The Scientific Activist (Archives)


May 16, 2006

The Simpsons Takes on Evolution

If, like me, you weren’t able to see The Simpsons Sunday night, you can view most of the episode here (hat tip to Pharyngula). In brief, Ned Flanders convinces Reverend Lovejoy to intimidate Principal Skinner into “teaching the controversy” at Springfield Elementary. Lisa Simpson objects, but her activism fires when the city of Springfield passes a law banning the teaching of evolution. When Lisa is caught leading an underground resistance movement, she finds herself on trial for supporting the teaching of evolution.

Although I grew up on it, I haven’t really watched much of The Simpsons in recent years. Lately, this has been due mostly to my living overseas and not watching much television anyway. Before then, though, I think it was clear that the show had lost quite a bit of its earlier magic. Despite this, I thought this episode was hilarious and fairly clever, capturing many of the subtleties of the evolution/creationism debate—from slick creationist ploys to boring scientists who tend to shoot themselves in the foot.

Here’s my favorite quote:
Ned Flanders: We want you to teach alternative theories to Darwinian evolution.

Principal Skinner: You mean Lamarckian evolution?

Reverend Lovejoy: No! The Adam and Eve one!

Note: Not to be outdone, Family Guy gave its take on the issue as well.


  • Looking back, I probably meant to title this post "The Simpsons Takes on Creationism". Regardless, I'd encourage anyone who hasn't seen it to give it a watch, for entertainment value and otherwise.

    By Blogger Nick Anthis, at Thu May 18, 01:33:00 AM  

  • That's pretty funny. I think it's interesting how show's like the Simpsons, South Park, and bags of other cartoons take on issues like mormonism, women's rights and stuff. It shows that everything is politcal, but can still be funny.

    By Anonymous women's laptop bags, at Sat Jan 13, 07:43:00 AM  

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