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Kingdom of Priests

In response to an offhanded comment I made referring to “naive creationists,” I received an email from a self-defined creationist, objecting to my characterization. I don’t want to get into a debate about evolution here, but I will say I was struck, as I have been before, by the courtesy and civility of the email. I won’t identify the man because I don’t have his permission to do so, but he used what was clearly a real name, which I respect in this cowardly Internet-degraded age of ours.

He wrote:

I know that you are just trying to distance yourselves from us. I know too that you are not a Christian, but I would think that Jews too would seek to treat their fellow human beings who have been created in the image of [God] with the respect they deserve.  

So again, I am writing asking that you be a little more courteous towards creationists.  You gotta realize that they are closer to your position than the evolutionists. Both of us believe in a Creator. Both of us believe in evolution to a limited extent. Creationists believe that evolutionary processes and natural selection are limited in what they can accomplish. That limit was clearly delineated when God created the world and said to the animals, birds, fish, plants, etc that they would reproduce according to their kind. You can’t jump the limits that the Creator has placed on His creation.  

By the way, there are naive evolutionists and naive IDers as well I believe — people who cannot explain why they believe what they believe, but simply believe because of a friend’s opinion or something like that.

His first point is well taken. In referring to creationism (in the sense of biblical literalism) as “naive,” I was trying to draw a sharply defined line, because blurring the line between creationism and intelligent design is something Darwinists delight in doing. I did it at the expense of people who do no harm. On the contrary, if some evolutionists switched sides and subscribed to Biblical literalist creationism, that would be a net benefit for the culture.
He had me on the courtesy issue as well. There’s precious little of it in this world. It’s one thing to refer to an idea as “naive.” But people? How do I know if someone else, a stranger especially, is “naive”? It’s the civilized way to give people the benefit of the doubt and stick to responding to their idea, rather than critiquing their person.
Score 1 for creationists.

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