The talk-radio version had a packed town hall up in arms at the “Why Evolution Is Stupid” lecture. In this version of the theory, scientists supposedly believe that all life is accidental, a random crash of molecules that magically produced flowers, horses and humans — a scenario as unlikely as a tornado in a junkyard assembling a 747. Humans come from monkeys in this theory, just popping into existence one day. The evidence against Darwin is overwhelming, the purveyors of talk-radio evolution rail, yet scientists embrace his ideas because they want to promote atheism.
These are just a few highlights of the awful and pervasive straw-man image of evolution that pundits harp about in books and editorials and, yes, on talk radio, and this cartoon version really is stupid. No wonder most Americans reject evolution in poll after poll.
This is really why scientists either get angry or dismiss creationism as a joke: the proponents are annoyingly ignorant of the ideas they are arguing against, so there is no reason to take them seriously. My first clue that someone is a babbling fool is when they start calling it “Darwinism”—then I know that I’m going to be wasting my time, because the first thing I have to do is clear the army of straw men out of the room, and even then, the joker probably isn’t going to pay any attention to what I have to say about evolution, because he still has that cartoon version of biology taught to him by his preacher whirling around in his head, complete with calliope music.
This is also the second time in a week I’ve heard talk radio brought up in this argument. I wonder if that’s an angle we haven’t been pushing hard enough—I know in those few instances where I’ve accidentally tuned in to some ranter on the AM side of the dial, I just go “Gaaaaa!” and turn it off. Maybe I shouldn’t do that; maybe some of us should be calling up the talk radio stations and offering to go on and discuss the non-cartoon version of evolution.