Why evolution is NOT true

July 7, 2015 • 12:00 pm

Because Genesis I! And, of course, it’s from the South; the comment and photo is by reader Petra (I cropped the photo to show the billboard better):

Driving south from Chicago to Florida on June 30, I encountered a billboard I had not seen before on my travels on the I75: On a black billboard in white letters it proclaimed: “Evolution is a lie.” This billboard is located along I75 in Georgia, facing north, on the northbound side, close to exit 39 (Adel).
There was another billboard from the same author/owner on the southbound side, which proclaimed:”Marriage, One man, one woman.” I did not manage to snap a picture of it. I saw the ‘evolution is a lie” billboard in May 2015 for the first time.
The interesting thing about this billboard is not the breathtaking level of inanity it evinces, but the fact that such billboards are so common. As Hannah Arendt might say, it shows the banality of ignorance.

100 thoughts on “Why evolution is NOT true

  1. What never ceases to amaze and dismay me is that so many Americans do not know and understand the difference between a story, Genesis, and a theory, Evolution.

    This ignorance betrays a profound flaw in too many American citizens and too much of American culture.

    1. I blame it on the educational system which, back in the 1960s, was pretty good (despite school prayer) and has since been increasingly underfunded and undermined.

      A good education is a strong foundation.

      1. More and more I think that the one thing that people must learn in school is what a fact is – what is known and why we know it. Isn’t it strange that such an important concept is not front and center in our educational system?

      2. Would you not also blame it on the strong streak of anti-intellectualism in U.S. culture which has always obtained and which negatively influences students? Re: Hofstadter’s “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life” and Jacoby’s “The Age of American Unreason.”

        1. Seems obvious to me that they would go together, as in, “We won’t teach you too much, because it would just be a sin for you to become some sort of smart-a** intellectual. We’re protecting you from that distasteful, untrustworthy, no fun, snootiness. Now, shut up and believe whatever BS I tell you.”

        1. Indeed. I lived in Dayton for a bit and it felt like that courthouse and college mocked me every day. The trial is celebrated often.

  2. The south, more than other places, is littered with thousands of religious signs, sometimes on big billboards and often homemade in somebody’s yard. All that I have seen were christian.

  3. I see signs like this in the Midwest, too, and they prompt imaginary little scenarios in my head:

    “I was a godless heathen just driving along the road one day and suddenly — WHAM — I saw ‘Jesus Saves’ on a billboard and the light came into my soul. Thank you, thank you, annoying Christian sign-maker, you’ve changed another life!!!”

    I mean, do they really think this the sort of thing works? Are they getting brownie points with their fellow church-goers? Or is it more like masturbation, you know it’s only between you and God?

    They’re probably best viewed as piss stains marking territory, I think.

    1. I drive back and forth between Orlando, where my in-laws live, and Iowa, where I live, once a year. Once I counted all the Jesus/God/Hell/Evilution billboards. On a per-mile basis, at least on those roads, they’re highest in FL, and then diminish proportionally in each state going north without exception. There also seems to be a tight correlation with Confederate flags and billboards for gun shops. What an odd coincidence.

      1. I worked in Florida for a while, and the I-75 corridor had SO MANY religious billboards, but they were interspersed with stripper/adult bookstore/adult playtime billboards. Strange place to put it mildly.

    2. It’s the religious equivalent of waving a patriotic flag. The point isn’t to provide a strong argument in favour of your position; it’s to wave your position proudly for all to see, and lord help you if you got a problem with it.

    3. “I was a godless heathen just driving along the road one day and suddenly — WHAM — I saw ‘Jesus Saves’ on a billboard and the light came into my soul. Thank you, thank you, annoying Christian sign-maker, you’ve changed another life!!!”

      I think you just wrote the first draft of the script for the next Kevin Sorbo movie.

    4. Many fundamentalists genuinely care about others and are trying to help them. Unfortunately they are rampant with false presuppositions. I know my mother, who is now an atheist, would have my grandmother watch my siblings and I so she could participate in the 700 club hotline. She did many other fundamentalist typical protests and such out of genuine concern for others. Actually believing others will suffer indefinitely can be a strong motivator to try and help them. Logic doesn’t care about truth. It only cares about validity (in the logic specific context). People can be wrong an still be logical.

      1. I’m not questioning their motivation, only their choice of method. Do you think the people who put up the billboards really imagine that they will convert nonbelievers?

        Personally, I suspect at least some of them do. It’s a magical world view high on drama and steeped in the idea that the entire issue involves consciences which need nudges. Drawing the line anywhere on what does or doesn’t make sense is arbitrary.

        1. Their motivation is the same as a d*g’s motivation for pissing (make that micturating) on a tree.

    5. In Chicago,
      do they still have the cross with the letters
      S S A V E S

      Alternately blinking?
      As an atheist kid, I joked it was a celebrity thrift endorsement.

    6. Are they getting brownie points with their fellow church-goers? Or is it more like masturbation, you know it’s only between you and God?

      Mutual masturbation in church and in public? The Septic South sounds slightly more amusing. (“Septic” of course refers to Yanks. After all, they’re all the same from this side of the pond.)

  4. Nice one! I haven’t seen that before. There are the ubiquitous “Jesus Saves” signs of course. It always makes me want to add, “at Citibank” or “but Gretzky scores!” But I just keep on driving.

    1. On my drive from work is a huge sign that is not so much a billboard as tower with a big picture of Caucasian Jesus looking at you, and the words that say: ‘Are you on the right road?’

          1. Chthulu thinks you’d make him a nice sandwich? Is that before or after he’s chewed your face off?

    2. When I was in high school, ca. 1965-70, the ending to “Jesus Saves” was “Green Stamps.”

      1. When I was a child in Liverpool in the 1960s, the local version was the rather clever “Jesus saves – but St. John scores on the rebound”

        [For those who aren’t aficionados of 1960s English footie, a certain Ian St.John was one of Liverpool FC’s leading goalscorers at the time]

  5. The Biology is a little off as well. Notice the advertising for the Bluegrass church of Christ. You couldn’t grow bluegrass in Georgia even with help from Christ. Should rename it Bermuda grass church.

    Odd they can’t just say we don’t believe in evolution like other stupid people – it has to be a lie.

    1. I just have to note, for your amusement, that the lowercase ‘c’ is not a typo. If their sign were to say “Church of Christ”, they claim, it would imply a title of a denomination or sect, which they are not. They are merely the church (body, group of people) of Christ. It is, they claim, a mere description, not a title. However, just go up to one of these places and say, “Hey, nice sign. I’m from the church (lower case) of Jesus… let’s be friends” and see how that flies. It’s not a title… until you try to call it something else.

      Also, they will tell you, unlike religious denominations, they do not have any dogmas. And the oceans are pink and pigs fly. They are the most dogmatic people you are likely to find on Earth. It’s a group devoted to a kind of doublethink.

      1. And the oceans are pink

        Bloom of dinoflagellate algae? Nasty!

        and pigs fly.

        They do! Given a sufficient input of kinetic energy. They’re not terribly well adapted to their aerial life, but they do normally manage to survive until landing. Sometimes even a little after landing.

  6. I’m confused, isn’t that billboard facing south? If it’s facing north on the northbound side then no one could see it.

      1. So, you drive on the left side of the road in America?
        I can’t remember the last time I saw a billboard designed to be obscured from the viewer’s eyes by the oncoming traffic.
        Or … if this is all true, and it’s about evolution, then wouldn’t this costs of paying for the ineffective advert lead to the bankruptcy and extinction of the ineffectively-advertising church. Thus leading to the evolution of the “kind of churches” to better fit their environmental niche?
        sorry, but it is more fun than pulling the wings off flies, and more ethically defensible?

  7. My favorite around here: there used to be a shop in a strip mall along Interstate 5 south of Seattle called the Gospel Discount Center. I used to imagine that some day they would advertise 4 gospels for the price of 3.

    1. If my American friends here will forgive me: “Gospel Discount” sounds *so* American.

      (Just like the small mall I saw in Indiana between Indianapolis and Bloomington that had a church next door to an ammo shop.)

          1. That would be Jim Carry, who promises to not shoot anyone with a vaccine again?
            (I haven’t been wasting much attention on US “news” for weeks. Was Carry being an anti-vaxxer, or playing one with his derisive humour? We only had a few seconds of the news item while trying to switch to a video about Confined Space Entry)

    2. I was in Arkansas on business, and in the mall near my hotel was a bookstore the size of a Barnes & Noble called “Discount Religious Books.”

        1. Do they not sell discount copies of the Korean, for burning? I’d have thought someone would have leapt into that gaping hole in the market.
          In Scotland we have a habit of kilts for formal wear, and “drinking kilts”. Which are made cheaper, and are expected to get trashed. Surely some ecumenical publishers have cottoned onto the idea of “burning” bibles, “burning” korans, “burning” Bavaghad gitas?
          If nothing else, setting up the bookshop’s website could get some good lists of IP addresses to keep an eye on!

  8. One of my recent favorites in my area was the old standard Christian exhortation “Jesus Died 4 Your Sins, Come Accept His Sacrifice.”

    Besides the obvious, like “I didn’t ask him to do anything for me,” or the rather disgusting ethics of the Christian vicarious redemption story as a whole, I was left with an image of a carny* running a scam that wasn’t quite working out as well as they had hoped.

    “No, really, don’t go! Come on in, you really need this! And, come on, He already died for you! That’s gotta be worth something, right?!”

    (*Not NZ “carny”!)

    1. I read it as NZ carny at first – thank goodness for ‘The Mentalist’ in educating me. 🙂

  9. I’m a bit bemused by them adding “Gen. 1” to the bottom of the sign as if it’s a quote from the Bible. The Bible, of course, doesn’t say, “Evolution is a lie.” That’s just this particular church’s interpretation. Almost everyone I know who is a Christian also accepts evolutionary theory. I certainly did when I was a Christian.

    The USA is unique in the West in having evolution deniers as such a big proportion in their population. They have a lot more climate change deniers too. Both positions seen to be encouraged by politics and political identity there, while they’re not controversial elsewhere. The GOP has a lot to answer for imo.

  10. Some years ago we drove down to Florida, and along the way, through Georgia, etc, were a stream of billboards that alternated between sex shops/nude dancers, fireworks, gun shops, and church ads.

    1. Don’t forget the payday loans. You have to get flush before you head for the nude dancers, fireworks and gun shops.

    2. I have a mental image of asking for a tittie refund at the church, or a sermon refund at the strip joint.

        1. Years ago I lived in a town that had a church that used funny signs. My fav. was: ‘Stupidity got us into this mess; why can’t it get us out?’

        2. This is the second time I’ve recently seen the term “Full Gospel” associated with a church.

          Seriously, are there any churches advertising “Half Gospel”, or “99.44% Gospel”?

          1. That was my question as well. Maybe if you only got half gospel you put less in the plate.

  11. There is a billboard near downtown KC Mo on I-35 N, I think, that proclaims something to the effect of “BEING GAY IS A SIN, NOT A LIFESTYLE” but I can’t get a pic of it as i’m never a passenger.

    and on the way down to my family’s place on Lake of the Ozarks, some bozo put up a sign that read “WATCH GLEN BECK”, and I can’t help but think yeah, probably ought to keep an eye on him, because he’s shady as fuck!

    and on the way north to Chicago, just after Leaving Hannibal, Mo, there is a series of signs that proclaim, essentially, that the police and 911 are useless, that you’ll be dead before they get there, so that’s why you must arm yourself and shoot “bad guys”. It’s always nice to see crazy people put their insanity on display.

    1. Ones that make me the most nervous are the vehicles (usually old pickup trucks) covered in painted signs and bumper stickers about Gunz ‘n Freedum ‘n Forinerz. I do not want to make eye contact with those wackos.

  12. Maybe PCC would consider another photo category
    “silly signs from g*d” or such. Not that i’m telling him what to put on his blog. Don’t want to break The Roolz.

  13. Wow. That sign couldn’t get anymore redneck. King Frog Shopping Center? Bluegrass church of Christ?

  14. That’s funny- I reread Genesis 1 three times, and no where did I see the words, “Evolution is a lie”.
    By the way, which creation story in Genesis are we to follow: the one that has God creating Adam and Eve first (“male and female created He them”) and then the animals, or the one where God creates Adam, then creates the animals and marches them by him so he can name them, and then creates Eve from his rib?

  15. I’m losing patience with those who want to be,I’ve all their BS superstitious nonsense while reaping the benefits of modern society.

  16. The Creationist are all pretty solid anti-evolution freaks I think. On specific branches I know the SDA’a are really against evolution. I’m sure on this because my mother-in-law is a founding member of that group. She must be because she is older than dirt.

    1. I was explaining to a colleage that the evangelicals don’t hate all science,must evolution and recently they aren’t too keen on some branches of physics. 🙂

  17. If you have the urge to like bluegrass music but worry that it tars you with the brush that painted that sign, may I recommend Dry Branch Fire Squad’s Live From the Newburyport Firehouse album. Among the words used in the comedic interludes are Neanderthal and Australopithecine, and lines like (in re. a sign) “Jesus is the Answer. But what was the question?” And (inbred) “family trees that don’t branch.” In-between, hard-driving bluegrass at its best!

    As in the past, I can’t find any excerpts from the CD, but if you can get your hands on a copy, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

    1. No idea what genre it is, but I’ve always loved the Stones’ Far Away Eyes.


      “The preacher said: Y’allways have the Lawwd by yer side
      Well, I was so pleased to be informed of this
      That I ran 20 red lights in his honour.
      Thankyou Jesus.
      Thankyou Lord.”

      Jagger’s expression while he’s singing this would count as blasphemy all by itself.


    2. And (inbred) “family trees that don’t branch.”

      I’m trying to remember what to call the branch of topiary where you bind branches back together again, so that the wood grows back into each other’s branches.

  18. Some years ago in Toronto, there was a very funny juxtaposition of signs, the second just out of sight of the first.

    Coming off the Don Valley Parkway south onto Richmond, a sign at a site where a building was being demolished read “Priestly Demolition” (the firm was Priestly Construction).

    Just around a short curve on the side of a church a sign read “Prepare to meet thy God! Call Jim 416 xxx-xxx”.

  19. I think the fact that these people need to put up billboards suggests they are afraid their worldview is losing the battle. And they would be justified in thinking that.

  20. Reminds me of a sign that I saw down south earlier this year proclaiming jesus as the one true savior. Attached was another sign advertising a strip club a few miles further, truckers welcome!

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