Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's the point of blogging?

I was asked recently to explain the purpose of blogging, specifically what is the purpose of my blog. That set me to thinking about my own history with creationism, and what I wanted to accomplish with this blog. I suppose the question has a broader implications for the general motivation for blogging (which often escapes me), but I'm taking more along the lines of why I chose to blog about creation, evolution, theology, and science.

First and foremost, this is an information channel for supporters of CORE. I've tried all sorts of means to keep people aware of the goings on at CORE, but there's nothing as simple and easy as blogging. Since I am first and foremost a researcher, I don't really like to spend a lot of time writing newsletters and such. With the blog, I just post stuff as I'm reminded of it. Very convenient.

Second, this is sort of a notebook for my ideas and for papers that interest me. It's a convenient way to keep track of papers or presentations that I think are important, and I can go back and search for the details of half-remembered ideas. That's powerful.

The third reason I started this is the one reason I think I'm pretty much failing at. It's something I've always wanted in creationism, a kind of independent, critical voice that could evaluate creationist ideas or examine the activities of creationist organizations. Something like an independent press within creationism. Not something overtly antagonistic, but something to hold us all accountable. To some extent, I've done that. I've evaluated some claims, and I posted the truth about evolution. But in a larger sense, I've failed.

The reason I've failed is conflict of interest - I'm not an independent voice. I have a real, monetary interest in seeing creationists succeed. I don't want to unnecessarily offend other creationists, and I know that whatever reflects poorly on some creationists (like Kent Hovind) reflects poorly on us all. It's really hard to explain that some creationists are goofy, but I'm okay!!! That doesn't really come across very well. It just sounds stupid and self-serving.

So I hold back. I don't report everything I know (and some of the things I know? YIKES!). Sometimes I hold back out of fear of reprisal, sometimes because I don't want to offend people, and sometimes because the only reason I have to blow the whistle is spite. That's not a Christian attitude. At the end of the day, I want to edify rather than denigrate. I know some of you just spit your coffee at your computers, but it's true. I don't like to rip people apart. It isn't fun. It's depressing actually. In reality, I'm just a lousy whistleblower. Sometimes I feel like I have to do it, but I never enjoy it.

I hope that answers the question. If not, shoot me an email, and I'll try to clarify.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.