Celebrating the life… and evil lies… of Charles Darwin

    Had a vengeful God not struck him down for heresy, the famed naturalist Charles Darwin would be turning 204 years old on February 12, and literate folks around the world are marking the occasion by planning celebrations in his honor. I had forgotten that “Darwin Day” was upon us until earlier this evening, when a hilariously stupid internet fable concerning a Christian soldier who, thanks to God’s divine intervention, was able to drive a truck without an engine, was brought to my attention. (note: The original story has since been removed from the web, but a screen capture can be found here.) Well, one thing led to another, and I found myself on Reddit, catching up on the anti-science internet memes spread by those among us who believe that evolution, as articulated by Darwin, and perpetuated by liberal, God-hating academics, is pure evil. Here, for those of you who don’t have a crazy, tea-partying aunt to send you such things through Facebook, is one of my favorites.

    A United States Marine was taking some college courses between assignments. He had completed 20 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist, and a member of the ACLU.

    One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, “GOD, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform… I’ll give you exactly 15 min.”

    The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, “Here I am GOD, I’m still waiting.”

    It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and hit him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.

    The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently.

    The other students were shocked and stunned, and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, “What in the world is the matter with you? Why did you do that?”

    The Marine calmly replied, “GOD was too busy today protecting soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an idiot. So He sent me.”

    The classroom erupted in cheers!

    And, now, here’s a slightly improved version authored by someone on Reddit calling himself Grimster.

    Reminds me of another true story:

    A liberal muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor and abortion doctor was teaching a class on Karl Marx.

    “Before the class begins, you must get on your knees and worship Marx and accept that he was the most highly-evolved being that the world has ever known, even greater than Jesus Christ.”

    At this moment, a brave, patriotic, pro-life Navy SEAL champion who had served 1500 tours of duty and understood the necessity of war and fully supported all military decision made by the United States stood up and held up a rock.

    “How old is this rock?”

    The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied “4.6 billion years, you stupid Christian.”

    “Wrong. It’s been 5,000 years since God created it. If it was 4.6 billion years old and evolution, as you say, is real…. then it should be an animal now.”

    The Professor was visibly shaken and dropped his copy of Origin of the Species. He stormed out of the room crying those liberal crocodile tears.

    The students applauded and all registered Republican that day and accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. An eagle named “Small Government” flew into the room and perched atop the American Flag and shed a tear on the chalk board. The pledge of allegiance was read several times, and God himself showed up and enacted a flat tax rate across the country.

    I’m sorry if that last piece is a bit of a distraction, but I couldn’t help myself… At any rate, I hope it doesn’t distract from the very serious fact that there are people in the world who, despite the fact that 150 years have passed since the publication of Origin of Species, are still fighting to keep scientific fact out of the classroom, as they fear that it may lead young Americans to question whether or not we’re really all the inbred descendants of two people who were plopped down by God into the Garden of Eden… among the friendly dinosaurs. Here, for those you who don’t believe that the threat is very much real, is a clip from Mother Jones.

    In Texas public schools, children learn that the Bible provides scientific proof that Earth is 6,000 years old, that the origins of racial diversity trace back to a curse placed on Noah’s son, and that astronauts have discovered “a day missing in space” that corroborates biblical stories of the sun standing still.

    These are some of the findings detailed in Reading, Writing & Religion II, a new report by the Texas Freedom Network that investigates how public schools in the Lone Star State promote religious fundamentalism under the guise of offering academic courses about the Bible. The report, written by Mark Chancey, a professor of religious studies at Southern Methodist University, found that more than half of the state’s public-school Bible courses taught students to read the book from a specifically Christian theological perspective—a clear violation of rules governing the seperation of church and state.

    Many school districts pushed specific strains of fundamentalism in the classes:

    • “The Bible is the written word of God,” proclaims a slide shown to students in suburban Houston’s Klein Independent School District (ISD). Another slide adds: “The Bible is united in content because there is no contradictions [sic] in the writing. The reason for this is because that Bible is written under God’s direction and inspiration.”

    • A PowerPoint slide in Brenham ISD in Central Texas claims that “Christ’s resurrection was an event that occurred in time and space—that is was, in reality, historical and not mythological.” (emphasis in original)

    • In North Texas, Prosper ISD promotes the Rapture, claiming in course materials that “the first time the Lord gathered his people back was after the Babylonian captivity. The second time the Lord will gather his people back will be at the end of the age.”

    Some Bible classes in Texas public school appear to double as “science” classes, circumventing limits placed on teaching creationism. Eastland ISD, a school district outside Fort Worth, shows videos produced by the Creation Evidence Museum, which claims to posess a fossil of a dinosaur footprint atop “a pristine human footprint.”

    While I suspect that this isn’t the case in most Texas schools, it’s certainly something to be cognizant of, and fight against. And, if for no other reason than that, I think Darwin Day is a holiday worthy of our support. (Personally, I’d be happy to make it a “real” holiday. I know we can’t have too many federal holidays, but what if we agreed to give up Columbus Day in trade? I could totally get behind something like that.)

    As for local celebrations this year, despite the thoughtful warnings of scholarly men, like master-thespian Kirk Cameron, I’m told that the Michigan Skeptics Association will be meeting to celebrate on February 9, at an undisclosed location somewhere around Plymouth. (I intend to just drive around, looking for men in cloaks, carrying sacrificial goats.) And, here, if you’re not inclined to drink among skeptics, is a link to a list of things that you can do with friends and family to keep the spirit of Darwin alive. I particularly like the idea of hosting a Phylum Feast, but, as that would probably require work, I think I’ll probably just warm up some dino nuggets, and gather the family around the laptop to watch Carl Sagan explain evolution…. like this:

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      36 Comments

      1. EOS
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:45 am | Permalink

        Darwin Day – what a joke. No other branch of science holds pep rallies to garner support for their “theories”.

      2. Edward
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

        To be fair, no other branch of science has to defend itself against people like you, EOS.

      3. John Galt
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

        “Guns don’t kill people. Darwin kills people.”

        Darwin is responsible for every heinous act in recorded history, from the holocaust to Sandy Hook.

        If we really wanted to end violence in America, not only would we give every man, woman and child a Bushmaster long gun with a high capacity magazine full of nuclear warhead-tipped bullets, but we’d rape, flay and burn Darwin in effigy on every street corner each and every hour, on the hour. Darwin rapings should replace the chiming of municipal clocks across the country. You should be able to set your watches by them they’re so regular. Only then will we know true freedom from evil.

      4. EOS
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx

        Not only me, but 85% of the population. Only 15% of Americans profess any belief in Darwinian evolution.

      5. Meta
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Following the Reddit link, I found the following explanation for the post about the religious warrior who was given the ability to drive an engine-less car by God. It sounds plausible to me.


        It’s a stupidity filter for a scam. See the bottom:

        “If you’ve been called by God (Yahweh) and would like to have more knowledge about the Bible, or you would like to start your own ministry, our ONLINE Bachelors Degrees are for you! Click here for a short description on our Course Programs.”

        Only the dumbest people would like this story — and those same people would be drawn to this scam/ad.

      6. EOS
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Darwin was a naturalist, not a scientist. He did not perform any experiments and his theory concerning common descent is untestable. Not at all different from Carl Sagan’s video with all the unsupported speculation.

      7. anonymous
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        EOS, how is “Darwinian evolution” as you call it, different from “evolution”?

      8. Elf
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        Didn’t I read that the Columbine killers were wearing Darwin t-shirts?

      9. EOS
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Belief in evolution is highly dependent on your definition of evolution. I believe in evolution when it is defined as change over time or the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations or the change in the frequency of alleles in a population over time.

        But Darwin’s theory speculates that all life arose from a common ancestor. It requires faith in a belief that life arose spontaneously from non-living matter, but doesn’t elaborate on any mechanism for this occurrence. Random mutations provide the diversity whereby natural selection works to favor the fittest individuals and this alone accounts for life forms changing from single celled bacteria into all the diverse life forms in existence.

      10. Curt Waugh
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        “Not only me, but 85% of the population. Only 15% of Americans profess any belief in Darwinian evolution.”

        What is this peculiar pride some folks have in ignorance? Do you all sit around after Sunday school and compare notes on what you don’t know? I’m serious. Is this a point of contention in your social circle? “Oooo… EOS said she knows a little bit about ‘lectricity. No second helping of beans for you!”

        The truly funny part is that you didn’t even read the poll correctly. So, this is a rare example of pride in double-ignorance. (Doesn’t the bible have something to say about pride there, Skippy? ‘Cause you are one of the more prideful folks around here, in case you hadn’t noticed. In fact, taking a straight reading of the bible, I find you to be one of the most sinful folks here. Your utter disdain for your fellow human beings is quite shocking at times. That you are sitting there right now thinking, “Oh no, I know the right way to worship,” only furthers your sin.)

        For those of you who want to witness our fellow citizens’ ignorance for yourself:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/americans-believe-in-creationism_n_1571127.html

      11. Tommy
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        … It requires faith in a belief that life arose spontaneously from non-living matter, but doesn’t elaborate on any mechanism for this occurrence…

        EOS – sounds awfully familiar. Oh wait, would the mechanism for the occurance be the Sky Wizard making it so? If that is your premise (and I think it is), could you tell the big guy to stop with the famines, hurricanes, earthquakes, murdering psychopaths, etc? I am kind of sick of that shit. He proved his point!

      12. Elliott
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        It’s amazing to me that thousands of generations of evolution gave us EOS.

      13. EOS
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Curt,

        I presume you are ignorant of the fact that you posted a link to the identical survey that I posted? Can you see the bottom line in the graph that shows 15% of the population believe people evolved and God had no part in the process? Hoisted on your own petard!

      14. Curt Waugh
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Read your own post, dipshit:
        “Only 15% of Americans profess any belief in Darwinian evolution.”

        First, this in this poll and the accompanying article, the word “Darwin” (or “Darwinian”) is NEVER used. The whole “Darwin” thing is an attempt by slapdicks like you to rebrand evolution by giving it a funny-looking, old-fashioned-type bad guy you can point at. The fact is that evolution has come a very long way since Darwin (that whole inconvenient DNA-thing that you refused to learn about in school). “Darwinism” isn’t a thing and no scientist really studies it. We study “evolution”.

        Second, the poll clearly indicates that 47% of Americans – the most science-ignorant people in the developed world, mind you – believe that human evolved. So, in spite of decades of your ilk trying to undo the truth, some of it still leaked out and stained our poor brains.

        And the phrase is “Hoist by your own petard.” Do your homework.

      15. EOS
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Curt,

        Except 32% of your “47%” think that God played a role in human evolution. Where is God in Darwin’s hypothesis? He hypothesized a completely naturalistic mechanism with no room for any supernatural force.

      16. Curt Waugh
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Here you go again with the “Darwin” thing. I will not discuss an ancient scientist with you. The word is EVOLUTION. That you continue to say “Darwin” just proves my point about marketing. You are lost here, yet you dig in. Curious.

        I also won’t enter a discussion of fact vs. American opinion. Millions of Americans thought “Jersey Shore” was a great show. Millions of Americans loved Milli Vanilli when they won a Grammy. Millions of Americans fought to preserve slavery. Millions of Americans supported the entirely illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. Their opinions aren’t to be trusted.

      17. EOS
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Evolutionists are deliberately vague with their definition of evolution. They prove microevolution and then claim macroevolution to be fact, without presenting any evidence. Vague definitions are not typically characteristic of science.

      18. Curt Waugh
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        “without presenting any evidence” – Dammit, you’re right. I wish I could find a book somewhere about evolution. If only the earth’s strata were laid out in layers that go back millions of years in time so we could literally dig our way into the past. Oh well, back to my human-written, often edited and severely flawed Bible.

        Also, neither I nor anybody else is an “evolutionist” (whatever that means). Here you go again with the labels, Chucky. Next you’re going to label me a “writist” because I use words and stuff.

        Hey guys, isn’t it cute when a troll starts using words like “evidence”?

      19. EOS
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Go back through your earth’s strata and you’ll find a huge diversity of life forms suddenly appearing in the Cambrian era. Not exactly proof of evolution through gradual change over millions and millions of years.

      20. Taco Farts
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TynFaEQj_Ys#t=3m29s

        language probably nsfw

      21. kjc
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        yeah, curt, big man, go back through your earth’s strata you lazy fucker. all talk no digging.

      22. Meta
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        EOS, do you understand how science works? I’m not mocking. I’m asking a serious question. Would it be helpful to have a refresher on the scientific method?

      23. Posted January 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        It isn’t just Texas. This comes form PBS.org.

        Working with MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry show, I researched the curriculum of hundreds of voucher schools. We documented over 300 voucher schools, in nine states and the District of Columbia, which are receiving public money, and are teaching creationism in their science classes. The program where we discovered the most creationist voucher schools was in Florida, where we discovered 164 schools.

        This is a list of some of the schools in these programs:

        • Liberty Christian School, in Anderson, Indiana, teaches from a the creationist ABeka and ASCI curriculums. They also take trips to the creationism museum.

        • Champion Preparatory Academy, in Apopka, Florida, uses the creationist Apologia curriculum. I own a copy of Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition, which says “There are two big problems with the idea that dinosaurs lived long before human beings. First, there is no reason to believe in the idea that the Earth is really ancient… Second, archaeologists have found examples of ancient artwork that contain incredibly accurate drawings of dinosaurs” (Wile and Durnell 506, 507).

        • Cornerstone Preparatory Academy, in Acworth, Georgia, says in its school catalog that Life Science, “will begin by discussing the relationship of science to the Word of God and by examining the attributes of life, the classification systems, cells, and biblical creation.”

        • The student handbook of Faith Academy, in Gonzalez, Louisiana, says students must “defend creationism through evidence presented by the Bible verses [sic] traditional scientific theory.”

        • Harrison Christian School, in Harrison, Ohio, says, “We believe all things in the universe were created by God in six literal days of the creation week (Genesis 1:1-2:3, Exodus 20:8-11) and that the biblical record of primeval earth history in Genesis 1-11 is fully historical.”

        • Carter Christian, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “abides by the A Beka curriculum” which is a creationist curriculum.

        • Front Range Christian School in Littleton, Colorado, in its course catalog, says, “the Genesis account of creation is stressed.” They also use the creationist Purposeful Design curriculum.

        • Dupont Park Adventist School, in the District of Columbia, and has two schools receiving voucher students, says that in science classes, students will “explore and interpret evidences for the Genesis Flood and the Ice Age,” and “distinguish between the basic ideas of and evidence for naturalistic evolution and special creation.”

        • Rocky Bayou Christian School, in Niceville, Florida, says in its section on educational philosophy, “Man is presumed to be an evolutionary being shaped by matter, energy, and chance…God commands His people not to teach their children the way of the heathen.”

        While we already discovered 300 voucher schools teaching creationism, likely hundreds more creationist voucher schools exist. Many schools in these voucher programs either don’t have websites or don’t advertise teaching creationism, but are very similar to the schools we’ve already discovered teaching creationism. Also two states, Arizona and Mississippi, have voucher programs, but don’t release lists of participating schools. We do know that every school in Arizona is eligible for Arizona’s program, and we documented creationist schools in Arizona who could be part of this program.

      24. Anonymous Mike
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Darwin looks unhappy. I wish I could travel back in time and give him a hug.

      25. EOS
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        I understand how science works. I’ve worked in the scientific field for a number of years.

      26. MurrayJane
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        This article started off as a completely valid plea for reason before morphing into the same old condescending atheism. I view a man who denies god for science the same as I view a man who denies science for god. Both are severely lacking in creativity.

        Take the God theory through the logical steps. I know some people will scoff at that sentence but HEAR ME OUT.
        The two major premises of the god theory are these:
        1. God created and sustains everything.
        2. God is infallible and omniscient.
        So if god created everything, then in the process of making planets and stars he also created the rules that govern them. When Torahs, Bibles, Qur’ans were written the functioning of the world was mysterious to mankind. These days, the once incomprehensible working of the world is explained through basic science.

        But this BY NO MEANS rules out the possibility of a conscious creator. The second premise, regarding god’s infallibility, covers science as the divinely instituted system of universal governance. Since this was the rule of existence since the beginning, then deviations from what is scientifically explainable would show a flaw in God’s design.
        God would never find the need to act outside the common framework with something like a miracle because his scientific law was perfect from the start. To suggest otherwise is to say God was taken off guard. That he had to act outside his own rules to achieve his will, that he lacked the foresight to include the proper addendums and loopholes.
        So it is the suggestion of miracles, not science that fly in the face of God.

      27. Posted January 29, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think that science and God are mutually exclusive. For all I know, there was a creator who set things in motion. That doesn’t mean, however, that evolution isn’t real. My issue is with people who try to hide from scientific facts that challenge the notion that the world was created in a handful of days, and that men coexisted with dinosaurs. I can fully appreciate why people believe in God. I cannot accept, however, the notion that to believe in God one must set aside the ability to reason.

      28. MurrayJane
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        @Mark: Sure, I agree that reason is in short supply for most people. My last rant was in response to a few commenters as much as it was in response to the article.

        I do believe in evolution, and in the need to teach it to children. What I took issue with was the tongue-in-cheek mocking of affirmations of faith, such as the marine in the class story. The inclusion of those stories only had relevance in the article as a general smirk over faith.

      29. EOS
        Posted January 30, 2013 at 4:17 am | Permalink

        God is real. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

        Science is evolving. Old theories are cast aside when new evidence comes to light. That the atom was the basic structure of all matter was once taught as science fact. Then it was shown that electrons, protons, and neutrons make up atoms. Then, supercolliders were built to smash even these subatomic particles into their constituent parts. Science changes its presumptions with each new revelation.

        Science has its limitations. The scientific method cannot be used to prove historical accounts. It can only postulate theories that are consistent with historical evidence. Science is unable to prove or disprove God’s existence. A true scientist keeps an open mind and considers alternative explanations as possibilities.

      30. Aaron B.
        Posted January 30, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        It’s one thing to not want to believe in all things Darwin and quite another to believe that the world is 6000 years old. One must be a true moron to believe that and an even bigger one to want it taught in our schools. Scary.

        And for the record I am a Christian.

      31. anoymous
        Posted January 30, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        I think the ‘smirk’ was at stupidity, not faith. There are plenty of people who believe in God that aren’t morons.

      32. Stupid Hick
        Posted January 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        In my view, I think it’s blasphemy to refuse to accept evolution, that the world is older than 6000 years, and other realities as they become revealed by science.

        In my opinion so-called “Christians” who do that put themselves ahead of God. Does it ever occur to such people that THEIR INTERPRETATION of the Bible might be fallible?

        As new scientific truths become revealed, devout Christians will re-examine their perceptions and be willing to accept that they may be wrong. Not that the Bible is wrong. That their reading of it is what was wrong.

        Some so-called “Christians” need to get over themselves, stop blaspheming, and accept God’s reality. They should seek to incorporate scientific discovery to correct their own interpretation of the Bible, not stupidly refuse to accept the world as God created it.

      33. CD
        Posted January 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Natural selection taking place before your very eyes.

        http://i.imgur.com/fWUUY2o.jpeg

      34. Mr. X
        Posted February 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        You may not like him, but I hear Darwin likes you.

        http://imgur.com/yI2IaRM

      35. Robert
        Posted March 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        When I saw that EOS had come out of retirement, I figured I better re-open the investigation into his true identity.

      36. Darwin Day
        Posted August 5, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        This is how I expect it will end for Mark and EOS.

        http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/1jcb0q/these_two_guys_got_stuck_together_fighting_and/

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