I am committed to more brevity, so I must resist the temptation to draw out my greatsword, chop this into bloody chunks, and stomp the gobbets into gooey red smears while howling, “There are nooooo gods!!!”, but I will take exception to one small piece of Francis Collins’ interview in Christianity Today.
I encounter many young people who have been raised in homes where faith was practiced and who have encountered the evidence from science about the age of the earth and about evolution and who are in crisis. They are led to believe by what they are hearing from atheistic scientists on the one hand and fundamentalist believers on the other that they have to make a choice. This is a terrible thing to ask of a young person.
I have to ask…
What’s wrong with confronting young people with a crisis? It’s pretty much their nature to be in a constant state of crisis anyway.
As young people’s crises go, the conflict between science and religion is a small one. Why not encourage more intellectual anguish than the usual “So-and-so doesn’t want to go to the dance with me!”?
Why is making a choice a terrible thing to ask? Get used to it. There are lots of choices you have to make in this life.
The only terrible response they might make is to turn away from science, and by pandering to blind faith, Collins is promoting that. Why does Collins continue to encourage people to believe in baseless superstition? He’s supposed to be a scientist!
Does Collins think it would be a terrible thing for more young people to choose atheism? Why? I think it would be wonderful if more people realized they do have a choice about whether to believe the dogma of their forefathers, or to think anew and learn more about the real universe.
There is more pablum in the interview, but not much, if anyone else wants to hack at it. This was the part that was least likely to put me in berserkergang.