On January 27, 2007, a man in New South Wales, Australia was arrest for the stabbing death of a man over an argument about evolution. On December 17, 2007 the man was sentenced to 5 years in prison. See The Australian for the full story.
The two men, Alexander York and Rudi Boa met while on vacation and ended up in a pub in a heated discussion about evolution. Boa and his girlfriend took the scientific viewpoint (they were both biomedical engineers after all) while York's view was more in line with fundamentalist Christians. After a heated discussion at the bar, the three returned to the campsite where they all happened to be staying. As more they become more inebriated, the argument started again. This time, York ended up attacking Rudi Boa with a kitchen knife resulting in Boa's death. York claims self defense. The judge sentenced York to five years in prison, a light sentence.
It seems that some in the blog community have used this case as a means to paint creationist as vile evil creatures (see Pharyngula). I would argue that this drunk man did not represent anyone except his drunk self. This case does, however, illustrate how passionate people are about their faith. I think it is important not to demonize creationists because of this incident. It should remind us of the complexity of the evolution/creationism argument. There is no winning one side or another over with facts. There is faith involved. I believe people will be more passionate in protecting their faith than a scientific view, but that still should not end in violence. In the words of an A Perfect Circle version of a Depeche Mode song, "People are people so why should it be you and I shouldn't get along?"
Justice Adams said he had given York a sentence at the lower end of the scale, partly because of the accidental nature of the stabbing.
"I do not believe that he took aim but rather thrust out," Justice Adams said.
"I think he knew that the knife was in his hand ... but he did not actually turn his mind to the potentially serious consequences of doing this.
"The offender is a person of good character and the offence is a complete aberration."
Though Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has a great defense of Creationism...