I found this post on a blog by someone who’s apparently an academic somewhere up in Canada. In case you’ve missed the background, William Dembski recently published a challenge to James Shapiro, saying that since they seemed to share many of the same criticisms of Neodarwinism, maybe they should work together. Shapiro issued a counter-challenge on Evolution News and Views to the effect that maybe if ID dropped its commitment to the supernatural and stuck to science, it might be possible. Both Ann Gauger and Doug Axe have posted replies – Dembski not so far. I think the atmosphere could be described as “cordial, but still far apart.”
So it seems odd that my blogger wrote this:
James A. Shapiro, author of Evolution: a View from the 21st Century has been criticized for being an Intelligent Design Creationist, or at least a sympathizer. He denies it but his denials sound very much like someone who protests too much.
Do you know any respectable evolution supporter who would post on a creationist blog?
My first impression was surprise that someone working daily on the incredible complexities of God’s creation should appear to have acquired such a grubby little mind. Maybe that’s what atheism does for some people. But then I suddenly remembered what had been niggling at me – the whole blog resembles the plot of a film I seem to remember seeing once. So maybe the blogger was being satirical, or something – see what you think.
The film was set in a small town in the deep south, at the height of the colour bar. The local biology teacher, Wally Moron, discovers that a black attorney has set up in town. Being one of the great and good in the community, the teacher contrives to confront the newcomer on the street, and drawls, “You may think you’re a lawyer, but remember you’re still a darkie slave.”
The attorney replies, in a cultured voice, that Moron is mistaken. None of his ancestors has ever been in slavery, and he is in fact the son of an African head-of-state, and has a first class degree in law from Oxford. From then on, Moron always refers to the attorney, both in public and to his face, as “the Oxford lawyer darkie slave.” Because, as he says, he can smell them.
Why, do you suppose, did he adopt this practice? In the first place, of course, it is deliberately dehumanising. But perhaps we should not judge too harshly because, in fact, this teacher knows of only two categories of individual: people (ie, whites) and black slaves. Since the lawyer is self-evidently not in the first category, he must be in the latter.
The next significant development is that the biology teacher learns that the town’s (white) doctor has been seen visiting the lawyer’s house. The doctor was always known to be a “goddam liberal” because he reads philosophy and Shakespeare for pleasure, but as Moron says to his friends, “No respectable white man would visit with a darkie slave.” His first assumption is that the doctor is trying to bed the lawyer’s squaw, but the true answer comes to him soon enough – the doctor, in reality, must be a darkie slave too.
The right solution, once this obvious conclusion is drawn, is inevitable. You can’t have a darkie slave doctor treating decent white folks, so Moron and a few of his Good Old Boys run the doctor out of town. This isn’t difficult, because they’ve already got rid of a couple of teachers at the local University who showed too much unnatural sympathy to the blacks. And while they’re about it, they lynch the lawyer as well.
I can’t remember the rest of the film, but I don’t think it gets any happier. It’s in black and white, too. It might be that the author of the blog I quoted didn’t intend it as a satire on this film at all, or even objects to the association I’ve made. If so, no doubt he’ll have the right eloquent words to correct me, such as, “Hush your mouth, N*-lover.”