[Paleopsych] Dowd: Inherit the Windbags

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Thu Feb 3 18:38:55 UTC 2005

Inherit the Windbags
Liberties column by Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, 5.2.3


    Do male nipples prove evolution?

    Not at all, according to a Web site for a planned Creation Museum
    devoted to showing that the Bible is literally true.

    Nipples may be biologically de trop for men, an "expert" on the site
    notes, but that doesn't mean they resulted from natural selection.
    They could just as well be a decorating feature of the Creator's (like
    a hood ornament). Who are we to question His designs, since we cannot
    presume to comprehend His mind?

    The virtual tour of the museum, to be built in rural Kentucky, says
    its exhibits will explain many such mysteries, like the claim that T.
    rex lurked around Adam and Eve - "That's the terror that Adam's sin
    unleashed!" - and how "Noah and his family survive 371 days alone on
    an animal-filled boat" ("a real 'Survivor' story").

    The philosophy of the Creation Museum, part of the "Answers in
    Genesis" ministry, is summed up this way: "The imprint of the Creator
    is all around us. And the Bible's clear - heaven and earth in six
    24-hour days, earth before sun, birds before lizards. Other surprises
    are just around the corner. Adam and apes share the same birthday. The
    first man walked with dinosaurs and named them all! God's Word is
    true, or evolution is true. No millions of years. There's no room for

    Personally, I've decided to stop evolving. No point, really. Evolution
    is so 20th century.

    As with Iraq, President Bush has applied his doctrine of pre-emption
    on evolution, cutting it off before it can pose a threat to our

    Ever since he observed during his 2000 campaign that "on the issue of
    evolution, the verdict is still out on how God created the earth," Mr.
    Bush has been reeling backward as fast as he can toward the Garden of
    Eden, which, if creationists are to be believed, was really "Jurassic

    Seeing the powerful role of evangelicals in getting Mr. Bush
    re-elected, teachers across the country are quietly ignoring
    evolution, even when the subject is in their curriculums.

    Many teachers take the hint on evolution even without overt pressure,
    Cornelia Dean wrote this week in Science Times: "Teachers themselves
    avoid the topic, fearing protests."

    On eBay, you can even find replicas of the stickers that a Georgia
    county put on science textbooks to warn that evolution is "a theory,
    not a fact." Talk about sticker shock.

    So much for the Tree of Knowledge. Mr. Bush gives us the Ficus of

    I knew the president, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich wanted to wipe out
    the psychedelic "if it feels good do it" post-Vietnam 60's and go back
    to the black-and-white 50's - a meaner "Happy Days."

    They wanted to yank us back in a time machine to a place before
    Vietnam was lost, free love was found, Roe v. Wade was enacted; they
    could roll back science to smother stem cells' promise. (Since it was
    reported last week that all human embryonic lines approved for
    federally financed research are tainted with a foreign molecule from
    mice, the administration can't even feign an interest in scientific
    progress. Who'd a-thunk that science's great hope would turn out to be
    Arnold Schwarzenegger?)

    I misunderestimated this ambitious president. His social engineering
    schemes in the Middle East and America are breathtakingly brazen.

    He doesn't just want to dismantle the 60's. He wants to dismantle the
    whole century - from the Scopes trial to Social Security. He can shred
    one of the greatest achievements of the New Deal and then go after
    other big safety-net Democratic programs, reversing the prevailing
    philosophy of many decades that our tax and social welfare systems
    should equalize the distribution of wealth, just a little bit. Barry
    Goldwater wouldn't have had the brass to take a jackhammer to that

    The White House seems to think Social Security was corrupt from the
    moment it was enacted in 1935. It wants to replace it with private
    accounts that will fatten the wallets of stockbrokers and put the
    savings of Americans who didn't inherit vast fortunes at risk.

    Mr. Bush and his crew not only want to scrap the New Deal. By
    weakening environmental and safety protections and trying to flatten
    the progressive income tax, they're trying to eradicate not just one
    Roosevelt but two, going after the progressive legacy of Theodore.

    With their brutal assault on history and their sanctimonious manner,
    they give a whole new meaning to Teddy's philosophy of the presidency.
    Bully pulpit, indeed.

    E-mail: liberties at nytimes.com

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