This morning I read this article on Sociological Images. Normally, I find the discussions on this site interesting and thought provoking. This article, about using ‘choice’ when discussing the validity of evolution vs the validity of creationism, really bothered me.
The article (and I didn’t scroll through the comments, so it may be pointed out there) assumes that because one is science and one is religion, the religion is wrong. The complete dismissal of religion here is a problem. People who defend creationism against evolution do so (in my understanding) because science conflicts with what their religion says. Accepting evolution over what the Bible says is a threat to the validity of their religion. I can fully understand wanting to protect that.
I personally fully support evolution, especially when discussing what should be taught in schools. To my mind, it doesn’t reject what the Bible says, but show how brilliant God is to mastermind years of evolution. However, I am not a well read scholar, nor am I one to take the Bible at its word every time. But this post is not about my religious leanings. It is about the complete dismissal of the beliefs of a group of people, without trying to understand where they are coming from, or why they think the way they do.
In the article, we are reminded that the pageant contestants are being political — that is, they are trying to give a moderate answer that pleases everyone. But what they are doing is recognizing that dismissing the idea of creationism as stupid is also generalizing about a whole lot of people. To then make the leap that talking about it as a choice could lead to students choosing not to learn math or chemistry is just that – a leap. It is a choice — it is a choice of whether to stick to the strict interpretation of the Bible or to accept that the Bible might not be all truth. That’s a hard choice for someone to make or face. Let’s have a little understanding of that.