THINKING THE DEEP THOUGHTS By MEGAN FORD
Thinking The Deep Thoughts
Characters CHAD MARTINEZ
A cheesy American TV host
That Charles Darwin
A liberal politician
A twelve-year-old science geek
A large, slow-spoken, hulk of a man
A suburban American soccer mom
An evangelical preacher
Sound cue: Instrumental introductory music. Applause. A panel talk show. Eight people are seated on stage, four on one side, four on the other. In the middle, sits a monkey. Bounding on to the stage is our energetic host, CHAD MARTINEZ. CHAD: Hello everybody and welcome to our show “Thinking the Deep Thoughts”, a show especially dedicated to probing the tough questions that make us think. The kind of questions that make us more aware of the world around us. The kind of questions, ladies and gentlemen, that make us lose sleep at night, question who we are and why our parents ruined us, the kind of questions, if you will, that you ask yourself in rehab and once adequately answered, emerge a changed man. Today is a monumental day, our 100th episode, and so, in the tradition of anniversaries, we thought we’d take a look back at how it all began. No, not the beginning of the show and my revitalized career, but the beginning of time. Of man, and woman. The beginning of the human race. Today’s deep thought? Evolutionism versus Creationism: Who’s right and how should it be taught?
Now as I’m sure the viewer is aware, how it all began is a touchy subject to some. People going all crazy with “that’s just a theory” and “that’s just a lie to keep us afraid” and “oooh, old wives tale”! Now, if you’re as confused as I am about all this, we’ve done what we do every week on Thinking the Deep Thoughts and have assembled a panel of people smarter and/or more qualified than me to debate the issue at hand. And let me introduce you to our panel now. Arguing for Evolution, we’ve got the author of On The Origin of Species, and father of the Theory of Evolution himself, Mr. Charles Darwin! DARWIN: Pleasure to be here, Chad. CHAD: We’ve also got Senator Louise Lewis, who has fought in the senate to make sure that evolution is taught in schools. SEN. LEWIS: Thank you, Chad. CHAD: Next to her is little Andy, winner of the Marchmont School Science Fair for his experiment on the evolution of domestication through genetic mutant effects on specially bred super-mice. At twelve years old, Andy is the second youngest panel member we’ve ever had on the show. Say hi, Andy. ANDY: They’re just mice, not super-mice. And it’s ‘mutation’ effects, not ‘mutant’. CHAD: That’s right, Andy. ANDY: It’s not like / X-MEN. CHAD: And finally, on the E team, we’ve got Jethro. Perhaps proof of the theory itself, Jethro falls a bit earlier on the evolutionary chart than most of us. JETHRO: (Grunts in response. Then points.) Microphone. CHAD: That’s right, Jethro. That’s right. And moving on to our Creationist panel. The father and mother of us all, the reason we all ex – might – exist, let’s have a huge round of applause for Mr and Mrs Adam and Eve! ADAM and EVE are both wearing ill-fitting clothes and look uncomfortable in them. They look mid-argument, and EVE flirts with CHAD. EVE: Thanks Chad, it’s certainly a real pleasure to be here. ADAM: Oh? Really? Now it’s a pleasure? Now? Because it wasn’t a pleasure at the airport this morning / when you
EVE: (Sotto, through clenched teeth.) Do not do this now. So help me. CHAD: Okay, you two. And next on our panel is proud soccer mom and president of Parents for Intelligent Design, Maryanne Gillespie. How are ya, Maryanne? MARYANNE: Ready to get my debate on, Chad. Let’s scorch those sinners. CHAD: Somebody get a hose, because this little gal’s on fire! Okay. We’ve also got a true expert on Creationism here, the great Reverend Holmes, preacher to the masses and author of the book ‘God Is Right, You Are Wrong’. REV. HOLMES: I tell you Chad, I feel the Holy Ghost up in this room today, I do. The spirit is here and the spirit will prevail. Hallelujah! CHAD: Amen. Amen. Finally, on our set today, we’ve got something special. She’s not a pet, and she’s not from the zoo. Alice here is just a normal everyday monkey that we found loitering in the network cafeteria. If anyone can help set us straight on this evolution business, it’s Alice. ALICE blows a short raspberry with her tongue. CHAD: Awww. They’re just so cute, aren’t they? ALICE scratches her bum and then smells her finger. CHAD: Well then, let’s get started with the man responsible for setting this long lived debate in motion. Mr. Darwin. When you wrote On The Origin of Species, did you expect this kind of controversy? DARWIN: Well, Chad, I can’t honestly say I thought it would be a quiet ride. Long before my time Galileo was persecuted for his work. Before and after which a long line of scientists and teachers have fought against a resistance to change and free thought. But as we evolved from animals, so I hoped that our approach to new ideas would progress as well. You’ve done incredibly well in many areas for the last couple of centuries, but I can’t say that I thought there would still be a debate like this today. You’ve put celebrities on an island together and watch them argue on television. I thought that surely by now that minds would be more open to this kind of thing. CHAD: Reverend Holmes? Do you think you’re being close-minded? REV. HOLMES: Look, Chad. Mr. Darwin. I’m not saying the Earth is flat. I’m not saying the Earth is the centre of the Universe. You know why? Because we have proof. We’ve got proof of those things. But your ideas are just that. Ideas. Now, the bible is a lot older than you are, and faith is a lot stronger than one man’s ideas. I’m not a literalist. I don’t slaughter a lamb every time I pray. I think we’ve had to
adapt our interpretation of the bible to today’s laws and today’s society. It would be ridiculous to follow some of those ancient ways, but believing that God created us, well, that doesn’t conflict with the way we live our lives today. It doesn’t stop me from being a humane person, it doesn’t hurt anybody else. It can only solidify my faith that God started it, and he is still with us today, seeing us through. Hallelujah. Let us bow our heads and pray. CHAD: Thank you, Reverend, though I think we’ll have to save the praying for after the show. Let’s ask Andy, what he thinks about all of this. Andy, what have you been taught in school? ANDY: I was taught Mr. Darwin’s theory, which is why I got really interested in my experiments. I’ve taken wild mice and managed to breed them to become domesticated pets. Some of them can even do tricks and respond to direction from a human voice, like a dog. I wanna try it with bigger animals, too, like tigers and crocodiles, but it’s harder to get a lot of those together to breed in captivity. Plus my mum says our back garden isn’t big enough. MARYANNE: Excuse me, Chad, if I can interrupt. Now, I’ve got kids of my own, a bit younger than Andy. Now, I teach them that God created us the way we were and we were perfect. I don’t see anything wrong with that. But teaching them these things about evolving from apes, and telling them it’s true? Well, that’s just straight up lying to their faces. We don’t know it’s true. And why make them question what they already know? Why confuse these little guys? No. We should just keep things as they’ve always been, and teach them God’s word, and God’s word only. Because little kids like Andy, they get these ideas, and now he’s breeding mice to do tricks, talking about breeding tigers. He’s trying to play God. Next thing you know, he’ll be breeding humans to create a mutant super-race, and we’ll have another Hitler on our hands. CHAD: Woah, those are some strong words Maryanne. But you’re feisty and I like that. LOUISE: I’m sorry, but this lady is exactly what’s wrong with America today. MARYANNE: Excuse me? LOUISE: Your organisation, Parents for Intelligent Design, is run by the same conservative right-wing corporate-lackey white-boys club that kept Bush in power for 8 years, started a war for empty reasons in the middle of desert, and keeps poor children in third-world nations in factory jobs that nearly kill them. You are just a pawn. An agent on behalf of a bigger force, and I’m insulted that she’s on this panel. MARYANNE: Now, I don’t know about those war things you’re talking about, but I know what I believe, and I’m no agent or pawn. This is what I believe, and what I want to raise my children to believe.
LOUISE: Okay, well, fine. Fine. Teach your children that. Teach them fairy tales all day long. It is your job and your prerogative to raise your kids with your values. However, it is not your kids’ school’s job to teach them your religion. Family values and religion are for the home and home alone. The schools only responsibility in a science class is to teach science. DARWIN: Hear, hear! LOUISE: In America there is a separation of church and state. It is what the country was founded on, freedom of thought, of speech, of religion. And it was so important that the authors of the constitution put it in the first amendment. The states run the schools, and it is by law that they do not teach religion. If you want your kids to learn creationism in school, send them to a private religious school. Now when I / wrote my CHAD: Okay, Louise. We’ve got to have enough time for everyone on the panel to speak. LOUISE: Sorry, Chad. Go on. CHAD: Okay. Adam? Eve? How about you? Surely, the two of you must have strong opinions about your story being told? ADAM: Well, I think we both think -EVE: To be honest, Chad. I’m not sure anymore. I’ve gone through some stuff lately. I just. I feel more enlightened. Like, I know more. And I’m learning and evolving myself every day. I’m really ready to embrace the world. To think for myself, and see new places. ADAM: You are such a hypocrite. EVE: Darling. Shut up. ADAM: Embrace the world? How about this morning, when you were all like “Waaah, I don’t wanna leave. Why do I have to put on these threads for some American nobody?” -- Sorry Chad, she said it, not me. -- And I was like, it’ll be good for our image, and you were like, “if a fig leaf is good enough for God, it should be good enough to television” and I / was like EVE: Will you shut up? This is LIVE, you Neanderthal. Haven’t you ever watched television? You’re such a Phili...pine! ADAM: Phili-pine? You don’t even know how to. It’s pronounced philistine, you retard! EVE: You are mortifying me.
ADAM: You mortify yourself. CHAD: (Chuckles.) You guys. What a couple of jokers, hey? Now, we haven’t heard from Jethro yet. I’m sure there’s an opinion in there somewhere, hey buddy? JETHRO: Do we get a sandwich? CHAD: Pardon? JETHRO: They said we’d get lunch. CHAD: Yes. Our producer Joyce will take care of that for you after the show. Now, Jethro. What do you think about all of this evolution debate? JETHRO thinks. JETHRO: Good. CHAD: What’s good? JETHRO: Good debate. CHAD: Okay. DARWIN: If I may. Jethro is a classic example of how we have evolved from apes. Look at the way the back of his hands turn forward, as if only a few generations back his grandparents were using them to walk forward. The protruding brow, the inability to recognize gestures and the slowness of cognition. He’s clearly only a few steps away from King Kong. Now, I have in my hands my book, if I may read to you the -REV. HOLMES: I have in my hands the evidence of Creationism. I asked God, and he gave me the Bible, and it told me that on the sixth day God created man and woman in his image. And all you scientists and doubters out their can come at me with your It Ain’t Necessarily So’s, but I tell you it is necessarily so! MARYANNE applauds. MARYANNE: And as for your book, Mr Darwin, and your theory of Evolution, I have in my hands some evidence, too. I asked Google, and it gave me Wikipedia, and it told me that a theory is ‘a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.’ So you see everybody? It is just a theory. It is not fact. So how can we put it into our kids’ heads that it’s right? DARWIN: Actually, the scientific definition of the word theory states that –
MARYANNE: Science? What has science ever done? God has done a lot more. REV. HOLMES: Hallelujah. That is the word. LOUISE: God doesn’t rule our lives anymore. This is the 21st century. ADAM: Not for us it’s not. God doesn’t rule our lives? Then who just evicted us because someone couldn’t resist a little snack? EVE: I knew you would embarrass me. I knew we shouldn’t have come. ADAM: Well we couldn’t stay, could we? Somebody didn’t leave us much choice. EVE: Oh, so now you’re blaming me. ADAM: YES! The stage devolves into chaos. The following lines are yelled over each other, and not necessarily in this order, but the order which best builds to a crescendo of action. More can be improvised in rehearsals if need be. LOUISE: Don’t listen to him, Eve, be your own woman. MARYANNE: You’re what’s wrong with women today. LOUISE: Excuse me? MARYANNE: You should be home taking care of your children, not rousing the rabble with theories! REV. HOLMES: Hallelujah, praise the Lord! CHAD: Now, if everyone could calm down and get back to the point. ANDY: What is the point? Nobody’s talking anymore! DARWIN: Science is truth! JETHRO: Roast beef! REV. HOLMES: God is truth! ANDY: Didn’t any of you go to science camp? ADAM: I’d just like to say, that denying my existence is denying God’s existence.
DARWIN: Well, I’d have to disagree with you, ya punk. ADAM: Bring it on, old man! MARYANNE: Take him down! EVE: You think you can fight someone? You couldn’t even take a serpent! ANDY: Stop it, guys! I get nosebleeds when I get excited. CHAD: Seriously, we’re not equipped for physical altercations. This isn’t Jerry Springer. REV. HOLMES: “Then God said, Let us make man in our image ... in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” JETHRO: Ham and swiss! LOUISE: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” During this, ALICE has started to roam around the stage, getting excited. When the commotion builds to a climax ALICE lets out a big monkey screech/noise/thingy and beats on her chest which silences the crowd. ALICE: Will all of you please just shut up and look at yourselves! Why do you do this? You’re not animals. You don’t need to fight each other for dominance. Or do you? You have the power to live your lives independently of each other and all you need to do is respect the other person’s choice to believe differently. Why do your ideas have to conflict? God might exist. And evolution may be true, too. If you evolved from muck and monkeys, maybe God created that muck and those monkeys, and in that way, Adam and Eve evolved and were made by God. The pope – even the pope – has said that the theories of evolution and creationism do not necessarily have to contradict each other. So why do you do this? Is it because you have to be right? You pit God and Science against each other. But maybe God is a scientist. A silence. CHAD calmly gathers himself and walks to the centre of the stage.
CHAD: Thank you, Alice. And thank you to all of my guests here today. It’s certainly been an exciting and illuminating discussion. Hopefully it’s made you think some deep thoughts yourself. That’s all the time we’ve got today. See you next time on Thinking the Deep Thoughts. The guests are left on stage as if pieces of debris in the aftermath of a storm. As the music fades out and applause goes up we hear JETHRO. JETHRO: Oh my god, did that monkey just talk? The end.