This debate will help highlight the fact that so many young people are dismissing the Bible because of evolution, and even many young people who had grown up in the church decided to leave the church because they saw evolution as showing the Bible could not be trusted.
No, Mr. Ham, young people aren’t dismissing the Bible “because of evolution.”
Mr. Ham, the young people you strive to influence are dismissing the Bible because you’re telling them what it says and means, rather than letting them seek that out for themselves. You’ve decided that your particular (and particularly immature) interpretation of the Bible is the only valid one, and you’re making them choose between your view and reason. Guess what? They’re choosing reason.
No, Mr. Ham, people aren’t dismissing the Bible “because of evolution.”
Mr. Ham, people no more dismiss the Bible because of evolution than they dismiss the Bible because of the laws of gravity, thermodynamics, or general relativity. Scientific facts are scientific facts; the Bible is the Bible. That the Bible doesn’t contain our modern scientific understanding of the world simply means that it reflects the ancient worldview in which it was written (which hardly in turn renders it hopelessly irrelevant).
No, Mr. Ham, no one’s leaving the church because evolution shows that “the Bible could not be trusted.”
Mr. Ham, they’re leaving the church because of people like you: people who fervently create walls, erect barriers, establish rigid rules for what one must believe in order to be a Christian. They’re leaving the church because your version of Christianity has nothing whatsoever to do with right practice, and everything to do with “right” belief. They’re leaving the church because by essentially demonizing everyone who doesn’t agree with you, you’ve made believing in Young Earth Creationism* more important than Jesus’ explicit commandment to love God and neighbor.
Mr. Ham, what the theory of evolution makes clear is that it is you and your cohorts who cannot be trusted. Evolution shows that you are either flat-out lying, or indulging in the Costanzian self-delusion: “Just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.” Either way, your aggressive disingenuousness and sophomoric chicanery stand in stark, pitiable contrast to the mountains of hard scientific evidence that prove evolution true.
Mr. Ham, I don’t know who will “win” the debate in February. But I am comforted by the assurance that, in the words of John Wycliffe, in the end the truth will conquer.
*The belief, born of a literal interpretation of the creation narrative in Genesis, that God created the world in six 24-hour days only 6,000 years ago.
Dan is a writer, graphic designer and IT specialist. He lives in Montana, is married and has two cats. He blogs at CoolingTwilight.com.