Years ago when Center For Inquiry Indiana was planning a Darwin Day celebration, someone suggested we hire a Darwin impersonator. Too expensive, we allagreed.
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.