[UPDATE: More late breaking unintentional humor from the O’Donnell hour: her dad was once a part-time Bozo the Clown in Philly. I am thinking of apples falling from trees here. ]
JISHOU, HUNAN — My favorite bloggers have been having a field day with the Republican Senatorial candidate from Delaware, Christine O’Donnell. The woman is a veritable treasure trove of nonsense.
There are two of her gems I can’t help but ridicule.
China has a secret plan to take over the USA. And she knows all about it, because an unnamed non-profit organization gave O’Donnell the complete low down. Apparently, missionaries working with this mysterious group uncovered this top-secret plot.
In the linked AP article, O’Donnell says this:
“A country that forces women to have abortions and mandates that you can only have one child and will not allow you the freedom to read the Bible, you think they can be our friend?” she asked. “We have to look at our history and realize that if they pretend to be our friend it’s because they’ve got something up their sleeve.”
Wrong, wrong and wrong. China does not force women to have abortions. But abortions are easier to get here than in the USA, so some women may choose to get one. China does saddle couples with financial penalties, threatens them with losing jobs and promotions, and stigmatize them if they have more than one kid, but I know a lot of families who have more than one child even under the one-child policy.
Meanwhile, Bibles are found in libraries and bookstores all over the country. Ditto the Qu’ran. Buying one is not illegal. In fact, the BBC recently had a story about China now encouraging the growth of state-approved Christian churches.
As for her last remark, every country dealing with another has something up its sleeve. China wants the US to continue being its trade partner, and to continue paying interest on the debt China holds. If China is trying to take over the USA by hooking us on cheap consumer goods, well, Christine, we’re already there.
So much for her knowledge of China and foreign relations, now for her deep understanding of evolution:
“Evolution is a myth,” O’Donnell said on Bill Maher’s show in 1998. If it weren’t, “why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?” she added in her defense.
Now, either O’Donnell is completely ignorant about evolution (quite likely) or she’s deliberately playing to the creationist crowd (quite likely, too). Either way, she’s still wrong.
Evolution is not a myth. Adam and Eve are a myth. So is Athena popping full grown (in armor!) out of Zeus’ forehead. And the short explanation for her follow up remark is evolution is happening as we speak, but its pace among mammals is much too slow for us to see. It has taken millions of years for some species to appear, for example.
The longer explanation is more complicated, of course. Present day monkeys and human (and other primates) have a common primate ancestor. Monkeys don’t evolve into humans. We’re in a real way very distant cousins. In addition, species evolve because of ecological niches. Crocodiles and alligators are very ancient species, who fill a particular ecological niche quite successfully. Monkeys are not going to “decide,” Hey, let’s become human!, leave the trees and start carrying briefcases on Main Street. There’s no environmental pressure to make it occur.
On the other hand, there is some pretty compelling evidence that monkeys are running for public office. Just sayin’.