Sunday Speculation: Faith

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness… Rom 1:18

I started listening to The Making of the Fittest by Sean Carroll on Friday on my way up to Santa Barbara. It is an excellent conveyance of the overabundance of evidence for evolution. All one needs to understand this book is a basic grasp of the English language. He doesn’t make things complicated or obscure. He is not intentionally obtuse.

The reason for this is revealed early in the book. Carroll believes that people will believe if they see the facts. If the excess of evidence is laid before an ordinary, un-scientifically educated person, there will be no doubt in that person’s mind that evolution is a fact.

I like Carroll. I have only read his books and watched a few interviews with him on YouTube, but he is very knowledgeable and, again, he makes his knowledge accessible. You don’t need to have majored in a science in school to understand what he’s talking about.

I’m not sure what people he is talking about, though. I’m sure there are a few people out there who are actually looking for evidence either for or against what they already believe. I hope those few do find his book.

The general person is not interested in the truth. It is far easier to believe whatever we were told since childhood than to face the fallout of questioning, then possibly rejecting, everything those around us believe. We have all watched over the years what happens to those people. They leave our churches and are either spoken of with an air of shame or one of disgust, if they are even spoken of at all. We know from childhood on that we will never see those people again. We also know from childhood that it’s very bad to be one of those people.

We don’t want to know the truth, because knowing the truth will require us to question further what we have been lead to believe. And that will lead to ostracization. Social proof is the only proof we need that whatever faith we were taught from childhood is true enough.

So we join with the others around us who take the pastor’s word for it that the atheist is a miserable sinner and the evolutionist is the devil’s servant. We never bother to examine whether there might be real evidence for the science. We can’t. Too much is riding on us continuing in belief.

We also never bother to question the supposed facts the pastor presents us each week that he/she claims are absolute proof that our version of our holy book is true and beyond question. To question is to test God and to test God is a sin. Testing God leads to punishment. Testing God leads to questioning faith which leads to leaving the faith which leads us to the aforementioned casting out, the loss of friends and, often, family.

It is not just cults who reject those who leave, though Protestants like to claim it is. All those who hold to their religion closely enough to be “saved” do the same. It’s too dangerous to be around someone who asks the hard questions. It’s contagious, you know. If you listen to one person question, you might be inclined to question. If you begin to question, you might begin to doubt. If you begin to doubt…well, I think we’re all very clear what happens.

So the church suppresses actual truth for the sake of faith. To what end, I am only beginning to understand. There is no great conspiracy, rather there is great fear. Fear that if what we were taught is wrong, we are bound for hell. Fear is enough to keep people in line, to keep them from actual inquiry. And, in the immortal words of Dawn Bellwether: Fear always works.


So, though I wish Carroll was right, I do not believe that any book he has written will convince more than a handful of people that the evidence is there, because most people have too much at stake to believe truth.

I, however, must agree with, not only Carroll, but Sagan. The delusion is not worth it in the long run.


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