Sean and I had fun watching this li’l video the other day. It’s fifty-one Miss USA candidates weighing in on whether evolution should be taught in schools.
It’s a good question for categorizing candidates – those who know their minds, and those who don’t. Those who, like politicians, are trying desperately to say something that will offend the smallest number of their compatriots in a deeply divided nation – and those who are willing to just state their opinions, regardless of consequences.
The funny part is that this question is asked at all – and asked in all seriousness.
I love how many of them use the phrase “both sides of the story”. The use of the word story is significant in the first place, but then there’s the concept that in global terms there could possibly be only two sides. I’ll bet some of these girls think they’re being pretty forward-thinking by saying Yes, let’s hear both sides of the story! but they’re just highlighting their ignorance of The World Outside Bible-Thumpin’ Christianity.
[Although… I will admit that those were the only two sides that came up, the time we talked about evolution in my Grade 2 class last year. But those were seven-year-olds – they can be forgiven.]
I also love gems like “creationatism” and “You should be knowledged”. Clearly, as one Miss says, “We’re smarter than ever, these days.”
And Miss Kentucky takes the cake. She believes you can’t have too much knowledge – UNLESS it comes from too many different places. If not everyone is going to agree on it, it’s not a good topic for school. AT ALL. Critical thinking, multiple perspectives = big no-nos.
Sean likes to pick on the use of words like “belief” and “opinion” and “decision”, arguing that deciding not to believe in evolution is like deciding not to believe in gravity. (Some witty person has made the same point on YouTube by taking a few of the Misses and voicing over the word evolution with the word gravity.)
I disagree. Gravity can literally smack you in the face (I’m sure even some Miss USA delegates fell off their bikes as kids); evolution cannot. If only it could.
I would like to hear the commentary A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically) would offer on this one. For his book, he visited dozens of people, including Creationist scientists, if you can get your head around that. Now that’s an interesting read.
The real irony here, to my mind, is that people who reject evolution believe in such a less-cool version of God. For me (and I only speak for myself here), evolution is basically the definition of God. I stopped personifying God in my mind long ago; instead, what could be more divine than this amazing planet, rising out of its own murk, generating and transforming itself over billions of years, seething with life and energy, countless species coexisting in unfathomable intricacy and a constant state of self-improvement?
Incredible. WAY cooler than God created Light and Dark, Poof! Guy, girl, snake, la la. Be fruitful – wait! Not THAT kind of fruit! Come on. Evolution kicks Eden’s ass, hands down, in a contest of pure awesomeness. Why shouldn’t that be God’s everlasting legacy?