Sep. 22, 2002: Proving Man and Monkeys Are Kin

Here we go again. More meddling in our public schools. A big fight is raging in Cobb County over whether or not children should be taught the theory of evolution or faith-based creationism, or both.

May I offer a suggestion? Why don’t all the social scientists, Bible thumpers, bureaucrats, lawyers and politicians, not to mention the multitude of self-described educational experts who couldn’t spell “common sense” if you spotted them half the letters get their smug noses out of our public schools and let the teachers teach? We have a state school system that currently ranks 50th out of 50 states in SAT scores. Something tells me we have bigger problems in our schools than arguing about where we came from.

If you are curious about your origins, I suggest you visit the church or synagogue of your choice. I am sure folks there would be delighted to enlighten you. Then our schools can get back to some of the more mundane issues on their agenda, like teaching our children to read and write, add and subtract and to find Iraq on the map before we vaporize the place.

If we insist on making the evolution/creation argument an issue in our public schools, then I strongly urge that we examine all the theories, not just whether we crawled out of the sea one day on our slimy bellies, or popped up walking and talking.

Personally, I am inclined to believe that we might be descended from acorns and pecans. This is called the nut theory of evolution. Look at our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney and Ted Turner and anybody who thinks you’ll go to heaven if you crash an airplane into a big building and you can see that this theory deserves some serious attention. Then consider those people who espouse that we all came from prunes and cite House Speaker Tom Murphy and West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd as proof.

Some experts point to US Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota as irrefutable evidence that we derive from weasels. Push them and they will show you the hawkish comments Daschle made about getting rid of Saddam Hussein when Bill Clinton – who himself descended from hyperactive love bugs – was president. Now that a Republican is in office, Daschle thinks we ought to be real careful about rushing to judgment in Iraq. I wonder how weasels can look themselves in the mirror.

Watch us waddle up and down the street and you can understand how many people believe that we evolved from hogs. Most people who support this notion operate fast-food franchises. And don’t ignore the proponents of peacockism. Too many preening politicians and self-important journalists exist for there not to be some validity to that theory of evolution.

Look at our junior senator, Zell Miller, and you have to wonder if maybe we didn’t descend from the junkyard dog. If you want to test that theory, get him riled up, although I highly recommend against it. He bites.

I am inclined to believe that anybody running an airline these days can trace their origins back to the Dodo bird. Why else would an industry that is sucking wind financially spend so much time trying to stick customers with additional costs and make air travel such an unpleasant experience? Don’t the airline moguls understand that without the customer, they are out of business? I would be happy to point out a Dodo bird to industry executives, but the critter is extinct. Sort of like some airlines are going to be if they don’t wise up.

What about this writer? People who have seen me run are confident I descended from the turtle. My academic record suggests I may have more than a few kumquat genes. From the looks of my mail, a certain school of thought holds that I am still evolving and have eons to go before I emerge from my cave. But I know where I came from because my mama had the courage to tell me, lo, these many years ago. I came from East Point, just south of Atlanta. Now, let’s see the evolutionists and the creationists chew on that one.