And just like that, it is done. My brand new little Young Earth Creationist group has decided to bounce me. Apparently, my relentless adherence to demonstrable reality was just a bit too much for them to handle.
Jorge, the group’s primary admin and the one who added me, told me a few evenings ago in one of our many exchanges, that it was just a matter of time before I blocked him. He said that’s what most “evolutionists” do once they decide they can no longer withstand his onslaught of “facts.”
Fast forward a few days and lo and behold if it was not Jorge himself who turned my ouster into its very own online event! A virtual witch burning if you will, with many of the groups most pious joining in the spectacle. He created a special post to the group, just to announce my impending removal. A post complete with other members adding to what became a healthy thread of memories of my various statements of fact. (Thank you for confirming that some of you were reading what I wrote). At least Jorge didn’t use one of my real photos to dox me in the process. Instead he accompanied this virtual pyre with an image of a cartoon monkey with its hands over its ears…clever lad that Jorge.
I’m going to miss him. Jorge was certainly one of the most interesting creationists with whom I have interacted. He had this incredible ability to find wonderful, often novel scientific research in the field of biology, and somehow convince himself that these papers proved evolution could not be real. It was amazing!
On more than one occasion I pointed out to him that each time he shared one of these legitimate research papers, that he provided evidence that evolution is in fact, true. He would not hear it. He wanted to, without any academic training at all in the subject mind you, dig deep into these findings. A worthy approach were it not for his myopia. By focusing on a single tree in each of these papers, he missed the entire surrounding forest which proved him absurdly wrong.
It became clear to me, that Jorge has spent hours upon hours studying these papers. He has squinted his eyes, twisted his neck, and mentally redacted anything in any of them which clearly validates evolution. He masterfully diverts the most complex findings in each paper, such that he becomes convinced that they “refute evolution.” Then he builds his wall around it.
His gambit was simple. If he could get his interlocutor to just stay steeped in highly complex, technical topics, he could word salad his way through any conversation, then eventually accuse his interlocutor of just not being smart enough to understand what the paper is saying. I can see why this gambit would cause people to just simply block him, allowing him to declare victory and further confirm his delusions.
But here’s the thing, I like asking simple questions. In the end, I think that was my undoing with Jorge and ultimately with this group. I recognized that the wall Jorge had built around his mind with these research papers was virtually impenetrable. He was convinced he was 100% correct, despite the fact that no one else in all of biology arrived at his same conclusion. So rather than get sucked into his word salad, I ask higher level questions. Questions that get people like Jorge to quit fixating on that single tree, and that cause them to look around to see where they are actually standing. In this case, they are standing squarely in the middle of evolutionary biology.
One simple question I love to ask when someone like Jorge who believes a research paper says a certain thing and is unmovable on the subject is, “Since there’s nothing I can say that will change your mind here, why don’t you just email the author and ask him or her if their paper says what you think it says?”
My rationale here is simple. Most of these papers are written by university professors and their email addresses are usually right there on the page. These are real scientists doing what they do and I have found many of them are remarkably responsive! So forget the interpretations, the mental gymnastics, and the word salad. Just ask them directly.
This suggestion would often lead to a mad scramble of excuses.
“They are just evolutionists.”
“They work for government indoctrination centers.”
And so on. But interestingly enough, their retorts and comments would then go quiet for a while. It was if this question at least caused Jorge and those who use this tactic, to ponder why they might not want to remove doubt by going directly to the source. But I already know the answer and I suspect you know it too. Creationists are desperate to maintain their delusions because they have chained their colossal misunderstand of science, to their deeply held religious beliefs. They must keep their walls impenetrable.Their immortal soul is depending on it.
So with that I say to Jorge and those like him, keep sharing great science. Maybe one day they will recognize it for what it actually says, not for what they want to believe it says.