We were taking a break in my adult computer class, just shooting the breeze, when one of the women, Dwanella, said, “Did you see that the park superintendent at the Grand Canyon tried to keep their store from stocking a creationist version of the history of the canyon?”
“Why in the world would he do a thing like that?” wondered Willemena, a housewife trying to get ready to enter the work force.
“He claimed that they were legally bound to offer interpretive materials that had a sound scientific base.”
“What kind of heathen is he, do you suppose?”
“I don’t know, but I’m sure glad the administration set him straight.”
“Isn’t it great to have a President who actually believes the world was created in six days?” said Willemena enthusiastically.
“It is. I know that, with all these so-called environmental crises, like global warming, it’s reassuring to have a President who’ll tackle the tough scientific issues in a responsible way,” said Dwanella, with just as much enthusiasm.
I noticed that the other class members had been listening intently to this exchange.
Finally, Binkley couldn’t restrain himself. “I wonder if they’d stock my book laying out scientific proof that the earth is flat?” he said.
“You wrote a book too?” exclaimed Norvell. “I just completed one on Elvis sightings in national parks!”
“This is an incredible coincidence!” said Lou. “I have a book ready to go to print on how the Grand Canyon was created by alien miners who hauled millions of tons of rock from the site and deposited them in another galaxy!”
My cousin Grover had his ears perked up. “I wasn’t going to say anything,” he said, “but I can see I’m in the company of like-minded people. I’ve just finished a book on a new scientific method for dating fossils.”
“I didn’t know you were a scientist, Grover,” said Norvell.
“Got dual degrees in archaeology and anthropology from Bible college,” said Grover. “Mostly close reading in Genesis.”
“What’s your method?” asked Lou. “If it’s not too technical for laypeople.”
“I think it can put it in language the nonscientist can understand,” said Grover. “You gently remove all foreign matter from the fossil, scrub it with a toothbrush dipped in a paste made from water and baking soda, and when it dries, wrap it in pages from the Old Testament. Let it sit for six days, then unwrap the fossil, throw the fossil away, and read the Old Testament. The fossil will be just over 6,000 years old.”
“That sounds fascinating,” said Dwanella. “Do you think you can get it published?”
“I’m talking to somebody in Karl Rove’s office,” said Grover. “They have a strong interest in faith-based science at the White House. Especially in an election year.”
© Tony Russell, 2004