WE present to you, dear reader, a letter-to-the-editor titled Buhl Cummings: Are cows and trees related?, which appears in the Athens Banner-Herald of Athens, Georgia. That’s a college town, home to the University of Georgia.
Athens is also home to Athens Christian School, and as their About Us page informs us, the school was “was founded in 1970 by Drs. Buhl and Lois Cummings …” We also learned from this news article that Buhl was succeeded as headmaster earlier this year by his son, Steve Cummings.
Today’s letter-to-the-editor is signed by Buhl Cummings, presumably the same man who founded Athens Christian and served so long as its headmaster. Therefore, because of the author’s local prominence, we’ll forgo our custom of omitting the letter-writer’s name and city.
We’ll copy today’s letter in its entirety, adding some bold font for emphasis, and of course our Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs. Here we go:
The Banner-Herald’s Tuesday editorial page featured a commentary from a University of Georgia professor of cellular biology who proffered the following idea: “In the past 500 years there have been many great ideas that have affected human society, yet two stand alone.”
Buhl is probably referring to this letter from 24 November: ‘Origin’ should bring wonder, not fear. It’s a good letter, written by Mark Farmer, described as “a professor of cellular biology at the University of Georgia and a spokesman for Georgia Citizens for Integrity in Science Education.” We assume he’s a frontline warrior in local creationism controversies, and we’re guessing that he and Buhl have had their disagreements in the past. We’ll quote one brief portion of professor Farmer’s letter:
Through our genes we are connected to every living thing. Through our chemistry we are connected to the Earth. Through our very atoms we are connected to the stars and the universe.
Okay, but what were those two great ideas in the past 500 years that Farmer wrote about and which Buhl started out by mentioning? Let’s read on from today’s letter:
The professor then goes on to note two books: “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres” by Nicolaus Copernicus, who first offered the idea that the Earth circles the sun, and Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” which sets forth the theory of biological evolution. In its simplest form, the theory states that all life on Earth is connected by common ancestry.
Whoa! Buhl can’t let that go unchallenged. His letter continues:
Now, my dear professor, you completely overlooked the book that predates both of these books by hundreds of years and has shaped the lives of millions of people across the world. That book is the Bible. The Bible teaches that God is the Creator.
Uh, we thought the professor had specifically mentioned the past 500 years. Oh well. Here’s more from Buhl:
Regardless of Darwin’s views, it’s hard for me to believe that the cow chewing her cud and the tree under which she stands are connected, except that the cow appreciates the shade of the tree.
Smack! Socko! Wham, Bamm! How do ya like that one, professor?
And this is the letter’s end:
Try the Bible on for size. You might like the fit.
Ah ha! Brilliant put-down! And now, dear reader, we leave the happy town of Athens, Georgia. Bless ’em all.
Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.