Darwin Was Wrong, Part 2: Plans and Precautions

After ten minutes at the seminar.

After reading the press release about the Darwin Was Wrong seminar, I had to run off to work. While I’m sitting there at work, my mind is coming up with all of the reasons I shouldn’t go. It takes place in one of their churches. I’d be surrounded by fundies! What if my head exploded? What if they tried to gang-save me? What if I got cooties? (This is what psychologists call catastrophizing)

If I’m really going to go down to Santa Ana to see their “overwhelming evidence”, I have to know what the risks are. I tried infiltrating a fundie “seminar” once before, and it was a traumatic experience. What to do? Give them a call, of course!

The top of the press release said “Contact: Dick McDonald” and gave his phone number. OK, Dick. Let’s see if I can pull this off without screaming at you.

I’m at work. I can’t make the call from my desk. What would my coworkers think?

You might recall that under great protest, I did finally get a cell phone. It’s only for when my car breaks down or if I’m ever being chased by Scientologists. That’s all. Otherwise, I run the risk of becoming one of you obnoxious cell phone people, who are always yakking on your phone no matter where you are and pissing off everyone else around you. (Although, now that I think about it, everyone else is also on their cell phones. I’m usually the only person in a crowd who isn’t plugged in to some other state of awareness. It’s like my high school experience all over again!)

A mental breakdown (i.e., considering going to a fundie church) probably falls into the same category as fighting off hordes of killer zombies, so I guess I can justify using the phone just this once. (It’s just a cell phone, not a magic ring of invisibility. It could never control me !)

OK. So I decide to use my cell phone. I run out to my car for some privacy. I dial the number. It rings. And rings. Oh, crap. What if he isn’t there? Oh good, he picks up. Oh crap! It’s his voice mail! I don’t want to leave a message. He might call back! I hang up and return to work.

A few hours later, I decide to try again. I go back out to my car. Strange. I have a voice mail. Oh crap! It’s from Dick McDonald! He called me back! I have caller-ID blocking on my home phone, but I forgot that I don’t have it on the cell phone! Oh crap! A fundie has my phone number! O-crap-o-crap-o-crap-o-crap!

I listen to the message:

Hi. This is Dick McDonald. I see you tried to call me, but I wasn’t here. I thought this might have to do with the Darwin Was Wrong seminar. It’s going to be a wonderful two days of great speakers. I hope you can come. If it isn’t about that, please forgive me. God bless!

While I’m digesting that message, the phone rings. I see by the caller-ID (Hey! That’s a useful feature!) that it’s Dick McDonald. I answer the phone, and we talk for several minutes.

He tells me that the seminar is free (That’s a relief. The last thing I want to do is pay them to lie to me.). He also says that lunch on Saturday costs only $6, and it’s catered by Chik-Fil-A. Why does that not surprise me?

I tell him that I see it’s taking place in a church. Is this really a seminar, or is it just a sermon? Am I going to get there and just hear that Darwin was wrong, because it says so in the Bible?

He said “Oh no! This is all about the science! We have seven PhD scientists who will present lots of evidence showing how Darwin was wrong. We have a geologist…”

No, I thought. You have Steve Austin!

“… and a biologist and a paleontologist and a…” he went on and on.

I can’t remember what else he said, but it was clear to me that he was trying to convince one of us (I’m still not sure which) that this really was a scientific seminar full of lots of real actual science.

I tell him that I can hardly wait to attend.

[Next: Friday night, and the beginning of the “seminar”!]

13 Responses to “Darwin Was Wrong, Part 2: Plans and Precautions”

  1. Magnus Bergmark Says:

    This should be a TV series. Couldn’t be worse than the remake of V, right? 🙂

  2. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Yeah, it’s about the science, but meanwhile, he called you back – twice – when you hadn’t even left a message, and tried to convince you to come. Sounds like missionizin’ to me.

  3. Thomas Says:

    I was a cell phone luddite for quite a while. I kept my pager for years longer than was reasonable.

  4. OtherRob Says:

    Chik-Fil-A does, you must admit, make a good chicken sandwich. 🙂

  5. Ron Britton Says:


    Yes. I was planning to mention that when I get to the lunch events.

  6. Lindsay Says:

    As much as I am not into the company values of Chik-Fil-A, they do have delicious food. Thankfully there are none in the city of Chicago yet to tempt me.

    Dick McDonald sounds a bit desperate for people to attend the seminar. He didn’t even allow for you to leave a message, and then goes on about the guest speakers. He apparently has a lot of time on his hands…you would think if this was such a big deal he would be too busy to answer phones.

  7. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I’m glad I don’t eat poultry.

    What’s wrong with the V remake? I think it’s pretty cool so far. The ZOMG it’s a republican talking point meme was highly overblown. Just because the visitors bring “hope” for the future and have free healing clinics, suddenly it’s an Obama allegory? Uhm, no. It’s definitely not as eery as the original. Despite the 1980s haircuts and lousy acting, they really did pull off a pretty awesome WWII allegory. The new one doesn’t seem to have any underlying message other than “trust no one.” But then again, X-Files had that same message and it wasn’t a conservative manifesto.

  8. Jeff Eyges Says:

    But then again, X-Files had that same message and it wasn’t a conservative manifesto.

    That’s what they wanted you to think.

    Meanwhile, what’s the deal with Chik-Fil-A? We don’t have them in Boston. What is it, like McDonald’s with chicken?

  9. OtherRob Says:

    Meanwhile, what’s the deal with Chik-Fil-A? We don’t have them in Boston. What is it, like McDonald’s with chicken?

    Pretty much. But they have really good food for fast food.

    The reason Ron is bringing them up is that their founder, Truett Cathy (sp?), is a very religious man and is not shy about letting his religious beliefs dictate the way he runs his business. For example, Chik-Fil-As are closed on Sunday.

    I can’t speak to Cathy’s view on evolution or the other “fundie” topics that Ron covers, but I do know that he does a lot of charity work. The one closest to our house does a lot of fundraising type work for the local schools.

  10. Ron Britton Says:

    If you click on the Chik-Fil-A link in the article, it takes you to the Religious Connections section of the Wikipedia article.

  11. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Well, there you go. And I looked on their website; apparently we have one in Burlington, thirteen miles NW of Boston. Fortunately, I’m a vegetarian.

  12. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Jeff, that’s great! I’m basically a vegetarian. I only have meat maybe once or twice per week. I haven’t had poultry in years. I would kill for a proper southern-style fried tofu (or other chicken analog) recipe though.

  13. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Southern fried tofu

    You can find nearly any recipe online these days.