PZ Myers: the "chance and lack of purpose" problem
PZ Myers has a post up about the difficulties in marketing evolution. One of his main points is that it's really human evolution that really bothers people.
The second objection is to chance and the lack of purpose. People really, desperately want there to be a personal agency to causality — they become utterly irrational about it all if you try to imply that no, fate, destiny, and ultimate cosmic purpose guided them to their mate, for instance. It couldn't have been just chance. I suspect this is a consequence of the first contention: people want to believe that they are important agents in the universe, and one of the implications of evolution is that they aren't.
Holy crap that is accurate. One item of major importance to my wife is that God was answering her prayers/had a special plan when He brought the two of us together in a relationship, especially since she prayed for someone who had many traits that I have.
In fact, whenever we get into an argument about religion, she'll bring up how God answered her prayers miraculously in bringing me to her. Whenever I answer that (a) she has a higher chance of ending up with me because she's actively looking for someone with my traits, and (b) there's a lot of dumb luck involved and something has to happen so why not me? she get's very, very upset. Very.
I have no idea how to counter this argument and liberate people from this "personal agency" mindset. For now, I will steer any God vs. chance arguments away from our relationship and hope for the best.