This is one of those images that makes me glad the BAG has developed such a keen group of readers and co-analysts. I’ll give you some of my takes, and then I’ll leave it to you to peel more layers.
Here’s what I’ve got:
1. We know the right wing has a deep skill to frame the terms of political debate. In the case of Intelligent Denial (sorry, but that’s as close as I can get to saying it), their primary intent is to set up ID and the theory of evolution as coequal concepts.
What troubles me more than anything about this cover is how it reinforces this strategy. Here — on the cover of TIME Magazine — are the now supposedly equivalent “possibilities” (the term Bush used last week) juxtaposed as if subject to federal equal time rules. (So the monkey is bigger, you say? Well for God’s sakes, not by much.)
2. Just what has this monkey got to think about?
In the face of the hell fire and pointed intimidation coming from the fundamentalists, is TIME saying that even the chimps are reconsidering Darwin? Really, I find the idea of deliberation (or second guessing?) an egregious nod to these pseudo-intellectual nuts.
3. I have mixed feelings about the spatial relationships.
Of course, God has the higher position. This seems to give the ID-iots more credence. If you look at most examples of the Sistine Chapel, however, you’ll notice that God and Man are almost always horizontal to each other. The fact that TIME has God descending on the animal seems to exemplify just how much the ID-iots are coming from a blatantly self-righteous position, and pursuing an aggressive campaign that is nothing but “in-your-face. ”
I could go on, but I’m happy to yield the floor … or, is it the ceiling?
(image: TIME Magazine cover. Aug. 15, 2005)