The New Evolution

Never content to just sit down and shut up and just really think about what they’re doing for a goddamn minute, conservative legislators in Oklahoma are close to passing a bill that would introduce “Creation Science” into the classroom as a possible alternative to evolution, while Missouri is contemplating a bill that would require inserting “Intelligent Design” into the curriculum because apparently “the jury is still out on evolution.”

What are these people doing? They’re trying - yet again – to package magic as science, the ethereal as fact? How do you even “teach” Creation “Science”? It’s 15 minutes of a lesson plan and then it’s what, lunchtime? Chicken nuggets that I guess fell out of the sky because SCIENCE science isn’t real, SCIENCE science didn’t figure out how grow featherless, headless, meatsicles that are harvested and pulverized, guts and all, into delicious little gobbets of disease (science has done cool things, too, though).

Furthermore, why do Christians even care? They have the only answer they’ll ever need in order to deal with the dissonance created by conflating the Creation story and the reality of Evolution: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” That is literally from the bible. Jesus said it. In His infinite wisdom and all-powerfulness, God decided that the way the world was going to work was that all species would change bit by bit over a period of billions of years. No big deal there. It’s just all part of His majestic plan. Problem solved. You are now free to bully homosexual teenagers.

Sadly, I am not the first person to raise this point, and I will not be the last. Why not? Why can’t I just be the last person to raise this point? Would that be so bad? No, it wouldn’t.

The theologian Augustine, while technically a proponent of a literal interpretation of Genesis* – other theologians had generally touted a more metaphysical interpretation of the text -  adamantly advocated a pursuit of truth outside of spiritual understanding. Science.

…in matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision … we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that of Sacred Scripture.

Then again, Augustine was born in 354, so never mind him.

How is it that a theologian from the fourth and fifth centuries understood better the insight that science can offer the world than a state senator from the 21st century who conducts much of his business from his iPhone?

Bah, this is all probably just pandering. This is probably just a re-engineered version of the Southern Strategy; the GOP has been courting the fundamentalist vote for decades. These guys, they’re just giving their constituencies what they want. It’s almost admirable, this commitment to the beliefs and wants of some of the most undereducated people in the United States. It must be pandering, right? Because if it isn’t pandering it’s something much scarier, and that can’t be possible.

Is it actually possible that there is a vast conspiracy afoot to create some monstrous underclass of uneducated plebeians whose sole purpose in life is to hoover up genetically modified foodstuffs that just make them kind of fat and tired so that when they’re not thanking God that there is still a demand for unskilled laborers they’re unfolded like some cellulite-blanket on the couch in front of an elephantine television while Pat Robertson gums his sentient hate out into the air that inexplicably and ironically fills the void that creation science made by scraping their gray matter from their heads and into the lacuna leaving behind a vestigial head? Is it?

*It’s a bit more complicated. You’ll have to read up on it because I just cannot explain it right now.

2 thoughts on “The New Evolution

  1. As a religious person I am furious how it’s being exploited by politics. My belief system is very personal and passionate to me, as is yours, and neither of us wish our positions to be abused.
    Both sides of the coin have worked too hard to polarize our nation. From the classroom to the courtroom…

  2. You scoff the notion, but I think that the Creation Science curriculum has a lot of potential teaching material. They’d need a whole textbook just for Kirk Cameron’s explanations on how various foodstuffs (bananas, etc.) were created specifically for human consumption, for example. And what about Stonehenge? That shit was totally built 6,000 years ago using dinosaur labor. Can YOU explain Stonehenge, smart guy? Huh? No, I didn’t think so.

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