Friday, March 03, 2006
Creationism's Child Soldiers
Marty Cheeks reminiscence of his personal journey from creationism to evolution tells the inside story of the indoctrination given to impressionable young creationist foot soldiers.
There was a time in my life when I was a creationist and was very similarly minded to the ardent believers in "Inherit the Wind." My belief in creationism started with the "Monkey Song," which I learned in fifth grade when I attended the fundamentalist Calvary Christian School in Hollister.
The little ditty we were taught flatly mocked evolution. The song began with the lyrics: "It seems so unbelievable/And yet they say that it's true/They're teaching our children in school now/That humans were monkeys once, too."
Then the chorus cheerily sings: "I'm no kin to the monkey (no no no)/ The monkey's no kin to me (yeah yeah yeah)/ I don't know much about his ancestors, but mine didn't swing from a tree."
The pastor at the school told us about the evils of evolution. He told us how we'd end up if we accepted Darwin's idea of the origin of life. Mr. Darwin, we were told, was Satan's agent of artifice, deceiving the world with the "unrighteous" idea that humans originated through gradual genetic mutations over 3.5 billion years.
My impressionable fifth-grader's mind quickly accepted the creationist ideology - that in about the year 4000 B.C., God formed man out of dust on Genesis's sixth day. I feared believing anything else. My very soul was imperiled if I dared doubt the biblical account.