The Evolution-Creation debate has turned into somewhat of a frenzied obsession to a lot of people, so much that TV shows, blogs, radio talks, books and law suits have been entirely dedicated to the topic. Becoming another tortured soul engrossed in the evolution of the debate a few years back, I was aware at the onset that the debate isn’t about science at all.
What I wish to do in this post is to actually show a small amount of gratitude towards the creationist movement for being so adament in their doubts of evolution, because without their often duplicitous critique of the theory of evolution, I probably wouldn’t have doubted the theory that much, myself.
See, in other well-established theories, where the public’s resistance to them is minimal, there really isn’t a point to go around trying to poke holes in said theories for the passionate layman. Sure, afficionados of any field will probably delve deep into their subject of affection, but the truth is: the enormous resistance to the theory of evolution, both by pseudoscientists and zealots lacking any credentials, has caused a great spark of learning amongst skeptics.
When I first started learning about biology and evolution, probably my number one incentive for learning about certain aspects of biology were various creationist claims about the impossibility or improbability of evolution. I remember reading through the index for creationist claims on talkorigins simply because it was delightful to learn so many new things about biology and other scientific fields through the mirror of pseudoscientific attacks on them.
It’s also a good primer for learning more about good old-fashioned biology, and I remember that very quickly I found myself sticking my nose in biology textbooks, and that was years before I ever entered a college classroom.
So thank you, creationism: for lighting the fire of philosophy in all knowledge-thirsty naturalists. You certainly did that for me.
I only wish you didn’t try to shove it into public education.
I do admit, however, that putting a polemic pressure on the public understanding of evolution probably did a lot to teach more and more people about the theory. I’m sure that most people wouldn’t even know what evolution is if it wasn’t such a big deal to bible-thumping ignorants.