The Washington Post
Tuesday, August 17, 1999
Commentary: Teaching of evolution - And God said, Let there be light in Kansas
by Gene Weingarten
Memo to: Members of the Kansas Board of Education
Re: Your decision to eliminate the teaching of evolution as science.
Thank you for your support. Much obliged.
Now, go forth and multiply. Beget many children. And yea, your children shall beget children. And their children shall beget children, and their children's children after them. And in time the genes that have made you such pinheads will be eliminated through natural selection. Because that is how it works.
Listen, I love all my creatures equally, and gave each his own special qualities to help him on Earth. The horse I gave great strength. The antelope I gave great grace and speed. The dung beetle I gave great stupidity, so he doesn't realize he is a dung beetle. Man I gave a brain.
Use it, OK?
I admit I am not perfect. I've made errors. (Armpit hair -- what was I thinking?)
But do you Kansans seriously believe that I dropped half-a-billion-year-old trilobite skeletons all over my great green Earth by mistake?
What, I had a few lying around some previous creation in the Andromeda galaxy, and they fell through a hole in my pocket?
You were supposed to find them. And once you found them, you were supposed to draw the appropriate, intelligent conclusions. That's what I made you for. To think.
The folks who wrote the Bible were smart and good people. Mostly, they got it right. But there were glitches. Imprecisions. For one thing, they said that Adam and Eve begat Cain and Abel, and then Cain begat Enoch.
How was that supposed to have happened?
They left out Tiffany entirely!
Well, they also were a little off on certain elements of timing and sequence. So what?
You guys were supposed to figure it all out for yourselves, anyway. When you stumble over the truth, you are not supposed to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and proceed on as though nothing had happened. If you find a dinosaur's toe, you're not supposed to look for reasons to call it a croissant. You're not big, drooling idiots. For that, I made dogs.
Why do you think there are no fossilized human toes dating from 100 million years ago? Think about it.
It's OK if you think. In fact, I prefer it. That's why I like Charlie Darwin. He was always a thinker. Still is. He and I chat frequently.
I know a lot of people figure that if man evolved from other organisms, it means I don't exist. I have to admit this is a reasonable assumption and a valid line of thought. I am in favor of thought. I encourage you to pursue this concept with an open mind, and see where it leads you.
That's all I have to say right now, except that I'm really cheesed off at laugh tracks on sitcoms, and the NRA, and people who make simple declarative sentences sound like questions?
Oh, wait. There's one more thing.
Did you read in the newspapers how scientists in Australia dug up some rocks and found fossilized remains of life dating back further than ever before? Primitive, multicelled animals on Earth nearly 3 billion years ago, when the planet was nothing but roiling muck and ice and fire. And inside those cells was . . . DNA. Incredibly complex strands of chemicals, laced together in a scheme so sophisticated no one yet understands exactly how it works.
I wonder who could have thought of something like that, back then.
Just something to gnaw on.