This year we celebrate Calvin’s five centennial and Darwin’s birth bicentenary. Events would be held all over the world during these celebrations. John Calvin (10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564) brought important changes in the Christianity after Martin Luther’s reformation and I believe Charles Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) needs no introduction here.
Calvin’s teachings are called Calvinism and had defined how Reformed Christianity, as we know now in the Netherlands (therefore also the Protestantism in Indonesia, since Indonesians were Christianized by the Dutches) looks like. With my limited knowledge of Calvin’s system I’m not able to dedicate this entry to his teachings. Furthermore there are enough studies and analyzes of his works you can find yourself on the web.
What I want to share here is Calvin’s strong influences in Dutch society. To act modestly (no excessive behaviour, manage to stay calm without showing your emotion, don’t show off your success) is still characteristic to most Dutch people. A Dutch saying goes “Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg” which means Act normal then you’d do crazy enough.
Now, you must be wondering the reason why I put Calvin + Darwin = 2009 as the title of this entry. It is inspired by my own thoughts after having remarked the celebration of these two influential characters to the mankind this year. Between religions (in this entry represented by Calvin) and followers of Darwin’s evolutionary theory has been, let’s say, a passionated discussion about what truly had taken place. It is very human to search for some answers. The believers are searching, some have found their answers in what they believe in as Darwin’s followers have found theirs. What happens if these two cross the road?
As a Christian myself, I read the bible, know by heart the story of God creating the earth in a week, but I am also interested in Darwin’s theory and in the Big Bang theory. Does this make me a bad Christian? I don’t know. An acquaintance of mine who is a researcher in breast cancer gens said once that religions and science didn’t get along together. Is this true?