The pretentious D. James Kennedy is pounding the drum for his forthcoming special program on Darwin's Deadly Legacy. You see, Darwin's theory of evolution is responsible for Nazis and many other bad things, so it must be false. That's not only bad history, it's bad reasoning. Even if Hitler's theory of the Aryan master race owed anything to the survival-of-the-fittest aspect of evolution, the abuse of a theory says absolutely nothing about the validity of that theory. But one goes to D. James Kennedy for overweening faith, not logic.
For his assault on evolution, Kennedy has recruited some high-profile allies. One of them is Ann Coulter, noisy rightwing propagandist. It's a marriage made in heaven. She was prominently featured in a lengthy promo that appeared at the end of this weekend's broadcast of The Coral Ridge Hour. (The main program itself was devoted to a recycled attack on the ACLU, a particular D. James Kennedy bête noire.)
As the Coral Ridge announcer reported, Coulter's most recent book devoted a third of its length to a sustained attack on the theory of evolution. Kennedy and company must presume that this gives her credibility to Kennedy's audience, and I dare say they are right. Coulter provided a smooth segue from the ACLU portion of the program to the denunciation of Darwin:
I think there's still some misguided people who think the ACLU cares about civil liberties. They are purely an anti-Christian organization, an anti-American organization. That's what they do and what is there to say about them? They rush in whenever anyone mentions any science that contradicts Darwinism.Despite her oracular pronouncements, Coulter is willing to defer to the expertise of others when the occasion warrants. For example,
The ACLU wins in the courts. We win when Americans know what is going on.
I'll let the scientists decide what should be taught in science class, but it seems to me the one thing that shouldn't be taught in science class is a crackpot 19th century mystery religion, as David Berlinski calls it.Yes, let the scientists decide. Unless they disagree with fellow pseudointellectual David Berlinski. Coulter chooses her experts very carefully, doesn't she?
Unsurprisingly, Ann also has a problem with public schools. A diligent student of the Republican playbook, Ann calls them “government schools,” of course:
What the government schools do, it is the left's madrassahs. And they propagandize to the children six hours a day, twelve years of the child's life. I would give them the presidency, the house, the senate, if we could have children for six hours a day to give them our religion. But no.Given Ann's lack of charity, you might be puzzled by her reference to “our religion.” If you didn't realize it, Ann pretends to be Christian. But not to worry: It's only a pose.
That used to be the purpose of school, oddly enough. To teach biblical truths. No, that is absolutely prohibited.
Ann, by the way, is all in favor of free speech. She construes “free speech” generously so as to encompass things like efforts to smuggle creationism into public school classrooms. She's all about the freedom thing, as witness this sentence fragment clipped out by Kennedy's video editors:
In Dover it indicated that there was other evidence out there that students could read in their free time, but not on sanctified government property. And merely being alerted to the fact that there was other information out there that might contradict a complete crock of a theory that is no more scientific than palm reading...Yes, folks, the Dover decision was all about censorship. That's pretty surprising to those of us who read big chunks of it, but Ann must be smarter than you and me.
Postscript: While my focus in this post is on the inane Ann Coulter, a brief segment on Cobb County's textbook sticker controversy caught my eye. Here's what the voice-over announcer was saying as the video played out:
While reviewing the [biology] textbooks, parent Marjorie Rogers was dismayed by what she found.As the word “dismayed” is intoned, you see Ms. Rogers scanning an open book, a jaundiced expression on her face. Actually, her scowl was quite appropriate. From the camera angle you could easily tell that she was looking at Icons of Evolution, the pathetic anti-evolution book by Jonathan Wells. Perhaps Kennedy's editors will have fixed this awkward juxtaposition by the time this sequence is enshrined in the final cut of Darwin's Deadly Legacy.