Monday's hearing was in a hotel conference room at Orlando International Airport. Those who spoke did not break new ground, with both sides repeating arguments uttered by scores of people at four prior public hearings, and in thousands of comments on the Education Department Web site. But the sheer number of speakers - and the fact some were willing to travel 200 miles - spoke to how much the issue has touched a chord.
One man linked Charles Darwin to Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. Another said evolution sanctioned murder. Still another held up an orange and said that because of evolution, he now had irrefutable evidence that an orange was "the first cousin to somebody's pet cat" and "related to human beings."
How does this happen in one of the most educated societies on the planet?