To note: This is not a retaliatory "mess with Texas" moment, even though Texas has been messing with my whole weekend, as I've had to write up two articles about the upcoming South By Southwest film festival. Do I feel a twitch guilty with this one, because I'm actually looking forward to my upcoming SXSW/Austin trip? Maybe. But as I've said before, Austin is like a chunk of New York that got cut off and floated south until it decided it liked the weather. It isn't really Texas. But there are some fools from elsewhere in the state who have to work in Austin, because it is the state capital, and this is where our story begins.

Meet Warren Chisum, member of the Texas House of Representatives. He's a faith-lovin' man, and you cannot dissuade him from his thoughts. Not with the facts, not for no reason nohow. And in the matter of evolution, he has come to the conclusion that will shake the foundation of scientists and Jerry Seinfeld alike. Because when you run out of actual arguments, there's always one scapegoat of last resort: The Jews.

Yes, that's right. Warren Chisum believes that evolution is, like "intelligent design" (aka creationism, aka mythology), based in religious beliefs. Those Jews, you see, who are always too smart for their own good, what with the moneylending and the children's blood for the matzos — why, they came up with the Big Bang Theory 2,000 years ago!

Shit, nobody ever tells me nothin'. I gotta get to Friday Night Services more.

Anyway, as SciGuy (Eric Berger) notes, Chisum circulated a memo with Georgia state rep Ben Bridges summing up this newfound discovery. See, since the courts have ruled that teaching intelligent design in public schools is the same as teaching religion in public schools, and that's a no-no, they've had to come up with more, shall we say, creative means. Quotes Berger from the memo:

All of that can now be changed! Indisputable evidence — long hidden but now available to everyone — demonstrates conclusively that so-called "secular evolution science" is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate "creation scenario" of the Pharisee Religion. This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic "holy book" Kabbala dating back at least two millennia.

Need backup? Well, go right to the smartly-designed (pre-1993, that is) Fixed Earth site which trumpets "over ninety" links that smash the idol of science, including telling us that the Earth still rotates around the sun. (You knew it was coming to that; the Flat Earthers should be rising up momentarily.)

But also as Berger notes, if these were just random nutcases wandering around insisting that the Jews have been leading us astray all this time (which … since the Old Testament is actually the part of the Bible Jews follow, and Genesis kicks off the Old Testament, how can this … but .. I … forget it) and that evolution was also a science, then so be it. Freedom of speech, fake it till you make it, etc. But these are folks who could, in theory, change how science is taught in Texas. Where I now have two young nieces, one of whom is already part of the school system.

That makes this personal. Will I be speaking to my family who lives, and votes, in Texas? Will they speak to their neighbors? You bet. Will the rest of the state recognize just how dangerous stepping back hundreds, if not thousands of years, in civilization's advancement is? That's what I'm not sure about.

I think what makes me most tired about all of this is that these are issues which should be considered settled and done with. The woman's right to choose what to do with her body: Decided. Evolution in schools: Settled. Separation of religion from public facilities, schools, etc.: Done. Capital punishment: Doesn't prevent crime. We should be moving on to bigger and greater schools of thought. Instead, like an advanced Altzheimer's patient, we're having to re-learn the same stories, the same lessons again and again, which is boring, tiresome, useless and ultimately prevents us from moving forward as a society. That's the real crime, in the end: We aren't being allowed to evolve.

1 Comment

  1. mikecap on 2/19/07 at 12:41 am

    [c’est top] Wow, we were just talking about this!!  The French are not smart either:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhlERjW0bhw