John Godfrey Saxe took an old Indian parable and made this wonderful poem:
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approach'd the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"
The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he,
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
I've always thought it was funny how people with such limited knowledge and understanding can still have such confidence in their opinions. In regards to science and evolution, there's far more that we don't know than what we do know. It doesn't matter how certain we are about what we do know, what we don't know can still greatly shape what is true.
But beyond the creation v. evolution debate, this poem highlights the error of disbelief in general. The famous atheist, Richard Dawkins, has said many times that he doesn't believe there is a God and hasn't seen any evidence for one. Considering the enormity of the universe and how tiny the fraction is that we have experienced, his view is very much like that of a blind many who has touched only one part of an elephant. He has based his opinion only on his limited experience and can't see the big picture.
I wish I could leave it at that but I've been doing this for a while and I know the common rebuttal offered up by critics who hear this argument. They usually try to turn the tables and say something like, “We'll, Mr. RKBentley, how do you know that somewhere out there in the universe there isn't a Flying Spaghetti Monster?” Here's the big difference: there is evidence for God. We have the revelation of the Bible. We have the historical accounts of Jesus. We have the nation of Israel. All of these things attest there is a God. What similar evidence do we have for the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
I admit that I don't know everything. I also admit there's far more that I don't know than I do know. However, there is One who does know everything and even though I don't know everything, I know Him. I also trust what He says. Other people are welcome to grope about in the dark but His children walk in the light! (John 11:9-10)