Two years ago, back in those long since misted-over days of middle school, I went with a school group to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. It was only a few months before this that I had first run into Answers in Genesis, a splendid collection of bull shit which gave me a good laugh at first, but then made me rather depressed as I realised that people actually believed that tosh.
It wasn’t until I went to Space Camp that I actually met a full-blown young earth creationist, who I will call James T. Kirk in this post to protect his anonymity. Truthfully, little did I know but most of my classmates were young earth creationists, and it was only after I met James that I found out that they were… but that’s a story for another time.
Anyway, one of my friends who had also come to hate Answers in Genesis with a passion came to me and told me that she had found out that he was a creationist, and so… we began debating him.
Everyday during breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we would shout over the table at each other about evolution. Goodness, it was loads of fun in retrospect, but I don’t think any creationist has raised my blood pressure so much since James. We would pick apart the arguments that were infecting his mind, pick them apart, but he would stubbornly change to something else like the start of the universe. It seemed entirely hopeless.
But, by the end of the week, I finally got him to admit that the Solar Nebular Theory was possible. I was unable to continue my meal-time debates with him at the end of Space Camp, but when we went our separate ways at the end, he came to realise on his own that if he were to value reason, he couldn’t be a young earth creationist, and became a theistic evolutionist.
I’m still working on the theist part…
James, I still love ‘ya pal… but not in that way. More in a Jesusly sort of way. You’re one of the few people who valued truth enough to discard (one of) your dearest delusions for it.
But what truly surprised me is that James thanked me last night. He said that since he met me and my friend at Space Camp, he had become even more interested in science and was very glad that he was able to shift more towards the mainstream. In short, disillusionment rocks.
Well James, you’re welcome. I’ve still got a bit of work to do, but may there be many more of you to come. You’ve given me hope that not all the young earth creationists are brainwashed by Answers in Genesis.
You’re welcome, and thank you.