Feature Article - May 2006
by Do-While Jones

Naked Evolutionists

Playboy magazine reveals the naked truth about evolutionists.

People frequently send us newspaper clippings and links to on-line articles pertinent to evolution or creation. We really appreciate receiving these articles which we might not otherwise see. We especially appreciate whoever anonymously sent us the April 2005 issue of Playboy, which contains 6 articles spanning 12 pages on creation/evolution. You might wonder why we would even bother commenting on articles in Playboy. There are two reasons.

The first has to do with circulation. In the table at the right is the average circulation of some well-known magazines for the six-month period ending December 31, 2005, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. 1

Reader’s Digest and TV Guide are the two magazines with the highest circulation (in the United States), which can be used as a benchmark of how many people buy magazines. We pay particular attention to what is written in National Geographic because it is a strong third, and because many of those National Geographic subscriptions go to public school classrooms. Notice that almost as many people buy Playboy as Newsweek, and more people buy Playboy than US News and World Report. You might argue that people who buy Playboy don’t actually read the articles, but we suspect few people read every article in Newsweek, either.

We often quote Discover, Scientific American, Science News, and sometimes quote Natural History. The circulation of Playboy is more than five times that of Scientific American. You just can’t ignore what people are exposed to.

The second reason for examining these articles in Playboy is that Playboy is fundamentally different from Time and Newsweek. People really do buy Time and Newsweek “for the articles.” Therefore, the editors of Time and Newsweek fill their magazines with short, superficial, sensational articles that will appeal to their target audience. If they include long, thoughtful, boring articles, they will lose market share. We doubt that very many people have canceled their subscriptions to Playboy because they didn’t like the articles. That gives the authors of Playboy articles a certain freedom that they might not have in another magazine. We certainly don’t endorse the views expressed in many of the articles in Playboy, but we admire and respect the honesty and frankness with which they are written. In particular, the creation/evolution articles in the April issue portray the evolutionists’ true, naked feelings. We doubt that Time or Newsweek would dare to publish these six articles, at least, not in their entirety.

MagazineCirculation
Reader's Digest10,094,602
TV Guide7,349,619
National Geographic5,376,750
Time4,026,891
People3,691,167
Newsweek3,117,562
Playboy3,005,753
US News and World Report2,034,848
Field and Stream1,543,678
Popular Science1,467,894
Popular Mechanics1,210,126
Vanity Fair1,208,644
New Yorker1,051,919
Discover846,712
Esquire708,774
Scientific American580,071
Saturday Evening Post355,553
Penthouse326,358
Cigar Aficionado263,610
Natural History252,073
Science News141,026

Science Vs. Religion

If you listen to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Nation Center for Science Education (NCSE), or PBS TV programs on evolution, you will hear this common refrain: “There is no conflict between evolution and religion.” For example, the NCSE web site gives evolutionists this advice:

9. Call on the clergy. Pro-evolution clergy are essential to refuting the idea that evolution is incompatible with faith. Voices for Evolution contains useful statements from mainline religious organizations (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish) affirming that evolution is compatible with their theology. If no member of the clergy is available to testify, be sure to have someone do so- the religious issue must be addressed in order to resolve the controversy successfully. [emphasis in the original] 2

They want to make it appear that the evolutionists have no anti-religious agenda. Playboy probably doesn’t expect many Christians to read Playboy, so there is no need to pretend not to be anti-Christian. The evolutionists who wrote the Playboy articles shed their inhibitions just as freely as the centerfold shed hers.

The first and longest article about evolution in Playboy is titled “Faith & Reason”, by Michael Ruse. It bears the subtitle, “As the intelligent design case in Dover, Pennsylvania, demonstrates, the battle between science and religion battles on.3 It bares his belief that there can be no coexistence between “reasonable” science and “unreasonable” religion. The first sentence of his article is a personal attack.

Michael Behe is a modest-looking man—short, balding, bespectacled and given to wearing cloth caps that make him look like an escapee from a comic strip about the English working class. … And although the whole professional biology community thinks Behe is nuts, laypeople are starting to think he may have a point.

Karl Marx said history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce. I don’t know how else to regard the intelligent-design controversy other than as something from the French theater at the end of the 19th century. A minor scientist proclaims himself one of the intellectual giants of the ages, and despite scorn and opposition of the establishment—Behe’s own colleagues posted a disclaimer on the department’s website—within a few years the leader of the free world believes these ideas should be part of biology education. One looks for the cuckolded husband entering stage right, probably in his underpants. 4

The first seven paragraphs of the article are devoted to personal attacks and arrogant intimidation. Finally, in paragraph 8, he tries to address the facts.

Direct evidence of evolution by natural selection abounds. For example, if you have an infection, you need a lot of penicillin today compared with what you would have needed in the 1940s. Why? Because the bugs you are fighting have evolved: those naturally resistant survived and spread, and now we need greater forces to oppose them. 5

It is the only paragraph in the entire essay that is remotely scientific. It is the common evolutionists’ ploy of trying to confuse the evolution of a population with the evolution of a species. There were “bugs” (as he calls them) that were naturally resistant to penicillin before penicillin was discovered. They are much more abundant now because those that weren’t resistant have been killed off by penicillin. Penicillin didn’t cause anything new to evolve. It merely changed the ratio of existing bugs.

Then, in the 9th paragraph, he goes back to attacking the majority of US citizens who don’t believe in evolution, including President Bush.

It is truly remarkable that at the beginning of the 21st century, in the country with the greatest scientific establishment the world has ever seen—every year roughly half the Nobel Prizes in the sciences are shared by Americans—people want to push biblically influenced doctrines to young people in science classes. How depressing that the leader of this country thinks this may be a good idea. It is truly frightening that, with the Supreme Court becoming more conservative and more favorable to religion, we could find ID theory and its friends are given permission to enter biology classrooms. 6

What a good look at a naked evolutionist this is! His religious and political beliefs are all hanging out for everyone to see.

We wonder how the USA can be “the greatest scientific establishment the world has ever seen” when evolutionists keep telling us that the USA is falling behind the rest of the world; and that if we don’t have a strong evolution curriculum the USA will fall so far behind the rest of the world that we will never catch up.

His personal attacks continue.

The first thing you learn as you dig into the history of Christianity is that its relationship with science is complex and nuanced. Saint Augustine of Hippo, who lived around 400 A.D., is the authority here. He was a man of strong passions about which he was deeply conflicted. Driven by his voracious sexual appetite, Augustine had a long succession of mistresses and girlfriends in his early life. 7

In an article about reason, Ruse tries to make a connection between the sex life of someone who lived 1600 years ago with the theory of evolution. How can we rationally critique this idea? Why did he put this in his article?

Ironically, it is the foundation for his theory that the American Civil War caused people to reject Darwin. He claims the people in the North believed in reason, so the people in the South became religious in opposition, because reason and religion are polar opposites.

The Civil War, which started just after Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, was a dividing point in religion as in so many other things. … Crushed by the war, people in the defeated South also developed their religion to accommodate their needs. They turned to the Bible for consolation, finding that God often afflicts those he loves the most. Read literally, the Bible justifies slavery. … So, in the South and in those areas of America that were not enjoying the North’s prosperity, there was a hardening of evangelical Protestantism and a move to a more stringent literalism. … It was not simply that evolution contradicted the literal interpretation of Genesis; it was seen as a symbol of the oppressors. … The scene was set. In America after the Civil War both sides rightly saw evolution as a symbol of Northern ideology and a counter to Southern thoughts and ways. In a sense evolution served as a litmus test that determined which of the two modes of thinking and two completely different ways to run one’s life one subscribed to. 8

Therefore, people who reject evolution are simply Rebels who refuse to admit they lost the Civil War.

We would love to get Eugenie C. Scott in a room alone with Michael Ruse! She is trying to convince people that religion and evolution are completely compatible. She says there’s no conflict between religion and evolution. And Ruse is arguing that the only reason for opposing evolution is religion! Imagine how the fur would fly!

Ruse wants to be sure we don’t misunderstand his point.

Let me clarify the purpose of this essay is to find understanding. I am passionately committed to the side of science, reason, and progress. … I think intelligent-design theory and its companions are nasty, cramping, soul-destroying reversions to the more unfortunate aspects of 19th century America. Although I am not a Christian, I look upon these ideas as putrid scabs on the body of a great religion. … But if you are going to fight moral evil—and creationism in its various forms is a moral evil—you need to understand what you are fighting and why. 9

Don’t hold back, Michael. Tell us what you really think! But, he is right about this one thing: you need to understand what you are fighting and why. Thankfully he has taken off the disguise evolutionists usually wear and stands there naked before us.

The second article in Playboy’s series is titled, “The Future of Religion.” The fifth article is titled, “Literalism.” The first of these two articles simply attacks religion in general, and the second argues that the Bible can’t be true because it contradicts evolution. Any hope that the sneakier evolutionists have of making it appear that there is no anti-religious agenda behind the evolutionists’ efforts to continue to control the public school curriculum is totally dashed.

Evolutionists Exposed

The third article is “Facts Are Facts” by Lewis Black. Lewis Black is a shtick comedian, so it is difficult to tell truth from act. Jack Benny’s shtick was to be the ultimate cheapskate, even though he was very generous in real life. Benny made people laugh by exaggerating fiscal economy to the ridiculous extreme. Black’s shtick is to play the ultimate rectal orifice. He pretends to be an angry, arrogant jerk who hates everybody and everything. He plays the fool who thinks he knows more than everyone else. It must be an act, because nobody could be so obnoxious in real life.

In his Playboy article, Lewis Black plays the part of the obnoxious evolutionist to the hilt. His act is funny because it is based on truth. He exposes the naked arrogant foolishness of evolutionists by exaggerating it, and shows how ridiculous it is. Ironically, some evolutionists might actually be so arrogant and self-centered that they don’t even realize how foolish Black makes them appear. He says,

“Evolution is a small thread in the large tapestry I like to call reality. Creationists are insane. … I would be more than willing to buy their whole concept if I were allowed to be on drugs for the rest of my life. These Christian zealots point to the book and say the word of God states that creation took place in six days. This was written in the Old Testament, which is the book of my people, the Jewish people. … Anyone who knows the Jewish people knows that we are good at bullshitting. It was just a great story for people who were wandering the desert and needed to be distracted from the lack of air-conditioning. … There is no reasoning with these people [creationists]—because they don’t reason. We have the facts in carbon dating and fossils. I have tried to be nice, but I am exhausted. Fossils, fossils, fossils. I win. They really exist, and they are not the devil’s handiwork. Facts are [f-word deleted] facts. 10

This caricature of evolutionists paints them as ignorant anti-Christian bigots. Black pretends not to know that Darwin recognized that the fossil record was the strongest argument against his theory. For almost 150 years evolutionists have unsuccessfully tried to explain away the fossil record. Of course, carbon dating is irrelevant to evolutionary arguments because carbon 14’s half-life is too short to be of any use to evolutionists. So Black plays the fool by acting like an anti-Christian who doesn’t know anything about fossils and radioactive dating.

Nothing of Consequence

The last, and certainly least, article in the series is, “The Joke Is on Us” by Kurt Vonnegut. It is an interview in which Vonnegut dodges every question put to him. It contains nothing of substance or interest. He refuses to take a side, and considers the evolution debate to be, “Nothing of consequence.” 11 Playboy probably put it last because after 11 pages of other articles on evolution, readers are ready to skip to the picture on page 59.

New Science

Out of the six articles, the only article with any substance is “New Science” by Sean Carroll. It involves the “new science of Evo Devo.” We haven’t written about that yet in any of our newsletters. We’ve been collecting articles on the subject, and we’ve been planning to do an essay on Evo Devo in the near future. Since there isn’t room left to do it justice in this issue, the “near future” has just become “next month.”

If anyone tries to tell you that evolutionists aren’t religiously motivated, this series of articles in Playboy should certainly convince you otherwise.

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Footnotes:

1 We had to do several SRDS searches, selecting different categories of magazines, at http://abcas3.accessabc.com/ecirc/magform.asp to assemble this data.
2 Eugenie C Scott, “12 Tips for Testifying at School Board Meetings” http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/7956_12_tips_for_testifying_at_scho_3_19_2001.asp (Ev+)
3 Michael Ruse, Playboy, April 2006, “Faith & Reason”, page 55 (Ev+)
4 ibid.
5 ibid., page 128
6 ibid.
7 ibid., pages 129-130
8 ibid., pages 131-132
9 ibid., page 133
10 Lewis Black, Playboy, April 2006, “Facts Are Facts” page 57 (Ev+)
11 Kurt Vonnegut, Playboy, April 2006, “The Joke Is on Us”, page 58 (Ev-)