“Transcript of a Moderated Discussion on the Relative Success of Competing Explanations of the Origins of Humankind, Between Gideon and Darwin, Circa 2009,” by Murray Brozinsky

May 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Prose

Moderator: Ladies and Gentlemen, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, Fanatics, and members of the Kansas Board of Education, we have a rare treat for you this evening. {Jeers from the audience}

Since the presidential candidates declined an invitation to participate in debate, invoking the confidentiality of Skull and Bones, we had to scramble to fill the slot to avoid returning advertising money. Luckily, we dug up two giants of a more profound debate. Actually one of them is more incarnation than man; the other man we literally dug up. {Oohs and ahhs}

To my right, I am pleased to introduce to you, the carrier of the crucible of Christianity, a man with no need for a last name, a man who most of you know as the author of the bible of Bibles, his eponymous Bible, the one and only Gideons Bible – ladies and gentlemen, I give you – the Righteous, the Religious, that God-fearing Guy – Gideon the Good. {Applause accompanied by some boos}

And to my left, the voice of the theory of the Descent of Man by Way of Natural Selection, whoa there’s a mouthful. A man with no need for a first name, though he does actually have one. Most of you know him as the father of the Theory of Evolution, however very few have actually seen, let alone read, his book, On the Origin of Species, and I bet fewer of you realize that he never once even uses the word evolution. Please give it up for the Realist, the Rational, that Doyen of Descent – Darwin the Decent. {Some boos accompanied by applause}

Gideon, let’s begin with you. How goes the battle for the soul of Humanity in the Age of Reason?

Gideon: Our sole purpose, you might call it our soul purpose, is to win men, women, boys and girls to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through association, personal testimony, and distribution of the Bible in the human traffic lanes and streams of everyday life. {Amen}

Moderator: That sounds like a missionary’s mission statement taken directly from your web site, all right. But how is it progressing, man?

Gideon: Heavenly. [Reading from brochure] Early last century, we began placing the Word of God in hotels to save traveling salesmen from despair. [Extemporaneous] Of course our main competition then was a bottle of bourbon. Over the years we expanded distribution to include motels, hospitals, jails, ships, planes, trains and automobiles. [Back to the brochure] Last year alone we distributed more than 59,000,000 Scriptures worldwide. To God be the glory! That’s more than one million copies of the Word of God placed every seven days, 6,700 per hour, 112 per minute. Praise the Lord! {Hallelujah}

Moderator: And just what do all those Words of God proclaim about the origin of our species, Gideon?

Gideon: I address that question straight away in my Very Good Book, knowing full well people tend to nod off after the first chapter. Right up front, in Genesis 1:26, I quote God directly: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” He says. “And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Moderator: Amen, brother. You are preaching to the converted now. Chuck, has Gideon won you over yet, to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Darwin: When Hell freezes over! As I have said many times, [Looks at Gideon] ignorance trumps knowledge in breeding confidence. Those who know little, not those who know much, are the ones who stridently dismiss the power of science to solve the mystery of our origins. {Go big “D”}

Moderator: Hard to argue with such an articulate and persuasive argument, but I do believe Gideon that Chuck here just called you ignorant.

Gideon: I take pleasure in, reproaches, in persecutions, for Christ’s sake (Corinthians 12:8). All told, more than 6 billion copies of the Very Good Book have been sold. How many of Darwin’s, um, what the devil is his book called again? Um, how many of his On the Genesis of Man – or some such title – has he sold? {Stick it to ’em, G-Man}

Moderator: Chuck, Gideon has a point. You may know much, but not many people know much about what you know. I didn’t see a copy of your Origin book on my nightstand at the Best Western last night.

Darwin: It matters not whether people know much about what I know. The evidence I spent years accumulating is irrefutable; the Finches made me do it. Mankind is descended from the apes, which themselves are descended from lower life forms. Far from having dominion over fish and fowl and cattle and creepers, [Looks at Gideon] Man is lower than them all. And if history is a reliable guide, the descent will continue. {Half the audience holds up their Zippo lighters; the other half cross themselves}

Gideon: Do not err, my beloved brother (James 1:16). For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:26). In other words, buddy [Looks at Darwin], the only place you are descending to is Hell! [Gideon raises his fist in the air] {Cheers, gasps}

Darwin: You want a piece of me? [Darwin rises to his feet. The audience has turned into an angry mob and parts like the Red Sea]

Moderator: [Voice raised, speaking to the audience] Clowns to the left, Jokers to the right. [The Clowns throw a rope over the rafter and string up Darwin; the Jokers string up Gideon.]

Moderator: [Voice resigned, speaking to nobody in particular] Gideon and Darwin are dead, and here I am stuck in the middle with You.

[Cut to commercial break]


Murray is a writer living in San Francisco. His stories appear in numerous online and offline journals, including: 3711 Atlantic, 400 Words, Ascent Aspirations, decomP, Duck & Herring Pocket Field Guides, GHOTI, Laughter Loaf, Opium Magazine, Peeks & Valleys, Rumble, The Big Jewel, and Yankee Pot Roast. He has written essays for Brink, Business 2.0, Prose Toad, Shine, Science Creative Quarterly, and Wired Magazine.

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