On this Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons,
Lisa is arrested for defying the new law in Springfield against teaching evolution after Reverend Lovejoy is appointed by Mayor Quimby (at Ned Flanders’s request) to be the town’s new “morality czar” in charge of promoting creationism; can a comment made in the show’s first season come back to save her? Guest stars Larry Hagman and Melanie Griffith.
See you tomorrow!
UPDATE Well, I’ve seen the episode, and have a prediction. The Discovery Institute will whine and moan that it should have been the Intelligent Design (ID) proponent on trial, not the evolution defender. They will cite Dehart/Sternberg et. al., and say this episode is stuck in the past (Scopes).
But the Simpsons episode got one basic fact right - not only was evolution under attack in 1925, it is under attack today. Despite all the rhetoric - “Teach all sides,” “Teach the Controversy,” etc. - the simple fact is that both creationism and its constitution-wary descendant ID have at their root the wish to denigrate biology, to poo-poo modern science, to cast a “reasonable doubt” on scientific findings they cannot reconcile with their personal religion.
In the end, ID is all about censorship - censoring the vast evidence of evolution (“Those aren’t really ‘transitional’ fossils,” etc.), and encouraging students to simply dismiss any findings of science their elders might disagree with.
And that’s why the Simpson’s got it exactly right. Expect the usual Whine and Cheese by tomorrow. - Dave