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An Anti-Evolution Song

inspired by the writings of Zhang Tianliang

How probable is it, however you spin it,
__That man has evolved out of nothing?
Do I look like a schmuck who would think that dumb luck
__Could just randomly tweak and make something?

Here’s where most will call “God!” but that’s even more odd
__Though it helps you avoid ruffling feathers.
Since this theory is broke such a “God” is a joke
__Who’s restricted by bumbling tethers.

There’s evidence lacking to give proper backing
__To each intermediate step
In Darwin’s menagerie—it’s a catastrophe
__Biologists quietly schlep.

With logic that’s circular they’re always particular
__On advances that ancient man made;
Their timeline is crucial so anything unusual
__Must into their framework be laid.

Just as humans defy the animal cry
__For survival of only the fittest,
They race to explain with infinite pain
__“Something changed”—though they haven’t a witness.

You are flawed fundamentally when you essentially
__Require all science on your terms;
While you think and you think into hubris you sink
__And to pettiness tiny as germs.

Your demands of an answer are those of a cancer
__Unreasonably growing in size;
Although you feel cool, Common Sense would yell “Fool!”
__As you rush to fill gaps up with lies.

Suppose you are walking (quite different from Hawking)
__And find there’s a fine writing table.
You conclude it’s oak wood, that the craftsmanship’s good,
__And screws made of steel keep it stable.

It says “Made in France,” which seems a strange chance
__But otherwise you’re satisfied;
You know where it’s from and the parts of its sum
__And in knowing you feel gratified.

But that’s not the whole picture, it’s merely a tincture
__Compared to the table’s real tale
Of man’s need to write, and perennial plight
__To organize life without fail,

To forge a great nation and civilization
__Where language is written from thought;
Of the need to believe that the words we conceive
__Should be written and won’t be for naught.

Take any away and the table won’t stay;
__It’s created on levels more deep
Than what you can measure or hoard as your treasure—
__I shepherd while you play with sheep.

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Evan Mantyk teaches literature and history in New York and is President of the Society of Classical Poets.


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31 Responses

  1. Michael Pietrack

    Fun to read!

    In the end, either man created God or God created man. I’m of the latter belief.

    Reply
  2. Russel Winick

    Quite an interesting and well-written poem Evan. I’m rather curious to see what other readers’ comments will be.

    Reply
  3. James Sale

    Nice one Evan, nice one – like the meter! And FYI: ‘Absolute nothing cannot produce something, because if it had that ability, it would have something, and so it wouldn’t be nothing. From this we can conclude that something has always existed because something exists now. So far, we’re just using logic’ – Eric Hedin, Cancelled Science. But you already know!

    Reply
    • Joshua C. Frank

      Even more interesting, August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church; as a Catholic, I think this has something to do with both of you writing about this at the same time and having both poems published the same day…

      Reply
  4. Roy E. Peterson

    Evan, this is such an elegant song that vibrates with logic and elan. Your masterful meter and rhyming scheme are an inspiration as if from a dream. I especially am taken with the closing line, “I shepherd while you play with sheep.! There is a depth of thought about the theory of evolution and the effort “to organize life without fail.” This one speaks to me at all levels and demonstrates keen intellectual prowess.

    Reply
  5. Damian Robin

    I corroborate Evan’s comment. SERENDIPITY. Kismet Fate.

    While researching for further forays into evolutionism, I got near the point of surrender-dip-ity and getting sucked into the mesmerising dexterity of atheist and scientist Forrest Valkai on youtube. He’s like a liquor-bottle-juggling bar-tender.

    Reply
  6. David Paul Behrens

    I believe the concepts of God and evolution can coexist. You can’t get something out of nothing. If the big bang theory is true, something must have already existed. Something must have caused the big bang and we refer to that something as God, the eternal force behind all things, and it is beyond human comprehension.

    Reply
    • Martin Rizley

      As you point out, it is very interesting to see how the big bang theory– a theory which some world famous scientists like Fred Hoyle do not accept as true– raises questions that seem unavoidably theological in nature. When people ask “what triggered the Big Bang?” science is forced to use a term like “transcendent causal agent” to give an answer. That is because if all matter and energy were compressed into an infinitessimal singularity, then time itself presumably would not exist– for there would as yet be no spread out fabric of space-time– so whatever triggered the big bang would have to exist outside the fabric of space-time, and that is what the word “transcendent” is getting at. I find that fascinating! A “transcendent causal agent” that exists outside of space and time and causes the universe to come into being spontaneously. Wouldn´t such a being seem necessarily to be self-existing, eternal and immaterial in nature? Sound like anything familiar? Yes, uncannily, like Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Martin, I love your comment. For me, it speaks clearly of God’s hand in our creation, whatever language is used to describe Him… “a rose by any other name…” springs to mind. Thank you!

  7. Cynthia Erlandson

    Great topic, Evan, and expressed with great virtuosity. The anapestic meter seems very appropriate, perhaps chosen because it has a sort of laughing rhythm to it, suitable for poking fun? Your internal rhyme also makes it fun, and there are some delightful ones: menagerie /catastrophe; circular/particular; crucial/unusual. And I think the analogy of the writing table is really thought-provoking: the idea that our need for the table — our need to write, and to use writing in the creation of civilization, is a factor which went into its creation — that there are “levels more deep” than are dreamt of in evolutionists’ philosophies. And speaking of “Hamlet” — Paul got me your book “Heroes of the East and West”, which I’ve just started reading, and I love “The Teacher to His Students”. Along with other references to “Hamlet” that I’ve been running across lately, it inspired me to re-read it.

    Reply
  8. Brian Yapko

    Evan, this poem is both entertaining and illuminating regarding the weaknesses and incomplete segments in evolutionary theory and, most importantly, in the complete failure of the theory to explain where it all starts. I am one of those readers who also strongly believes in a divine origin of life, although I also certainly accept scientific explanations of how the mechanics of the universe work. (The how but not the why.) The poem’s meter propels your thoughts forward with unstoppable motion. I was interpreting the meter as dactylic tetrameter starting with headless iambs and would greatly appreciate a clarification on how you see the meter. As for the language and imagery, they are fantastically organized and lucid. A wonderful poem.

    Reply
    • Evan Mantyk

      Thank you, Brian. Yes, you have exactly nailed the meter. This one was fun to write and I think that comes through.

      Reply
  9. Jeff Eardley

    Evan, a great fun and thoughtful piece that warrants a reading out loud. Our greatest evolutionist and author of “The God Delusion,” Richard Dawkins is about to release, for Christmas, his first children’s publication, “The Santa Delusion.” Should go down like a ton of bricks, hopefully not down the chimney.

    Reply
  10. James A. Tweedie

    What use and for why are the parts of the eye?
    Each alone by itself is a pretense.
    They are useless and droll unless part of a whole
    To assert “It just happened,” is nonsense.

    Nicely put and I like the lighthearted rhythmic bounce!

    Reply
    • Evan Mantyk

      Thank you, Jim. One theory I have is that each poem has a meter or form that suits it perfectly. It is just a matter of finding it and then the poem will write itself, or at least write itself more easily, and read better.

      Reply
  11. Joshua C. Frank

    Great one! It fits in well with the anti-evolution song genre. Have you, by any chance, heard “The Evolution Song” by Kevin Lee or “The Banana Ballad” by Ichthus? I think you’ll enjoy both of those.

    Reply
  12. Norma Pain

    Eric Hedin’s quote provided by James Sale, says it all for me:
    ‘Absolute nothing cannot produce something, because if it had that ability, it would have something, and so it wouldn’t be nothing. From this we can conclude that something has always existed because something exists now. So far, we’re just using logic’ – Eric Hedin,
    Thank you Evan, I enjoyed your poem very much.

    Reply
  13. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Evan, what a wonderful piece! I love the form – the way it romps along with its toe-tapping beat and masterly internal rhymes. Serving up a contentious topic with a delicious helping of comedic relish is a stroke of poetic genius. Great stuff!

    Reply
  14. Gary Borck

    I, also enjoy the classical song formula you used here. It works well as a parody of evolution.

    Though, I respect different opinions on matters, it is hard to fathom how so many intelligent educated people can believe in evolution.

    Well written, Evan!

    Reply
  15. Sally Cook

    Ideas spark and swirl and settle on us at random.Once one nips you on the noggin it is up to you to make something of itl This is the reason for coincidence, and why two poems may suddenly appear, full fledged, on the same daiy, about the same subject. Fine poem, Evan !

    Reply
  16. Adam Wasem

    Nice entertaining read. That internal rhyme and pseudo-limericky meter just pulls the reader right along. I also enjoyed your poetic spin on the Argument from Design,I.e., a table is of course not just a random assemblage of wood and screws, but must have a designer who designed it for a purpose. It’s good to remind those, as Frost noted, who are growing “ever more bigoted in their reliance/ on the gospel of modern science,” that “there is more to heaven and earth than is dreamt of in their philosophy,” as another writer noted. One small solecism I caught: the word is “hoard” instead of “horde” in the final stanza, but still, well and entertainingly done.

    Reply
  17. fred schueler

    On Jun 17, 2016, at 12:48 PM, Fred Schueler wrote: …ooh I ought to be working, but this just came to me in the tune of ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic:’

    Feasting on Conolophus to the Conclusion of Consanguinity

    Feeding on the Land Iguana Darwin had the great idea
    A simple mechanism that made everything so clear
    If all creatures are related we’re obliged to hold them dear
    as Life goes marching on.

    In the small warm pond the globules coalesced and learned to thrive
    In a thousand generations they began to be alive
    The entangled bank’s the consequence of their selected drive
    as Life goes marching on.

    When Prokaryotes engulfed themselves Lynn Margulis was there
    with a checklist of engulfings and the benefits they shared:
    Chloroplastic mitochondrial eukaryotic flair
    As life went marching on.

    In his hammock in Malaysia fevered Wallace saw it plain:
    There are facts of distribution that descent alone explains,
    If you want to know what lives next door – “What’s here with a little change,”
    as Life goes marching on.

    Central Park and the Death Valley were the same when Joe Grinnell
    Set the specimens aside so we could see what time would tell:
    The smallest palest Passer in the world now have rung the bell
    Of life still marching on.

    Feeding on the Land Iguana Darwin had the great idea
    A simple mechanism that made everything so clear
    If all creatures are related we’re obliged to hold them dear
    as Life goes marching on.

    Gaia, Gaia, biocentric,
    Gaia, Gaia, biocentric,
    Gaia, Gaia, biocentric,
    as Life goes marching on.

    Reply

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