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An anecdote, grounded in the formerly-nodeshelled principle that the word "monkey" could never be overused on Everything. I've included softlinks supporting this position, but I apologize for this node title in advance. ---fab

My high school requires the completion of a major research paper written during the junior year to graduate. The topic can generally be anyone or anything remotely related to United States history, literature, or culture. With this in mind, my friend Steve, a big fan of Inherit the Wind, decided to approach the evolution vs. creationism debate (Creationism or Darwinism), with an eye towards analyzing the Scopes Monkey Trial. Steve is Jewish, and more than a bit cynical about religious fundamentalism, but not nearly so much as our mutual friend Dan, a rabid atheist who decided to play Devil's Advocate for fun during the weeks in which we were all supposed to be choosing our topics and developing our preliminary theses.

Dan played a Christian fundamentalist to the hilt, but their debate soon went deeper than that, reaching to questions about whether Science is a religion, and what kind of assumptions are acceptable in developing a basic worldview. Both Dan and Steve love a good argument, and they spent copious free time debating --- in the halls between classes, at lunch in the cafeteria (the rest of us would move a table or so over to our own, more peaceful, conversations as soon as we all finished eating), and probably over the phone and via email after school as well.

In the end, Steve "won" the argument the only way he could. Dan was back to gleeful misinterpretation, ranting his "belief" that people were created in God's image, rather than descended from dirty monkeys when Steve burst in---

"Monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey! Monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey! Monkey monkey monkey monkey...."

...until Dan had to stop ranting and laugh. The debate was over, and Steve had taken enough notes to lay the foundation for a really bitching paper.

So there you have it. If you're ever involved in an argument that's outlived its fun, and don't want to "win" by comparing your opponent to Adolf Hitler (which, as we all know, is the ultimate rhetoric foul), call on the monkeys to save the day.

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