When you're going door to door, you never know who's door you're knocking on. Such was the case yesterday, when a kind-natured pair of women (Jehova's Witnesses, Bible in hand) paid me a visit. Actually, it was a revisit. They had stopped by once before and made either physical or mental note of my Atheism.
Their last visit was brief. This one was much longer. The protagonist of the pair had some 'new evidence' that she wanted to share with me. She handed me a leaflet of sorts with information on the science of belief. I asked her what the jist of it was, and she mumbled some words about cells and time but really had no idea what information she was peddling. I took the literature and later gave it a read.
In the meantime, she started asking me some questions. She assumed, correctly, that I must believe in evolution, to which I responded that evolution is not something requiring belief, but yes, you can say that I acknowledge the fact of evolution. This of course surprised her since, as she understands it, evolution is just a theory. I'm sure you can guess where I went with that. As she tried to come to grips with my confidence in evolution, she began the ignorant questions that naturally follow - "if we came from monkeys..." and "aren't things to complex to exist without a designer?". She was all too happy to point out that when looking at my splendidly built house, it's impossible to believe that the house wasn't designed by someone/something. And look at your cute little puppy, God wanted us to have little cute things that give us happiness in our lives.
It was all so funny and easy to dismiss. I'm assuming that she had never thought about how dogs are artificially selected for their specific cuteness genes, or bigness, or fierceness, but she was rather taken aback by this new information. The designed house analogy is barely worth debating. So I moved on from such a silly comparison.
Next up was the age of the Earth. Yes, she fully believes that the Scientists have it all wrong. This is apparantly all too common, as just the previous evening I met an intelligent young man, a lawyer, who also believes that Scientists are conspiring to disprove the Bible. That was the basis of the leaflet, btw. It argued that Science is occassionally, if not often, wrong, and that if Science can be wrong then it is not to be trusted. This is their new evidence for God.
Our little meeting lasted about 20 minutes, and it was very polite and cordial. I must admit, I did most of the educating, although I can't imagine any of it was retained by the time they knocked on the next door. Still, I invited them back and I look forward to round 3 to see what new information they have next time. I will continually take inventory to make sure that I can educate these 'word spreading Witnesses'.