Wednesday, June 28, 2023

#2658: Matt Chait

Many of you know the play and movie Inherit the Wind, which is based on the Scopes trial that ensued after a biology teacher presented the theory of evolution to students in a small Southern town in the 20s and the persecution he faced due to trying to teach science in science classes. Well, creationists tend to dislike the story (“propaganda” says intelligent design creationist John West), so much so that they have created their own versions. One such effort is a play by one Matt Chait, Disinherit the Wind, which turns “Inherit the Wind on its head”: In Chait’s play, the heroes (Chait uses the names of real people from the trial) are creationists “sceptical of Darwinian materialism”, and the “zealots who are trying to burn him at the stake aren’t Christian fundamentalists, but fanatical Darwinists”. Feel free to speculate about what Chait might have wished to achieve by his effort, but yes, it’s another religious fundie persecution fantasy, and as always its relationship to reality is tenuous (or more accurately in this case: bizarre). The play is published by a vanity press.


There is also an interview with Chait here. Apparently, Chait started his spiritual journey with yoga classes, but then he discovered Richard Dawkins’s the Selfish Gene, which he found to be an “infuriating piece of nonsense”, and that set him off on his journey as an anti-Darwinist blogger. His learning curve was steep: “It really is remarkable how much you can learn, starting with almost no scientific background at all, just by using Google and Wikipedia,” says Chait – and note that he found these sources after he had made his verdict on Dawkins’s book, which might make you wonder (you really needn’t) on exactly what his objections to the book were based. He also read plenty of creationist literature, and “while Dawkins’s writings undermined my spirituality, the writings of the scientists of Discovery Institute enhanced it.” Yes, his conclusions have, unsurprisingly, absolutely nothing to do with science.


Diagnosis: A local creationist village idiot with vanity press access is hardly news, but Chait’s effort gained the attention of the denialists at the Discovery Institute. And that at least tells you a bit about the Discovery Institute.


  1. Not everybody wants to participate in your faith. That's called freedom, not religious persecution.

    1. Didn't you know? If they can't shove their religion on everyone, it's SATANIC! Ungodly!