Writing in 'The Daily Telegraph', English Bob, The Wrath of God, pens an ode to The Fruitfly in the Sky Fairy, and describes his work as 'the triumph of rationalism'.
The Victorian legacy of which The Fruitfly is an integral part and which Bob praises so fulsomely did indeed give us the railway, X-rays, pasteurisation (one of a series of legacies now being reversed by those who prefer the early 19th Century to the later), and so on and so on. It also gave us free trade, Malthusianism, Thomas Arnold, The Crimean War, Gobineau, Vacher de Lapouge, Herbert Spencer and the doctrine of 'the survival of the fittest', the construct of Social Darwinism which the Nazis loved so much, and the Poor Law (Amendment) Act. The Victorian era was that in which the so-called 'Enlightenment' really took hold. It was not a golden age of man. The truth is, there never has been a golden age of man; as our weak and fallible selves have proved time and time again, Mankind doesn't do golden ages. We're incapable of it on our own. That's one of the reasons why we had to be redeemed.
To my mind, there seems little less rational than believing that Mankind evolved entirely by chance. In entirely rational terms, the odds against this happening without some exterior intervention seem akin to the likelihood of winning history's biggest Lottery rollover day after day after day for four billion years. Even the rationalists don't seem to buy it - there are no doubt some who still keep an eye out for black monoliths.
Yet the supreme irony of rationalism is that those who buy into The Fruitfly's theories most avidly are also at the head of queue when it comes to denying the relevance of words spoken by an albeit well-connected rustic carpenter - 'Love one another just as I have loved you'. In their search for humanity's origins, they have forgotten what makes us human; that command, both so human and yet so divine, might provide them with some guidance in the right direction.