Bill Maher has been playing a game of video hostage with Delaware Republican Senate Nominee Christine O’Donnell, since she made the repeated youthful indiscretion of appearing on his show “Politically Incorrect.” The tapes are leaking at a steady pace, and she’s made headlines with her comments on witchcraft and the abolition of pre-marital sex and masturbation. But the latest stir revolves around some comments she made on evolution. Think Progress has the recording from Maher’s show:
O’Donnell is a conservative Christian and so her view of evolution as a myth is unsurprising. What I find more interesting is how the others correct her. When she first asks “Why don’t we see monkeys evolving into humans?” another guest responds authoritatively, “It takes a long time.” Maher, back from the clip, worries that a senator who didn’t understand that “monkeys don’t evolve in the time it would take to watch them” would be a problem. The bigger problem, however, is that’s not how evolution works at all. This cartoon explains the misconception well:
The monkeys around aren’t evolving into humans, we have a common ancestor. Maher’s conception – or at very least that of his guest in the clip – is almost a direct reversal of Genesis chapter 2. Instead of man as the first animal, he is here the last, the transcendental telos of evolution. The two sides in this debate have the same mistaken idea of evolution, but one believes it scientifically true and the other thinks its a lie authored by Satan. But in the aftermath, Think Progress and Huff Post mock O’Donnell (somewhat deservedly) while Maher gets to be the scolding voice of reason. As a such a vocal proponent of atheism and science, Bill seems to be taking his view of evolution on faith. And there should be nothing more embarrassing for someone who bases his thought in verifiable evidence than correcting someone when you clearly don’t actually know what the fuck you’re talking about.
Also, Seth MacFarlane is a huge douche. I recommend Deborah Solomon’s interview with him in the Times Magazine. She doesn’t pull punches:
Personally, I find the show’s rape jokes especially unfunny. In one episode, Peter learns that three co-eds were raped and murdered. He says to himself, “Everyone’s getting laid but me.” Why is that funny?
Because he’s so oblivious. You’re not laughing at rape; you’re laughing at him being an idiot.