Wilson starts writing to a pastor that he feels the two of them are friends and he also tells the pastor that he grew up in the same religion as him. Wilson also notes that they are both Americans, more specifically Southerners. Wilson the goes on to mention the key difference between them. The pastor takes the Christian Holy Scripture literally and rejects the conclusion of Science. While Wilson is an atheist who takes a scientific approach and believes that people evolved from Apes.
Though they have different beliefs, both Wilson and the pastor like everyone else in the world strive for the same imperatives of security, freedom of speech, personal dignity, and a cause to believe in. Wilson then proposes that no matter their beliefs they both need to spend time to help the environment. Scientist predicts that by the end of this century half of the plants and animals will become extinct. Wilson needs the pastor’s help because Religion and Science are the two most powerful forces in today’s world.
Wilson says that almost none of the Religions have worried about Nature. Some Religions believe in the book of Revelation that a second coming of Christ will be soon and therefore they don’t have to worry about the Nature because they will all be taken to heaven. Charles Darwin even started out as a minister who referred to the bible with everything. But early on his voyage to Brazil he said, “It is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind. Wilson is familiar and heartened by the Christians way of talking about Creation. Wilson then says that even though their belief on Creation is different they can come together because they share a common purpose to help protect and save the environment and Nature. Tommy Ayoob “Ascending to Nature” Wilson says the pastor much at least agree that at some point humanity lost its way. Wilson assumes that the Pastor would think this would be when we left Eden. Science suggests that we did not abruptly come into existence but that we evolved over time.
Wilson then says he would like to offer an explanation to this human dilemma. We strayed from Nature with the beginning of civilization about ten thousand years ago. This supports the thought that the human spirit can be molded into something new to fit changes in the environment and culture. Our leaders refuse to believe that civilizations collapse when the Nature and environment around them collapse. What is even more troubling is that leaders have done very little to protect the Earth.
Human beings are able to eat four types of grass and we heavily rely on these. If these fail from either disease or climate change, human beings will also fail. Technology has betrayed nature a second time, by fostering the belief that that the cocoons of urban and suburban material life are sufficient for human fulfillment. Scientific knowledge, humanized and well taught, is the key to achieving a lasting balance in our lives. But we have a long way to go to make peace with this planet.
Part of the dilemma is that people don’t know or understand why they should worry about Nature this is linked to the inadequacy of science education. Wilson hopes the pastor would agree with him that every educated person should know something about the core of this unified and worldwide issue. Both teacher and student should know that living nature has opened a broad pathway to the heart of Science itself that the breath of our life and our spirit depend on its survival. We are part of this discussion because the fate of the Creation is also the fate of Humanity.