Lately a furious debate has been raging between nuclear physicists, paleontologists, chiropractors, televangelists and other men of science as to whether the theory of evolution should be taught in our schools. The dissenters believe some other explanation should be taught, one that has the catchy name "Intelligent Design."
I am not a scientist. I’m a writer, and so have not devoted much time or thought to this subject, spending my days foraging for food and surfing internet porn, but I determined to find out more.
Luckily, my local community college offers a course in their Continuing Education Series based on the Young Earth Theory, an offshoot of Intelligent Design, and so I enrolled in the once-a-week night course.
Reading the synopsis of the class was very interesting. According to the pamphlet, the course will show how humans and animals of all kinds – including dinosaurs – lived at the same time and inhabited the same geographical regions. Examples of human footprints found with dinosaur tracks, among other inexplicable and anachronistic evidence, will be studied. There are to be numerous guest speakers and a short film series to augment the text.
I was excited. Thursday night came and I took my place in the classroom, front row. The professor, an energetic young fellow with an unusually high-pitched voice, gave a short introduction and announced that we would begin with the short film promised in the literature. He dimmed the lights.
The film was a colorful animated work from the 60’s and began with a large group of cavemen working a vast rock quarry and demonstrating a level of cooperation I would not have thought them capable of. In addition to this obviously well choreographed labor, they were assisted by various animals – enormous and powerful dinosaurs – that had been harnessed for cartage and even digging, like giant herbivorous earth movers.
Amazingly, considering the time period and level of development, these primitive men had some sort of union, for at a given time, a bird squawked, and all work subsided. The primary character, at this point, slid down the back of the dinosaur he had been operating and jumped in some sort of rudimentary automobile which he propelled with his bare feet.
The home life of these ancient people was no less surprising. On arriving at his shelter, also made of rocks and bearing an uncanny resemblance to a modern ranch-style suburban home, his skin-clad wife met him at the door as did the family pet, a young and very frisky dinosaur. In the house, the conveniences were much more creative and modern than I would have given these ancestors of ours credit for as well. They had managed, with little but rocks, sticks and the odd animal, to construct record players, can openers and vacuum cleaners.
Needless to say, I came away from this first class with a newfound admiration for our primitive progenitors as well as a hearty respect for the Young Earth Theory and Intelligent Design. There is simply no way primitive man could have created automatic dishwashers on their own, even knowing that mastodons could blow water out of their trunks. A Higher Force must have been involved. I only wish Darwin himself could have been at that class. He would have had some very serious explaining to do.
As you can well imagine, I am now hooked on the idea of furthering my education. Next semester promises to be equally exciting and informative, with a course entitled "Living in the Future." It is supplemented by another film, this one about a family that lives in a sort of space tower, drives flying cars, pushes lots of buttons and has a female robot maid.
If I had known science was this much fun, I wouldn’t have slept through my physics class in high school.