Now that a year has passed and the media circus has ended, we can re-examine the issue more calmly.Why does rejecting evolution get so much attention from mainstream journalists?Helmuth’s and Nolan’s argument would then fall apart.As long as rejecting evolution in and of itself is harmless, why should anyone care what Heffernan believes about evolution? So rather than just assuming—as Helmuth and Nolan did—that creationist beliefs are a problem, we have to prove it with evidence.
Suppose it is possible to be a creationist and also a top-notch journalist, doctor, or scientist.Suppose that your belief about the age of the Earth is irrelevant to your daily life and has no ill consequences.Last summer, Virginia Heffernan wrote a short essay explaining her preference for technology over science, her problems with evolutionary psychology, and why she has “never found a more compelling story of our origins than the ones that involve God.” The response to “Why I am a creationist” was, as The New York Times put it, swift and harsh.Numerous journalists attacked her, with this Twitter exchange perhaps the most prominent example.
Put another way, it’s possible to determine people’s general reasoning and analytical skills by knowing what they think about the theory of evolution.
Interestingly, neither Helmuth nor Nolan nor anyone else provided any evidence for this assertion—none whatsoever.