of which so exercised the Victorians. For surely the key in all this is our own view of the matter, our worry about the loss of diversity and the destruction of habitats, and the remarkable efforts we sometimes make to preserve them, and the endless appreciation of, and sublime joy we can take in nature. These acts of curation are not, if we are honest, the simple outcome of scientific considerations. They surely reflect a view, not just of self-preservation, but of worth: we profoundly see the world as worthy of care. And if we can manage to come to an appreciation both of the natural world and of our own lives in it, despite all the horrors that it can contain, perhaps it is not so much of a big step to think of that appreciation residing also in the other organisms that live there, parasites and predators notwithstanding. So despite the extraordinary mechanism that Darwin and Wallace discovered that materially brought about this world, isn't it still possible to see the entire thing as God's world, the world brought ultimately by divine love in action? We might come to see then that the question of how God works in the world – how God brings about good, and defeats evil, is not something to be resolved at the level of micromanagement, of God pushing atoms around or causing cunning mutations at just the right time and place. Rather, any answer may lie in having the patience to step back from the scientific bustle and to think, as St Paul does in his letter to the Romans, of the entire creation waiting for its final redemption, a redemption for which it groans with impatience for.


For some, the suffering in and of the world will be too much for them to take this step, but Christian hope will have no part in this loss of faith. And here, science and religion, rather than being warring enemies, are revealed as partners, both willing to see the world as a place of wonder rather than of horror, both acting to preserve and nourish the good in it. And I believe that someone like Richard Dawkins, despite everything, actually shares this basic sense of goodness in the world in fact, as his more lyrical passages suggest. So perhaps there really is hope for everyone.








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