"Clash of the titans," or, "I ain't descended from no monkey"


Saturday night the greatest minds of the Coastal Empire met in the Lucas Theater for an intellectual debate of epic proportions. Creationists vs. Scientists. On the right (side of the the table, not the issue), a liberal Dream Team. The best of the best of Savannah area second-rate colleges. To give them credit, they all had doctorates of some form... a physiologist, a lawyer and.... some other Armstrong Atlantic Ph.D. Ok, we're not exactly reenacting the Manhattan Project here. We'd ended up with fourth-row seats to this fracas courtesy of Jody Chapin, who with husband and City Lights Theater director Jim Holt had presented "Inherit the Wind" and the subsequent panel throwdown.

At stage left, a ragtag team of snappy dressers, and the Good Book. Two undergrads (one undeclared), a philosophy grad student (that looked like a stocky Wolverine) and a Savannah Christian high school teacher.

Who would prevail in this clash of minds and morals?

The religious left started out with a prepared five-page fifteen-minute statement. Rambing on and on, the teacher stammered out a oratory on the Christian World View, and how it was the only opinion that should be taught in 'Merican public schools, seeing as how it's the only world view that really makes sense.

Moderator and local NPR guy Orlando Montoya appeared noticably queasey about what he'd gotten himself into.

The event was nothing short of bizarre. While the liberal god-hating eggheads tried to explian what "theory" meant, and that evolution didn't mean that we were created solely from the random collision of so many gooey, groovy love molecules a long, long time ago. The good folks with the suits and bibles insinuated among other things that teaching the theories of evolution and natural selection in public schools would (and perhaps has already) lead to a breakdown in the moral fiber of this great nation of ours, going so far as to say that it might make Joe and Carla Sixpack's son "Little Johnny" forget right and wrong and murder little neighborhood girls, or perhaps, that it had even led to things as evil as the Holocaust, where the Jews and Nazis tried to see "who could throw the other into the oven." Lovely.

Honestly, I wouldn't trust any of the jokers on either side of the table to drive me safely to the airport, let alone teach my kid.

Nuggets of wisdom from the audience weren't much better, with one exception. Going against our preconceptions, a woman in a corduroy and flower-print jumper (her spawn in matching jumpers, and her Ron-Jeremey-lookalike husband alongside) stood up and stated that maybe we should just teach our children all of the available theories, and let the young'ns make up their own minds. After all, who gets to decide which religion is the right one?

I tend to agree with her- teach the chilluns what's out there. Fine. But c'mon, Jesus ain't science folks. Keep it in social studies.

Of course, I guess I'm just talking like an egghead engineer type. Had I had a proper liberal arts education like some of you gentle readers, maybe I'd be less of a stickler.