Can’t We Give The Egg A Chance?

James Shih

If you tuned in to CNN sometime last week, you’ve probably seen bits of the network’s timely religion versus science special. Like its holy subject matter, “Anderson Cooper 360” in the past week has been filled with stories of strife and subsequent redemption. One segment had Cooper sandwiched in a split-screen between a scientist and an evangelical yelling at one another about the age of the earth, and the next had the director of the Human Genome Project proclaiming unwavering faith and the compatibility of evolution with the Scriptures.

Frankly, I’m tired of this debate. Look, Anderson, it’s nothing personal. In fact, I’m all for giving voice to conflicting and oft-unsupported theories. But if you’re only showing evolution-peddling scientists, Bible-wielding evangelicals or some combination of the two, then you need to dust off the protractor and reevaluate the name of your show. Just because science alone can’t explain the beauty that is America doesn’t mean that we all default to the bosom of Genesis.

The Greeks, the bedrock of Western civilization, had their own ideas about Creation. If our mathematicians trust the Greeks in a2+b2=c2 and our president in representative democracy, I don’t see why our biologists shouldn’t give another chance to the exploits of the Greek goddess Gaia, who perhaps created all of us by fruitfully bearing children, and then fruitfully bearing more children with those children.

And what about the Chinese? The image of Creation that I grew up with was never a bearded father figure who worked for six days and then rested, but a hairy giant named Pangu who incubated in an egg for 18,000 years. After he hatched, he spent another 18,000 years holding apart the egg shells that became the sky and the earth before finally collapsing, when his body became the seas, mountains, animals and various celestial bodies.

I’m not saying that these other ideas have to supplant the familiar. Just like science and the Old Testament can come to a compromise by saying that the seven days really meant billions of years, I wouldn’t mind cutting a deal by reinterpreting Genesis 1:3 as “And God said, ‘let there be egg.’ ” And there was yolk. It’s all negotiable.

The dialogue over Creation and human existence has been hijacked by the polarized majorities, and once again, the minority voices are sidelined and silenced. By claiming to cover all angles and yet not including the egg theory in the debate, CNN is perpetuating that marginalization by leaving one-fifth of the world’s population out of the dialogue. You do the math, Anderson: 360 – (360/5). Rename your show accordingly.

If America truly prides itself on its salad-bowl society and open embrace of the huddled masses and the tempest-tossed, then we need to pry open the last bastion of cultural conservatism: the creation myth. The day that we have taken in the egg as our own will be a true testament to our commitment to diversity. Wait, you can’t bring raw food past airport security. D’oh.