We chose Edward O. Wilson’s “Apocalypse Now” which is about a biologist imaging that he is writing a letter to southern Baptist pastor. Throughout the letter he talks about religion and science. How mankind was created and what to believe in, many scientist and religious people disagree with the topic and how the Earth came about. If man was evolution or did God created us. Wilson points out that the planet Earth is for both science and religious people. The Earth’s biosphere is being destroy and that’s one thing both sides and agree on. In the letter, he is basically saying that both sides can stop arguing and fighting together to keep the Earth. We think this is an identification of a thesis because he is leading up to his argument of how he and his pastor have different views. He is leading up to explaining how he feels and this sentence is a brief summary of what he is going to talk about.
Wilson explains if religion and science could be united on the common ground of biological conservation, the problem might soon be solved. He mentions that Scientists estimate if habitat-conversion and other destructive human activities continue at their present rates, half the species of plants and animals on earth could be either gone or at least fated for early extinction by the end of the century. The problem is earth O-zone layer is being destroyed by human being. The pollution, factories, and smoke are killing the Mother Nature. Wilson wants to set aside the differences between science and religion for saving the planet earth. This fact related to his claim because in his claim he was asking his pastor for help because the living nature is in deep trouble and although he and his pastor have different views on things he wanted to come together and put those views aside so they can talk about what is happening in today’s world. He takes the first step and acknowledges the pastor then explains he needs help. “Pastor, we need your help.” This quote is the explaining how Wilson is reaching out for help. The pastor has more power than any scientist. In the letter, Wilson says that the National Association of Evangelicals has 30 million members. Wilson can’t reach the people like a pastor can. A pastor can spread the word to others about protecting the earth. In the letter Wilson stress on how the living nature is in deep trouble. I deem that Edward’s intended audiences are people from different religions. Although everyone from different religions believe in different things, when it comes to nature and world disasters, we should put differences aside and work together to make this world a better place and to help stop extinction of our species and to just live in a peaceful planet.
As the letter goes on, Wilson explains why he believes in science instead of religion. Wilson argues “You are a strict interpreter of Christian holy scripture. I am a secular humanist. You believe that each person’s soul is immortal, making this planet a way station to a second, eternal life, I think heaven and hell are what we create four ourselves on this planet.” In the passage Wilson says, “According to science, in contrast, humans descended from apish ancestors; our origin was basically no different from that of other animals, played out over geological time through a tortuous route of mutation and environmentally driven natural selection.” We felt that Wilson rubs that in the pastor face and staring to become a bit of a jerk. At first he was extremely humble and was asking for help. “Science says that, as far as verifiable evidence tells, we are alone, and what significance we have is therefore of our own making.” Now Wilson is trying to get his point across why you should believe in science. He starts to talk about Darwin and the Origin of Species. Wilson was trying to act like science has an upper hand on religion. Even though Wilson was acting like a jerk yet he stills need help. “Indeed, despite all that divides science from religion, there is good reason to hope that an alliance on environmental issues is possible.”
Wilson talks about how evangelicals interest in the environment and are a part of organizations. He wants the pastor to be like some of the religious leaders that supports biological things. The writer continues to inform the pastor that other churches and religions are involved in helping humanity. He starts by naming the involved churches and listing how they’ve helped. For example, he states: In the United States, the umbrella National Religious Partnership for the environment works with evangelical groups and other prominent organizations, including the U.S conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches of Christ, and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. (Wilson page 6). The writer is informing the pastor that although they have some differences, the writer is willing to settle them just to save humanity. Wilson wants to show that it is not just him who is settling the differences; it is other churches as well because they are willing to help humanity, even if people do not believe in their faith. He wants the pastor to be well aware of the argument that one should take care of earth and try to save it.
After reading this passage this reminds me of A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be by Ursula K. Le Guin. Le Guin uses tons of sources from authors, anthropologists, and so on. She talks about the difference on a Utopia from western civilization and the eastern side. All throughout the essay she use narrative but changes it up to a counter argument. Wilson shares this same format but different concept. The format being people have different views on things, meaning peoples values and beliefs. Wilson uses science and religion as a concept in his article. Le Guin uses sources to get her point across about a perfect world also know as a utopia. Wilson uses the same style to get his point across like Le Guin. Wilson continue on using statistics and examples of other religions group that support biology. He is using sources like Le Guin to make the pastor comfortable. Also, I believe he is using other sources so he can be creditable too. Whereas Le Guin uses utopia as the concept of his article, so these two different authors using the same idea of what and how their paper is, but one uses religion and science, while the other one using people perspective on after-life or how they expect a certain idea or ideal thing to be portrayed as.
Overall, Wilson’s letter to the pastor is a success because he got his message out. We have discussed what the main points of Wilson argument were, which was to help save the earth by using the pastor as sponsor. Along with compare his works to another writer and say the similarities and differences between the two. This was clever idea because a pastor has more power and connections then a biologist. The pastor is the man of the Lord and wouldn’t want the Earth to be at harm. By Wilson telling him what’s happening to the planet, the pastor will take over. Using sources and being friendly convince the pastor to help. Stressing the world is at risk also had a big part in it. Wilson voice and writing style close the deal with convincing the pastor to help science. At the end of the day, Wilson just wanted science and the bible to be able to exist in the same conversation.