Of all the young earth creationists with which I interacted during my short stint as a guest in the Facebook creationist group, it was the guy I’ll call “Bob the Bible college creationist” who perhaps elicited the most sympathy from me.
Here is a grown man who has spent his entire childhood and adult educational life, learning incorrect things. The mistakes in his science education being repeated over and over again, up to and including a “college” degree. It’s a travesty if I’m being completely honest.
If you’ve ever seen pictures of toddlers with their eyes closed and hands clasped in prayer, or on a prayer mat facing Mecca, then my sympathy for people like Bob might be easier to understand. I think about those kids and wonder what chance they stand in their pursuit of the truth? Many of them will grow up so sheltered from the outside world and so inculcated in their religious tradition, that they will eventually just assume that the traditions and myths they have been taught, are a reliable representation of how the world actually is.
They are like the characters in M. Night Shyamalan’s movie, the Village. They are inside a reality of someone else’s making. Their chances of escaping that fiction dwindling with each cultural barrier that is erected around them.
There is a silver lining though, and it is called the Internet.
For all the lunacy delivered to our screens via the Internet, there is also unprecedented access to real knowledge. When groups like the Facebook creationists invite champions of scientific literacy like me in to their bubble, the Bobs of the world finally get some exposure to actual science.
Maybe, just maybe, I said something or posted a link to something that caused Bob to think back on his Bible college “science” classes and ponder the accuracy of what he had been taught. The time and money he wasted on learning incorrect things can’t be recovered, but learning what is true doesn’t have an expiry date. I’m pulling for Bob to figure that out.