More Monkey Biz From Officials

Friday, April 27, 2012, Vol. 127, No. 83

EVOLVING RESPONSE. The anachronistic Tennessee Legislature has awarded creationism equal scientific weight to evolution and declared that the prevailing religious belief of that body be offered as viable explanation to our school children for the order, formation and timing of the universe.

Scientific method, empirical data, the conflicting doctrines of other world religions past and present, the accumulated understanding of thousands of years and simple reason are notwithstanding. Who knows? The burning of books, and witches, might be making a comeback in this part of our flat Earth.

When I made fun of all that sad monkey business in last week’s column, it seemed to rattle my fellow primates a bit.

“When these flurries, or – in our case – storms occurred, my dad would say, ‘I can’t understand why these so called religious folks are so afraid of knowledge.’ Ironically, he was named for Williams Jennings Bryan. Keep ‘em coming. Would love to ghost write if you get constipated.” – Jay

As many of my readers would probably agree, this column is often the very opposite of constipation.

“Thanks, Dan. You added some humor to one of those laugh or cry moments.” – Katy

Thanks, Katy. And I might suggest that you lend your fine organization’s positioning statement ... “Promoting optimal brain development from conception to age 3” ... to the state legislature.

“When did science become just another alternative way to look at the universe?” Myron

For most of the civilized world, that was several centuries ago. For Tennessee, it was just the other day.

“You can’t make this stuff up.” – Karen

Unfortunately, you can. They’re doing it every day in Nashville.

“I’m not saying that some things have not evolved over time but the theory of evolution is just that...a theory.” – Guy

Perhaps the legislature itself is the best argument against evolution.

“Why are you so frightened by the Word of God?” – Curt

Because people who claim to hear it often do really scary things in God’s name.

“When I went to basic training I became best friends with a guy from Jersey. He, after finding out I was from Tennessee, inquired if we still had monkey trials. I have spent the better part of 40 years trying to live down the Scopes trial, but now we seem to have gone full circle. Lord help me through these trying times.” – Radford

Amen, Radford, amen.

“This needs to be published across Tennessee – after all, this is much more important than adequately funding education, transportation, health care, etc.” – Bert

They’d much rather monkey around with moralistic posturing than face real issues.

“How embarrassing … will the governor veto this?” – Richard

No. What the legislature did was embarrassing and irresponsible. What the governor failed to do was gutless.

I’m a Memphian, and, beyond simply embarrassed, we should be outraged.

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