14 November, 2007

On Evolution (Yes, that's right: Evolution)

So things have been really busy, and I have been traveling around a lot. It's been great, but has prevented me from having the sort of ruminations I'd have if I were staying at home and working. My latest travels have brought me to the one and only Austin, Texas, where on Monday Audio Inversions performed my descanso (waiting) to rave reviews, and tonight--in about an hour--the UT Wind Symphony will rock my ├╝ber-cacophonous homage to home, East Coast Attitude.

It's been a great trip, overall, and I have had a chance to get caught up with old friends and see a bit of the Austin freak culture I have heard so much about. Keep Austin weird, indeed.

But today something happened which tainted the experience a little for me. After the dress rehearsal with the UT crew, I went over to the little museum that's right across the street. After about 45 minutes of checking out the old dinosaurs and assorted taxidermy mammals, I ended up on the evolution floor. Getting out of the elevator, I overheard a young boy ask the question: "Mom, what's evolution?"

Fair question I thought. He initially confused evolution with revolution, which I thought was really cute since I have been reading a whole bunch of revolutionary theory. (Nerdsville, totally.) The mother's ultimate answer--or really, non-answer-- troubled me, however.

"What's evolution?" she said, "Well, we don't believe in evolution. We know that God made everything." This was her answer. In a science museum, this was her answer! Why even pretend to educate our children by taking them to a museum and then give them an answer like that!?

Now, I don't care if people believe in creationism--fine, really, do what you want--but please, for the love of Pete, give a better answer than that when your kid asks what evolution is! She didn't even explain the idea of evolution, she just skipped right to the dismissal!

Some public schools teach creationism as "another theory," alongside evolution--in fact, in NJ it's required by law! In light of this, doesn't it only seem fair that a creationist could at least have the courtesy to say what evolution is before dismissing it?

I wanted to yell, as the elevator closed: "God sure did make everything; even evolution!" But then I remembered that it's legal to carry concealed weapons in Texas, so I decided to keep my big Yankee mouth shut. I head back to the cold New York area tomorrow morning, and am looking forward to its snarky charms.

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