In the past few weeks I watched them dunk and hustle their way to become number 2 in our conference, beaten only by the juggernaut that is Kentucky. And just last night I saw them go toe to toe with North Carolina in a valiant effort to get into the sweet 16 in the NCAA tourney.
Unfortunately North Carolina won.
After years of seeing the team develop, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed they didn’t make the sweet 16. I felt that’s where they really belonged and to see it fall short took the wind out of my sails.
It’s made me think about a good friend of mine who is firmly in the Creationist camp. He’s a complete Biblical literalist to the core and like any good fan, he’s eager to talk up his team.
Some day it may be sharing a post about why dinosaurs and human remains aren’t found together in the fossil record (it’s because they weren’t buried together, if you were interested). Or about how the sum of existence is really only about 6,000 years old.
And I watch these videos because it’s fun for me to see all the obvious logical fallacies they put forth under the guise of science. In a way it’s kind of akin to hyping a player beyond what his stats would support. Maybe closer to the mark is to say it’s like how our Razorback, Bobby Portis, won SEC player of the year and then fell flat during the tournament. You expect more out of some things than they’re capable of delivering.
Yet I feel what compels me to watch these videos most is to try to understand why they’re trying to defend such ludicrous ideas.
Recently I watched a video that made it all make more sense. Sadly, I can’t find the video to share the link, but I hope my summary will do it some justice.
Essentially it said all ideas have the potential to spread online. Sometimes an idea changes along the way and it’s subject to being spread more. Occasionally it’s that the idea is easily changed (take memes, for example).
But some of the ideas that get spread the most are arguments. You’ve likely seen a story on a news site about immigration or water levels in California or the latest ISIS attack and seen how the reader comments evolve into something often only marginally related to the story. Instead of furthering a conversation about immigration, the comments veer toward whether Obama is a good president, where everyone seems quick to offer their side.
As this video showed, the more people involved on one side, the more will show up on the other and quickly you can have hundreds of commenters at each others throats because they need to defend their positions.
It’s not unlike basketball. The two sides know they’re on the floor to do battle. There was never any illusion this would be a peaceful exchange of information. It’s a battle to the death until one team is overwhelmed and is kicked out of the tournament forever.
At least that’s what they think.
The reality is the more argumentative they become, the less likely the other side will collapse and disappear.
So, like my friend who believes dinosaurs and modern man lived together, some ideas only get stronger if an opposing side rises to challenge them. Little wonder that several of these videos are from Creationist Ken Ham, who verbally debated Bill Nye in 2014. Seems like the very idea of spreading the word through confrontation may be the goal.
There will always be people who need to confront and fight for their opinions, but sometimes it makes me scratch my head.
Personally, I try to advocate how Christ’s word can help people. My team is Christ and the opposite team are those who need Christ’s help, which often is a real toe-to-toe battle.
What I see with Creationism is people who have Christ as their team and are fighting against scientists – whatever purpose that might serve.
But when all our tournaments are over we’re going to be left with one final truth: that God doesn’t need us to try to champion Him. He’s had this game won for a long time.