TODAY, dear reader, we’ll discuss a rambling column by David Gerard, Opinion Page Editor of the Muskogee Phoenix. Muskogee is the eleventh largest city in Oklahoma. Gerard’s column is titled Darwin debate devolves into blame game, and the bold font was added by us:
My wife and I don’t agree on evolution. I don’t have a problem with God using evolution to create biological species. My wife believes God had a direct hand in it.
It’s difficult to imagine such a relationship. Both the columnist and his wife have our sympathy. Let’s read on:
So a few weeks ago when I brought up something I heard about evolution, she told me something she heard from a radio preacher about evolution. The preacher, according to my wife, said Carl Sagan said that dinosaurs died out because of constipation.
Your Curmudgeon, always a gentleman, won’t mention Elvis in this context. The columnist doesn’t either. He says that: “… some preachers will pick up on things they don’t care to understand and twist it in a belittling way.”
Jeepers, would a preacher really behave like that? We’ll continue with the column, as the writer switches to some letters written to his paper:
Robert [a letter-writer] stated that Darwin and the theory of evolution led “our judicial system to decide it was OK to kill the fetus in a woman in the first trimester.” I won’t argue that ideas and theories don’t have consequences, and I wouldn’t encourage any woman to get an abortion. But I wouldn’t blame Darwin for a woman getting one.
Now abortion is Darwin’s fault? In all our slogging through the sludge and slime and slop of creationism, we don’t recall running into that. Eugenics — yes, they like to blame that on Darwin. But abortion by itself, as a stand-alone subject?
The columnist sensibly says:
[Darwin] wasn’t an atheist and his biological studies and theories did not lead him to devalue life. If anything, the prolonged development of life on earth added to its uniqueness and value.
Then he makes a point that most of us on the science side of things are too polite to mention:
You can’t blame Darwin for those who have advocated genocide based on natural selection or evolution, just as you can’t blame Jesus for the wars conducted in his name by Christians for the last two millennia. Would you blame the Bible for the Christian slave traders who raped, killed and enslaved a race they believed was cursed by God?
While we’re on that subject, we’ll toss in that a generation or two ago, every drooling inbred Klansman was both a creationist and a racist — and also a democrat supporter of William Jennings Bryan. Most of today’s creationists (except for some anti-science mystical weirdos) are intellectually identical to their predecessors, but may have switched political parties for reasons we don’t have time to explain here.
If a woman wants an abortion, she doesn’t need Darwin’s theory to get one. Women were getting abortions long before Darwin. And Christians won’t stop abortions by blaming Darwin, calling people baby-killers, condemning abortionists to hell or shooting them.
That makes sense. Moving along:
Thank God some Christians — and some non-Christians — are addressing those issues, which is better than spending time attacking evolution, which some preachers can’t get right.
Fair enough. Now for a final excerpt:
Constipated dinosaurs isn’t the whole story. … Doubters of evolution broadcast that because ridiculing something is easier than getting it right.
It may not be the whole story, but it’s awesome to think about.
Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.