For those who don’t get jpgs on their iphones, he asked “Why do religious people deny the existence of evolution when there’s so much evidence?”
This should be an easy answer, and it is, but it also takes some explanation. The short form is that faith is not based on evidence, so it doesn’t matter how many bones you throw at a Believer, if the bible got there first, they’re just bones. They have no significance in the face of an omnipotent benevolent omniscient god. That’s the short form, but it doesn’t cover everything.
The long form is because belief usually gets there first for many people, and it’s hard to overwrite dogma instilled in children, after they grow up into adults. My own mother told me Jesus was real, and it took me forty years to overwrite that. I still feel kinda guilty, and am awaiting my mother to come back from the dead with Jesus in tow going, “SEE?? You shoulda listened to your mother!” ..hey, crazier things have happened. Many people argue that religious indoctrination of children is a form of child abuse, but I have been known to argue in the past that spanking children is a form of child abuse and got no end of abuse over that from parents, so nowadays I question the rationality behind telling anyone how to raise their own children. It’s my considered opinion that if you want to abort your child retroactively for still wetting the bed at thirteen, hey go for it. It’s your kid. Of course, my opinion is not very highly recommended.
Still, Christianity is easy for people to understand. Someone died for you. The least you can do is accept his disembodied spirit into your life and do what you are told by elders and peers. Don’t bother actually reading the bible though. That will just confuse you. Just do what peers and elders say your god said, and you’ll probably be okay. Simple. You’ll be accepted into your local community. You might even get the hang of pretending a god exists, so you can pass this sick twisted delusion on to your children so they can be just as messed up as you. As for jewish and muslim teachings you’ll have to ask someone else why people still cling to those cuz I’ve looked into them and they’re even more messed up than Christianity, but I may be a little biased. Perhaps if you are born into those belief systems they feel natural and instinctive too, and you just ignore the bits that make absolutely no sense in the face of actual tangible, scientifically verifiable reality.
I notice many Believers insist that science is just another belief system. They have to believe it’s just another religion so they can dismiss it along with all the others they have already been taught to dismiss. Again, evidence can’t be more powerful than their god. Reality must be wrong, because the dogma already instilled in the mind is paramount to a Believer. Whatever someone’s belief system is, it must be powerful enough to override anything else that comes down the pike, otherwise this destroys the delicate fantasy world that’s been constructed. This also only explains people who were born into their respective belief systems, which is usually geographically biased as well as socially biased. Depends on what part of the world you are in as to which belief system is more likely to engulf your childhood. However, I can’t understand how someone starts as an atheist and then becomes a Believer. I could write it off as a psychotic break but that’s probably too easy. Case in point: here’s a guy named Marvin Olasky who testifies he was born Jewish, then became an atheist and a communist and then he found Jesus. He says this is the short version of his story. Don’t ask for the long version unless you have some dramamine with you.
Now what can we learn from this? I have absolutely no idea. I would point out that he seems to feel atheism and communism are inseparable. Perhaps he learned there were some things about communism that he couldn’t stomach, but he was unable to dissect his atheism from his communism in order to escape the communism bubble he had previously inhabited in his brain. I notice many people also try to force atheism into communism. I’m an atheist but I’m far from communist. I happen to feel socialized medicine might be an interesting experiment for some countries but I’m not sure how that can be kept going indefinitely, without some better way to finance it. The fact other countries have been doing socialized medicine indefinitely has apparently no effect on how I feel about this. Still sounds wonky to me. I don’t feel it can work in America at all, but anything would be better than the caulk up we got right now. Besides, socialism isn’t communism. I’m not aware of any actual communist state in the history of mankind. They get stuck in socialism and can’t get out, cuz power corrupts. Maybe if we weren’t talking about human beings, I’d have more “faith” in communism.
Anyway, I’m drifting off topic again. My point is, I’m certain communism can’t work so long as humans are involved, and my atheism has absolutely nothing to do with communism. However, this Marvin guy connected the dots between atheism and communism and for him, a world without communism didn’t make sense unless he could slap a god into it. Everybody’s brains work differently. There’s also other stuff he’s not describing here. He traveled a lot, but each time he seems to have found social groups that welcomed him in and helped him get settled and even excel at his achievements. These people in his life would have affected his direction at least to some degree. His family was jewish. His peers in protest groups leaned towards communism as did his career goals at one point, but as he grew older and gelled into complacency, he found others and some of them may have been christian. or perhaps there were things about the communist community he had previously embraced which slowly left discomfort in him and led him to seek other alternatives. We don’t know for sure, and I’m NOT interested in hearing the long version of his testimony. Five minutes was more than enough for me.
But each of us are on a journey, and no two people’s journeys are identical. Perhaps sometimes we befriend others along the way and maybe our journeys seem similar, but more often than not we’re ships passing in the night. Coming to similar conclusions about some things but different conclusions about others, and people come and go in our lives in ways that would require draft paper and colored pins and graphs and again.. I just don’t have that long an attention span.
But religious people deny evolution for the same reason rational people deny creation. It just doesn’t work for them. At least not right now.
I hope that answers your question, Scott.