Polite Note to Creationists, Religious Fundamentalists, and their Ilk

Freedom of thought will best be promoted by that gradual enlightening of the human understanding which follows the progress of science. I have therefore always avoided writing about religion and have confined myself to science.

Charles Darwin, 1880
The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (F. Darwin, Ed.)

Hello,

Over the years, I have received occasional emails from individuals holding strong, religious, anti-evolutionary views. Invariably, these people try to make me see the error of my ways, often by quoting, paraphrasing, or putting their own interpretation on the words of the Bible.

Until now, I have tried to reply (moderately) politely to all such emails.

Entertaining though such correspondence undoubtedly is, it is ultimately futile: religion and science operate from completely different paradigms. It is impossible to make valid scientific claims from a religious perspective, and vice versa. Neither of us will ever change the other's mind. [For more on this subject, please see my (slightly less polite) article, Only a Theory?]

Understandably, not believing in any sort of afterlife, I am quite keen to spend what precious time is left to me as productively as possible. For this reason, I have reluctantly decided that I can no longer afford to spend time engaging in such unproductive dialogue (which has recently started to take up more and more of my time). I will, therefore, no longer be replying to emails attempting to engage me in matters of faith, religion, so-called scientific creationism, and related subjects.

Please accept my sincere apologies for this decision.

Regards,

Richard Carter, FCD

Postscript (Feb, 2017): I wrote the above note in 2001, when the main means of online communication was email. In these days of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and what-have-you, I also, obviously, extend the above non-engagement policy to all forms of communication. I have also adopted a policy of not approving any comments from creationists on this website. Freedom of expression is not freedom of platform: if you want to spout your nonsense, kindly do so on your own website.