A couple of months ago, an article appeared in Esquire
Magazine, entitled Greetings from Idiot America
, which PZ Myers summarized
rather nicely. Basically, the article was a broadside against "intelligent design" creationism and the current anti-science, anti-expertise atmosphere in this nation today. It was the kind of article that inspired many of us who are very concerned about the anti-science and anti-intellectual trends in the U.S. to pump our fists and yell, "F*ck, yeah!"
In the January issue of Esquire
, readers' letters about that article were published. Most were supportive; however, the editors chose to include a couple of "cancel my subscription"-type letters from creationists. (I'm convinced they did this for laughs.) In the last of these letters, I found perhaps the most idiotic creationist attack on evolution that I have ever seen. It comes from someone named Rick Short of Windemere, FL:
If you truly wish to believe that you evolved from an ape, then go for it. My Bible says that we are made by a God who loves us. If evolution is true, then why stop here? Why not keep evolving into a superbeing that can fly, live without food or water, and not get sick? I find it hard to believe that the same magazine that published an excellent article on the life of Christ two years ago could take such a turn as this. If you're going to attack my faith and my God, then I don't want your magazine coming to my home. Cancel my subscription.
First off, I have to wonder what such a fundamentalist Christian is doing subscribing to a magazine like Esquire
in the first place, which, besides featuring good articles on politics like Idiot America
and useful articles on culture and clothes (most of which I clearly fail to take to heart, as anyone who's seen the way I dress would know instantly), usually also features one photospread a month of a scantily clad woman, a monthly sex column, and a fair amount of blatant materialism (articles about expensive audio, computers, and electronics, for example--some of my favorite types of toys). If none of that bothers him, one wonders why Rick would be so offended by a polemic against "intelligent design" creationism that he canceled his subscription but apparently was not offended by a seminude pictorial of Britney Spears from about a year ago or even of Jessica Biel in the very same issue that included Idiot America
(an issue in which, by the way, Biel was billed as the "sexiest woman alive"). Apparently ogling scantily clad starlets and reading sex advice are just fine and dandy with Rick, but start attacking creationism and he gets really
pissed off--pissed off enough, apparently, to give up ogling the scantily-clad starlets, I guess. (Or maybe Rick will subscribe to Maxim
, or other magazines of this type, as they dispense with political and social commentary altogether. On the plus side, unlike Esquire
, they do not feature Chuck Klosterman's column every month.)
More interesting, though is that Rick has perhaps the most bizarre misunderstanding of evolution that I've ever encountered. He honestly seems to think that evolution can (1) be voluntary and (2) lead to traits that are biologically extremely implausible, if not altogether impossible, such as never needing food or water. Really, his statement reveals such a profound ignorance of what evolutionary theory says that my jaw practically hit the ground when I read it. It's on the same level as Kent Hovind's "Did you evolve from mud" or "Did you evolve from a rock" idiocy.
If anyone has a more idiotic creationist attack on evolution than the one by Rick Short, now's the time to tell me. I'd love to hear it. Can anyone top Rick Short's polemic?