To me, this tree represents the Tree of Life. I look at each branch and subsequent branch as a distinct species, illustrating clear traces back to their respective common ancestors. The pines on the branches represent the millions of beautiful plants and animals currently thriving (or struggling to survive) on our precious planet, through the scientific theory of natural selection. The lights and ornaments placed on the tree remind me of human guided evolution that has been going on for centuries. The fruits of human guided evolution reap mostly everything we eat, the beautiful and fragrant flowers we grow and share, and the unconditional love we receive from our domesticated pets.

The real value of evolution is that it is the true story of our origins. Evolution is demonstrable. It is supported with crystal clear evidence by the scientific theory of natural selection. Evolution is further backed-up by the Human Genome Project, Embryology and Geology. Evolution provides the basic foundation for the biology of all life on our planet. The awe inspiring wonder of who we really are and how we really got here is, arguably, the greatest show on Earth.

Why is it, do you think, that many political and religious leaders continue to claim that evolutionary biologists and scientists promote the work of the devil? Exactly what is it are they afraid of? When others claim we should “teach the controversy”, what controversy are they referring to?

There is no scientific controversy about the evolution of life through natural selection. There is no scientific controversy about gravity. There is no scientific controversy about the fact that huge stars needed to explode to create the elements we are made of like carbon, nitrogen and iron. There is no controversy.

I hope the next time you closely examine a Christmas tree, you see the branches of life that evolved over billions of years, through natural selection. And just maybe, on one of those pines, with your eyes wide open, you see us!

Happy holidays!