The Roots of Willful Ignorance

by Amanda Fischer

The other day I was listening to a montage song from the movie God’s Not Dead. It is the song “God’s Not Dead,” interspersed with audio clips from the exchanges between Josh, a Christian freshman in college, and his antagonistic professor. I’ve listened to this several times, but this time, my mind caught on something Josh said.

“It’s easy to dismiss what you don’t understand. Or, what you don’t want to understand.”

I stopped the track and thought this through, pondering the implications. How many times have we dismissed an idea, person, or cause, without hearing it out and truly understanding the message first?

I remembered a conversation I had with a friend about a year ago about evolution, an issue we disagreed on. The phrase from the movie reminded me of something my friend said: “You’re not really looking at the other side.” Though at the time I argued that I had indeed looked at the other side, I remembered those words long after the conversation had passed. And soon I realized that no, I had not really looked at the other side.

It’s easy to dismiss what you don’t understand.

Why didn’t I understand this other side to the origins debate? My friend hit the nail on the head: because I hadn’t really looked. Sure, my creationist high school biology textbook had given a basic overview of the evidence correlated with evolution, and explained why it didn’t measure up. And of course I had heard various things about evolution in museums, TV, and just about anywhere science was mentioned in public. But I certainly hadn’t done research on the other side. I hadn’t given evolution that much thought or attention. It was incorrect, and I knew it. So why bother learn about it?…


The Roots of Willful Ignorance