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Dandelions And Evolution


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(Of course, I've already posted my basic deconversion story. Being that this story played a small part of my deconversion process, this is probably the best place to post this, even though this wasn't what I had in mind when I wrote this.)

One time, way back when I was in my late teens, my brother and I were hiking on a trail somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. I think this was in Colorado, maybe during a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, but I might be wrong. At the time, I was a strongly indoctrinated christian. At one spot along the trail, I noticed several huge dandelions. They were about a three feet tall as best as I can remember. I thought about how one never sees dandelions this large in one’s yard. These were the only dandelions I had ever seen in the wild, so maybe there are wild dandelions about the same size as one sees in town, but these damn sure weren’t small.

I thought about why this might be. The obvious conclusion is that dandelions that have to grow two or three feet tall before producing flowers and later seeds cannot survive in yards that are mowed each week. Obviously, yards that are mowed regularly are environments that naturally select for smaller dandelions.

I really DID NOT like this conclusion. I had been struggling with trying to dismiss evolution ever since I had learned about it as a small child. I hated that it didn’t match what the bible said, and I hated that it made so much sense. When I was 11, I read a National Geographic issue that discussed the evolution of man and had photos of skulls of possible human ancestors. I imagined how they may have put the skull fragments together incorrectly, making assumptions about how the pieces should fit. I did several other mental gymnastics to explain it all away. But seeing these dandelions was much harder to ignore. It was something I could see with my own eyes. It seemed much more real than photos of pieced-together skulls.

I still had more struggling to do. I at least gave lip service to the macro evolution vs. micro evolution argument, but I was smart enough to know that macro evolution is just micro evolution over a large time frame (though apparently significant changes can happen in small time frames). I remained willfully ignorant for several more years. Christianity significantly retarded the development of my world view, and as far as I can tell, that’s all it’s ever done for me.

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Hey MagickMonkey

 

I can relate to being horrified at evidence of evolution. I used to think, "They are trying to trick us! They want to do away with God so they can sin and not worry about it!" I struggled to fit the Bible's account and my Christian worldview with evidence. The thing is, scientists generally go where the evidence leads; as Christians, we were supposed to start with God so we'd end up with God--not very inspiring for science lovers. (And yes, my screen name "positivist" refers to this very scientific orientation that requires empirical evidence.)

 

It's funny that as humans we are so dependent on patterns and the need for things to make sense.

 

And now, here we are!

 

Peace.

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