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Friday, May 24, 2024

Column: Why You’re Wrong

A little while ago, I wrote about how amazing plants are, and how they have been here longer than us, and will be here long after we are gone. I also promised that I would have some choice words for those individuals who did not believe in evolution’s capacity to bring about these amazing organisms.

Now, I need to clarify one point that many people often get confused. People who believe in evolution do not actually “believe” in evolution; they simply understand why evolution is true.

To be clear, there is no such thing as an “evolutionist.” You either understand it, or you don’t. Some people use cell phones. Some do not. Just picture a world where people who did not use cell phones called everyone else “phonists.” That is how stupid you sound.

Evolution does not mean random. It does not mean improving. It has nothing to do with the origins of the universe. It has nothing to do with morality, theological claims, atheism, racism, christianity, judaism or any other ideology. Evolution means change over time. To deny that things, and even the universe, change over time, is to deny what is right in front of your eyes. It is to deny reality.

Now, many of you may be thinking that this aggressive “preaching” of atheist, or even agnostic, ideology is just as bad as religious aggression.

Let me tell you exactly why you are wrong.

Religious aggression is telling everyone who doesn’t agree with you that they are going to hell. Religious aggression is going door-to-door bothering people with your beliefs. Religious aggression is threatening and killing atheists, homosexuals, or even other religious individuals who believe in a different sky fairy than you do. It is using taxpayers’ money to promote your dogma in public schools. Religious aggression is the astoundingly egocentric attitude that your beliefs entitle you to special privileges, and that the words in your book give you the right to deny people their basic civil liberties.

To put this in an even better perspective, “aggressive” atheists do not kill anyone for having a religion. Aggressive atheists promote the teaching of proven fact in schools, not archaic belief systems. They promote existing constitutional laws that prohibit the favoring of one religion over another. They write books about how illogical religion is.

But how can we have morals if we don’t learn them from our book? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but morality and good morals existed long before the New Testament, or even the Old Testament. Nearly 4,000 years ago, Hammurabi’s code outlawed murder, theft and rape. The Hittite Code of Nesilim set forth similar rules 3,800 years ago, and added punishments for those caught breaking the laws. And 2,500 years ago, the 12 Tables of the Roman Empire outlawed theft, vandalism, tax evasion and assault. The New Testament was written less than 2,000 years ago … And it has some serious catch-up to do in many aspects of “morality.”

In the week of Feb. 3, 2013, scientists discovered a species of bacteria that makes gold as a waste product of its metabolism. The first bionic eye went on the market, allowing the blind to see. 3D printers were used to print living stem cells. Astronomical studies estimated that there are billions of habitable, earth-like planets in our galaxy. Scientists used genomic sequencing technologies to pinpoint the most recent common ancestor of all living placental mammals. All of this happened in just one week. That same week in religion? The Pope did what every good Catholic does … He pulled out early.

To those who still believe in creationism, I don’t blame you. I get it. It’s way easier to read (or not read) one fairy tale book than it is to read a bunch of difficult ones. You talk about how we all need a shepherd, but in reality, the only people who need shepherds are sheep.

If you think that your reasoning is more sound, and that you can do better than the scientists, then show us. The great thing about science is that the people involved are just as interested in finding out what is false, as they are in finding out what is true.

HUDSON LOFCHIE thinks that realizing he will never know everything is magnificent. The universe cannot fit in one man’s mind. He can be reached at science@theaggie.org.



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