Yesterday was certainly an eye opener. I posted a blog entry stating my belief that a good knowledge of evolution should be required to graduate from High School or to earn a GED. My reasoning is that evolution is the currently widely accepted theory to explain the origin of life on earth. This theory is important to the scientific disciplines of medicine, zoology and chemistry among others and I feel that it is important to have an understanding of the theory, especially if you want to pursue a career in most any scientific or technical discipline.
Well, Zarquon’s knees! What a hive of angry bees I stirred up! All of the riotous action took place on Facebook, where I posted a link to my blog and asked for feedback. What really astonished me was that people, my friends, became so emotional about it, even though I never said, or implied that creationism was wrong or that God didn’t create the universe. All I was saying was that evolution should be required for a well balanced education.
About half of the responses were vehemently against my suggestion, most based on the reasoning that evolution is just a belief like creationism or other dogmatic beliefs such as creationism is correct because the bible says so.
The other half argued in support of evolution, but some in almost as a vitriolic a way as those against, which serves no purpose, except to incite.
It is easy to get emotional about beliefs we hold dearly to be true. We’ve become so polarized as a society that we can’t even get a debate off the ground anymore before people on both sides start getting into it and a debate devolves into an argument, which deteriorates into a flame war.
I am a very firm believer in the personal liberty of the kind that the founding fathers of the American Revolution believed in and founded this nation on. I feel that we all have the right to believe what we choose and that all beliefs and points of view should be respected.
So, I’d ask everyone who gets into a debate like this, anywhere or at any time in the future to stop and think before you post. Take a minute to read aloud what you plan to send and make sure that it isn’t something that might be harmful or hurtful or come across as a put down or preaching. Just state your argument and the facts to back it up. Then listen to what others have to say. Then, go from there.
There is a line from the musical 1776 when Hopkins, the delegate from R.I. learns that he is the tie breaking vote to decide if the continental congress will debate independence, he says, “Well, in all my years I ain’t never heard, seen nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about. Hell yeah! I’m for debating anything. Rhode Island says yea! “.
So, let’s continue to talk, just remember to respect one another while we do it.