J.E. James of Stamford, Texas writes a very thought provoking letter to the editor of the Abilene-Reporter News where he points out that atheists do not have exclusive ownership of the theory of evolution. So many believe atheism is tantamount to devil worshiping, hedonism, etc.
Unlike Mr. James, I believe that folks who truly think our planet was formed and populated in circa 4000 years are “dumb” in the sense that they turn off their brains completely when it comes to attempting to answer crucial questions about our existence.
I wish more people were willing to admit they do not know how us humans came into existence. Belief in a benevolent, anthropomorphic creator is a leap of faith many of us are not ready to make. Many atheists have exceptionally strong moral codes and there is no reason to suspect an average atheist would behave less ethically than an average Christian.
I certainly cannot defend the view that failing to accept the theory of evolution shows a want of intelligence. But Mr. Roper’s rebuttal shows a want of understanding.
Evolution is not the sole property of atheists and acceptance of the science does not require believing there is no God. Darwin’s book made no mention of God and did not speculate on the origin of life. It concerned the natural selection of species as working somewhat similarly to the way we breed dogs or hybrid cotton seed.
I assume Mr. Roper agrees that Roman Catholics believe in God and are Christians. So it would probably surprise him that many Catholic theologians are willing to embrace the notion that God may have used the Big Bang to create the universe and evolution to populate the planet. They make a more modest claim that somewhere along the way God imbued man with an immortal soul.
Although not a Catholic, I find there is a simple and appealing elegance to this view which neatly makes belief in God and modern science compatible.(his view is a force fit)
When I hear a strict fundamentalist, who has counted all the “begats” in the Bible, conclude the entire universe and all life on Earth were created simultaneously a few thousand years ago — I don’t assume that person is dumb.
Rather I marvel that someone can make such a leap of faith when it contradicts virtually all known science. My grandmother had that kind of faith and I was awed by the serene tranquillity with which she faced impending death.(if a mass delusion in a supernatural being comforts you when faced with tragedy or death, then who is to criticize it?)