Short Attention Spans, Social Media, Darwin's Cheerleaders and Lethargic Creationists

by Robert ("Cowboy Bob") Sorensen

This article is for the creationists, and I implore you to spare ten minutes to read it.

Science is on our side. Most of us are aware of this fact. Also, our numbers are growing and atheism is on the decline [1]. It is an exciting time to be a creationist! There are many organizations that present the science and theology supporting creationism and make material available on the Web [2], as well as books, videos and so forth.

So what are people doing with this wealth of information? Some will learn a bit, but after the entertainment value wears off, they lose interest. Others will become enthusiastic but do not continue to learn, and become intimidated when challenged by scoffers. There will be some who lose sight of the importance of the message because of their other concerns and leave it behind. Then there are the ones who are excited about the message, the science, the relevance and more, so they dig in deeper. These will learn more and work at giving an informed response to others [3].

I believe it is both a blessing and a curse to have social media. People today have shorter attention spans, and social media are helping it become shorter [4, 5]. People are in a hurry, and want things short and simple [6]. Social media cater to that, and it may or may not be fine for business purposes.

Sure, we all like pictures, cartoons, sayings made into graphics, short updates and so on. How does it help with important subjects like the relevance of creation? Those items are spiritual and intellectual junk food; a steady diet will have a negative impact on your growth. Some people cannot remember the last time they sat still and read a book for an hour, or even half an hour. By the way, how is your personal Bible reading going? Do you still have time for that?

Meanwhile, Darwin's Cheerleaders (modern Luddites [8]) are spending time learning their talking points so they can try to intimidate creationists with their interpretations of the evidence. They will often indulge personal attacks, ridicule, arbitrary assertions and copy-and-paste elephant hurling to give the false impression that they are our intellectual superiors [7]. (Wish I had time to discuss atheists pretending to be Christians, or former Christians, who try to manipulate emotions.) Creationists who are not interested in learning about critical thinking [9 10] are often at a loss to be able to give a meaningful response to a scoffer, and may not realize that an assertion about evolution or God is not actual evidence to support their position. For example, how would you respond to the claim that "the only people that don't accept the Theory of Evolution are those who don't understand it"? I will let you work on that yourselves, but I will say that it is not only insulting and condescending, but loaded with fallacies.

Explaining our faith, and giving reasons for our beliefs (both scientific and theological) is not just an intellectual parlor game. It is very serious. No, I am not asking anyone to be an expert in all fields. That would be ridiculous. I am asking people to spend time learning how to think critically and have a good working knowledge of the subjects. People will be more likely to follow a link you supply if you have shown a personal interest in the subject and that you have spent some effort on it. Clicking "Like", giving a "Retweet" and so on will not impress most of those people. Oh, you went to a seminar or a presentation? Great! I think. Was it just entertainment, or are you going to continue?

I need to add that kids are leaving the church but you knew that. One reason is that they are brainwashed (that's right, I said it!) by the secular humanist learning institutions, and doubt the relevance and validity of the faith. People have said later in life, "I couldn't get answers when I was younger".

Part of the problem is that the church is not taking the foundations of the Bible seriously. In addition, parents are shrugging off their responsibilities. This does not need to happen, and resources are available [11, 12]. (Do not be lazy and just throw a link at them. Not only does that lend the impression that you really do not care, but so many people today have short attention spans, as we have seen.) Do your children deserve the effort for you to give them answers and proper instruction?

This is ironic, isn't it?
The ten minutes I asked you for is almost up. Interestingly, most articles on creation science take that long, or less, to read. Social media? Use it, by all means! But do not rely on slogans, pictures, short status updates, article introductions and so forth as your source of education. If you believe that the creation science message is foundational to the gospel and worth presenting (just like the gospel itself must be presented), then we have work to do. And above all, pray.

It's time to get fired up [13, 14]!