Re: The Nature of Atheist - Christian dialogue

From: George Murphy (
Date: Fri May 02 2003 - 07:38:29 EDT

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    Don Winterstein wrote:
    > Burgy wrote in part:
    > > >
    > > > I have several very fine friends who are YEC and by no means trained in
    > > any
    > > > of the sciences. I have really little reason to try to "persuade them"
    > > > otherwise.
    > Iain responded in part:
    > >
    > > I agree 100%. My mother has always taken a literal view of Genesis. ...I
    > >used to tell her that
    > > science had proved we were descended from apes and that Adam & Eve was
    > just
    > > a parable. It used to upset her. What was the point of doing that?
    > As a rule I also make minimal efforts to enlighten YECs in my circle of
    > acquaintances. Yet something needs to be done. The young--especially those
    > who will attend college--are the ones most likely to suffer adverse
    > consequences of YEC beliefs. Somehow these people need to get the word.
    > Older YECs, especially those with no training in sciences, will themselves
    > rarely benefit from enlightenment on origins. Their case is closed.
    > But these older adults are often the ones who control school curricula in
    > church-run elementary schools and thus directly prevent enlightening the
    > young. Often parents send their kids to such schools partly to keep them
    > from such enlightenment, which they regard as teaching of the devil or some
    > such thing.
    > To approach such adults on these matters can be like arguing with
    > a hornets' nest. To them, these are salvation issues; and some of these
    > people get instantaneously worked into a frenzy. Then--if it goes that
    > far--they call in big guns from Creation Research.
    > To take such teaching upon oneself in a YEC environment would require
    > something like devoting your life to the cause.

            The distinction being made here is appropriate & important. Trying to change
    the minds of individual YECs - & especially older ones - is, in most cases, both
    unnecessary & unlikely to succeed. But this should not obscure the fact that YEC in
    general produces disastrous results, setting young people up for possible loss of faith
    when they find out the anti-evolution claims that are supposedly essential for their
    faith are false. Anti-evolutionism as a cultural phenomenon is not just a quaint &
    harmless idea held by some tradionalists but something that harms the Christian church
    in several ways.

    George L. Murphy

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