I was dumb founded at our latest Ask an Atheist day. Most of the questions were good, curious and the SSA students responding did their best to address the issues. One of the recently graduates SSA members came back for the event and so loved to panel discussion, he has to join the head table. Joe just wanted to mix it up with the discussion and to his credit, he is a well read and well informed atheist.
And then there was this question, “then, how did life start?” I was sitting near the back of the room and I looked at the panel and they looked at me as if to say, “did we just hear that?” One of the SSA students said evolution. “What’s that, how does it work?”
This is where my jaw dropped and I wanted to ask what rock he has been living under. A college student really just asked that question. The panel did their level best to be polite and add some content to evolution. Even other audience members started to chip in about carbon chains and “primordial soup.” The difficulty with the question is that the answer is a full biology course. This guy must have taken Astronomy for his core course.
We have heard Christians say this before, “I don’t know any atheists,” or “I have never met and atheist.” So, it is my turn, I have never met a college student so poorly educated or ill informed. What does that say about our education system that a young person cannot answer that in some form. Home schooled, possibly and if that is the case, what a telling comment of the quality of that education. I really do not know his education background but maybe the way the question was formed suggests he wanted to know why we did not accept the creation myth. The student did not argue and state that creation was true and we were wrong. He was saying tell me about evolution.
The meeting finally wrapped up, but there were still small groups of student continuing to interact. It was great, polite and the SSA students did an excellent job of portraying a positive image.
As we were finally walking out, Evolution Boy’s friend decided to invite us all to a Christian rally that weekend. I said no! “Why not, we came to your meeting?” “Look, it does not work like that, just because you came to the Ask an Atheist event does not obligate me to attend yours.” And that was not a good enough answer for him. “It will be different.” “No it won’t.”