Sunday, March 05, 2006

Memoir of a Strange Conversation

I walked into a conversation about religion between two friends of mine. One is a Muslim and the other is an Orthodox Jew. It started out on evolution (of course). Now, keep in mind that both of these guys are (supposedly) scientifically inclined. One is going pre-med and the other is going for some PhD in Neuropsychology or something.

Anyway, so my OJ friend started talking about evolution. I'm not sure how it started because that's when I walked in. It sounded like something interesting was in the air. My Muslim friend asks him, so do you believe in evolution? And he answers, not really. He said he believed in "generational" evolution, but not in common descent from a single organism. He later explained that generational evolution is when every generation has some evolution. I had to ask how that was different from regular evolution and he had no answer. Maybe he meant it was regular change every generation on the dot or something. I'm still not so clear on that. My guess is that it's a typical Creationist stance where he believes the whole of evolution is microevolutional changes within already created types.

After that, my Muslim friend replies with a quick response about how nature has never produced any beneficial mutations. All mutations, he says, are negative. So then my OJ friend and I both give him a few examples of recent positive mutations in viruses, bacteria and insects that we were familiar with. My Muslim friend then jokes in a half-hearted way, "It's terrible. I make a point and you guys just shut me down like that." So I say, "Hey, that's the power of debate."

So the next question that my Muslim friend asks us, so do you believe in Adam and Eve? I take the opportunity to take a long swig of the coffee that I've been holding. My OJ friend says, "Yeah, sure." Then he looks over to me with the coffee squarely in my mouth, gives a nervous laugh and squeaks, "Why not?"

I just kept drinking.

6 comments:

Mis-nagid said...

"I just kept drinking."

Coffee? :-)

B. Spinoza said...

yeah, it would have been better if you placed the story in a bar

Orthoprax said...

Hey, all of these stories I tell are real-life unembellished. Wishing for better story details can't change actual events.

B. Spinoza said...

you never heard of creative license?

and while we're at it, the other friend should have been a Christian. A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew walk into a bar... :)

Mis-nagid said...

At my office I was chatting with two colleagues when we got into the elevator. In a flash of inspiration I said, "So a jew, a Christian and a Muslim get into an elevator..." It got a good laugh.

Orthoprax said...

LOL! ;-)