Shake the Faith April 19, 2008

Shake the Faith

Evolved Rationalist shares a story from a Young Earth Creationist, James, who changed his ways.

James now believes in theistic evolution.

You don’t have to agree with James’ current views, either — I don’t — but the way he made the switch indicates that we atheists shouldn’t keep our mouths shut when it comes to religion. Don’t be afraid to ask religious fundamentalists about their beliefs. Make them defend their views.

Then it came, when [I] was about eight years old I first watched the Kent Hovind videos, the worst mistake in my life. His statements against evolution and the like stirred up a hatred for science in me. Suddenly I was sensitized of the problem of evolution and galvanized into action.

… Finally I came to the conclusion; against all odds I was going to be an astronaut. Instantly everything changed. I started to love science, mathematics, and technology. I got way better at math and science and entered a new age. A wonderful age, the age of reason. Now in my research (not in school being that I was homeschooled) I often heard “this rock is 3.5 billion years old,” or “the universe is estimated to be 13.7 billion years old” I gradually became used to it…

In the summer of 2006 my faith was punched in the stomach by a crisis of faith…

When I left spacecamp I was rather shaken up… Finally sometime in July 2007 I was in serious doubts about YE creationism. To the point where I was ready to give up…

The whole story fill in the gaps.

Unlike anything Creationism has ever offered.

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • *sniffle*

    I’m so proud of him. Whenever I need hope for the world, I go back to the memory of him admitting that the Solar Nebular Theory is possible.

  • Ron in Houston

    I’m becoming an evangelist for the power of blogging. Hemant, blogging takes time, and time is a very limited commodity. You spending the time to keep this blog is truly a service.

    Thanks Hemant, you’re blog has become a regular read for me.

  • Samuel Skinner

    People CAN change!

  • Many kudos to James. I read his post; he has broken down quite a few intellectual barriers in a fairly short period of time. Good for him.

  • bb

    People CAN change!

    Two-way street, I’m afraid.

    My brother left for college a moderate Christian, pretty tolerant of other lifestyles and beliefs, then he joined a church and got involved pretty heavily in it, and eventually enough years of “God is a God of Black and White, not a God of Gray” and he buckled and went full-on fundie.

    Now he routinely breaks plans and commitments with family, friends and work whenever his church calls him up and asks him to do something, and he openly tells the family of “the miracle that just happened” any time a complete stranger “becomes a brother” in his church. I’m pretty incredulous that he can consider people he barely knows more of a brother to him than, ya know, his own brother.

    Still cusses and drinks when I visit though. And his wife is pro-choice. I seriously do not get how he reconciles that with his uberconservative faith.

  • Interesting article. I wonder what YE Creationists think of OE Creationists? YE Creationists always struck me as pretty rigid.

    Still, nothing wrong with some diversity in theism.

  • @Secular Dignity:

    I wonder what YE Creationists think of OE Creationists?

    Not highly. I grew up in a YEC environment. Our spiritual leaders were all quite hostile towards Theistic Evolution, Gap Theory, Day-Age Theory, Allegory Theory and any other interpretation of Genesis that precluded Jesus creating the universe in exactly 6 terrestrial days. You can look those up if you want, I had to memorize them for Bible class. Suffice to say they never outright claimed, but strongly implied, that you were Hellbound if you accepted any of those “alternate” theories. Satan was vigilant and he was trying his utmost to smuggle Evolutionist pseudoscience into real Christian science in any way possible.

    In my “personal testimony” (a prerequisite to my graduating from a Christian High School) I wrote that I believed the Bible was not meant to be taken 100% literally on matters of scientific or historical accuracy. My Bible teacher marked me down heavily for those comments, claiming it was a “dangerous view”.

    I was also told by my Bible teacher that the Strong interaction and the Van Der Waal force were inventions of the devil and that Colossians 1:17 proves that it is Jesus pinching atoms together that prevents matter from flying apart. I only wish I were exaggerating.

  • Thanks for the plug, Hemant!

    Whoever said that I was a Christian-hating rabid atheist again? Christians are my favorite people as, er…at dinner. 😉

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