While browsing Freshly Pressed, I came across a post entitled “Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self”. Which made me think … if I were writing to myself aged 16, what would I say? At first I couldn’t think of anything. Then I wrote this:
Dear 16-year-old self,
Greetings from the future.
I won’t spoiler it too much. There’s only one thing that I want to tell you – the rest you’ll figure out soon enough as you go along. Here it is:
Despite having always been presented to you as such, Creationism is not an intellectually viable belief. Nor is it necessary to Christianity (I hear it’s mostly a 20th century US phenomenon – interesting, no?). You will realise this shortly but there’s no reason for you not to know it now.
Try not to be a jerk to the people who believe in it, even though you will feel angry that they were able to promote this while nobody even said “there are other options” let alone “this is not the historic faith of the Church and is in fact bunkum”, which is what you will wish they had said.
On a brighter note, you have some very good books to look forward to (on this subject and others). Advances in science are making genetics totally fascinating – in particular look out for Charles Foster. And Kenneth Bailey is going to publish some stuff about cultural studies in the New Testament that you will love.
You already know how lucky you are to live in the 21st century – advanced techniques in science, archaeology, linguistics, so many other fields (not to mention The Internet) seem to be making specialised study more amazing and more accessible than ever before. This is awesome. It continues to be awesome.
You’ve got a good head on your shoulders. Take care of yourself. The future is going to be awesome.
(P.S. You will acquire the nickname “Eudoxia”)
I found it interesting thinking about what I would actually want my younger self to know. E.g. note I didn’t say “yes, you have met your future husband” (although I had) because I think that the process of trying to work out whether we were right together was important and formative.
What would you tell your younger self?