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People who believe in evolution are stupid


itsthatonegirl

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I apologize if this isn't in the right forum!

Some of you know that I have been on a journey of deconversion since the fall. I am currently at the point where I have begun to come out of the closet to several people in my life. The reactions I've gotten are... interesting... to say the least.

One of the most vocal respondents has been my father-in-law. It's weird, because I told him I'm not a Christian anymore a couple of months ago, but then several weeks later, he was telling me to just "pray for this, and pray for that", and I reminded him that I do not identify as Christian anymore. Then he acted super shocked, and in my head I was like, "How could you have forgotten this?"

He launched into this speech about how you have to be stupid to believe in evolution. Now, when it comes to talking about church history or the Bible, I feel fairly equipped to debate with a Christian. But I know next to nothing about evolution. I never even took it in high school. (Not because I was SOTDRT, I wasn't even a Christian in those days, but I was a slacker who dropped out of school). And science just isn't my forte. So when my FIL said, "The evolutionists think it all started from this one cell, but don't they see that the cell would have just died? What would it have had to eat?" I didn't know at all how to respond.

Another thing I struggle with is the argument that God created the earth with the APPEARANCE of age. Like, he created a fully-formed earth, rather than a baby earth that had to grow. My scientific knowledge is so non-existent that I have no clue how to intelligently argue this.

So for those of you who know the basics of evolution, what would you say to these two arguments? What DID the first cell do in order to maintain its life once it was here? And why wouldn't it make sense, scientifically, for the earth to have been created fully-formed.

Sorry I am such a science dumbass...

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I would recommend checking out Explain Like I'm 5 (ELI5), which is a sub on reddit where people take complex topics and break them down for normal people (the goal being to explain in terms a 5 year old could understand). Evolution has been covered several times there, so just search for "evolution" in the search bar, and it should bring you to a few good threads. Each one has it's own merit, and they all generally have great discussions!

If you want to learn even more, once you get the basics, head on over to AskScience and do the same search. There you get some seriously in depth explanations.

http://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfi ... ance&t=all

There's a link to the term already searched for you! And the top thread is a Creationist asking for an explanation of evolution, though I would say the top explanation is a little more advanced than ELI5 should be.

Just start where you feel comfortable and work your way up. If you get lost in one explanation, just go to a different thread or different explanation.

The important thing in the search for understanding is not to give up. 9/10 explanations might not make sense right away, but eventually you'll find one that does. And once you have that base, keep working until you can understand them all!

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Georgiana, that's AWESOME! Something like that is exactly what I need. Thanks :)

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In reality it is a pointless argument he can pull anything out of his ass to prove he is right and never have to back it up. Including time was not the same back then (when 7000) year old trees are brought up to ice layers. Learn to educate yourself you would have better luck training a pumpkin to bark.

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I would recommend checking out Explain Like I'm 5 (ELI5), which is a sub on reddit where people take complex topics and break them down for normal people (the goal being to explain in terms a 5 year old could understand). Evolution has been covered several times there, so just search for "evolution" in the search bar, and it should bring you to a few good threads. Each one has it's own merit, and they all generally have great discussions!

If you want to learn even more, once you get the basics, head on over to AskScience and do the same search. There you get some seriously in depth explanations.

http://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfi ... ance&t=all

There's a link to the term already searched for you! And the top thread is a Creationist asking for an explanation of evolution, though I would say the top explanation is a little more advanced than ELI5 should be.

Just start where you feel comfortable and work your way up. If you get lost in one explanation, just go to a different thread or different explanation.

The important thing in the search for understanding is not to give up. 9/10 explanations might not make sense right away, but eventually you'll find one that does. And once you have that base, keep working until you can understand them all!

Crap! You just made me fall down this rabbit hole!

Very interesting site.

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One of the most vocal respondents has been my father-in-law. It's weird, because I told him I'm not a Christian anymore a couple of months ago, but then several weeks later, he was telling me to just "pray for this, and pray for that", and I reminded him that I do not identify as Christian anymore. Then he acted super shocked, and in my head I was like, "How could you have forgotten this?"

..

Somewhat off topic.

I get around the prayer requests by redefining the word, prayer in my head to mean 'keep me in your thoughts." Even though I don't believe that positive thoughts have a magical effect, I still am able to answer that I will pray for someone when they ask. No, it isn't completely honest but even people who respect that I don't believe sometimes forget and ask me to pray for them. Maybe it is just an automatic thing that they have been taught to do. :shrug:

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Another thing I struggle with is the argument that God created the earth with the APPEARANCE of age. Like, he created a fully-formed earth, rather than a baby earth that had to grow. My scientific knowledge is so non-existent that I have no clue how to intelligently argue this.

I struggled with this for a while, until I realized what it implied. It's completely possible. There's no arguing against the possibility. Why would God create a universe with the appearance of age? What does he gain, by essentially lying to us? No motive for doing so makes God appear in a good light.

Furthermore, while there's no absolute way that this can be proven wrong, everything that we know about the universe is a big puzzle.

It's easy to believe in science, because all the pieces fit together. Sometimes fundamentalists like to say that maybe Darwin recanted his theory on his deathbed (he didn't), as if that has any bearing on whether evolution is true. If Darwin had never observed the animals on the Galapagos, evolution still would have been discovered again in Mendelian genetics. Or DNA. Or germ theory. Or fossils. They all fit together to fill in our knowledge about the process. And so saying that we don't understand a small part of it doesn't knock the whole theory down. "What did the first cell eat?" doesn't invalidate the whole thing even if we didn't have some guesses about it (and we do), any more than having a puzzle piece not fit where you thought it would make the puzzle into a board game.

Science does not require you to have all the answers at once. It's the process of fitting the puzzle pieces together one at a time. In a puzzle that you know is a picture of an animal, you may not be able to tell at first whether a puzzle piece with brown fur is of an otter or a bear, but you can tell that it's not an alligator. Creationism is the alligator. We may not know all the details of the evolution yet (although we know A LOT and I encourage to read about it). But we know that it is definitely not consistent with the kind of creation story that fundamentalists say must be true.

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You can't argue with ppl who choose to be ignorant.

Educate yourself for yourself. If ppl ask questions because they really value your opinion, that's one thing, but ppl who are just trying to pick a fight deserve none your time or energy.

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I was raised fundie, but from a very early age starting questioning many of my church's beliefs. My very innocent (at first anyway) questions were met with slaps from my mother or silence and then sort of criminalizing me because they didn't know what to do with me from my Sunday school teachers. They had patented answers that pretty much amounted to "Because... God." and if I kept questioning beyond that final answer was made to feel like a terrible person. I grew up and went to college and majored in biology- not because I was terribly interested in biology, but because I needed that piece of paper to get my dream career working with animals. By college I was an atheist, but always thought everything about evolution COULD go right along with God- IF one was willing to take a slightly less literal view than the King James Genesis account. I quickly learned that my family was NOT willing. Furthermore, they very much compare Charles Darwin to Jesus- meaning they truly believe that scientists worship Darwin. This has always been puzzling and somewhat amusing to me because of all the outspoken atheist college professors I had, not one of them even slightly worshiped Darwin. It's weird because no one compares Einstein or Edison to Jesus, but because Darwin's work involved origin and possibly disproved what they believe, suddenly it is a separate evil religion. Recently, my extended family (including some VERY intelligent people with advanced degrees and medical degrees) have been moving toward Young Earth Creationism (which to me is so obviously made up) to go along with their beliefs.

There is no arguing or proving points or winning. Many fundies find evolution to be too terrifying to discuss. It's completely puzzling, but it's ingrained in their brains as the ultimate evil. Study up because you want to learn for yourself. No amount of information is going to change your father-in-law's mind- it will probably just make him more cemented in his ways.

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Read through the articles on www.talkorigins.org Espically the FAQ or Common Creationist Misconceptions about evolution areas. Be warned, it's very science heavy, because, well, it's science. Creationists like simple tidy answers, but there aren't any in science. Be warned, you're pointing out where this guy is wrong will probably do nothing but piss him off. He doesn't want to be told he's wrong, he wants to feel superior.

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Well, there's no way to prove we weren't all created yersatday with our memories of the "past" fully intact. It's a stupid argument.

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I apologize if this isn't in the right forum!

One of the most vocal respondents has been my father-in-law. It's weird, because I told him I'm not a Christian anymore a couple of months ago, but then several weeks later, he was telling me to just "pray for this, and pray for that", and I reminded him that I do not identify as Christian anymore. Then he acted super shocked, and in my head I was like, "How could you have forgotten this?"

Please overlook the fact that I haven't read the other comments, so what I am about to say may have already been said. I am short on time, but when I read your post I had to respond.

My fil had the exact same reaction. My husband wrote him a detailed letter explaining in clear English that he now identified as an Atheist. Endless Biblical debate ensued. Finally after about a year my fil looked my husband directly in the eye and said, "Son, I am beginning to think you're an Atheist." :evil-eye: Umm yes, and thank you for joining us. We've been here a while. :doh:

Best advice? Stay calm, firm, and be prepared to repeat yourself often. News like this often comes as a shock- sometimes people respond with denial.

He launched into this speech about how you have to be stupid to believe in evolution. Now, when it comes to talking about church history or the Bible, I feel fairly equipped to debate with a Christian. But I know next to nothing about evolution. I never even took it in high school. (Not because I was SOTDRT, I wasn't even a Christian in those days, but I was a slacker who dropped out of school). And science just isn't my forte. So when my FIL said, "The evolutionists think it all started from this one cell, but don't they see that the cell would have just died? What would it have had to eat?" I didn't know at all how to respond.

Another thing I struggle with is the argument that God created the earth with the APPEARANCE of age. Like, he created a fully-formed earth, rather than a baby earth that had to grow. My scientific knowledge is so non-existent that I have no clue how to intelligently argue this.

So for those of you who know the basics of evolution, what would you say to these two arguments? What DID the first cell do in order to maintain its life once it was here? And why wouldn't it make sense, scientifically, for the earth to have been created fully-formed.

Sorry I am such a science dumbass...

No to all of the above. Just no. He set a trap for you. Atheism does not necessarily= the belief in evolution or even the assertion that you hold the secrets to how the world or mankind came into being. It does not obligate you to solve or offer suggestions either.

Atheism simply says that you have seen no evidence to substantiate a belief in God. Period. End of story. From that point Atheist vary on what they believe. Remember, the burden of proof is on him to substantiate his belief in God, not you to disprove his theory. If it were the other way around we would spend our entire lives refuting one hairbrained idea after another.

Don't believe I have an invisible purple unicorn in my backyard who wards off knitting snakes with a penchant for sweet tea? Prove it! Do you see any snakes sitting in my backyard knitting and drinking sweet tea? Of course you don't. It's because my magical unicorn works! :snooty: :lol:

See how that works. It's almost impossible for you to prove something doesn't exist, therefore the burden falls on me to substantiate my beliefs with evidence.

Also remember that not having the answer does not mean the answer must be God. Maybe the magical unicorn in my backyard is responsible for it all, maybe your fil's sky fairy is responsible for it all....who knows, but lack of understanding on your part does not make his theory correct.

Sorry that got long winded. Hope that helps :)

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[Koala] Don't believe I have an invisible purple unicorn in my backyard who wards off knitting snakes with a penchant for sweet tea? Prove it! Do you see any snakes sitting in my backyard knitting and drinking sweet tea? Of course you don't. It's because my magical unicorn works! :snooty: :lol:

Ok, the mental picture of knitting snakes drinking sweet tea completely made my day.

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This is one of the most common arguments against evolution that I grew up hearing. "Well who is so stupid that they would actually believe in evolution?" "It sound stupid" is often the entire argument and you can try pointing out that the smartest people in the world accept evolution, but no, they're just too dumb to see the truth of Creationism and you must be dumb too if you think those people are smart.

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FWIW, there are plenty of Christians who are perfectly accepting of evolution. I was an adult before I even realized there were people who didn't believe in evolution, and I was shocked.

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FWIW, there are plenty of Christians who are perfectly accepting of evolution. I was an adult before I even realized there were people who didn't believe in evolution, and I was shocked.

Same here.

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Same here.

Hell, growing up in the Church of Scotland then mainline Presbyterian when we moved to the US, I hadn't met a MINISTER who didn't believe in evolution until I was an adult.

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In grad school I actually took a class where we went in depth into how the first cell could have come into being. The science is actually pretty good, but it's something that can't be explained to anyone without a seriously solid foundation in chemistry, physics and biochemistry. At this point, while I still know it makes sense in my head, I'm really sure I've been long enough out of science to be able to explain it to anyone else. I just have forgotten many of the details of the chemistry.

Seriously awesome class. Professor did his grad research on the bacteria in the hot springs in Yellowstone. So one of our classes was basically him telling us about his specific research. With lots of lovely pictures of sulfur vents and red / yellow stream banks.

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FWIW, there are plenty of Christians who are perfectly accepting of evolution. I was an adult before I even realized there were people who didn't believe in evolution, and I was shocked.

This is certainly true, but I had the opposite experience of not knowing any Christians who did accept evolution. It was widely accepted that it was impossible to be Christian and believe in evolution. Even in college Christians who accepted evolution were very much in the minority.

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I haven't seen this mentioned yet, so I thought I'd throw it in...a REALLY great resource for someone new to science (or anyone, for that matter) is the show Cosmos that's currently on Fox. It explains the wonder and beauty of science in an easy to understand way that is visually stunning, and virtually every episode holds some sort of debunking for Creationism in favor of an old universe and evolution. I am in a similar situation to you, I'm a deconverted Christian for several years now. I also grew up fundamentalist and in a fundie Christian school, so learned no real science. Sometimes I resent the lack of real education I received, but I'm also having loads of fun learning and discovering this whole new world of science that has opened up to me.

Good luck on your quest for knowledge!

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Intelligent Design on trial is a great PBS documentary about creationists trying to sneak ID into the classroom. It explains several arguments of ID(which is re-vamped creationism) and why they are wrong. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/ ... trial.html

This series already started last night, but I'm sure it will be repeated, uploaded to the website, or uploaded to youtube. It explains how our bodies became what they are through evolution. http://www.pbs.org/your-inner-fish/home/

Cosmos has been touching on evolution and the age of the universe, too. It's on Sunday nights.

Watching these programs might be a good way to introduce yourself to evolution if reading heavy science is initially discouraging. I'd also recommend learning about logical fallacies if you are going to debate or have heavy-duty conversations about religion, atheism, and evolution. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

Many people have a really poor understanding of the scientific method and what the word theory means to scientists, so it is useful to be familiar with it: http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-i ... heory.html and http://www.livescience.com/20896-scienc ... ethod.html

I hope you find these links helpful; I've been where you are at and it can be challenging sometimes. Good luck!

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