Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Darwin Was Wrong

Darwin was wrong. Man's still an ape. His creed's still a totem pole. When he first achieved the upright position, he took a look at the stars - thought they were something to eat. When he couldn't reach them, he decided they were groceries belonging to a bigger creature; that's how Jehovah was born.
Those provocative words are from the 1960 movie Inherit The Wind, inspired by the famous Scopes "Money Trial," and were uttered by the character E.K Hornbeck (based on journalist H.L. Mencken) to character Henry Drummond (based on defense attorney Clarence Darrow). Mencken was the one who dubbed it The Monkey Trial.
Neither Mencken nor Darrow were friends of religion, although I think Drummond comes across as more sympathetic than Darrow actually was. However, it is a pity that Inherit The Wind gives most folks their basic knowledge of the famous Scopes Trial. It would hardly qualify as a docudrama in that it was based on the play by the same title and both took great liberties with the actual trial and events surrounding it.  
The acrid Mencken was - not inaccurately, I believe - described by the late atheist popularizer Christopher Hitchens as "an antihumanist as much as an atheist, a man prone to the hyperbole and sensationalism he distrusted in others...."

While the Hornbeck quote is not an actual Mencken quote, it does seem to capture the flavor of the man. Unfortunately it also underscores a popular theme among many modern atheists, that is, that the God hypotheses was born of human ignorance rather than the quite reasonable idea that something coming from nothing and then operating in an orderly manner would seem fantastical.


  1. @Doug B

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    Sorry for a little diversion; it will be off-topic here.

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