I write this in anger. Today a Jehovah’s Witness knocked on my door. He had in tow a girl of about eight years, who I later learned was his daughter. I quickly told him I wasn’t interested, and pointed out the extent of inconsistency and forgery in the Bible. One thing led to another, and he started on evolution and the Big Bang. He asked “Do you believe we are descended from apes?”. I said we have a common ancestor (sadly forgetting that we are apes!).
When he pulled out a leaflet on creationism I really lost my rag. He got both barrels – I said that what really irked me was not so much that he believed this rubbish, but that he was indoctrinating this young person with it. I told him it was child abuse and he should stop. He claimed that surely parents had the right to tell their children whatever they liked. I said no they don’t, if they are going to tell them things that are not true and are harmful.
I asked if he had ever read any of the evidence for evolution. He said “I choose not to”. In fact he had not read any science book since school. I asked him why he was coming to me with irrational ideas, when he had not bothered to look at any of the evidence surrounding the debate. He said “Well I respect your beliefs”.
“No no”, I blustered, “you misunderstand all this, it is not about belief, it is about evidence. My belief counts for nothing, only the evidence matters, and the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that it is no longer considered a theory, it is a fact”.
Well I have summarised a bit, but the whole exchange was only about five minutes. I just hope that I sowed a tiny seed in that developing brain, that will one day germinate into a question about belief and evidence. But I am not very hopeful. I really don’t handle these situations well, they just make me too angry.
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