An anonymous lurker in Wyoming sent a generous contribution to help me recover from the loss of my laptop, etc. Since all I know is that you live in or near Cheyenne, WY, I just have to thank you publicly.
Of possible relevance to ongoing discussions here, the note accompanying the generous gift says:
Not that it matters, but I am one of those dreaded “creationists” that many science bloggers love to mock. My own personal views fall somewhere between id [sic] (not ID the whole DI anti-evolution political movement) and TE [theistic evolution] or EC [evolutionary creationism, the evangelical version of TE, roughly]. I love science and have a B.S. in a health-related field. I am kind of a freak in that no one else I know really seems to care much about the subject. … I do not oppose teaching good science. But I do oppose either scientism or religion being promoted in public schools, but am willing to bet that most educators know better than to cross the line. … I hate the warfare rhetoric used by the most vocal culture warriors. A lot of books and articles apparently get sold/read by capitalizing on the warfare model. I have concluded that those on the extremes have no desire to see the warfare end and achieve their purposes best by fanning the flames.
Mostly I care more about the actions people take to back up their words. I was reminded again in a sermon recently about what being a neighbor means. I make this contribution to help you in recovering some of your stuff. The first thing I thought about after reading about your lost back was in helping you out. I have tried to suppress the nagging need to do this. I hoped I would see that someone else had done so to let me off the hook. Ha. Call me crazy and a deluded fool, but I believe that God wants me to do this. …
P.S. Consider paying it forward sometime when you are able down the road.
As a point of clarification to the lurker and others, I always make a point of distinguishing between the doctrine of creation, which is age-old and shared by most religions, from creationism (or special creationism), which argues that divine acts of creation involve a suspension of natural law, and that such suspensions leave empirically measurable evidence in the world. It’s sometimes useful to use “creationist” to describe anyone adhering to the doctrine of creation, but the term is usually applied in the narrower sense.
Like the lurker, I mostly care about the actions people take, and worry less about the motives. He or she supports science education, lends a helping hand to strangers in need, and seeks to bridge the divides between people. I don’t doubt that this impulse to do good in the world would exist with or without religion, but if religion makes it easier for him or her, then mazel tov. The actions of someone who believes in divine creation and fights to ensure evolution stays in schools are the same as someone who believes in no divine forces and defends evolution education. If they behave the same, why should I, or anyone, be less than generous and welcoming to either
I’d like there to be more people in the world like my anonymous lurker, and I’ll do what I can to increase their numbers. Paying it forward, yes. Engaging thoughtful allies regardless of religious creed, yes again.
Comments on this post are disabled because this is not an argument post, it’s a thanksgiving. There are plenty of other places to argue.