washingtonpost.com  > Columns > Art Buchwald

Creating Trouble

By Art Buchwald
Tuesday, February 22, 2005; Page C04

Everyone asks me where I stand on Darwinism, as opposed to creationism. Because it is still so bitterly debated in our schools, I have finally come out of the closet.

In spite of what he says, Donald Trump did not create the Earth in seven days. He had an option but couldn't raise the money so he did not pick it up.

I believe the Bible, that the Earth was created by God. Where the creationists and I split is on what He created. Did he create people?

The fundamentalists swear he created Adam and Eve. And there was a Garden of Eden, but a snake persuaded Eve to eat an apple, and she and Adam were kicked out. It is not in the Bible, but some people believe the snake said, "There goes the neighborhood."

No one would have questioned this if an Englishman (wouldn't you know) named Charles Darwin hadn't taken a trip around the world and written a book titled "The Origin of Species." In it, Darwin theorized that all life on Earth had evolved over millions of years, from a few common ancestors. He published his book in 1859.

This did not go over well with the people who favored creation and claimed rather strongly that there was no way we came from a common species, millions and millions of years ago, and that our ancestors were monkeys.

The two beliefs came to a head when John Scopes of Dayton, Tenn., (wouldn't you know) was tried for teaching Darwinism in his class.

It was science pitted against religion. The churchgoing public refused to acknowledge that they were descended from primates. They said a state statute made teaching evolution a crime.

The trial, which took place in 1925, became known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. Scopes was found guilty and fined $100, which was real money then. (Teachers in those days weren't paid as well as they are now.)

Down the line, the law was ruled unconstitutional.

So what's the fuss now? The creationists, who are legion, insist the world was created in six days, and want to make sure all textbooks include only their views. Some even are campaigning against bringing up Darwinism in the classroom.

It is a never-ending struggle between Light and Darkness, Day and Night, Adam and Eve, Apples and Oranges.

Although I have come out of the closet, I don't know which closet I have come out of. I always liked the Adam and Eve version, because it explained why my life has never been a Garden of Eden.

But although I flunked science, I cannot discount the big-bang theory.

Why am I here? Is it because a fish crawled out of the sea, or the Lord created me and then keeps punishing me for my sins?

I know the president believes in the Book of Genesis, but no reporter has ever questioned him as to where he stands on creationism and Darwinism. (See stem cell research.) I bring this up because we are in a crisis, and the end is near -- or a billion years away.

As the French say, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

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