By contributing writer Mark Jabo

It used to be that there was a whole lot of education that went into becoming a scientist. Scientists were respected for their knowledge and dedication. To be a scientist you actually had to study stuff. And not just easy stuff like, “Who’s the president of the United States?” (Hint: she was in Earth Girls Are Easy and A League of Their Own.)

As a scientist, you were expected to know chemical formulas such as H-2-0 (water) or 2-Pac (rapper). People considered scientists to be experts and consulted them on important matters like what kind of hangover you’d get if you mixed lemonade and Jagermeister, or how to set up a crystal meth lab.

But alas, Frodo, that was in the olden times….

These days anyone can weigh in as a scientific expert, especially in places like Kansas where “intelligent design” is being taught as part of the science curriculum. The last time the educational bar was set this low was when the Scarecrow got his Doctorate in Thinkology from the Wizard of Oz.

Charles Darwin falls victim to one of his most popular theories.

Supporters of intelligent design argue that the universe is so complex and beyond our understanding that it had to be designed by a superior being (like Rush Limbaugh or Barbara Streisand) or super-intelligent aliens (like Henry Kissinger or Salma Hayek). Intelligent design enthusiasts want their ramblings to be presented as an alternative to the science of evolution. The idea here is that one theory is just as good as another, regardless of any supporting evidence. Kind of like Ashlee Simpson being advanced as an alternative to Melissa Etheridge.

Or to put it another way: if Paris Hilton had a theory of evolution, it would be intelligent design.

Hey, we get it. The universe is amazing and complex. So is a microwave oven. That doesn’t mean it was designed by aliens…although Tom Cruise might give you an argument on that.

A cursory examination of the two sides of this debate would seem to favor evolutionary theory. First off, Charles Darwin had a beard. A beard is a good thing when you want to be taken seriously as a scientist. And Darwin's beard wasn't some scruffy, patchy beard like your grandmother has. Darwin had a big, bushy beard that spoke to his stature as a scientist. It was as if he were saying, “If I wasn't an expert in my field, would I really be able to walk around looking like the lead singer of ZZ Top?”

In contrast, the evangelical preachers who advance the intelligent design agenda usually sport shiny suits and ties with gigantic knots. Listen, if the knot in your tie is roughly the size of a St. Bernard's head, it is very difficult to be taken seriously on any topic, let alone the origins of the universe.

Second, Darwin's book on evolution has a weighty title: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. You have to be long-winded just to say the title in one breath.

In contrast, the textbook most often proposed for teaching intelligent design is Of Pandas and People. You can’t possibly hope to be taken seriously if your science book has a title with that kind of alliteration. I don’t mean to be picky, here…all I’m saying is the directors of 2 Fast, 2 Furious didn’t try to sell it as a documentary.

But the main problem with the view that the universe was created by a superior being is: who created the superior being that created the universe? And who created the superior being who created that superior being? This is what’s known in scientific circles as an infinite regret. As in, “I regret ever trying to have an intelligent discussion with a religious zealot.”

Still, the creationists might be right…

The world is a magnificent and complex place. We marvel at the color and symmetry of a leaf in autumn. We feel humble when we gaze up at a star-filled night sky. We watch in awe as a sunrise unfolds in wisps of clouds and a symphony of pastels. It would appear as if there is only one conclusion to be drawn from the beauty and intricacy of the universe: god is gay. To quote the The Book of (Elton) John, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was…FABULOUS!” Furthermore, since the universe is so complex, it is unlikely that only one gay god was involved. Think about it. There are five consultants on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy alone…

It’s time we started teaching children that the universe was just too big and too important a task to be assigned to just one god. It just makes sense. You pretty much need a grooming guru and a culture vulture at a bare minimum. You can read all about this controversial new theory in my new book, “Queer Creation for a Nervous Nation.” It makes a great gift for that hard-to-buy-for evangelical Christian on your list.

So, come on, Kansas. Get with the program. One theory’s just as good as another, isn’t it?