Monday, 22 September 2014

Poor arguments against evolution are counter-productive.

While I have received plenty of feedback from grateful people pointing out how my articles have helped them accept the fact of evolution while remaining a faithful Christian, I am also aware that one of the most effective mechanisms to convert people from evolution denialism are the appallingly bad arguments against evolution used by anti-evolution crusaders in our community.

In a recent article at God of Evolution, one reader (whose decision to go only by his first name reflects the persecution with which conservative elements of Christianity still shamefully visit on people who have the honesty to accept the fact of evolution) writer on the path he took towards accepting evolution. Of critical importance was the bad nature of anti-evolution arguments:
I had gotten into many disagreements with a few evolutionists. They were good people in my mind, don’t get me wrong, but I saw them as ignorant of the truth. As such, I felt it my duty to stand against this “pagan” idea of human origins, full of “immoral implications,” and supply them with what I thought was true scientific data.
However, my journey to where I am now wasn’t initiated because of convincing answers from the evolutionist crowd, but rather, because of the unconvincing and confusing answers from the young-earth crowd. You see, I began developing a dangerous thing called “curiosity,” and I began to do that dreaded and annoying thing creationists hate: Ask questions. 
I asked a friend once: Why weren’t the dinosaurs on the ark? The answer I received was that there were dinosaurs on the ark, but they died out shortly after exiting it, because the amount of oxygen in the air was not enough to sustain them. This led me to think, “Why did God save them at all if they were just going to die out so soon anyway?” And how did they know the oxygen level changed, and why would it have? These were only questions referring to dinosaurs alone; there was a host of others on the biogeographical dispersion of animals, why certain marine animals went extinct in the supposed flood but other marine animals did not, and so on and so forth… 
As I began to grow in my curiosity, I noticed that my church had attitudes towards science that seemed unreasonable. A deacon at my church once said, “They can tell me all they want that the earth is old, or tell me about carbon dating. I have the book of Genesis, which tells me both are wrong.” It struck me as odd, as these dating methods we called “unreliable” were the same methods that allowed us to find out the age of all the biblical manuscripts we have found, and I saw no complaint made against them. (Emphasis in original)
Full article is here.