Posted by: owizblog | August 27, 2018

Dinosaur DNA: John McCain, Evolution and Integrity. Thought for the Day, BBC Radio Scotland, 27 August 2018

Consider the birds of the air, says Jesus. When I was five, I had a budgie called Miko, a budgie with attitude, and quite right too. He was the descendant of dinosaurs.

University of Kent researchers have assembled a picture of dinosaur DNA.  Compared to our puny 23 human chromosomes it had 88, and was much more adaptable than ours is. Over millions of years, they evolved to dominate the earth. When that famous comet changed the world, many became extinct, but the rest were able to evolve into – birds, still the most diverse animal class on earth.

It’s terribly unjust that we refer to things that can’t evolve in a changing world as “dinosaurs”.

Senator John McCain, who died this week, was a courageous man – a prisoner during the Vietnam War, who despite terrible torture chose continued captivity over a release which would have been a propaganda coup for his captors. A Presidential Candidate. By reputation, a complex, difficult man with a smart mouth and a terrible temper.

Yet people who knew him testify to something remarkable about him. They had the same disagreements with others in US politics, and felt there was no point talking to them, but John McCain was different. He would listen. With respect… And he could change. Over time, he shifted his position significantly over immigration, LGBT rights, the place of money in politics.  There was more in him than appeared at the start of his political career. He evolved, on principle, in a changing world.

We often mistake integrity for the capacity to pass unchanged through the changes of the world, obstinate and unyielding, clinging to our positions with an  unbreakable death-grip. But it’s not. Integrity involves working out, finding out, who you really are, in an evolving world.

Change is inevitable: life is evolution.  Jesus invited people to change by unpacking what was in them, becoming what God saw in them, wanted them to be. Come with me, he said. Change. Become who you really are. You’re even more precious than the birds…

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