Eugenie Scott sits by her phone waiting. Someone, somewhere doesn't believe Darwinism is gospel, and she's ready to return them to the primordial ooze from which they deny they came:
On a wall in Eugenie Scott's California office is a list of what she calls "flare-ups."
Those are places where creationism, the "Adam and Eve" theory based on the Bible, is making a run at evolution, the "natural selection" idea first put forward nearly a century and a half ago by Charles Darwin.
When a flare-up happens, Scott's phone rings.
The former University of Kentucky anthropologist is now a full-time creationist buster.
I suppose everyone needs a hobby. And there's nothing that makes you feel better than refuting yahoos who might question the all-mighty Darwin.
Like most superheroes, this Creationism-Buster has a touching origin:
Her first "flare-up" began 24 years ago in Lexington.
A group called Citizens for a Balanced Teaching of Origins pressed Fayette County school officials to teach what they called "scientific creationism" in classrooms.
Scott, who had been saving creationist literature throughout graduate school, was one of several university people who pointed out that "scientific creationism really isn't scientific at all."
They were joined by a number of what she calls "mainstream clergy" and eventually persuaded the school board to reject creationism. She has followed that model in other controversies since she took the science center job in 1987.
Sadly, Ms. Scott left my alma mater the year before I matriculated. My poor fortune is the reason why I never had the opportunity to be enlightened as I should have been.
[I apologize for the above flare-up.]