In a close call for Scientific Fundamentalism, a federal judge ordered an Atlanta school district to remove stickers from biology textbooks claiming that "evolution is a theory, not a fact." After a nightlong candlelit vigil in which members of the Cult of Darwin offered prayers to "Saint Carl" and "Saint Richard" (known outside of church circles as gadfly author Carl Sagan and zoologist Richard Dawkins), U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper handed down a favorable ruling, writing that the stickers imply an "endorsement of religion" and thus run afoul of the first amendment's establishment clause.
"By denigrating evolution the School Board appears to be endorsing the well-know prevailing alternative theory, creationism or variations thereof, even though the Sticker does not specifically reference any alternative theories," wrote Judge Cooper, who is famous for his killer mind-reading act at area nightclubs.
"Praise D-rw-n!" shouted the faithful, on hearing that the blasphemous stickers would have to go.
Michael E. Manely, a Marietta, Ga. lawyer, brought the lawsuit against the Cobb County school board after officials ordered the stickers affixed to textbooks. Hailing this clear victory for the fundamentalist left, Manely called the decision a body-blow to "the fundamentalist right."
"[Students] won't have to endure [right-wing] religious dogma in science class," crowed Manely.
Sadie Fields of the Christian Coalition of Georgia called the ruling "a classic example of a judge overstepping" his authority. Cobb County officials, believing the stickers to be worded fairly, were puzzled by the ruling. An official called the stickers "a reasonable and evenhanded guide to science instruction and encouraging students to be critical thinkers."
Many scientific fundamentalists argue that critical thinking has serious flaws, especially when applied to evolutionary theory, a dogma that is taken as a article of faith by most of its adherents.
Dr. James O'Thumbs, evolutionary biologist and Exalted High Priest of the Cult of Darwin, agrees. "To cast any dispersions on The Origin of the Species is blasphemy, pure and simple. We believe in the literal interpretation of the Word of D-rw-n; no rational member of the human species could believe otherwise. This ruling is another nail in the coffin for those who would desecrate the Pure and Inspired Doctrines of Evolution. Praise D-rw-n! May His DNA live forever! Praise D-rw-n!"
Dr. O'Thumbs then began a ritual dance which his assistant characterized as a primeval fertility rite, learned while researching Gibbons in southeast Asia. He was joined by throngs of the faithful who shouted praises while making the sign of the double-helix with their fingers.
Cobb County officials are considering an appeal.