Former New York Times technology and culture writer Virginia Heffernan, who now writes for Yahoo! News, recently told the world she's a creationist and she has become a lightning rod for ridicule because of it.
"I am a creationist. There, I said it. At least you, dear readers, won't now storm out of a restaurant like the last person I admitted that to. In New York City saying you're a creationist is like confessing you think Ahmadinejad has a couple of good points. Maybe I'm the only creationist I know," Heffernan wrote in an article for Yahoo! News on Thursday.
In the article, she goes on to explain why she holds the view, tracing a reading experience spanning the Bible, Charles Darwin, Thomas Malthus, Stephen Jay Gould and Sam Harris.
Despite that exposure she says: "I still read and read and listen and listen. And I have never found a more compelling story of our origins than the ones that involve God. The evolutionary psychologists with their just-so stories for everything ("You use a portable Kindle charger because mothers in the primordial forest gathered ginseng") have become more contradictory than Leviticus."
Citing examples of the fickleness of social science theories, Heffernan argued: "The first books of the Bible are still hanging around. I guess I don't 'believe' that the world was created in a few days, but what do I know? Seems as plausible (to me) as theoretical astrophysics, and it's certainly a livelier tale. As 'Life of Pi" author Yann Martel once put it, summarizing his page-turner novel: "1) Life is a story. 2) You can choose your story. 3) A story with God is the better story,'" she ended.
In a withering critique of Heffernan's arguments, however, Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan noted: "We are not saying you're a bad person, Virginia, but you should probably expect that, from now on, when people read your musings on, say, the future of internet communications, they might stop, in a moment of gathering doubt, and recall that you are a science-phobic angel-believing climate change skeptic, and that therefore your dedication to facts is somewhat in question."
"This could, and should, erode your credibility, in the eyes of those elitist readers who value things that are based on 'evidence.' So kudos to you for being brave enough to admit to your own hilarious prejudices again common sense," he added.
"And I bet she believes the earth is only 8,000 years old and a pair of T-Rex took a boat ride on the Ark with all the other 8,000 pairs of species...," quipped one commenter on her article under the username Texas West.
Not everyone was laughing at Heffernan though. Some commenters, like one writing under the username Esther, supported the writer for standing by her beliefs.
"I'm happy to say I believe the Bible. I'm not afraid to admit it, and I don't need to be defensive about it. No, no one told me I had to believe it, I wasn't taught that from my youth, not at all. At the age of 45, I began to study the bible. I am now 62 and I believe it is what it claims to be; given by inspiration of God," wrote Esther.
"Don't agree with me? Okay. But there is no reason to call each other names over a difference of opinion. I am not stupid for taking God at His word, and neither is someone else for not believing that it is God's word," she added.