If there is any way not to begin an article (perhaps especially on Ash Wednesday), it’s this: please understand this is not a diatribe against religion.
No matter how one tries to slice the piece afterwards, you’ll lose. Your stance wasn’t strong enough, says the atheist. Your opinions were disrespectful, says the religious. What the hell, says Mom.
But it’s been written and so I endeavor on ever the martyr. Slay me here if you must, but know that I am a very religious person. I pray that my computer won’t crash as I type this. I look to the ceiling for comfort. And I bless my food with saliva each time I bite into it.
I preface my introduction because I’m notably dumbfounded. Not that it takes much to do so, but because despite all evidence otherwise, we remain backward in our ways.
After Bill Nye’s debate against creationist Ken Ham, it has turned out that rather than deflate the ancient belief of creationism (where God created the Universe according to a Biblical account) the debate has created an apparent legitimacy to the literal interpretation. Before the live-streamed event, Ken Ham was in a rut trying to garner $62 million for a proposed Noah’s Ark theme park. After it, a miracle flooded Ham’s way – God had apparently found his way into people’s hearts (and wallets) to fund the project.
By having the great Bill Nye, the science vanguard and educator, argue against Ken Ham, creationism was given a backbone. No longer was it some triflesome, erroneous, and misguided principle. It was instead something that needed to be defeated and won against. It was a contender, an opponent to the world that science had defined and constructed.
Creationism’s outlying religious viewpoint was given a stage to globally parade on. Despite Nye’s enthusiasm, science seemed too cold and unforgiving, a mere shuffling of the furniture of the universe and no more. We were hilarious hiccups, and that was that. On the other hand, creationism seemed so personal. It gave humankind a Gardner, a garden, and flowers to mend and care for.
But this worldview is wrong. Not maybe wrong. But flat out, unequivocally, absolutely, don’t-even-think-about-it wrong.
I’m not saying belief in God is wrong. What the heck do I know about that? Nadda. Nor am I arguing that religion and science cannot coincide – they very well can. Enter my Mom again.
Instead I am suggesting that the two paradigms of universe conception are too conflicting – and as a result, one must be adapted. In this case, the debate on evolution isn’t a debate at all. The evidence is overwhelming for Darwinian selection. The hypotheses have been confirmed time and time again. And the best part is that even if one doesn’t believe in natural selection as the evolutionary mechanism, it is right. It is there. It is here. And in some way or form, it is working on us now.
I may not believe in gravity, but that doesn’t mean my laptop won’t crash if I drop it. Here’s to ‘praying’ that creationism follows suit in time; that is, it crashes in its paradoxes and backwardness.