Monday, June 18, 2007

The issolation of education

Over the past months I've read a number of books in an effort to "catch up". I've read:

  • The Ice Chronicles: The Quest to Understand Global Climate Change, Paul Andrew Mayewski
  • Potassium-argon dating, G. Brent Dalrymple
  • Age of the Earth, G. Brent Dalrymple
  • Science Held Hostage, Howard J. Van Till
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of Ancient Egypt (read only the first few chapters)
  • Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism, Andrew J. Petto (Editor)
  • The God Who Wasn't There [DVD] (dumb)
  • The Two-Mile Time Machine, Richard B. Alley
  • The Creationists, Ron Numbers

This, in addition to watching innumerable Science Channel programs, "The Tomb of Jesus", and many articles from Scientific American (online) and other journals. I've read many article from Talk.Origins as well as some from Reasons to Believe. I've gone through most of a course from The Teaching Company on scientific discoveries that gave a good survey of physics, astronomy and quantum theory.

I've also had both my parents, my wife and friends try to pursuade me that I'm wrong with some of the most inane arguments - but ones that I used to use also. I've had my dad tell me that a world noted expert on DNA has declared that he can't believe in evolution due to his research on DNA, but also seen that he's (my dad) has failed to forward me the researchers name or where he has published. I've had him argue that Greenland can not possibly have 110,000 years of ice since it was a green land at the time of the Vikings; hence the name. Yet this reflects a total lack of understanding of where the Norse lived on greenland, when they settled there and why they ultimately faded out. (They lived there only during the warm period just before the recent "Little Ice Age".)

In the end I've come to two conclusions about the Christians/creationists around me:

  1. They are more ignorant than I was about all things science and historic that is not a part of the Christian "talking points" and tradition.
  2. They are wrong, dead wrong but refuse to listen to any illumination that might "deceive" them from their world view

I have shot right past the "anger" stage, through the disgust stage and currently really don't know what to make of all of it. I note that for centuries now honest and educated scientists and students have been forced to accept the antiquity of the earth and the evidence of evolution; they have generally adopted the "theistic evolutionist" position so despised and derided by fundamentalists, or have simply come to view religion and the Bible in terms of alegory and myth.

Presently I find it impossible to discuss science with any Christians or to attend any Christian function. Given my new perspective much of what they say now sounds ludicrous to me. Either I am more aware of what is false or have been deceived into a way of thinking that is unable to detect truth. Either way, the spell is broken.

I also, however, find the virulent Atheists anoying as well. While "The noble lie" of Plato might explain the beginnings of religious thought insisting that we must now stamp out all religion as lie falsely assumes that we've proven all religious thought is indeed a lie. Finding flaws and suspecting that religion was created and promulgated to control the masses does not disprove the existence of a diety. Neither does it explain why Hutchens and other Atheists look simply miserable and angry. Give me happy Christian ignorance over obnoxious Atheist anger any day.


Anonymous said...

The DNA researcher your dad was talking about: It might be Michael J. Behe. He wrote a book in the 90's called "Darwin's Black Box". Interesting book!

Regarding the Greenland issue, I always understood that it was named such as a ruse...just as Iceland was named as a ruse. The names technically should be switched. Maybe just urban legend...

Joyful Ignorant Christian

Truth or Consequences said...

I believe it was probably Crick, but am not sure. Behe? Maybe too.