BROOKLYN – A Yahoo! News journalist is being bombarded with heavy ridicule and criticism over an essay published last week outlining her personal belief in creation over evolution.
Virginia Heffernan is a 43-year-old Harvard graduate who worked for several years as a New York Times journalist. In early 2012, she was hired by Yahoo! News as a national correspondent, and now regularly writes articles on a variety of topics—from technology to pop culture.
However, Heffernan’s writing style took a distinctly different twist in an article published last week, which she succinctly titled, Why I’m a Creationist. In the 960-word piece, she explains philosophically why the Biblical creation account is more appealing to her than the evolutionary belief system.
“Like many people, I heard no end of Bible stories as a kid,” Heffernan writes, “but in the 1970s in New England they always came with the caveat that they were metaphors. So I read the metaphors of Genesis and Exodus and was amused and bugged and uplifted and moved by them. And then I guess I wanted to know the truth of how the world began, so I was handed the Big Bang. That wasn’t a metaphor, but it wasn’t fact either. It was something called a hypothesis. And it was only a sentence. I was amused and moved, but considerably less amused and moved by the character-free Big Bang story (“something exploded”) than by the twisted and picturesque misadventures of Eve and Adam and Cain and Abel and Abraham.”
Later in the article, Heffernan describes her thoughts on the “enchantingly arid” writings of Charles Darwin. In referring to On the Origin of the Species, she wonders “why a book that never directly touches on human evolution, much less the idea of God, was seen as having unseated the story of creation.” Ultimately, although she does not specifically endorse a literal interpretation of Genesis, Heffernan concludes that the creation model is much more attractive that the evolutionary one.
“I have never found a more compelling story of our origins than the ones that involve God,” she says.
Following the publication of her article, disparagement from the evolutionary camp was swift and forceful. On her Facebook page, commenters called her a “derp,” “dumb as a doornail,” and “a [expletive] idiot.” One person mockingly asked, “I believe in the tooth fairy, wanna be besties?” Another stated, “I don’t even know why we let you people vote. You should really quit writing.”
“Virginia, you should have access to the internet taken away,” one individual blasted. “You are not a smart person. You are a child who believes in the equivalent of unicorns. Humanity is doomed exactly because of your mode of thinking. I’d like to think that you don’t babysit children and have the opportunity to fill their impressionable brains with such nonsense.”
However, others have supported Heffernan’s article, opining that she was brave to publicly outline her personal beliefs. One particular commenter on her Facebook page—identified as a Ph.D. geologist—stated that he too is a creationist, and was impressed by Heffernan’s writing.
“I applaud Virginia’s courage,” he wrote, “for I know full well how the world reacts to such an unpopular conclusion because I was on the other side once. I viewed those who took the Bible as truth as ignorant, superstitious fools. I was a highly educated scientist after all! Then I had an encounter with Jesus Christ and realized I was the fool and blinded by my pride. And in all the years since through all my scientific study and inquiry, it has only drawn me closer to God and more in awe of His wisdom and creation.”