Are open-minded? Apparently, I’m not. At least In in some things.
Yes, it’s about another podcast. I’m on a bit of a search for historic and academic theology. I label myself as a wistful agnostic and wish I could find something substantial that would push me over the edge. My wife argues firmly, pointing her finger: “that’s why it’s called faith and not reason you dolt.” Okay. I don’t argue.
So, I’ve been listening to a theology podcast and got pretty ginned up since he was spending a lot of time on creation questions. I can’t blame him for not knowing but, in the past, I’ve researched every kind of Christian creation story that there is. Hindi, too. And found that in each case, they begin with god and, for the Christians, an interpretation of Genesis, and then sift settled facts about evolution in that light. It results in each group not only disagreeing with evolution proper, but with each other. And there is no way to tell if anyone is right. Do days in the creation story mean a 24-hour day or a million years? Science doesn’t speak to the question but each must be interpreted according to your theology. And there is no way to reasonably sort it out.
To the subject. I emailed the podcast host and gave some opinions about his content. He emailed back – very nice – and said that I (in this case) lack any sort of open-mindedness. I suppose he is correct. I kind of agree with Tim Keller who, in The Reason for God, claims that Christianity, when examined, shouldn’t fall under the same logic as the determination of the makeup of DNA. To wit: one can be measured by anyone with skills to do so. The other requires a certain kind of historical logic. But when you’re parsing the science of a 6,000-year-old earth, I damn well expect that you have your geology, molecular biology, and physics in order. I suppose that does make me close-minded.
It pinches to hear the response that you’re closed minded. It carries the weight of refusing to examine evidence. And it’s true in this case. I no longer spend time wondering if the earth is a few thousand years old or if Eve was made from a rib removed from Adam’s side. And in the same way, the podcaster must be closed minded: he is studying genetics at Harvard. Does he subscribe to the idea held by some Christians that genes are sentient? That they have a goal in their expression? That they remake themselves to make a better man? Maybe, but then his grades must suffer as there is no evidence for this but it is an entirely subjective view.