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evogeneao's picture

Like no other discovery of science, evolutionary theory incites fear and loathing among many religionists. Even among reasonable middle-of-the-road religionists there is an uneasy feeling about it they would rather not explore. I've seen this over and over again in the classroom, where more teachers than you might think, even so-called science teachers, downplay or ignore evolution, and its close cousin, Earth history. They either are not comfortable with it themselves, or are afraid of parents' complaints about teaching a 'controversial' subject. Even science-minded religionists, who readily accept an ancient age of the Earth and evolution, pull up short when the question arises of when does a soul appear in the line of descent from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens.
I'm convinced the fear of evolution among religionists is because evolution refutes their idea of their special creation by the master of the universe. They think it demeaning to be related to other animals, rather than something special and apart. They want to be up on a pedestal, rather than down in the stalls with everything else. And they call themselves humble, and atheists self-centered and proud!
Trying to convince anti-evolutionists with facts is much less profitable than addressing the root cause of their discomfort. Getting them to at least discuss the change in self-concept required by acceptance of evolution can be a start. Presenting life on Earth, as puts it, as one big extended family, can perhaps make the transition a little easier.
I'd like hear about experiences other people have had with relatives or friends about evolution.