creationist trainer

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Sarah from Washington DC writes:

My personal trainer casually mentioned to me yesterday that he doesn’t believe in evolution. He just threw it in while we were discussing the fact that there are several states in the US that don’t require you to wear motorcycle helmets while riding motorcycles. “At least it keeps the really dumb people from living,” he said. “I don’t believe in evolution or anything, but survival of the fittest!”

Now, my trainer is not your typical “bro” gym rat type person. He is quiet, thoughtful and actually has a masters degree in nutrition and a PhD in kinesiology. His wife also just received a PhD in something or other.

I was very caught off guard when he said that he didn’t believe in evolution. I was rendered speechless and didn’t say anything at all. We aren’t very close and we were in a crowded gym which hardly seemed like the place to get into this debate – but I can not stop thinking about this and it really bothers me.

Answer me this: is it wrong of me to break up with my trainer over this? Should I tell him why?

Any excuse to get out of doing exercise, right? Oh, I don’t know, readers – what do you think? Is it important to share common views with your trainer? Should you refuse to have on payroll a person who holds opinions with which you fundamentally disagree? Let us know in the comments.

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6 Responses to “creationist trainer”

  1. chrislaidler Says:

    This is essentially a business relationship. Up until his recent admission, it seems, you were perfectly satisfied with his numerous qualifications and with the services he was offering. Up until now his personal beliefs weren’t an issue.

    Would you end other business relationships based on similar admissions? Would you fire your lawyer or financial adviser because you found out they didn’t share your views and beliefs? If not, I don’t see why you would with this guy.

    If being non-religious is a prerequisite for all your social and business interactions, then clearly your vetting process isn’t up to scratch.

    Of course, it’s just possible that you weren’t particularly happy with his services and you were just looking for justification for your desire to find another personal trainer…

  2. Majestic Few Says:

    Survival of the fittest *is* part of evolution. What next? I won’t drink water but I love melted ice!

  3. Sunny Says:

    I had a similar experience with my PhD advisor in a sciencey field and I stayed. There is a lot of freedom in it actually, in that whatever dissatisfaction he might have with you can’t be that valid because he is also dissatisfied with evolution. Giving no shits about the opinion of your personal trainer might interfere with your personal training, though.

  4. Martin Says:

    I’m and Athiest, and a scientist, and I know for sure that evolution is true. I think this guy is an idiot. However, while it is a ridiculous and irrational thing to believe, it’s the view held by over 50% of your fellow Americans. How far will you go to avoid these fools? Not accept coffee from a creationist, not have your car fixed by a southern baptist? Will you avoid people who read horoscopes, people who watch junk TV? None of these people have to be your friends, but if you refuse to be served by them, pretty soon you are going to be living in a shack in the middle of nowhere, keeping away from everyone.

    So forget his beliefs, but get him a Evolution of Tradition Christmas Card (google image search for it)

  5. samuelfurse Says:

    I’d say run away, run away fast. I can understand that you don’t want to upset anyone, and that’s surely perfectly reasonable, but from what you’ve described this man’s understanding is fundamentally flawed. For example, evolution isn’t about belief, it’s theory and is therefore about evidence. This mix-up suggests he has no understanding of what science is or how it works.
    You say he claims to have a PhD in kinesiology. Whether or not that is a meaningful discipline, the suffix ‘ology’ suggests scientific study, but what does having a PhD in kinesiology actually mean? Why does having it mean he is doing a job that requires no intellectual training to speak of?
    Whichever way we look at this, I am afraid I don’t think it fits. Sad, but true 😦

  6. jarthurstormer Says:

    a person cannot understand the human body without understanding its evolutionary background, and this is somebody who proudly partakes in wishful pseudo-science. i might trust them to pretend to align somebody’s chakras but you couldn’t pay me to let them try to alight my back.

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