Conspiracy Theories - Creationism
I did a recent post on different styles of debating. In it I describe the oft used tactic of Antithetical arguments; where too seemingly opposite view points are presented as the only available options. There was a perfect example of the problems caused by this in the BBC3 programme 'Conspiracy Road Trip - Creationism' At this point you may suspect that I am about to come down hard on the producer and presenter of the show, but hold for a moment. Granted, the television company did what they tend to do by creating space for maximum conflict, but the focus of my frustration lay elsewhere. It seems to me that some sections of the evangelical church have suggested (even taught) that there are only two positions available in the faith vs science debate. Namely; you either believe the bible or you believe evolution. I felt sorry for most of the participants because they had obviously not been encouraged to have an open mind about such things and so began to defend their faith instead of discussing science. And this is what I believe to be the problem. If we are told that there are only two options available then it is easy to conclude that accepting any alternative evidence is akin to 'letting the side down'. There are many evangelical Christians, who hold a considered view of the bible, and who are not uncomfortable with the idea of evolution. My frustration is that churches equip their members to take a stand on areas that do not necessarily undermine the Christian faith. There are more places to take a stand on the issue than simply the two options presented.