There is this fellow, Robert Bowie Johnson Jr., who claims that the tales of the Bible are verified by ancient Greek art — ho-hum, the usual confirmation bias and failure to recognize that the existence of common motifs in Western mythology does not imply the reality of a supernatural interpretation — who has gone further and urges the use of shaming insults against “Darwinists”:

To shock the Darwinists out of their denial of the overwhelming evidence in Greek art for the reality of Genesis events, the author urges Creationists to refer to evolutionists as what they imagine they are–“Slime-Snake-Monkey-People.” Mr. Johnson, who holds a general science degree from West Point, also suggests that since Slime-Snake-Monkey-People insist they evolved over millions of years through a countless series of random mutations, Christians should also refer to them as “mutants.”

To which I have to reply … please do. We are mutants, every one of us; the replication of 3 billion base pairs is a process that, by pure chemical necessity, will have a number of errors. There’s no shame in that at all.

I’m also not at all embarrassed by recitations of my proud lineage, although I’d be a bit miffed at the inaccuracy of the characterization. There are no snakes in our ancestry, monkeys aren’t involved either (as a colloquial term for small primates, I might let it pass), although it might be fair to describe early protocells and bacteria as forming a kind of slime. I’m going to have to recommend Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll) to Mr Johnson. It’ll give him many more epithets that he can apply accurately to our ancestors, but he’ll still be surprised — we love our predecessors.

I hope somebody does call me a Slime-Snake-Monkey-Mutant. It’ll make me laugh.


  1. #1 Sastra
    August 21, 2007

    Sadly, if the creationists adopt this tactic, I fear it will backfire on them. As an alternative term for metaphysical naturalism, “Brights” didn’t really take off. But “Slime-Snake-Monkey-People” would be eagerly embraced by every atheist, agnostic, and humanist in America, if not the world. It’s the new “gay.”

    Never come up with an insult that would look too cool on a t-shirt.

  2. #2 Greta Christina
    August 21, 2007

    He wants to shame and insult me by talking trash about my ancestors?

    Let’s hear it for family values.

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