Monday, March 15, 2010

Just a Theory

Building on new initiatives that would require the teaching of evolutionary and climate science to be counterbalanced by competing theories (intelligent design, climate skepticism), Republicans have now set their sights on an even more pernicious (though widely accepted) scientific theory: the theory of gravity.

"The prevailing orthodoxy among liberal elites is that some mysterious, invisible, unmeasurable force actually sticks our bodies to the planet," said conservative talk-show host Lush Rimshot. "We maintain that our children must be taught both sides of the debate."

When asked to specify the alternative to the theory of gravity, Rimshot mumbled something about tiny invisible angels sent by the Apostle Paul to gently lower true believers to earth.

Similar attacks on the so-called "GraviNazis" were afoot in Texas, where a bill was introduced in the state legislature that would require children to hang upside down from monkey bars for six straight hours until loss of consciousness enabled them to experience a condition resembling weightlessness, and in South Carolina, where the lieutenant governor, D'Andre Dour, likened belief in gravity to the practice of withcraft. "My ol' granny done tole me ya don't feed mincemeat to snappin' dawgs," Dour told the Columbia Star-Centinel. "If'n ya do, them bad boys'll jist keep on breedin'." When asked to elaborate on the relationship this piece of folk wisdom bore to the science of gravity, Dour dropped to the floor, making the sign of the cross and foaming at the mouth.

Opponents of gravity-only science education note that the scientific community is deeply divided over the validity of Newtonian physics, the heliocentric theory, and indeed everything that isn't written down plain in the Good Book. Senator James Inahuff of Oklahoma went even farther, likening gravity-deniers to the Founding Fathers, whose radical and unprecedented defense of individual liberty for free white property-holding aristocratic male Virginian slaveholders was viewed as radical and unprecedented at the time.

"We will win in the end," Inahuff predicted. "Truth always wins over falsehood. The theory of gravity will go down to bitter defeat when enough people come to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior." Were the theory of gravity legitimate, Inahuff noted parenthetically, the Good Lord would never have been able to walk on water.

Lots of equally stupid people were unavailable for comment.

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