Some of the comments to my posts on the creationism conference reminded me of a scene from the movie Heat, released in 1995. Al Pacino played Vincent Hannah, a detective for the LAPD investigating a crew of professional bank robbers. Robert DeNiro played Neil McCauley, the leader of the crew. (Short review: Pretty good movie, but marred somewhat by being too long and by Pacino’s occasionally cartoonish overacting. Better the second time through, since you know when you have to pay attention.)
Roughly two-thirds of the way through the film Hannah knows everything about McCauley, but does not yet have enough evidence to make an arrest. McCauley has done his homework as well, and knows everything about Hannah. The two meet for coffee at a local diner, and after a lengthy and tolerably pleasant conversation they exchange the following dialogue:
HANNAH: You know we’re sitting here, you and I, like a couple of regular fellows. You do what you do and I do what I gotta do. And now that we’ve been face to face, if I’m there and I have to put you away, I won’t like it. But I’ll tell ya, if it’s between you and some poor bastard whose wife you’re going to turn into a widow, brother, you are going down.
McCAULEY: There’s a flipside to that coin. What if you do got me boxed in, and I gotta put you down? Cause no matter what, you will not get in my way. We’ve been face to face, yeah. But I will not hesitate. Not for a second.
Go visit YouTube for the whole scene.
That’s pretty much how I view hanging out with creationists. For a while we can sit down together, discuss big questions, and be generally pleasant with one another. I wish that could be the end of the story. But it can’t. They are wrong about really important things, and they must be defeated. So be it.