My self-esteem has suffered a blow this morning. I discovered I'm illiterate. Yes, this same individual with a Master's degree who can verbally express himself and has for years, is "individually illiterate." How did I come to this conclusion? It's not my conclusion but that of a Time magazine editor named Jeffrey Kluger. Permit me to set this in context.
This morning I was reading a blog from Time magazine and was intrigued by a story concerning the Italian geologists who were convicted of failing to accurately predict an earthquake. Mr. Kluger began his editorial with a sentence that captured my attention; "Yesterday was a very good day for stupid — better than any it’s had in a while." You've got to admit, that's a great opening line. In fact, "stupid" has not had so much attention since Forrest, Forrest Gump's famous line, " Mama always says, 'Stupid is as stupid does.'" Who doesn't enjoy a great stupid line? So Mr. Kluger had me at "yesterday." I even agreed with him--for a little while. Read how he elaborated:
"Stupid gets fewer good days in the 21st century than it used to get, but it enjoyed a great ride for a long time — back in the day when there were witches to burn and demons to exorcise and astronomers to put on trial for saying that the Earth orbits around the sun.
But yesterday was a reminder of stupid’s golden era, when an Italian court sentenced six scientists and a government official to six years in prison on manslaughter charges, for failing to predict a 2009 earthquake that killed 300 people in the town of l’Aquila. The defendants are also required to pay €7.8 million ($10 million) in damages."
Who could disagree with his assessment of the stupidity perpetuated by the Italian Court. (I use big words like perpetuate when I'm fighting feelings of illiteracy.) This guy was on a roll and I read on, only to be confronted by my illiteracy. As he wrote, he elaborated on the expanding base of ignorance and used as proof a study of Generation X, "finding that only 43% of Gen Xers (53% of males and 32% of females) can correctly identify a picture of a spiral galaxy — or know that we live in one." I'm not sure how troubling this should be for the average American. Surely we can continue to exist without our younger generation knowing how to identify a spiral galaxy. And, he agrees with me. What I find disturbing is how he transitions into other areas of knowledge and accepts theory as fact. Read on, my fellow illiterates. (Oh, you didn't know you were an illiterate too. Perhaps you are not--read on to make your own determination.)
"Certainly, it’s possible to move successfully through life without that kind of knowledge. “Knowing your cosmic address is not a necessary job skill,” concedes study author Jon D. Miller of the University of Michigan, in a release accompanying the report. But not knowing it does suggest a certain lack of familiarity with the larger themes of the physical universe — and that has implications. It’s of a piece with the people who believe humans and dinosaurs co-existed, or the 50% of Americans who do not believe that human beings evolved from apes, or the 1 on 5 who, like Galileo’s inquisitors, don’t believe the Earth revolves around the sun.
More troubling than these types of individual illiteracy are the larger, population-wide ones that have a direct impact on public policy."
And there you have it--unless you believe we evolved from apes you are an individual illiterate.
Being the wounded soul that I now am, I double checked the meaning of illiterate and discovered the following definitions:
1. offensive term: an offensive term meaning not able to read or write.
2. uneducated: having or showing little or no knowledge of a particular subject.
3. making many language mistakes: full of or making many basic errors in the use of language.
Perhaps I have a few language mistakes in this rant, but Word proof check hasn't found any (that have not been corrected). I am able to read and write--this document being proof. So the grounds for my illiteracy reside in having or showing little or no knowledge of a particular subject--the subject being evolution.
How does Mr. Kluger know I have little or no knowledge of the subject? How does he know every one of the 50% of Americans who do not accept evolution have little or no knowledge of the subject? He doesn't!
I would also venture to guess he has no knowledge of a white paper written by my friend, the late Dr. Robert Holwerda. Bob was a professor of organic chemistry at Texas Tech University and prepared a paper called "To Know and Believe." Bob believed in creation and used scientific evidence as proof. He didn't just accept creation on blind faith, he did his research and did not find his intellectualism and scientific studies to be in conflict with his faith. Was Bob also illiterate? Not by any reasonable person's evaluation.
Perhaps we've reached a day where people no longer choose to be reasonable. Perhaps the evolutionists are so frustrated at being unable to come up with conclusive evidence that disputes the Bible that they've resorted to "offensive terms" for those of us who choose to not accept their theories. It is my hope that we "illiterates" will not be intimidated by their labels, nor will we resort to their offensive language in our arguments.
One other thing I'm remembering this day is the name used to describe the followers of Jesus Christ, Christian. It was not a term we chose for ourselves but rather a name placed upon us by non believers. It was a term of derision, not of affection. It was meant as an insult. So today I'm remembering the history of the followers of Jesus Christ, am embracing my new title and proud to be an illiterate. Or, at least that's my story and I'm sticking with it, for now.
B. A., M.Div, Ill. (in case you missed it, Ill. stands for Illiterate)