Vail Valley Voices: The lady and the tramp |

Vail Valley Voices: The lady and the tramp

“I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard.”

“What was that?” the student asked.

“Oh, just one of my favorite lines from To Kill a Mockingbird,” the teacher answered. It was cold outside the bar and his merlot was helping warm him on the inside. “And, they didn’t, by the way. Passion ruled, as it often does. Passion is fueled by core beliefs and desires, rarely by reason and facts.”

A woman walked in, a fine looking woman. While the student studied her longingly he noticed that there was something odd about the crowd around her, as if there was someone else with her that couldn’t be seen. The woman took a seat in the corner, doted on by her sycophants.

At the same time a chair slid back at the teacher’s table and the currents of wind indicated someone was sitting by him.

“Is there someone else here?” the student asked nervously.

“Yes. My favorite friend.”

“Why can’t I see them?”

“For her you have to have eyes to see. But, to make her appear simply state the truth.”

“Beer is good,” the student raised and tilted his Stella.

“It is to you,” the most beautiful woman the student had ever seen said in a smooth voice.

The woman was sitting close to the teacher. “Allow me to introduce you,” the teacher said with formality and respect. This is Lady Science. Lady Science, this is my student friend.”

Lady Science dipped her chin in acknowledgement. The student caught his breath. Every movement she made was perfect, controlled but with grace.

“Did you come in with her?” he nodded towards the woman in the corner.

“My evil twin? Yes, she follows me everywhere. She is the mother of dogs. That’s why we call her dogma.”

The teacher smiled.

“More precisely, her name is Scientism,” Lady Science frowned as if tasting something sour. The waitress put a merlot down by her, the same kind as the teacher drank.

“She seems popular.”

“She is very popular. She defends her views with rhetoric and ridicule, not refutation with facts. Go, give her a test. Beware, her paramours defend her blindly and staunchly.”

Hating to leave Lady Science’s presence, but overcome with curiosity, the

Bob Branden is host of the podcast student sat down at Scientism’s table. “Can you tell me,” he asked when there was a break in the conversation, “why there is soft tissue in dinosaur bones?”

“If I listen long enough to you,” Rod Stewart began to say with perfect piano chords and violin accompanying him.

Immediately, Scientism put her fingers in her ears and began to hum. “I can’t hear you,” she said in a sing song lilt. Her sycophants began to raise their voices and proclaim, “By all accounts, plenty of evidence that clearly shows, it goes without saying. And, we persevered where the Neanderthals didn’t because we learned how to eat meat.”

“I thought it was the Hersey Bar,” the student deadpanned. He was learning.

“Away with you, superstitious fool.”

“But what about the soft tissue in the dinosaurs?”

“We can’t hear you,” the sycophants mocked, fingers in their ears.

The student returned to his table. Lady Science’s arm rested against the teacher’s arm. The student was struck by their intimacy.

“I had no idea you two were so close.”

“We’ve been close friends forever,” the teacher said. Both Lady Science and the teacher smiled, at the same time, in the same way. “We have never contradicted the other.”

“You see,” Lady Science seamlessly continued the teacher’s thoughts, “It was I who discovered the soft tissue in the dinosaurs.”

“Okay, but what is the real significance of that?” the student pressed, sensing he was closing in on the heart of the matter.

“It means,” Lady Science looked through the student’s eyes and into his soul, “that you can take all the pages of evolutionary theory ever written and put every toilet paper manufacturer out of business. Scientism is a worldview, proven wrong by more facts than I have time to recite. I, on the other hand, deal only with facts. Such as,” she paused slightly, “the fact that genetic mutation in organisms is overwhelmingly harmful, often fatal, not helpful.”

“But many claim my teacher here is superstitious, worshipping a god of the gaps of our knowledge?”

Lady Science increased the pressure on her arm to silence the teacher and continued, “See that Volvo out there? Do you think it got here by an unfathomably long process of small, incremental changes, the work of purely natural forces?”


“Why not?”

“It’s designed. It shows design and purpose.”

“What if you took a sledge hammer and pounded on the engine, mutating it? Would it run better? How superstitious of you to posit a thinking, intelligent cause to the manufacture of a car. A human is infinitely more designed, complex, and purposeful.”

“Well, will we see anyone answer the dinosaur soft tissue question?”

“Have you yet? Of course we won’t. The answer is devastating for evolution. That dinosaur is not millions of years old. Did the jury of Maycomb acquit Tom Robinson, even though they knew him to be innocent? No, all you will hear is more rhetoric and ridicule. But those who have a heart to see, will.”

“How men love their creations,” the teacher lamented.

“And how the Creator loves his,” his friend reminded him with a sober smile.

“Holy Moses, I have been removed. I have seen the Specter, he has been here too,” sang Elton.

Bob Branden is host of the podcast

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