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Planet Earth

So Long, El Tejon

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJanuary 18, 2006 11:36 PM


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We hardly knew ya! In the long history of American monkey trials, your rather puny attempt to undermine evolution--the case was quickly settled in our favor once the inevitable legal threat came down--may be worthy of a footnote. Or maybe not. It really depends on whether or not other creationists try to adopt your strategy of packaging anti-evolutionism in the guise of a philosophy class, rather than a science class. Still, let's count down your errors. You made the same mistake that creationists always make: Wearing your religion on your sleeve. The teacher of your now-infamous course even wrote to the local paper explaining that "I believe this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach." And one of the kids in the class, Sam Alexander, told CNN that the so-called "intelligent designer" is really "the Christian God who created earth in 6 days." Doh! That's exactly what the ID movement has been trying to conceal, but young Sammy went and spilled the beans.

At least you (apparently) got good legal advice. You'd have been dead in the water if you'd tried to litigate this one, and it would have cost your school district a fortune.

In truth, El Tejon, your example--like that of Dover, PA--really teaches creationists what not to do. If they seriously want to undermine evolution, they won't leave such an important task up to local types who can't refrain from mentioning God all the time. No--they'll form special anti-evolution task forces, small teams of well trained activists who carefully lay down roots in local communities over a period of years and only then begin subtle lobbying to undermine evolution. These creationist ninjas will of course never mention God in the course of their activism; they'll only discuss the flaws in evolution. And because they're well trained in the anti-evolutionist arts, they'll use any weapon at their disposal--philosophy courses, comparative religion courses, even social studies courses--to achieve their goals.

In comparison to these anti-evolutionist Jedi of the future, El Tejon, you really aren't much to look on or contemplate. But there is, perhaps, one other asset you furnish to the cause. Young Sammy Alexander won't fit the bill, we're onto him already. But as for some of the other kids in that "philosophy" class...they might make very good recruits.

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