Why 'elusive guanaco'?

I think if I answered that, the name would lose all of its mystery.  And then it wouldn't be any fun.  But part of the reason is that I really wanted someone to draw me a logo for the site.  I envisioned it involving a guanaco with a moustache and a hat, sitting on a park bench covering its face with a newspaper.  All shifty-like. 

But if there's a newspaper covering its face, how will they see its moustache?

Oh.  Um...

For that matter, how would anyone know its a guanaco?


And doesn't 'elusive' mean 'tending to evade grasp?'  Wouldn't a guanaco sitting on a park bench be the exact opposite of elusive?

Who did you say you were again?

And finally, what is a guanaco, anyways?


Are you an idiot?

No!  No, I swear!  A guanaco is a relative of the majestic llama.  You were just hitting me with so many questions, I froze.  I didn't think this would be so difficult.

I think I like the name 'The Majestic Llama' better.  You could have a beautiful photo of a llama on a mountaintop, and floating above its back could be the Dali Lama.  Get it!?! 

Not really, no.

The Majestic Llama!  Its a pun reflecting both the majesty of nature and the insights offered by eastern religions. What's not to get?

I'm sorry, I just think that's a really terrible idea.  No one out there would ever visit a website called 'The Majestic Llama'.

At least it deals with the themes of your blog.  And who's going to visit one called The Elusive Guanaco anyways?  I mean, really, how do you expect to get visitors to a website with that name?  People are going to Google 'Science vs. religion', not 'Elusive Guanaco'.  And those who do Google 'Elusive Guanaco' are weird people that you don't want on this site.  So, to summarize, this title is going to attract people that you don't want, while failing to connect with those that you do.

But I had over 50 visitors in a single day, without even advertising my blog! 

And how many of those 50 visitors were you, checking to make sure your blog looked good?


That's what I thought.  Look, we're almost out of time, so why don't I ask you some easy questions that you can answer.


First of all, who are you?

That seems like a pretty deep existential question.  Who are any of us, really?  A product of indifferent physical forces?  Beings specially created in the image of a God who loves us?  The universe's way of knowing itself?  All of the above?  None? 

I guess I walked into that one.  Let's try something easier.  What is your name, and what do you do for a living?

My name is Matthew Morris.  I am a graduate student earning my degree in ecological genomics at the University of Calgary.  Before that, I was an honours student in marine biology at Dalhousie University, and at the same time a youth pastor at Halifax Christian Church (and an employee of Empire Theatres).  And prior to that, I earned my Bachelor of Religious Education at Alberta Bible College.

So what you're saying is that you take all of our hard-earned tax dollars through government scholarships without contributing anything back to society.

I wouldn't put it exactly like that...

Whatever helps you sleep at night

That's why I'm doing this blog, to give something back.  I was born and raised in the evangelical church, in a congregation that was unreflectively Creationist.  It has been my experience that many Christians who identify themselves as Creationists do not really understand evolution or the theological difficulties imposed by Creationist ways of thinking.  I wanted to get my evangelical churches thinking.

So this is basically your way of saying you're smarter than all the Creationists?

Not at all!  Oh boy, I hope that's not the perspective I give.  I was a full-out Creationist myself until not that long ago, and even when I started to have my doubts, I still vacillated between theistic evolution, old earth creationism, and intelligent design (I had pretty much ruled out young earth creationism when I was a kid).  It was a long and arduous road for me, and so I understand how powerful and convincing creationist arguments can be.  I hopefully write as someone with experience and love for the church in all its forms, not as someone with a hate-on.  I write this because I want the church to focus on what matters, and to stop alienating thoughtful and intelligent people who would be an asset to the church if not for their pesky belief in evolution.

I'm also writing for scientists who fail to engage with the religious public, either because they don't speak the language, or they are atheists who have nothing but contempt for the church.  It is my experience that some of these self-identified atheistic scientists can be unintentionally insulting to the religious, which only closes doors.  I seek to open them.

That sounds pretty ambitious.  And a little arrogant.

Well, I jus-

That's all the time we have now!

Wait, but I just wanted to respo-

Until next time, this is Matthew Morris, signing off!

Wait, you're me?