God Vs Darwin - Rumble In Romania
Nothing makes people fight more than God. Holy Land this, fake messiah that. One of my favourite arguments people like to have about God is when they make him fight Darwin. Yes, the creationism vs evolutionism debate is very, very old but no one's died because of it yet and the fight usually ends quickly because you either believe in an omnipotent Creator-God or you don't.
Since 2008, the Romanian government has been using biology lessons to inculcate in its youth a belief in God over Darwin. I went out to see if my fellow Romanians think we arrived on God's Earth fully-formed and with a "no qualms" policy on incest, or if they prefer to believe we were fish that spent so long dying on the shores of disgusting swamps that nature took pity and granted us the limbs we needed to haul ourselves out of the primordial shit.
VICE: Hello. How do you think man ended up on Earth? Do we come from apes?
Dragoş: No. No way.
So God put us here?
What did God put you here to do?
Have you heard of Charles Darwin?
Of course I have. He was a smart guy. There are lots of contradictions to his theory, though.
Apes couldn't possibly have been that evolved. There was that Planet of the Apes movie, which made it all seem... it was so fantastic, but I'm not sure I could believe that such a thing ever really happened. Apes adapt to the jungle, but they can't really handle civilization.
Can I ask about your level of education?
I graduated from high school. I've got a Baccalaureate diploma.
VICE: Have you heard about this evolution theory that's been going around?
Victor: No, no, no.
You don't know who Charles Darwin is?
I do, but I don't like Darwin! I choose to ignore him. I believe in God.
Do you think God likes Darwin?
I don't think so. I think he's one of the kids he wishes he never had, but that's how it goes. I've got a few of those myself.
So how did humans end up on Earth?
Through Adam and Eve, that's what I was taught in school. I went to school at the Patriarchate, the church restoration school. That may have given me certain preconceptions.
How far did you get in school?
I graduated from the Academy of the Arts at the Patriarchate, but now I paint different things. I used to paint scenes beloved of the Orthodox Church, but the Church disappointed me, so I paint in another way now. But I still believe in God!
Do you know the Einstein joke? Can I tell it to you?
Einstein was asked at a conference: "Sir, don't you believe in Darwin? Don't you believe in his evolution theory?" Einstein shrugs, and says "What's the story?" "Well, sir, Darwin says that man comes from apes." Einstein replies: "Perhaps Mr Darwin does, but I for one don't feel like that!"
That's some funny shit.
Yeah. Do you believe evolution is possible?
I don't know, seems plausible. There are those studies which suggest that chimps have about 98% of our DNA.
They don't! There are a lot of studies that cats or mice have more of our DNA than apes. It is possible to transplants the ears of mice onto pigs. You have to write that in your magazine! This is the way it is!
VICE: Hi there young man. What do you think of Charlie Darwin?
Daniel: He was a very well-known scientist – the father of evolutionism, right? Are you going to ask me whether I think he brought any trouble to humankind through his theory? Because he got in conflict with religion and stuff like that?
Firstly, creationism is pretty discredited now. And not only that – it just feels kind of over, done with. The world didn't start 4,524 years ago – it was 4,500, right? That was a joke.
Anyway, it didn't start then, that's for sure. Carbon-14 dating fully proves this. And then we know that the Earth is at least four billion years old, so it's kind of obvious that the creationist theory went down the drain a long time ago.
As for Darwin, there's pretty conclusive data that the world is evolving. That man and all species are evolving. Actually, there would be no sense if it weren't like that. We wouldn't be here now if it weren't like that, right?
Yeah, I guess. Can you say something funny now?
No, I already told you my joke. You should be happy enough with that.
VICE: So, the evolutionist theory. Have you heard about it?
Billy: Yes. It's the way we physically evolved from unicellular entities, right? This is it.
Maybe, you've gone over my head. Don't you prefer the religious version?
No, not at all. They don't take the dinosaurs into account. And I love dinosaurs!
What do you think about Charles Darwin?
I'm not hugely into him. Didn't he have that big falling-out with Freud when he said that neurosis couldn't be genetically transmitted? What a dope!
But otherwise you trust his theories?
Trust? I don't know. I think the most important thing we can learn from that idiot is that, in life, you've got to try and get stuff by yourself. You have to use your own brain every once in a while, not just wait for the fat, bearded guy in the sky to explain everything for you.
Wait, I'm confused. Darwin's an idiot and God's fat?
Have you heard that Fatboy Slim track, "Right Here, Right Now"? That video explains evolution pretty well.
So, Darwin's thick, God's out of shape, but Norman Cook holds the secret to human existence?
I live by the "survival of the fittest" rule. Genetic compatibility; the way you choose your partner according to smell, all these belong to genetics. We're mammals, after all.
Do you like the way I smell?
I refuse to get close enough to tell either way.
What about the Garden of Eden stories? Do you like those?
No, not really. Maybe if they were real. Any kind of holiday would be nice.
VICE: Who do you reckon is closer to the truth: people who say we come from apes, or people who reckon in Adam, Eve, the snake, and God?
Dana: This is the creation-evolution controversy. I, being religious, believe that God has done more for humankind than a monkey. Otherwise why haven't other kinds of people who have evolved from apes appeared yet? Why did evolution stop?
Maybe God created apes in his own image. And from them came the whole Homo series. Maybe that's a way for creationists and evolutionists to kiss and make up.
I don't think creationists will be very happy with your idea that God is an ape.
Yeah, I didn't really think that through. I'm just riffin'.
Why apes, anyway? Why not dolphins? They're more intelligent.
So would you be more open to the evolution theory if it said that people came from dolphins?
No, I'm just saying that, if I had to choose, I'd rather come from dolphins than from monkeys.
I don't think anyone says you get to choose.
VICE: Tell me please – have you heard about Charles Darwin?
Vasile: No, I haven't.
You've not heard about the theory that mankind evolved from monkeys?
Didn't hear about it, no.
So you can't remember learning about that in school?
I didn't go to school, dear.
So, as a principle, how do you explain our existence on Earth?
We came from monkeys. Where else?
God created monkeys because he created everything on Earth. Who made them, if not God? From His power? It's better to believe in God than in monkeys, because God is great. We are underneath. That's how it is. The power's in God's hands.
It's all related to equality. There's God, and there's Satan. The good, and the evil. Equality! If I had the power to kill you, I'd kill you. And that comes from Satan. But then there's God's mercy to balance it out.
So what you're actually saying is that the strongest survives longest, because God's mercy is stronger than Satan's murderousness?
God is stronger. He has the power.
So God will survive and evolve while Satan will lose out and gradually shrink from existence?
Let's hope so.
Well, I'm not sure if I managed to settle this debate or not, but I'm pretty sure I've proved beyond all reasonable doubt that evolution confuses the fuck out of people.