When I read about the case of Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District in Dover, Penn., last year, I literally sat open-mouthed while I learned that there are actually people who still discount evolution in favor of their religious beliefs. "Are there people who are this ignorant?" I asked a number of friends. And they indeed knew people who thought Charles Darwin was a crackpot and the Bible tells the truth. "Are they hillbillies?" I asked. I was assured that although some may be hillbillies, that is an unfair assumption.
I'm one of those people who believes facts, not religious fables passed down verbally and then finally written thousands of years ago. I like facts. They tell the truth. Science is based on facts.
So I'm still having trouble a year later understanding how there can still be people who don't understand that science doesn't lie. I'm still struggling with the fact that there are people who think that some all-encompassing god just whipped up the world in seven days, that he then made some guy named Adam in his own image and then ripped out one of Adam's ribs and made Eve. Seriously? People think this is true?
Oh, I know. I should have faith. I should blindly accept and believe that this all-encompassing god exists. I shouldn't question a power so massive as god. Fuck it. I'm going to hell, OK? Oh, whoops — I don't believe in hell. But I'm sure the Christians will pray for me anyway. Great. Thanks.
How can people believe such a fantastic tale like the Bible's creation story but deny that, through a slow, gradual evolutionary process, humans evolved from apes and birds evolved from dinosaurs? Evolution makes sense: Prehistoric hominids had to hunt and gather and tend to their brood. They needed to use their hands for these tasks, thus they began walking upright on two feet so their hands would be free to do so.
The fins of fish, dolphins, sharks and other sea creatures are likely the remains of feet from when these creatures could walk on land millions of years ago. How can one not see that by the placement of fins that this theory is probably correct? And recent scientific research into the similarities between birds and dinosaurs provides fascinating proof that birds indeed are prehistoric creatures.
However, according to creationists, the world is only a few thousand years old. This ignores the fact that we know through science and carbon dating that the world is billions of years old. And evolution takes a lot longer than a few thousand years.
Which brings me to my favorite theory — not because I believe it, but because I find it so ridiculous — intelligent design. Believers of intelligent design claim that yes, evolution occurred. However, it happened far more rapidly than scientists claim. See, God created the earth in seven days just more than 2,000 years ago. Then evolution began — and it was fast. They claim that if God created the earth in a mere seven days, then why couldn't he have designed evolution to occur quickly?
Why? Well, again, we have proof that the earth is billions of years old. And if evolution occurred so quickly, then why did I still have an appendix before it was removed? If God designed evolution to happen rapidly, then we shouldn't even have an appendix any more. And what about wisdom teeth? Why do we still have those? I only had three wisdom teeth, and this is gradually becoming more common. But it's not happening overnight.
Faith and religion are fine — as long as they are kept in their context: to provide an explanation for the unexplained. But claiming that religion and the Bible are fact is preposterous. I guess as science strives to explain more and more of the unexplained, it threatens religion. And some people will do — or believe in — anything to prevent science from disproving religion.