The Devolution Of Our Species

By Dan Conaway

LEGISLATURE VOTES TO DEVOLVE. Dateline: Nashville, 2012, 1925 or 1869, your choice.

The Tennessee legislature has officially gone bananas and passed the Monkey Bill, allowing any student who disagrees with the findings of modern science to reject those findings and howl about it from the treetops with impunity. The debate lasted six days, and on the seventh they rested.

“The last time we had the majority in both the Tennessee House and Senate was 1869 and evolution actually was a theory,” said House bill author, Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville, or God’s country, your choice). “Since we consider Reconstruction to be the good ole days and the 1925 Monkey Trial to be a proud moment, we’re doing all we can to get back there.”

“You’ve seen those batso pictures of Darwin,” added Senate bill author, Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson, or land the Lord has made, your choice), “crazy, you know, like that Einstein dude.”

The science curriculum will be turned over to children who can now, by law, challenge anything. “If we don’t like the truth, we can just make s--- up,” said eighth grader Scooter Knuckledragger of John Scopes Middle School, “I mean, like, how cool is that?”

A spokesperson for the state, Holly Rolling, said that the bill will enhance “critical thinking” by offering the Bible (the good book) as literal fact by comparison to, say, a science textbook (the bad book). When asked if critical credibility should also be given to, say, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, or The New England Journal of Medicine, she replied, “Don’t be ridiculous.”

A panel of experts has been called to testify before a joint session of the legislature regarding the impact of the legislation. Invitees include the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Little Bunny FuFu and all three monsters – in the closet, under the bed and under the stairs.

Considering whether or not the session would still take place if most didn’t show, Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate, Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville, or amen corner, your choice), said, “Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there.” That prompted a follow-up question as to whether or not The Invisible Man had been invited. “No need,” explained Ramsey, “Gov. Haslam played that part on this legislation.”

Presented with the fact that only Louisiana and Tennessee are codifying this backward march and 48 states are not, Watson said, “What do they know?”


“Evolution and climate change are a whole lot of polar bear crap,” said Dunn, “and we’re just getting warmed up. We’re not only protecting our kids from so-called science, we’re protecting the whole state from little ole ladies without photo IDs, Shelby suburbs from evil city kids, and our women from birth control. Just recently, we passed vital legislation to keep young people from showing their a-- in public.”

Now, it seems, that’s left up to the Tennessee State Legislature.

I’m a Memphian, and I’d be delighted to see a little intelligent design.

Dan Conaway is a lifelong Memphian, longtime adman and aspiring local character in a city known for them. Reach him at