If We Evolved From Monkeys

Nearly every day on Twitter, I watch arguments between theists and atheists unfold regarding evolution.
 
Evolution is a huge stumbling block for many theists because — for them at least — admitting that our species arrived on the scene via an evolutionary process and not by magic is an admission that the creation story in the Bible is wrong, and that god may not exist.
 
Knowing this, it’s not surprising that so many theists defend their position to the point that they not only refuse to look at the evidence presented to them, but they go out of the way to mock that evidence. Their hubris is such that they think the question, “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” is not only valid, but that a person holding a Ph.D in evolutionary biology would suddenly be rendered speechless at it being asked.
 
Although in these people’s minds accepting evolution would kill off the notion of god — it doesn’t have to — I think there’s another reason for this behavior and it is this: People who aren’t smart don’t like to be not smart.
 
By clinging to the creation story, and the notion that God did it, the theist can claim to have knowledge that even the egghead scientists don’t have. It places someone who lacks the education on the same plane or above those who have the education.
 
I’m not saying everyone who believes in God is dumb, but saying “God did it” is much easier than reading a textbook or scientific paper about concepts that can be hard to understand.
 
There’s a small part of me that feels sorry for people who intentionally stunt their intellectual growth like this because they’re afraid of what getting educated might mean for their belief system. However, I think it’s worth engaging these people when you get an opportunity because every now and then you manage to break one out of the Matrix. And even if you don’t, some of their arguments can be quite humorous.
  • I’m thankfully not on Twitter or FB and am confident I’m not missing anything. A very smart friend of mine at work and I were once discussing why a fellow co-worker was behaving so childish and his response to me with a straight face was “because of original sin.” It was then I realized that very smart people can have very dumb beliefs.

  • AZeus

    I have to agree here. I was a Mormon while growing up. Believed it wholeheartedly, went on a mission, married in the temple. Eventually I did leave. But while I was a Mormon, I was sad that some of my family weren’t Mormons, too. I remember feeling that they were missing out on something special. I felt I had found the secret to being truly happy and how to have a great life and a direct line to god. I was very defensive in my beliefs and if someone said anything that was critical, to me, it was because they didn’t allow themselves to see the “Truth”.

  • Charlie Silver

    “By clinging to the creation story, and the notion that God did it, the theist can claim to have knowledge that even the egghead scientists don’t have. It places someone who lacks the education on the same plane or above those who have the education.”

    I have often had this thought and wondered if it explains the intensity of the animosity theists feel toward atheists–there being no other obvious basis for it. It must be both tremendously comforting to theists to believe that they know a deep truth and tremendously discomforting for them to face the possibility of being wrong.

  • Mark Landes

    The real reason that they cannot accept evolution and abiogenesis is because I erases the need for Jebus to die on a cross and rise from the dead. If Eve did not listen to the walking talking serpent, eat the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and convince the idiot Adam to eat it too there would be NO sin the world. That was when EVIL entered this world. DUH-DUN This original sin (defying gods command not to eat from that damn tree) condemned every person born to be tainted by that one decision made by two idiots born a couple of days before.

    Without that original sin there is no need for a sacrificial offering of Jebus to wash away our sins. No need for Jews to slaughter live animals and burn them on an altar. No need for Muslims to knee and pray 5 times per day towards Mecca. All three of the Abrahamic faiths are built upon this foundation, so to discard the Genesis story is to discard their entire faith structure.