Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm sorry that I'm obsessed with proving people wrong

There are two main apologetics strategies. One is to provide a rational defense of the faith, the other is to apologize for how terrible Christians are, in hopes that people would want to become Christians, themselves, as a result. I exclusively use techniques from the second category.

I blame no one but myself for this: I was the most obnoxious creationist that I've ever met, and I'm very sorry if you've ever been bored by my droning on about llamas and giraffes, or if I've offended you with my ignorance of biology (I've not studied it since seventh grade).

I was very interested in dinosaurs when I was a small child, and, as all young earth creationists know, dinosaurs are a Trojan horse for evolutionist propaganda. However, at age four, I was given a copy of The Great Dinosaur Mystery and The Bible, which shows, among other things, that a plesiosaur was caught by Japanese fishermen in the 1970's. Thus inoculated against evolutionary falsehood, I studied creationism, hoping to be able to prove wrong those evolutionists.

So, I harassed my evolutionist neighbor a few doors down, and her dad, and my history of science class in my junior year of college and a friend's roommate who majored in environmental science. I told them all about how 'ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny' is bunk—this has been well established for a long time, and it's a shame that these things are repeated in textbooks today, but that doesn't mean evolution's wrong. I speculated wildly about probabilities of abiogenesis. I was willfully ignorant of how radiometric dating actually works.

I don't mean to throw any creationist friends under the bus by what I'm writing here, I honestly don't mean to implicitly accuse them of anything. I own what I'm saying here for myself. I was a brat.

I think that some creationists get into the scuffles that they do out of genuine concern for others' souls. I might have had some element of that in me, but I really wanted to be right about something that the majority got wrong.

I was prideful and conceited to think that I just needed to read a couple of books, and I would be able to say something meaningful to mainstream science. I didn't stop there; I thought that I, personally, would be able to shake up mainstream science by calling it out for being deceptive—I thought I had that measure of honesty with myself, that I could be that persuasive. I thought that evolutionists just thought what they did out of delusion. I was wrong.

I still want to be right, to show up a lot of people that I disagree with; I just want to be right about different things now. I shouldn't have that attitude, that's wrong, and I'm sorry. Please forgive me.

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