Saturday, June 30, 2007

Scientific unreasoning

I still get emails forwarded to me by Christians who think that I still subscribe to their nonsense. The truth is, all these sorts of emails irritated me all along - they just are more foreign in their "though process" now.

This was one of the stories in an email entitled: "7 reasons not to mess with children."

7 reasons not to mess with children.
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.
The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".
The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him ".

I'm sure that Evangelical soccer moms just love this little story. It, and the other 6 stories, are probably not true but written by some Pastor who feels that he's being clever with his illustrations. Perfect fodder for and most certainly urban legend. It is offensive and expresses the judgmental attitude toward actually thinking about an issue with any amount of rationality. We should be horrified that this attitude is transmitted into children; what is more likely is that it engenders pride and satisfaction.

What is frightening is that not only children think this way, but adult Christians can also fall into this line of thought. My Christian friends loved to sidestep issues in a debate and redirect the conversation away from a fact debate and into a religious or spiritual one. A discussion over the age of the Earth is deviated into a faith and trust one. Rather than examine the evidence from science the issue is reframed into the role of the Bible and our relationship to its authority. Authority of the Bible is exactly what is in peril should the evidence from science and observation be allowed to stand. The evidence refutes a part of the Bible or at least an interpretation of it.

But then again I also like the T-Shirt I saw recently related to the above story:

I may be going to hell, but at least you won't be there.

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