Many fundamentalists (including, but not limited to, young earth creationists and proponents of intelligent design) spend a lot of time emphasizing the greatness of the Bible, its importance, and so on. Yet there is a serious dearth of actual knowledge of and about the Bible in detail. Sure, people hear a lot of sermons, read a lot of popular books. But how many study a particular Biblical book with the help of a commentary – a good serious academic commentary written by someone in their own denomination or tradition? If one says the book is important, then one should study it in depth. It is a lack of knowledge that plagues the extremes in many modern debates.
The same holds true for evolution. The proponents of Intelligent Design devote much time to proclaiming that the genetic code is information-rich, and they feel this has certain implications with respect to design. But what they are failing to do, but other biologists are doing, is read that information. It provides a lot of information about how we work as organisms in the present, how closely or distantly related we are to other branches on the tree of life, and many other wonderful things. It is all there – in writing, as it were – but the proponents of Intelligent Design are so busy proclaiming the wonderful design of the book that they seem to have no time left to open its covers and read.
Young Earth Creationists like Henry Morris claim that evolution is the root of all evil. In my Bible it says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Could it be that by focusing on a distracting issue like evolution, some Christians hope that no one will notice that this clear-cut Biblical issue, the love of money, is a serious blind spot in contemporary Christianity? One thing is for sure – focus on young earth creationist and intelligent design issues is a dangerous distraction, making an idol of a prescientific worldview instead of seriously studying the Scriptures and trying to understand them in all their depth and richness.