Thursday, July 10, 2008

And they all sat around... at the teddy bear trial

July 10, 2008 - Monkey see, monkey do. I know I am but what are you? I suppose the answer to this question depends on your politics, your religion, or your love of science. But regardless of your starting point, if you are not given the opportunity to learn about the (let me say) possibility of evolution, how can you honestly be able to form an opinion - either for or against?

On July 10, 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee, John T. Scopes was put on trail for daring to teach evolutionary theory to his high school science class. This famous court battle became known as the "Scopes Monkey Trial", and thus today is Scopes Monkey Trial Day. 1925 is long gone, and yet, the same battle seems to be never ending. Still we feel the need to determine what is taught in schools based on individual family beliefs. Youth today are smarter and dealing with much more complex ideas than in 1925, and yet, it seems the students of 1925 are now setting the agenda for today's students. How about giving them the benefit of the doubt and let students learn all there is to learn. Nobody is telling them what to believe (well, outside of school, church, family, the dinner table, tv, radio, movies, books, comics, newspapers, friends, and billboards). Perhaps as sentient, thinking beings, even school aged people can make up their minds. It's a thought - but what do I know?

Less controversial, and far less opinionated, teddy bears make great picnic companions. Very few people will argue with what the stuffy has to say on subjects as heady as religion and science. That being said, I'm sure that my teddy bears are all very opinionated. I tell them what I want them to believe, and they merely stare at me blankly. I think it's much the same look I used to get when forced to sit in a pew in church. See, I wasn't 'not listening', I was thinking like Paddington. I think I was fortunate. Despite my own mother's beliefs, she was always very much one to encourage me to learn all I could and make up my own mind. I made it up much like I made my bed in the morning... with a fight.

I still love an argument, but there are so few people to battle with. Mr. Fairfield and I have great debates on all kinds of topics. When my debate opponent isn't about, I have all these bears. If only they didn't all talk at once. Maybe if we change the environment? Today is Teddy Bear Picnic Day. Maybe after a bottle of wine and a bit of cheese these bears will loosen up and let me get a word in edgewise. Happy picnic!

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