Op: When dialogue devolves to debate: Thinking Critically

Evangeline Colarossi—Staff Writer

In past Diamond issues, been articles by business professor Sacha Walicord and chemistry professor Carl Fictorie have portraying differing views of evolution. This is a student response to both of those articles.

Students—or any Christians—should know it is alright not to know exactly what they believe right now. Yes, as Christians we should actively pursue learning more about God and each aspect of the faith. Temporary confusion does not freely allow satisfied ignorance. However, to say that one has the Bible fully figured out is saying that one fully understands God’s mind. How can a person understand the infinite?

“We learn a lot of different views in classes because there is no absolute known,” freshman Shannon Oosteninkm said. “If we knew one way for certain, that would be the way that we were teaching everything.”

Oostenink compares the differing teaching methods to reading a book.

“You can interpret a book in multiple ways. That doesn’t mean one view is right or wrong, but it may be different than the author’s intended meaning,” she said.

The responses from both professors include arguments that can be upheld as well as points that crumble. After thoroughly inspecting each side, people may find that they agree with one interpretation more than the other. Ideas can be a dangerous things, but, in some cases, too much simplification can also be a bad thing.

“Portraying a complex issue [in a basic] way is actually part of the problem,” biology professor Jeff Ploegstra said.

A basic interpretation of scripture from a divine mind can pit different views against each other. At this point, no one is learning, but rather debating.

“The pattern of mocking, provoking and dividing has become far too prevalent in contemporary society,” Ploegstra said.

College students don’t need to feel like they have solidify all of their opinions by the time they graduate. Ideas are expressed to let people know how they feel. People need to take time to contemplate those various ideas instead of choosing the one that seems most valid at first glance.

“I encourage critics to learn more about something so they can be informed critics,” Ploegstra said. “Critique with conviction, but don’t base convictions on the idea that an idea is somehow ludicrous or mock it.”

Consider the common phrase, “You can’t put God in a box.” If God created the world through a literal seven-day creation, so be it. If the world was created over an extended period of time via God using evolution, so be it. Either way, God has the divine power and ability to create from absolute nothingness. No matter the method, it is okay to have not decided what to believe. Seek out understanding no matter where you are in your search for answers.

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