Thursday, February 12, 2009

On the Origin of Godtards

Someone, let’s just say someone who should’ve known better, recently hit me with the old chestnut “if man evolved from apes, how come there are still apes?”

I flashed back to when a classmate in my junior high biology class once asked that same question. My teacher, Mr. Shank, first treated that student to a twenty second Shank Stare. The Shank Stare was a fearful thing indeed. I had personally seen the Stare boil water in a bunson burner. I had seen it kill mold growing in a petrie dish. Once on the receiving end of the Stare, you would go to any length to avoid it again. You would even study your biology text.

After delivering the Stare, Mr. Shank sighed, and said “Can anyone who HAS been paying attention this semester care to answer that question?

How can it be that an educated adult doesn’t know that humans did not evolve from apes, but that humans and apes share a common ancestor?

How can it be that 200 years after the birth of Charles Darwin, and almost 150 years after the publication of “On the Origin of Species,” Darwin remains, as journalists are fond of telling us, a controversial figure?

What they rarely mention is that the controversy is a mostly American phenomenon. In other parts of the world, Darwin is recognized as one of the true giants of thought and science, and his birthday is celebrated as a day signifying the advancement of mankind. But then, “thought” and “science” and “advancement” are things that Christian Americans tend to ascribe to godless communist homosexual faggot commies.

And those are the more open-minded ones.

For those of you tempted to dismiss my last statement as mere hyperbole, need I remind you that during the last presidential election, 3 Republicans candidates, all Christians, declared that they did not believe in evolution. One of them, the deceivingly genial Mike Huckabee, went on to declare in a later debate that “if anyone wants to believe that they are the descendents of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it.”

Oh, if only Mr. Shank, who has died and gone to awesome teacher heaven, had been in the audience!

He would’ve reminded the former governor of Arkansas (a state that spends less per student on education that any other state) that humans ARE primates. And then he would’ve flunked him from the presidential campaign, along with fellow idiots, Tom Tancredo of Colorado, and Sam Brownback, who is still a senator representing Kansas.

In fact, he would’ve flunked Kansas.

Do you know that moment in Annie Hall, when Alvy Singer pulls Marshall McLuhan out from behind a movie marquee, and gets him to shoot down the ignorant blowhard in line behind him? That’s what I wish I could do with Mr. Shank every time some Godtard says that they don’t believe in evolution. I wish I could get Mr. Shank to flunk America, and not let us come back until we start paying attention.


Dad E said...

I too, fantasize about the Alvey Singer moment. Nothing, well almost nothing, is more pleasurable than to see an ignorant loud mouth shown up for what they are.

Some still call Darwin's science a theory, but clearly the facts are so overwhelming they must be offered as proof.

I am also in the process of posting a Darwin related item today.

Evil Genius said...

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's birthday is August 1st. I buy into evolution, but there are some holes in the theory. Just keeping you scientifically posted.

vikkitikkitavi said...

DadE: I remember you laughing at that moment the first time we saw the movie.

EG: The author is either mistaken or is being deliberately overly dramatic with her metaphors.

Just as punctuated equilibrium is an extension of, and not a negation of, Darwin's original theory, then inheritance theory can be thought of as a parallel process. It does not replace evolution, but may act along side what we think of as Darwinian natural selection.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I'm sending this to Shank's son. He will get a kick out of it.

Red said...

I'm a Christian, but I'm also a Democrat. Catholics tend to split about 50/50 D/R and many look a bit askance at our non-Catholic Christian brethren. But I at least try not to look too askance, because that wouldn't be very Christian of me, right?

I don't believe evolution excludes the possibility of a Supreme Being who created us. If you don't believe the world was created in six days but more like "six days" (allowing that each day could be a thousand years or more), you can reconcile the ideas fairly easily.

ERR said...

Ideas not rationally formed cannot be reasoned with rationally.

spooney said...

People believe what they want to believe. If they don’t like the idea that we evolved from something more primitive - then they won’t, no matter what science tells them. If believing in a big guy in the sky just waving his hands and creating everything makes them feel better than that’s what they are going to do. A lot of humans believe that we were created special and separate from all other animals and that we were put here to rule over the earth and do whatever we want with it. I find that incredibly awful and egotistical. Hell, I could go on all day about this, you know me when it comes to this subject.

vikkitikkitavi said...

K: I hope so!

Red: Well, none of the orignators of evolutionary theory had a problem reconciling their faith to the theory. But then, these were scientists, and they had already no doubt accepted that a certain portion of the Bible contained pretty much out-and-out fairy stories, i.e., The Garden of Eden and the creation of man (and, as an afterthought, woman) in their present form. It's not only the timeline of the creation of the Earth, but stories such as the creation and expulsion of man from the garden that are pretty much exploded by evolution.

ERR: Amen.

Spooney: I DO know you, but I rarely hear you go off on stuff like this. It's nice.

Evil Genius said...

I don't think anyone in the scientific community feels that a new Lamarckism would negate Darwinian evolution. I just find it interesting how emotionally attached people get to something that is supposed to be completely objective.

Much like Pluto having it's planetary status revoked, I am more curious about the proposition of a new paradigm than anyone being right or wrong.

Even if the whole water flea thing is debunked, I enjoy the mental exercise of comprehending a new logical explanation of how shit works.

I recently found two good quotes that I shared with Red:

"Education is the ability to listen to anything without losing your temper or your self-esteem." -Robert Frost

"If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -George S. Patton

kirby said...

I'd make a joke here about how Huckabee and his children are living proof of devolution, but that would be in bad taste.

Dad E said...

Red, primative humans developed about 200,000 years ago in Africa> All males have a genetic marker in their DNA that is passed to their sons in each generation through the ages that can be traced back 50,000 years when Africans started migrating out of Africa. Read the latest post in my blog showing the path my ancient ancestors took.

vikkitikkitavi said...

EG: Who's talking about the scientific community? I thought we were talking about that crap faux-scientific piece of shit Newsweek article you referenced? The whole POINT of that article, and many more just like it, is to throw eggs at Darwin and to pretend that the scientific world is somehow not consigned to evolution. That's exactly what I am talking about, that the American press loves to paint Darwin as controversial, when his theory is anything but, and theories such as the one discussed in that article do not really challenge evolution at all, no matter how desperately they try to paint them that way.

And I loved the quotes. I'm assuming they were commenting about Christians, right?

Kirby: Yeah, I don't make fun of politician's families, generally, but, you know, if there was a Devil...he would look, and act, and talk, exactly like Huckabee.

DadE: I read your post. Very nice! You explain things so well, too.

Evil Genius said...

I would only consider Newsweek tangentially related to hard news, let alone hard science. It was just the first thing that popped up on Google. (I am lazy, I'll admit it. But the second hit was some ID BS that was even more slanted.)I only cited that because I was amused at the novelty that a theory that was long ago discredited may actually have some validity. Maybe.

Perhaps the media does unjustly attempt to vilify Darwin. I won't argue with you on that. It does seem ridiculous that this would still be the case in the 21st century.

The quotes I used were meant to be universally applicable. Christians, Hindus, atheists, pantheists, Zoroastrians, whoever. Red and I are both practicing Catholics. We feel Genesis can be interpreted metaphorically. That evolution may be the Hand of God shaping the clay of our primate ancestors into humans, and somewhere around H. Erectus or H. Habilis He/She breathed a soul into us (these are my own words, not any sort of dogma.) And having a soul should give you more of a feeling of responsibility to respect all living things, rather than the "f*ck 'em all" attitude that Spooney alluded to.

I think the point that Red was trying to make, and now I am too, is that not all Christians see Darwinism as heresy. And by no means am I trying to push my beliefs here; I am fine with whatever you do or don't believe in. I am just trying to stand up for myself as not being prejudged as a "Godtard." I know full well that there are Bible-thumping fanatics who are exactly as you described them. But I am just raising my hand and saying, "Hey, Vikki! Back here! I'm an open-minded Christian that believes in evolution. I exist. Thank you."

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to go read your father's post on this subject.

vikkitikkitavi said...

EG: Obviously, not all Christians behave the same way. Neither do all Republicans. I am usually pretty careful to use language that allows people from such groups that believe themselves to be enlightened to exclude themselves from any of my generalizations.

In other words: hey, some of my best friends are Christians.

dguzman said...

That Alvey Singer moment is PURE GOLD. I only wish Mr. Shank could stare these morons into oblivion.

Red said...

Part of the reason I love EG is that sometimes he makes my points better than I do.