Wednesday, February 4, 2004

A theory by any other name is still . . .

So let me get this straight. Kathy Cox is proposing that Georgia schools continue to teach evolution, but refrain from teaching “evolution”?

She suggests that “evolution” is a buzzword —whatever that means — and so our teachers are advised to stop saying it. The preferred phrase is “biological change over time.”

How novel! I am reminded of Monty Python’s Knights of Ni who threaten to say “Ni!” — with painful consequences — if not offered a shrubbery.

Are we to suppose that the conservatives whom she wishes to appease have an aversion to the word itself, as opposed to the theory and its implications? Is there actually someone out there who would react with, “Well, my son is being taught that man is a product of causes which had no pre-vision of the end they were achieving, but he is not exposed to the word ‘evolution,’ and that is the important thing”?

If this proposal works, then imagine the possibilities. Do parents object to the distribution of condoms in the high schools? No problem. We’ll stop handing out condoms and instead supply eager and amorous students with “balloons.”

Sex education may be controversial, but who could object to “You-know-what” education (complete with inoffensive terminology like “thingy”)?

Do others object to the placement of the Ten Commandments in the schools? We’ll refrain and display instead “The-More-Than-Nine-But-Fewer-Than-Eleven Divine Imperatives.”

I’m with Jimmy Carter: We should all go hide somewhere.

Mark D. Linville

Fayetteville, Ga.

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