Has this ever happened to you? You answer the door and find evangelicals, SDAers, or the like, wanting to spread the word about Christ. They are always polite, usually well dressed, but always ill informed about science. They have a memorized and rehearsed routine and refuse, or are unable to answer other questions you might ask. They are usually kids fulfilling a mandatory quest. In my story below, I encountered two older gentlemen who were unusually well informed and confident. I admired their dedication but certainly not their knowledge of basic freshman biology and evolution. Scientific facts are traditionally ignored or cherry picked to nonsensically refute established evolutionary science. Debate is useless with those who have personally spoken with God.
Fossil Moles in the Precambrian
The two gray haired gentlemen at my front door did not look like evangelicals. They did not wear poorly fitted suits, oversize shirt collars, and crooked ties. Their impeccable appearance belied the run of the mill impression I had of religious bell ringers.
“We have a petition of vital importance.” said one. The other added, with extended hand, “We would be grateful for just a few minutes of your time.” They held out their hands to shake mine.
As they well knew, it was hard for me to say no to these articulate and distinguished looking gentlemen, who reminded me of my father, so I nodded my assent and shook their hands.
My visitors explained that the majority of families in the school district were in favor of teaching creation science along with the theory of evolution. “Our children should not have an unproven theory forced upon them without an alternative point of view. It is a matter of educational freedom, good science, and individual rights.”
I listened politely, which they must have mistaken for agreement. One held out a clipboard with a wad of petition sheets full of signatures, “I can tell that you are a fair and intelligent person. Would you like to add your signature to your neighbors’?”
“You know,” I said, feeling a little put upon, “I’m afraid I don’t believe in Creationism.”
They smiled benevolently. “That’s why we are here brother, to explain it to you. What would it take, for you to believe in Creation Science? What evidence can we give you?”
While they spoke, my gaze drifted past them to my problem lawn, with little mounds of fresh dirt and long tortuous trails of brown grass. A friendly neighbor had posted a small sign on my lawn. It proclaimed, in bold but weather beaten words, “Mole Heaven.” How true it was. My lawn was infested, but I never had the heart to impale, poison, or gas these fascinating creatures with such short, precarious, and fecund lives. My attitude was “Live and let live.” So what, if my lawn was not as immaculate as my neighbors; so what, if my neighbor brought his dead moles over to show me, and try to convince me that I should embark on a crusade to rid my lawn of moles.
“So, what will it take for you to believe in creation science and sign our petition?” the gentleman repeated.
The mysteries of the mind intrigue and puzzle me so I’m not sure why I answered the way I did.
“Well, How about fossil moles in the Precambrian?”
They looked at each other and one finally said, “What is the Procambrian?”
I did not fault them and would not fault anybody for not getting the gist of my comment. Avid science readers would know that the Precambrian is the period of time beginning with the formation of the earth, about 4.6 billion years ago, up until the Cambrian period, which began about 500 million years ago. Precambrian fossils indicate that only soft-bodied marine animals existed in the seas, shellfish were yet to evolve, and of course, there were no land animals. Moles would not appear on the scene until modern times. I explained to them that had a creator wished to prove the validity of creationism, he would have put a mole fossil in Precambrian geological strata. If a creator had done that, paleontologists have not yet found it. I told them, “I am waiting for evidence.”
As I expected, my explanations were in vain, and so I politely ended our conversation. As they walked toward my neighbor’s house, one of them looked back. I motioned to my lawn and asked. “By the way, do you know a humane way to get rid of moles?” He shook his head, and turned away.
As an act of redemption, I phoned my neighbor and warned him of incoming evangelicals. I also armed him with information about fossil moles in the Precambrian.
Credits: Geneticist J.B.S. Haldane, when asked what it would take for him to reject evolution replied, “finding rabbit fossils in the Precambrian.”