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Book Review: Monkey Girl


First, buy this book.

Monkey Girl is a detailed and lively chronicle of the Dover, PA case that decided whether or not Intelligent Design (Creationism) should be taught in science class in a public school. Edward Humes, who is a Pulitzer winner, distills complex scientific data into language that the average person can understand. The two most startling elements of the book are just how slick yet bankrupt the forces pushing ID are (the Discovery Institute and the Thomas More Law Center - both bankrolled by the same people running the GOP). They preach the idea of "teaching the controversy" when any scientist will tell you there is none, and the ideas espoused by ID do not even remotely qualify as science. Yet, they were able to convince a school board to implement their ideology and provoke more than one federal case (the book also discusses the Kansas School Board case).

In the epilogue, the judge at the center of the case John E. Jones III (a conservative, Christian, Republican, Bush appointee), laments the atmosphere in his own Republican party that is creating an atmosphere of hatred towards judges (and in some instances encouraging violence to the point of murder against them). Judge Jones also shares this about Ann Coulter, who lamely tried to attack evolution in her book Godless: "Ann Coulter foments a kind of civic stupidity, in my opinion".

That's worth the price of purchase alone.

Rating: 5/5