The Evolution of Ethan Poe has been a big favorite for many readers. Maybe it's the sexy look Ethan is giving us from the cover. It's been a few years since he and Etta Greenleaf turned their hometown on its ear, since he got his rainbow yin-yang tattoo, since he learned how to handle a dog that's half wolf. Anyway, he asked if he could write a post. I said, "Why not?" So, here's Ethan.
I've heard that some of you are wondering what I've been up to since Max's big reveal toward the end of the book about me. First, I still love my tat.
Okay, I know you meant about Max and me. I'll tell you about that, though it's no big deal. Just warning you. But first I want to kinda talk about where I landed on this evolution and creationism—um, I mean, "intelligent design" business. (Like you couldn't tell by just looking at those quotation marks, right?)
I had one more year of high school after the story ended before college, which is where I am now. And I spent a lot of time with Raven. Remember Raven? My Siberian husky? The one with the widow's peak like mine? The more I worked with him, the way Etta taught me, the more it seemed like there was this love coming back from him for the love I was giving him. You might think that has nothing to do with evolution, but let me finish. Then you can argue.
Raven's a dog, I get that. And I'm not. But because of this love we share, and because I wanted to understand him as well as possible, I went beyond Etta. That is, I studied about wolves and wild dogs. Wrote a couple of papers during my senior year about this stuff, and one of them was about the evolution of canines and how domestic dogs came to be what they are today.
Then one snowy day while Raven was pulling me across the blueberry fields on a snowboard, I really, truly felt the presence of some... some one? some thing? Not sure what. But whatever it was, it wasn't there just for me. It was there for me, and Raven, and Etta, and Half, and—well, for everyone.
Getting to the miracle. You know those people back at home who couldn't take the idea that evolution could be true? They were terrified that if it were true, that would mean their scripture was wrong. And they couldn't take that. Because when you believe in scripture literally, everything about it has to be right. And if there's even one tiny flaw in it, it's kind of like the whole thing gets thrown into question.
But here's the thing. They're just limiting their own God. And they're limiting the miracles. Because if you believe there's a God who can perform miracles, why isn't evolution just as much of a miracle as anything else? When I look at where Raven's ancestors started out, it's a miracle he's like this today. And when I think were I started out—you know, cave man, and even earlier—it's a friggin' miracle that I'm like I am today. And if that's not enough, when I feel what passes between us when we look into each other's eyes, I can feel the miracle.
I think the literalist types have this idea that evolution is trying to lay claim to the origin of life, which to them would mean taking credit away from God. But that's not what evolution is. It's more about how life changed and evolved after it was created. So even if you think God created life, why couldn't God have used evolution as a tool to make it grow and change? How bored would God be if nothing changed, and if humans—with this brain that God supposedly gave us—didn't learn anything?
The Bible says God made the earth in, like, less than a week. And scripturally, the earth is now around six thousand years old. Science can prove that's not true, that the number of years is in the billions, but these literal types say they don't believe it. (News flash: Believing something doesn't make it true, and doubting something doesn't make it false.) But here's what I say: A miracle's a miracle, whether it takes six days or six thousand years or some massive number of millennia. A miracle is Raven's eyes and mine beaming love at each other.
Time to let go of literalism. Time to embrace the real miracles.
Now, about Max. By the time senior year ended, we had, too. Not in a bad way; we're still friends now. In fact, he's here at U of Maine Orono, like me (and Raven). But he had a bit of an epiphany about mid-fall. He started going out with girls. And then he tried to come back to me, but not on an exclusive basis. That is, not even on an exclusively gay basis. But I said no thanks, friends is enough. (I haven't found a good moment to ask what he tells girls about his tat...) Anyway, he says one day he'll probably fall really in love with someone, and he can't say whether that will be a man or a woman—he says it could be either, really—so he's decided he's bisexual. And that's cool. Because I got something started with Jamal. That ended, too, because he's at U Mass, but we had a good time.
Well, gotta run. Literally. Raven convinced me that a daily jog is good for both of us. Afterward maybe I'll see what my new friend Noah is up to. He's not my boyfriend, or anything. Not yet, anyway. See ya!