“I didn’t evolve out of a monkey. I didn’t used to be a tadpole. I is what I is!” These brilliant words were spoken by this preacher in the Borat film. The video can be found at the bottom of the post; minutes 19:00-22:00 contain the church scene that is some of the most stunning video ever recorded by man.
But this post is about the T-shirt I wore today…
…and my dry cleaner: let’s call him, Barney. Barney is a very nice man with a nice family and they all go out of their way to take care of me.
I happened to be wearing this shirt when I dropped of our clothes and he kept checking it out as he was inventorying my stuff. Finally he spoke (keep in mind that English is Barney’s second language). “Oh, yes, something went wrong.” Barney thought the shirt meant that evolution was “wrong.” I tried to explain that the shirt was a commentary on technology’s effect on humanity. (Also keep in mind that the shirt was a white elephant gift that I ended up with; it’s not a “statement.”) He was more confused and I pointed out the guy on the computer and explained it to him. Barney smiled and was relieved, because as he stated with glee, “Oh good, because I don’t believe I came from a monkey; God made me.” I made a halfhearted attempt to explain that no one in science (that’s serious) states the we “came from monkeys,” we share a common ancestor. As soon as I spoke the words I knew I was wasting my time and Barney’s confused gaze told me that I might as well have said that humans evolved from candy canes and chocolate chips.
This monkey problem, as most of you know, is far more prevalent in society than just with my dry cleaner and the excited preacher in the Borat movie. I know many educated, successful people that utter the same sentiments with regard to evolution. And, of course, in these discussions the ever popular, “evolution is just a theory,” usually rears its ugly head.
Sometimes, if I’m dealing with someone open to rational argument, I engage them on their statements. Lately, I’ve been referring them to a particular book; occasionally I’ll even purchase it for them as a gift. The Book is: The Magic Of Reality, by Richard Dawkins. And I tell people to simply read two chapters (if I know they will be reluctant to read more): Chapter 2 – Who was the first person? and Chapter 3 – Why are there so many different kinds of animals? Here is Richard discussing the book.
If you own an iPad, the app for this book is fantastic. You can also check out my review of the book on Amazon, which is the third review listed ((yes that makes me feel weirdly (sadly??) important)).
And here is the Borat footage: skip to minute 19:00 and brace yourself.