Years ago when Center For Inquiry Indiana was planning a Darwin Day celebration, someone suggested we hire a Darwin impersonator. Too expensive, we all agreed.file://localhost/Users/craiggosling/Desktop/personalphoto/IM
Perhaps it was a long hidden frustration of not ever doing any acting that prompted me to give impersonation a try. Since that successful Darwin Day I’ve done it several more times as needed and always felt honored to do it.
That first Darwin Day featured an apprehensive Darwin, a three person panel, a moderator, and a friendly audience of CFI Indiana members and friends. Darwin made his appearance from the back of the auditorium to standing applause. Our moderator introduced Darwin and asked him to comment on a power point presentation about his life, his Beagle voyage, and his work. The large color images and laser pointer obviously amazed the old scientist, but fazed him not. A panel discussion followed. Three panel members questioned the great man about his life. Two panelists were friendly and asked questions about his family, youth, voyage and research. The third panel member was hostile and did his best to embarrass and discredit the old man by asking rude questions, such as exposing Darwin’s admitted dismal grades and cheating as a school boy. “If you were a poor student and cheated in school, why should we believe your theory now?” Darwin handled all the questions thoroughly and with good humor, almost as if he had written the questions and responses himself. It was an entertaining and educational afternoon and CFI Indiana’s first Darwin Day was a great success.
I have a great admiration and fascination for Charles Darwin and have written several poems about him for children. This poem, Darwin is My Hero, is directed at those children who are confused about believing both in God and the theory of evolution. Understanding and accepting evolution may be a child’s (or adult’s) first step in rejecting religious superstition.
Darwin is My Hero
Darwin is my hero. He turned the world around
and freed us all from ignorance wherever it was found.
The faith of popes and preachers he truly did confound,
because his new theory was true and most profound.
In spite of what he told the world, some still cannot conceive
that not all the stories read in church, are to be believed.
Between the lines, when carefully read, the truth you may perceive.
Don’t let the darkness of the past, your open eyes deceive.
Some still cling to fairy tales and still swear and do proclaim
that the truths from Darwin’s mind were, at best, profane.
They urge you to reject what came from Charlie’s brain,
if heaven is the goal you eventually must attain.
If you believe that you must choose between the “word” and “theory”,
and of the facts of science you always must be leery,
look again and you will see there just is no restriction
to believe both in God and Darwin, if that is your conviction.