ambiguity

February 5, 2011

Ignorance

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 2:02 pm

“I don’t believe in evolution.”

I manage, at the last second, to keep my jaw from falling to the floor. I haven’t heard that line in quite a while.

“Evolution is not a belief. It’s science. You know how you’re able to make calls on your cellphone? That’s science too. The scientific community has worked very hard to arrive at that conclusion.”

Caught off guard, I struggle to think of a suitable an analogy.

“Yeah, but I just don’t believe that we came from apes. That’s all. Besides, that’s just the scientists’ opinion.”

At that moment, I am suddenly very aware of where I am, and the people around me. My brain does the math and tells me that it’s best I leave it alone. And I do, with my jaw clenched and my palms sweating. But not before this works its way out my vocal cords:

“Yeah, what do scientists know. They’re just extremely intelligent people who know more than any of us ever will.”

The complete lack of understanding aside (humans didn’t come from apes. We ARE apes.), the certainty with which she announced her thoughts irritates me. Sure, a lot of us can’t tell the difference between apes and monkeys. Even more of us don’t know that they share a common ancestor. But it isn’t the not knowing that’s bad. It’s the not wanting to find out. Religion, of course, plays the major part in this foolishness.¬†For too long, too many people have been contented to sit back and rely on their religious readings, the texts they believe to be the moral and scientific authority, the currency with which we measure kindness and intellect.

If only they take the time to read it cover to cover.

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