The Evolution of Chris Matthews

Last night's episode was another example of why Duncan and others say Chris Matthews is more incidious than Bill O'Reilly. With the big man we at least expect some good old fashioned stupidity run amok. With Chris Matthews we think 'Carter's speach writer' and hence if he elevates someone to a discussion we think incorrectly that the guest might actually have a plausible argument. In this case, the show is about the rich topic of teaching evolution in highschools with guests Eugenie Scott and Terry "keeping an eye on evolution and abortion clinics" Fox. Fox gets the opening:

"For a long, long time, one side has been taught in public schools. And, you know, Chris, if you poll the American people, you find that all people out there believe that we came from somewhere."

I for one believe I came from New Jersey.

"The interesting thing is, the majority of people in America happen to believe that God created men and therefore God has a purpose for mankind."

And heck, if the majority of Americans believe it, they must be correct; ergo teaching science is wrong, just plain wrong. Besides,

"all we‘re asking for is that people be given the right to discuss both sides of the issue"

because the First Amendment doesn't apply to quackery?

"and that students be able to look at both sides, instead of just evolution that has been taught exclusively all these years in public school."

See, that's all: we simply want to turn science on its head. That should be uncontroversial enough, shouldn't it? Matthews:

"But I went to a religious school where the teacher said to us at the beginning of biology class the first day—and this is a religious, Christian school—that you‘re entitled to believe in creationism if you want. We‘re going to be teaching evolution here."

True: I went to Catholic highschool as well, and that was exactly how it was taught there. So why not just teach it that way? Fox:

"Well, because I think that the Bible speaks very plainly and clearly about the origin of man."

Let's take a quick break to examine some biology lessons found in the Bible:

"Leviticus 17:11
‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

Genesis 1:11,12
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:21
So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:25
And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."

I agree with God, it's good, maybe a bit incomplete, but good. Fox's bubbletyboop on the other hand, well, go read:

"You know, Chris, just because we believe that God made man and God created us, it doesn‘t mean that we‘re intelligent..."

Exhibit A: Terry Fox. If you don't know by now that you're digging an intellectual hole and should stop digging, then...ooh, ouch, talk about evolution!

"Most of it has never been proven and it will not stand on solid ground."

Intelligent design on the other hand...never mind. Back to the subject at hand, Matthews:

"Let‘s go to the other side of this argument."

Chris is being rather generous. Eugenie answers concisely. I won't elaborate, so back to Matthews and Fox. Matthews:

"I don‘t want Eugenie to put words in your mouth."

hehe, I don't think anyone puts much of anything in this guy's mouth, but he asks Fox if he believes in the millions of years of things happening on earth. Terry Fox:

"I really don‘t believe that. And I think a lot of people don‘t believe it....I mean, when you look at evolution, you find 1,000 different views of evolution."

yeah, funny that, the peer-reviewed ones are on PubMed. Matthews goes on about some sort of heredity stuff found in the Bible, and it goes back and forth a little but then he digs in on the science teacher. Matthews:

"But, Eugenie, what do you think is the harm of teaching some religious theory, along with the scientific theory?"

uh, because it's not science? Matthews next:

"Do you believe that everything we live—do you think our lives, who we are, the world around us, was an accident of some explosion millions of years ago and it led to everything we see? Do you believe it was all just natural selection or just an accident of scientific development?"

huh? Double CM-snap Fair and Balanced to the max! And here's the kicker:

"What do you believe? What do you believe?"

to which Eugenie Scott correctly answers:

"Who cares? Who cares what Genie Scott believes? That‘s, you know...My own personal philosophy?

And then there's that guy most people still believe is a democrat and therefore a leebruhl saying:

"I don‘t think most people believe it was one big accident. It‘s hard to imagination the sophistication and dynamics and wonder of this world was just an accident. Some grenade went off two or three million years ago and everything happened. It just boggles the mind that it‘s the case."

Dude, you can believe that you can build a castle out of snot, but when you go about trying to prove it, you might run into some obstacles. That's not what science class is about!

After that, Matthews talked with Thomas Friedman about his new book. A much better review can be found here by Taibbi.