What's going on here?

I've made a commitment: to do one good deed per day. Large or small, it doesn't matter. Self-sacrificing or not, extraordinary or mundane, it doesn't matter. Just one thing every day, that's all.

The more I do good, the better I feel about myself. Truly, to benefit others is to benefit yourself. I hope this journal may inspire others who also yearn to do good. So join me on this journey, if you will, and think about the difference you can make in your own life.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Learning patience

On Darwin Day I posted an essay to several email lists. It posed a problem that I don't currently understand about evolution. The responses were all over the place. Several accused me of being a creationist. One person said we don't need Darwin because he was just a white guy, and indigenous peoples already knew everything we need to know about evolution. Another person attacked me in an all-out flame. A few people addressed the topic with calm and good will, but skipped over what I wrote and replied instead with stereotyped arguments used to counter creationists. A very small minority understood what I was getting at and offered helpful nuggets of information.

Considering the extremity of some of the comments, and the accusations against my person, I noticed myself reacting with calm and candor. Some even made me laugh. To those that were flame-bait I declined reply, and to those that offered reasonable perspectives I responded in kind. I realized I must be learning patience.

Still, it was rather disappointing. Most disappointing of all were the accusations of creationism, especially when they were not accompanied by anything else to educate me about evolution. What kind of scientific climate are we living in when we can't ask questions to clarify our understanding, without being dismissed as creationists? How else does one learn? Part of the problem is that creationists have become so crafty at posing their arguments that they've pushed evolutionists to such paranoia. The other part of the problem is that evolutionists need to be more patient and willing to educate when someone raises their hand and says "I don't understand."

ONE GOOD DEED: Exercise patience in dealing with inflammatory replies to an email post.

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