Students say the darndest things. In their exams, no less. In one of my classes students were required to read selections from Darwin’s Origin and Descent of Man. Here are some comments from one exam: “I found Darwin’s The Descent of Man hard to read and hard to understand. As a Christian I have always been taught to just ignore Darwin’s work and I believe that played a large part in why I had trouble understanding what I was reading.”
Wow. I think it was H.L. Mencken who said (paraphrasing) that it is hard to make someone understand if that person’s livelihood depends upon not understanding. A fortiori, if a person’s salvation depends upon not understanding, then that person will have a very hard time understanding. I appreciated the honesty of the student’s comments. It is eloquent testimony to how effective fundamentalism has been in making people Darwin proof. Arguing against Darwin because you think he is wrong is one thing. Making it harder for young people to understand Darwin at all is something else altogether.