Dave Thomas posted Entry 1760 on December 14, 2005 12:22 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1755

kong.jpg

“King Kong” opens today (Weds. Dec. 14th). While it would be gratuitous good fun to jump on the “Kong” bandwagon simply to ride the giant gorilla’s coattails, there is actually an on-topic reason to discuss this brutish Hollywood megastar today.

Simon Houpt of the Toronto Globe and Mail’s has this to say about “Kong” in his New York Diary column (subscription only) (also available w/o subscription here). Speaking about the American Museum of Natural History’s new Darwin exhibit, Houpt writes:

… The museum is using the public platform of the exhibit to emphasize the importance of rigorous science training in schools…. Niles Eldredge, an AMNH paleontologist and curator of the exhibit, added, “We have a conservative religious element in the United States that is opposed to the notion that we are connected to the rest of the natural world, especially apes.”

I wonder how steadfast that opposition really is. Last Wednesday night, at the Lincoln Square Cinema on the Upper West Side, Universal Studios held the first audience screening of the hugely hyped King Kong, which will open next week. The audience seemed to enjoy it, though the most common post-screening remark was that it’s too long by half. Still, as I was watching Kong, I couldn’t stop thinking of the Darwin exhibit I’d seen that afternoon. The movie’s centrepiece is a one-hour horror show on the uncharted Skull Island, somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, which is populated with a Darwinian nightmare, a menagerie of vicious creatures that are a testament to survival of the fittest.

The fittest of them all, of course, is Kong, whose computer-generated imaging makes him the most emotionally resonant character onscreen. It’s undeniably touching to see his enormous beastly face crinkle up with sadness. (A clutch of TV entertainment reporters wept shamelessly at Kong’s death, even if their print and on-line counterparts remained unaffected.) Kong laughs, he cries, he pouts, he is shamed, he is proud, he has childish temper tantrums, he takes his date skating in Central Park. He’s us, and we are him, and the filmmakers have placed a $207-million (U.S.) bet that audiences from Tacoma, Wash., to Dover, Pa., will be taken in by Kong’s humanity. Audiences may not realize it, but the movie is a forceful argument for shared traits, Darwin’s notion – the one that so disturbs creationists – that we’ve evolved from other primates. Which means that, as good as the efforts are of the American Museum of Natural History, in the end that big monkey may do more to crush the creationists than a thousand intelligently designed Darwin exhibits ever could.

My, oh my, what will the creationists say? Besides the problem of a too-human ape, this movie has dinosaurs too! And Dinosaurs usually mean Evolution, and that spells Trouble! Consider what the folks at Answers in Genesis had to say about Disney’s 2000 “Dinosaur” movie, and the “Jurassic Park” series:

There is more “make believe” to the story of Darwinian evolution than there is to the storyline of the movie Dinosaur. Nevertheless, with Dinosaur, Disney is promoting a harmful evolutionary and New Age worldview (although this is not as overt as the Jurassic Park movies). Once again, millions of children will be subjected to the false teaching that dinosaurs fit within an evolutionary framework.

Ooh, yeah. Creo’s, you folks can keep Ken Ham and William Dembski.

‘Cuz we got KONG!

Hat tip to the Island of Doubt blog for the referral.

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Comment #62800

Posted by mark on December 14, 2005 12:36 PM (e)

Dinosaurs! But the creos can say “Look, there’s dinosaurs living at the same time as humans! It must be true, I saw it in a movie.”

Comment #62803

Posted by k.e. on December 14, 2005 12:51 PM (e)

Myabe if Kong makes the creo’s realize how ugly but loveable (giggle) they are all will be forgiven BHHHHHWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Comment #62804

Posted by Norman Doering on December 14, 2005 12:52 PM (e)

If the fundies can see family values in “March of the Penguins” I don’t think they’re going to see much Darwin in King Kong. Mark my words, Kong will be another crucified Christ symbol who died for Jack Black’s sins.

Comment #62805

Posted by Erik 12345 on December 14, 2005 12:53 PM (e)

Maybe it’s mentioned somewhere on the linked web sites, but since it’s not mentioned in the above blog entry:

A fun piece of movie trivia is that it is no coincidence that the main character (Ann Darrow) has the same last name as a famous attorney (Clarence Darrow).

Comment #62807

Posted by yellow fatty bean on December 14, 2005 12:55 PM (e)

….gah….needed a ::SPOILER:: warning

Comment #62808

Posted by k.e. on December 14, 2005 12:56 PM (e)

My Fav. screen monkey was Clive…. handsome, debonair, funny, and had eye for the girls or was that Errol Flynn ……dang I’m not sure now…I must be devolving

Comment #62809

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 14, 2005 12:56 PM (e)

The Naomi Watts character is named Darrow. Coincidence?

Comment #62811

Posted by Rey on December 14, 2005 1:02 PM (e)

I don’t really think the anthropomorphication of Kong will really matter any more than the anthropomorphication of other animals in other films. I mean, the animals in that Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe movie emote too, or so I’m told. If they can make a lion laugh and cry, that may be a real blow against common descent.

I guess we can always hope that Kong gets kids interested in evolution. Seems to me that dinosaurs were the best thing we had on our side, but now Hovind and others are trying to use them for creationism.

Gads, I feel like such a cultural warrior now…

Comment #62813

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 14, 2005 1:04 PM (e)

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune posts their review:


The Skull Island Act Two is a grotesque, gut-crunching nightmare of human sacrifice, dinosaur brawls and appalling insect attacks that will give arachnophobes the screaming willies

Oops.

They give it 4 out of 4 stars.

Comment #62815

Posted by k.e. on December 14, 2005 1:06 PM (e)

Dan Wintell said
Bill Dembski is arguing for certain elements that appear designedThe part time slightly hidden partly revealed god of certain bits. If you would’ve read his books then I think you would’ve known. Ken Ham argues that there is design because the bible says soThe part time slightly hidden partly revealed god of certain letters in a old book of poems. . Get the distinctiondumb and dumber right, Dave! By the way Mr. Thomas, are you an atheist?depends who’s asking

Comment #62816

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 14, 2005 1:09 PM (e)

Rey wrote:

I don’t really think the anthropomorphication of Kong will really matter any more than the anthropomorphication of other animals in other films. I mean, the animals in that Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe movie emote too, or so I’m told. If they can make a lion laugh and cry, that may be a real blow against common descent.

The purpose of the Narnia books and movie is entirely different. They are meant to introduce readers and viewers to sophisticated theological concepts, such as talking animals.

Comment #62823

Posted by k.e. on December 14, 2005 1:22 PM (e)

Darwinists can’t face the truth said:
DARWINISTSCREATIONISTS CAN’T FACE THE TRUTH ABOUT THE EVIDENCE.

“I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitionsGOD in my book. If I knew of any, fossilGOD or living, I would certainly have included them…I will lay it on the line, There is not one such fossil GOD for which one might make a watertight argument.”

Colin Patterson

If any event in life’s history resembles man’s creation myths, it is this sudden diversification of marine life when multicellular organisms GOD took over as the dominant actors in ecology and evolution. Baffling (and embarrassing) to DarwinGOD , this event still dazzles us and stands as a major biological revolution on a par with the invention of self-replication and the origin of the eukariotic cellGOD . The animal phyla emerged out of the Precambrian mists with most of the attributes of their modern descendantsGOD .”

Bengston, Stefan (1990

No wonder paleontologists GOD shied away from evolution for so long. It never seemed to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change—over millions of years, at a rate too slow to account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the fossils GOD did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution GOD cannot forever be going on somewhere else. Yet that’s how the fossilGOD record has struck many a forlorn paleontologistIDIOT looking to learn something about evolutionGOD .

Eldredge, N., 1995
Reinventing DarwinGOD
Is that u blasty ?

Comment #62826

Posted by Dave Thomas on December 14, 2005 1:30 PM (e)

Dan Wintell writes

By the way Mr. Thomas, are you an atheist?

Why do you ask? Have you been fooled by the creationist talking point that “evolution” is synonomous with “atheism”? Do you not realize that, by equating “evolution” with “atheism,” intelligent design (and other) creationists show that their core belief is sectarian (=religious) at its heart? The ID movement is a specific position on the nature of God, and why God would never use evolution as a means of bringing forth species. Here is an example or two.

Dave

PS Is your blood type O Positive?

Comment #62827

Posted by JONBOY on December 14, 2005 1:32 PM (e)

If evolution is a fact,why are there no large humans evolving from King Kong? Wait, there were large humans called nephalim in the BIBLE,but they were not created, can ID explain this?

Comment #62830

Posted by revp on December 14, 2005 1:46 PM (e)

yellow fatty bean wrote:

….gah….needed a ::SPOILER:: warning

Here you go:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/12/05

Comment #62832

Posted by HPLC_Sean on December 14, 2005 1:48 PM (e)

Is one Kong movie worth 1000 Darwin exhibits? NO! Don’t go there!

Culture warriors against conservative fundamentalism should not be invoking Kong as support for the theory of evolution any more than March of the Penguins should be invoked to support “Christian values”. It would appear that Simon Houpt and Dave Thomas have been taken in by Hollywood’s uncanny ability to make us feel things for inhuman or CG characters. Houpt says:

He’s us, and we are him…

Any first-year film student will tell you that if your audience doesn’t see themselves in your characters then you have no chance…

The list of computer-generated characters that elicit emotional reactions from people is long indeed. Houpt has let his zeal get the best of him just because this one is a giant primate. One can easily take Peter Jackson’s previous CG creations as examples. Smeegul from the Lord Of The Rings series is an excellent example. We feel pity, sadness, revulsion, and joy for him at different points in the series and yet we don’t invoke him as “support for Darwinism”.
What about the helplessness, and sadness we feel for Simba when Mufasa is killed by the herd of Wildebeast in The Lion King? Don’t the Disney animators toil for days on end to achieve that effect? If Kong didn’t give a convincing on-screen performance, we’d just think it was a bad movie.

Comment #62833

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 14, 2005 1:53 PM (e)

DARWINISTS CAN’T FACE THE TRUTH ABOUT THE EVIDENCE….

compare to:
Intelligent Design opponents willing to debate

One person who will not be attending the discussion forums is Guillermo Gonzalez, author of “The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery,” assistant professor of physics and astronomy and main proponent of introducing Intelligent Design.

Gonzales argues the theory is not based on religion.

I don’t intend to participate in an kind of forum presented by the opposing side,” Gonzalez said.

Comment #62834

Posted by k.e. on December 14, 2005 1:55 PM (e)

yeah yeah
there are 601,000 “mythology beauty beast”
hits on google
More strip mining of timeless tales by Hollywood.
I can’t wait for a complete OT remake sandals ,swords and the “Brady Bunch” horror flick complete with dancing frogs.

Comment #62836

Posted by k.e. on December 14, 2005 2:04 PM (e)

Here is one
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Beauty and the beast: a myth of sadness, madness, and hope in anaclitic depression

Look up “Anaclitic” it pretty much sumarizes the ID movement.

Comment #62837

Posted by theo on December 14, 2005 2:10 PM (e)

This thread is becoming a trainwreck. Where are the intelligent trolls?

Darwinists Can’t Face the Truth: you’re a despicable quote miner. You’re bearing false witness. You haven’t read the books you’re citing, you have no idea what the context of those quotes is, you probably can’t even spell the authors’ names without cutting and pasting.

Go read something intelligent: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html#quote3.13

Comment #62841

Posted by k.e. on December 14, 2005 2:31 PM (e)

Theo

This thread is becoming a trainwreck. Where are the intelligent trolls?”

Maybe they gave up BS and read these instead
http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=8-0618509283-0
http://www.samharris.org/

Comment #62843

Posted by argy stokes on December 14, 2005 2:41 PM (e)

uh, DSCFTT is a parody, right? Because I can’t tell the difference anymore.

Comment #62844

Posted by Julie on December 14, 2005 2:42 PM (e)

Bayesian Bouffant quoted the StarTrib review:

The Skull Island Act Two is a grotesque, gut-crunching nightmare of human sacrifice, dinosaur brawls and appalling insect attacks that will give arachnophobes the screaming willies

Hey, don’t worry, BB. We antenna-heads are used to it (sigh!) The otherwise wonderful illustrator Mary GrandPré drew a beetle with eight legs over one chapter heading in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Of course, maybe that was our sneaky clue that the beetle wasn’t going to turn out to be quite what it seemed at first ….

Comment #62845

Posted by k.e. on December 14, 2005 2:43 PM (e)

psssst ->Darwinists Creationist’s still can’t face the truth

Time to stop worrying about the sleeping arrangements of a bunch of puppets

and your “Dear leader” Howard
wink wink
http://www.tourettes-disorder.com/mozart.html

Comment #62847

Posted by Dave Thomas on December 14, 2005 2:50 PM (e)

“Theo lost his brain!” said

C-O-L-I-N P-A-T-T-E-R-S-O-N.

Yeah, right.

In Round 2, ReMine quoted the late Colin Patterson remarking that “Congruence between molecular phylogenies” is “elusive.” (Patterson 1993) But Patterson was talking about drawing conclusions from insufficient data. What did Patterson think about biomolecules and human evolution? He called the molecular evidence “impressive,” writing, for example, “Comparison of another huge set of sequences, the entire DNA of the mitochondria - about 15,000 bases … also puts chimpanzees as our closest relatives, with confidence greater than 99.9%.” (Patterson 2001)

and

Can you spell ‘lack of fossil evidence’.

Of Course.

Can you spell IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY.

Sure.

Dave

Comment #62848

Posted by Arden Chatfield on December 14, 2005 2:52 PM (e)

PS—I’m not Heddle, not Salvador, I’m nobody.

That’s the closest to the truth you’ve come today.

(My money is on DaveScot or Davison.)

Comment #62849

Posted by Grey Wolf on December 14, 2005 2:54 PM (e)

The reason why people reject evolution is because it is atheistic to the core.

Do “people” also reject the theory of universal gravitation, the theory of relativity and weather prediction because they are atheistic to the core? Why or why not?

Given that 1100 million Christians should accept evolution because their church leader said so (Catholics) - are these not “true Christians”, maybe? Over 1000 priests have signed a document that states that evolution is not opposed to Christian faith (more than the pathetic list of doubters published by ID, and with better credentials) - are they not true Christians, possibly?

No wonder why most scientists are rejecting Darwinism. Check this out: “In the last 90 days, 29 scientists, including eight biologists, have signed the “Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.” The list includes over 70 biologists.

Bhahahahahah! “most” scientists? You seriously believe that there are less than 1000 scientists in the world? You do know that bearing false testimony goes against your God’s commands, don’t you?

At any rate, I am going to go out in a limb and call your bluff - let’s see the list of 70 biologists. To save space, just print those called Steve or suitable variations therefore, so we can compare it to project Steve’s list.

the Pipsqueeks [sic] here at the PT can’t face the evidence.

What evidence? Do you happen to have *any* evidence that supports ID? Wouldn’t that require you to have an ID theory in the first place? Might you possibly have one and have forgot to actually include it in your posts? Maybe then we can discuss how your evidence fits ID theory better than Evolution theory. But without a theory, ID is nothing in science.

I invite the bloggers here to warp the evidence all they want. In the end, it’s they who will lose. To all you others think for yourself and question authority!

:: yawn :: Creationists have been saying that for 150 years now. You’d think that, if they had a case, they would’ve managed to convince more than a small handful in such a length of time, particularly given the huge PR machines they have working for them.

Will you dare come back and answer this questions? Given that you are a cut and paste troll, I assume not, but for everything there are exceptions.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #62862

Posted by Grey Wolf on December 14, 2005 3:26 PM (e)

Why don’t you answer the questions, unnamed creationist visitor? Too afraid to admit that there is no theory of ID, no peer reviewed articles, no “majority” of scientists behind ID and so on and on all you other lies?

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #62866

Posted by dre on December 14, 2005 3:32 PM (e)

i still can’t figure out what’s wrong with atheism. i’m an atheist and proud of it.

i think evolution and atheism are definitely tied, because science and atheism are tied. religion is the opposite of science - aw man, i hate when people view things as dichotomies, and now i’ve done it. i should say, religion requires a denial of science. now, i know there are stupendously qualified scientists and experts on evolution who are religious and read and write on this very blog, but you can’t deny that even the barest superstition requires at least a tiny little bit of denial of science. most require a lot.

and by very tangiential extension, sort of, why is the origin of life something to be tiptoed around? everything about the universe that we can be sure of is continuous (not at the quantum level, but that’s not what i mean). why can’t we assume that the origin of life involves the chemical version of random mutation and natural selection of amino acids and proteins and whatnot? i’m not a scientist, but why do we assume there was some magic event that demarcated the end of lifelessness and the beginning of life? if there are scientists following this line of logic, why don’t i ever hear about it? you guys know what’s up. where can i find that information?

to get this back on topic, i agree with the above folks who say that half the damn movies in hollywood have anthropomophic animals and objects. those other movies don’t support the understanding of evolution. even if this movie uses genetic and evolutionary ideas underneath its story, i doubt very much that the general public will walk away with that.

i’m an atheist! i know evolution happened (happens (will continue to happen))!

Comment #62869

Posted by qetzal on December 14, 2005 3:49 PM (e)

I see a number of comments that apparently refer to a comment by someone calling him/herself Darwinists can’t face the truth.

However, I don’t see any actual comments by that person on this thread. Please tell me that Panda’s Thumb has not adopted Dembski tactics - deleting comments without explanation.

Comment #62871

Posted by jim on December 14, 2005 3:58 PM (e)

I actually read the posts made by “Darwinists can’t face the truth” and can attest that they were posted here.

I really dislike this comment deletion tactic.

I think the poster’s tone spoke for itself (a lot of emotion but little thought).

Comment #62872

Posted by Arden Chatfield on December 14, 2005 4:03 PM (e)

Yup, the comments have been deleted. While DCFTT’s comments were pretty worthless, I’m not sure this is the best way to handle it.

What’s up? Was the ISP the same as someone who’s been banned?

Comment #62874

Posted by lamuella on December 14, 2005 4:10 PM (e)

bah. I always miss the really funny trolls.

Comment #62878

Posted by jim on December 14, 2005 4:22 PM (e)

dre,

Science and Religion are not opposites (as in science is contrary to religion). Rather I claim they cover different areas of thought (as in science doesn’t cover religion and vice versa).

Religion deals with faith, belief, and the supernatural.

Science deals with evidence, observations, and the natural.

These are different areas of thought.

You can be an Atheist scientist but then you could also be a Christian scientist.

Religion does not imply science nor does it deny science.
Science does not imply religion nor does it deny religion (well, it can deny certain religious *claims*).

Comment #62880

Posted by MaxOblivion on December 14, 2005 4:31 PM (e)

I agree with Chatfield, deletion without explaination isnt the best policy. It only serves as a defense for Dumbski apologists.

Comment #62882

Posted by Alien Atheist on December 14, 2005 4:56 PM (e)

Another vote for no deletion without explanation. Trolls should not be censored unless they are abusive. If you have to snip, say so.

Comment #62883

Posted by Erasmus on December 14, 2005 4:58 PM (e)

as a perennial lurker i must say that i enjoy reading the posts by the IDiots and cretinists especially when they are way out of line. it disappoints me to see them being deleted. i have come to expect that from dumbski. deleting posts here means that there is no high ground from which to talk about dumbski’s motivation for deleting posts.

let the trolls and morons have their say. we’re grown ups here. most of us…. well, some of us…. ok i am i’ll just speak for me.

Comment #62885

Posted by bcpmoon on December 14, 2005 5:02 PM (e)

Normally off-topic comments get moved elsewhere, but I can´t find the entries by DCFTT on the bathroom wall.
PT: Please, do not make this a habit, if you have to delete comments (and unless they are abusive, there is really no need to), do so only with a short statement re why.

Comment #62887

Posted by JONBOY on December 14, 2005 5:09 PM (e)

I have to agree with dre, science unwittingly promotes atheism,I can understand some scientists being deists, but has for holding to the Xtian faith, how does it not present a huge conflict?
The fundamental core belief of Xtians is that adam and eve sinned ,no adam and eve, no sin, no sin, no need for redemption, no need for a redeemer,no need for Jesus Christ,there is just no way around that.
Ask any R W C F and they will quickly tell you,that is their main reason for rejecting Evolution.

Comment #62891

Posted by Julie on December 14, 2005 5:27 PM (e)

Jonboy wrote:

I have to agree with dre, science unwittingly promotes atheism,I can understand some scientists being deists, but has for holding to the Xtian faith, how does it not present a huge conflict?
The fundamental core belief of Xtians is that adam and eve sinned ,no adam and eve, no sin, no sin, no need for redemption, no need for a redeemer,no need for Jesus Christ,there is just no way around that.
Ask any R W C F and they will quickly tell you,that is their main reason for rejecting Evolution.

This explains the disdain for evolution held by Biblical literalists. But, it still doesn’t imply obligate atheism for people who have no problems with evolutionary science, because it ignores the majority of modern Christians who consider the Genesis myth to be allegorical rather than historical.

I’m not a theist myself, but I certainly wouldn’t tell a mainstream Christian that he or she isn’t really Christian for not considering the Bible to be an infallible historical source. For one thing, that description covers most of the observant Catholics and Protestants in my own extended family – people who would not be happy to be litmus-tested this way. There’s nothing wrong with these attitudes being discussed and disputed in pulpits or seminaries, but in religion as in biology: Variation is a fact.

Comment #62892

Posted by Dave Thomas on December 14, 2005 5:27 PM (e)

VANISHING COMMENTS

There have indeed been some comments in today’s “Kong” post that appeared
only briefly before being deleted.

They are being deleted because the single ISP address involved has
been associated with people repeatedly abusing the Panda’s Thumb Comment Integrity Policy, specifically #6:

Posting under multiple identities or falsely posting as someone else
may lead to removal of affected comments and blocking of the IP address
from which those comments were posted, at the discretion of the
management.

The deletion of such comments is automatic - it’s not anything I have
control of. However, because it’s taking a little longer for the comment
robots to report to work today, some of the comments have been visible
briefly before they were scuttled.

For the record, the person who called himself “Darwinists can’t face the
truth” posted from a banned Internet Provider address (IP). AND, so did “Paul Branton”, “Dan Wintell,” “Darwinists still can’t face the truth,” and many more. And
that’s just in today’s post!

On an earlier thread, a person posting from the same IP called himself “anti-darwinist,” “ I CAN’T MAKE SENSE OF THE EVIDENCE,” “Mark Copen,” and “Darwin Lover” in separate comments, all ostensibly from different people. “Darwin Lover” even criticized the comments of “anti-darwinist” and “Mark Copen.”

I’ll state it again, for future reference: Sock puppet behavior is not
allowed here. Please do not use PT’s bandwidth to stage mock debates
between your various trollish avatars.

I hope this clears up the confusion.

Dave Thomas

Comment #62893

Posted by limpidense on December 14, 2005 5:32 PM (e)

Thanks for the explanation, Dave.
I also didn’t like the idea of deletions as they appeared to have been done on this thread. I have no problem or misgiving about the policy stated above, and the complications in applying it here.

Comment #62895

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 14, 2005 5:42 PM (e)

Yes, please avoid deleting and banning, barring truly egregious abuse or repeated and boring inability to make any sense whatsoever.

If you do have to delete, explain what happened and why.

I suspect what happened here is that the post-originator felt the drive-by comments were “off-topic” and utter drivel. Lack of topicality is, in my view, decidedly less important on a post that neither discusses new science nor reports a significant new development in “the clash.”

(I recognize that the Kong post does obliquely (and amusingly) approach an aspect of “the clash,” but it’s neither new science nor major news and is, therefore, the least appropriate place to wax snippy about the “scope” of the comments.)

Our willingness to take on all comers, however deluded and disagreeable they may show themselves to be, has consistently shown that we occupy a HIGHER ETHICAL PLANE than the most-vociferous anti-evolution bloggers.

Let’s resolve to keep it that way.

While this was being typed up, “Preview” reveals an explanation for what occurred in this specific instance. Thanks for that, Dave!

Comment #62896

Posted by Morris Hattrick on December 14, 2005 5:43 PM (e)

JONBOY,

I believe the response to that question is that, to those Christians who aren’t afflicted with fundamentalist dementia, the Adam and Eve story is allegorical and the need for redemption exists as a result of human nature, and not as a result of a specific historical event. Or, at least, that is how I’ve heard it explained.

Regards,

M.H.

Comment #62898

Posted by RPM on December 14, 2005 5:51 PM (e)

Which means that, as good as the efforts are of the American Museum of Natural History, in the end that big monkey may do more to crush the creationists than a thousand intelligently designed Darwin exhibits ever could…

What big monkey? Kong’s an ape, just like you and me.

Comment #62899

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on December 14, 2005 5:58 PM (e)

What big monkey? Kong’s an ape, just like you and me.

And hence a monkey, hence a primate, hence a mammal,…

Comment #62901

Posted by Ubernatural on December 14, 2005 6:03 PM (e)

Just the other day I was blasting Heddle for claiming that this place doesn’t tolerate dissent, and now, as dumb and drive-by as that troll-post probably was, I’ve been made a liar.

Comment #62902

Posted by Caledonian on December 14, 2005 6:03 PM (e)

Now, if we can only get people to acknowledge that the NT is best interpreted as an allegory, a great deal of progess would be made.

Comment #62906

Posted by KiwiInOz on December 14, 2005 6:59 PM (e)

I watched that “docu-drama” King Kong last night and really enjoyed it. I just knew that dinosaurs and people co-existed!

It was a bit long - PJ could have [spoiler ahead ….] reduced the time spent on the dinosaur stampede and Kong fighting the dinos, but hey. Andy Serkis (aka Gollum aka Kong) says that he spent a lot of time observing gorrillas to get all of the facial mannerisms - they looked pretty human to me!

Funny also to see herbivorous weta (Hemideina spp) attacking people.

Go and see it! Good kiwi stuff.

Comment #62910

Posted by Chris Booth on December 14, 2005 7:22 PM (e)

Is is possible to delete those posts with a place-keeping post stating that that has been done, so that we don’t seem to see censorship at work? [That having been said, those deletions should be rare; it should be unassailable: PT doesn’t censor or avoid issues, facts, debates, but egregious abuse will be dealt with appropriately. An informational email to the ISP’s admin would also be appropriate; this is not just bad netiquette.]

Trollish multi-post mock debates are themselves a form of censorship, as they take up bandwidth and restrict others’ access thereby; I, for one, am on a cursed-slow dialup account, and trolls like that limit my freedom of speech and right of assembly, too, if you look at it that way. Plus, it is jes’ plain rude and low-class. The loud intrusions of self-aggrandizing ignorami, beside making my subway ride more unpleasant in the daily world, on the Internet restrict the amount of discourse I can partake of in a given time. (Oh, and hiding behind avatars is cowardly and childish; its nothing more than e-graffiti. Push the doorbell and run….)

Trolls: If you have something worth saying, you’ll say it well; if you have nothing worthwhile to say, you’ll say it loud.

Comment #62911

Posted by Arden Chatfield on December 14, 2005 7:24 PM (e)

Just the other day I was blasting Heddle for claiming that this place doesn’t tolerate dissent, and now, as dumb and drive-by as that troll-post probably was, I’ve been made a liar.

I disagree. I accept Dave’s explanation for this. People like Heddle and Blast come in here all the time and babble away and never get banned. This guy appears to be a lone jerk who trolls under at least a dozen names, and even starts conversations with himself. He was banned for repeat offender assholery, not ‘dissent’.

Now, if this were Dembski’s blog, everyone here who protested the deletion of the entries would themselves all have been deleted and banned. Quel difference.

Comment #62914

Posted by BWE on December 14, 2005 8:04 PM (e)

rey-

Gads, I feel like such a cultural warrior now…

I was surprised when that notion first stuck me too, but you get used to it.

k.e.

Look up “Anaclitic” it pretty much sumarizes the ID movement.

Oh I’m sorry I’m sorry. I can’t help myself: I will not look up that word only to find it’s meaning since henceforth I will be using it to describe a certain kind of woman.

argy-

uh, DSCFTT is a parody, right? Because I can’t tell the difference anymore.

Well http://brainwashedgod.blogspot.com is definitely not parody. That’s where you go when you know.

JONBOY says:

The fundamental core belief of Xtians is that adam and eve sinned ,no adam and eve, no sin, no sin, no need for redemption, no need for a redeemer,no need for Jesus Christ,there is just no way around that.

[sound of BWE slapping his own forehead in an “I could’ve had a v8 moment] I never singled that out before. No kidding. All you who say the sin part is an allegory for human nature (it is a good one eh!) are missing the point. Once you go to that point, the historical christ died for our human nature? What a dumb thing to die for. Man I’d be out to knock evolution off its pedantic pedastal too if I were a christian. Next thing we’ll be doing is trying to compare an ape in a movie to humans!

Comment #62915

Posted by g bruno on December 14, 2005 8:07 PM (e)

re comment deletion due to single address:
What about NAT (network address translation) behind a router…
if anyone else on my network posted (they wont, fear not) they would have the same address as me.
So we need an “is a unique individual” test - hmm, thats difficult…
Why not append a comment “This poster appears to be identical to…”

Comment #62916

Posted by Mike Elzinga on December 14, 2005 8:18 PM (e)

As an old, nerdy physicist, I can see an opportunity to teach some physics with the size and scaling of King Kong. Galileo recognized the properties of scaling and that mass (hence weight) scales as the cube of the dimension of an object while the ability of its structure to bear loads scales with the square of the dimension. A King Kong this big is inappropriately scaled to be able to stand up and move like a normal sized gorilla.

Scaling plays an important part in evolution of creatures as well. It is part of the way we can relate species in the fossil record. I wonder if the Intelligent Design/Creationism crowd will find this movie to be a refutation of evolution. :-)

Comment #62923

Posted by Tice with a J on December 14, 2005 9:08 PM (e)

Mike Elzinga wrote:

A King Kong this big is inappropriately scaled to be able to stand up and move like a normal sized gorilla.

King Kong is a superhero. He can move however he wants to.

JONBOY wrote:

The fundamental core belief of Xtians is that adam and eve sinned ,no adam and eve, no sin, no sin, no need for redemption, no need for a redeemer,no need for Jesus Christ,there is just no way around that.

The true nature of Adam and Eve hasn’t been made clear to us yet. I do believe they were real people who were given the choice of staying in the Garden or going out into the world, but how exactly God implemented all that, I don’t pretend to know. I believe in the reality of Adam and Eve, but I’m not throwing out my anthropology textbooks just yet.

On a lighter note:
Captain James T. Dembski realizes he has been foiled.
“KOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!!!”

Comment #62928

Posted by Julie on December 14, 2005 9:31 PM (e)

KiwiInOz wrote:

Funny also to see herbivorous weta (Hemideina spp) attacking people.

Oh, wow … now I’ve gotta see this movie. When I was in NZ in 1997, I dragged my poor husband in and out of numerous caves to go weta-hunting. Almost got to see one of the true giants in captivity on a visit to VUW – but I arrived just after someone had fed it to a captive tuatara! And, no, I am not making this up.

I’ve also managed to spend a month annoying the native insects of Australia, and am constantly trying to figure out some way to get back to that part of the world. The Antipodes have the best bugs! (“Bugs” sensu lato, of course.)

Comment #62930

Posted by B. Spitzer on December 14, 2005 10:09 PM (e)

As an old, nerdy physicist, I can see an opportunity to teach some physics with the size and scaling of King Kong.

“Godzilla” came out when I was in grad school. I suggested to a friend that we go see it just for laughs. I also suggested that, the first time the monster appeared on screen, we stand up and shout, “ALLOMETRY! ALLOMETRY!”

She decided she didn’t want to go to a movie with me after all.

Comment #62931

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on December 14, 2005 10:10 PM (e)

k.e.: Look up “Anaclitic” it pretty much sumarizes the ID movement.

In following your suggestion, I stumbled across “anacoluthon”, which may be an even better summary…

Comment #62932

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 14, 2005 10:21 PM (e)

Galileo recognized the properties of scaling and that mass (hence weight) scales as the cube of the dimension of an object while the ability of its structure to bear loads scales with the square of the dimension. A King Kong this big is inappropriately scaled to be able to stand up and move like a normal sized gorilla.

The king-kong-sized weta would be impossible too — not only because insufficient air would be able to diffuse into its spiracles. ;>

Comment #62935

Posted by Julie on December 14, 2005 10:43 PM (e)

Lenny wrote:

The king-kong-sized weta would be impossible too —- not only because insufficient air would be able to diffuse into its spiracles. ;>

Yeah, too bad, isn’t it? Scaling is a big concern when your basic body plan keeps the circulatory and respiratory systems separate. Of course, you’d have the advantage of being able to swallow food without the danger of it clogging your airway. (As a sporadic but long-time sufferer from sudden airway spasms, I have yet another reason to envy arthropods! But, hey, opposable thumbs do make it easier to operate the albuterol inhaler.)

So, I’ve resigned myself to never seeing a real live Kong-sized weta, nor even a cat-sized weta. But it would still be fun to see one on screen!

Comment #62936

Posted by vandalhooch on December 14, 2005 10:45 PM (e)

Pete Dunkleburg said:

And hence a monkey, hence a primate, hence a mammal,…

I’m not sure that is correct. I don’t think there is a clade that includes all monkeys and apes. Apes aren’t monkeys because technically there isn’t such a group as ‘monkeys’. Just two separate ones Platyrhini and Catarhini. That’s not to say that they don’t nest within a group, just that there is no formal name for the group. Is there?

Vandalhooch

Comment #62938

Posted by BWE on December 14, 2005 11:20 PM (e)

Anaclitic

Comment #62939

Posted by Henry J on December 14, 2005 11:42 PM (e)

Looking at Primates there doesn’t seem to be a separate name for the clade that contains all apes and monkeys but nothing else. But it does appear in the diagram as a separate clade (just not named) - the lemur and tarsier groups branched off earlier.

Henry

Uh - can somebody tell me why this blog’s spellchecker doesn’t like “clade”? ;)
(Or “tarsier”, or “url”, or “href”, for that matter.)

Comment #62941

Posted by vandalhooch on December 15, 2005 12:15 AM (e)

Yeah Henry J. I constantly have to remind my students to be specific about what they mean with the word monkey.

Any primatologists out there to help?

My Primate Adaptation and Evolution textbook is at school.

Comment #62943

Posted by argy stokes on December 15, 2005 12:34 AM (e)

Looking at Primates there doesn’t seem to be a separate name for the clade that contains all apes and monkeys but nothing else. But it does appear in the diagram as a separate clade (just not named) - the lemur and tarsier groups branched off earlier.

I’m no primatologist, but I believe anthropoid is the term you’re looking for.

Comment #62945

Posted by Marcus Good on December 15, 2005 12:53 AM (e)

As a total aside?

The wetas that attacked the people were a carnivorous species made up for the film, _Deinacrida rex_. The book, “The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island” is a collection of concept art for the film, fleshed out as a guide, with details on many creatures who never even made it to the film.

The best part is that it’s in that realm of “biological feasibility” - the reason these wetas are carnivorous is that they thrive in the ravines of the island, which are basically hostile to anything but scavengers and opportunists. OK, giant insects aren’t biologically sensible, but once we step past that mechanical stage, the actual *paths* taken by evolution on the island are a nice “could have been”, with three foot, herbivorous chameleons in the trees, parasitic crabs, carrion-eating parrots, and cliff-dwelling egg-stealing varanids.

It’s worth getting, or at least borrowing someone else’s copy ;)

Comment #62947

Posted by Tice with a J on December 15, 2005 12:54 AM (e)

Just finished reading AiG’s review of “Dinosaur”. It made me sad. They think very little of children’s ability to handle violence and fright, and they really stretch it a couple of times to read an insidious Darwinist message into the film. Seriously, who remembers Alydor, anyway?

Comment #62948

Posted by BWE on December 15, 2005 1:11 AM (e)

Anacoital

Comment #62950

Posted by Apesnake on December 15, 2005 1:13 AM (e)

Bayesian Bouffant wrote:

The purpose of the Narnia books and movie is entirely different. They are meant to introduce readers and viewers to sophisticated theological concepts, such as talking animals.

And women (eve & witch) tempt males (Adam, Edmund) with food (fruit, Turkish delights). Theology hates chicks.

I think that both Kong and Narnia, while being irrelevant logically to the debate can serve the same purpose of introducing ideas so that when they are encountered later they don’t seem so unfamiliar.

The difference is that Narnia tries too hard and ends up making the New Testament tale and the whole thing about being sons and daughters of Adam and Eve seem like it might just be a fairy tale. I think that this possibility is much more important than the religious symbolism and I think Christians might be somewhat mistaken that the movie will soften kids up for the Bible. It might just soften them up to reject Biblical literacy (Cue Carol). I personally read all the Narnia books as a child and can’t say that I was all that Christianized.

Kong on the other hand is just another science fiction movie that sacrifices some science for a good story but which subtlety raises the possibility that apes might not be as loathsome as creationists make them out to be. Both of these messages, Bible = myth and apes = not scuzzy, are delightfully subversive. By simply introducing the concepts to children they will be more likely to examine there possible veracity with more dispassion. Maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part.

Dre: While the recent findings of science such as evolution, geology and cosmological theory may give credibility to atheism as a logical argument or a philosophical position, atheism as far as I believe, can never be described as having anything to do with science because it is not an observation or a theory which is needed or useful to explain facts. It this respect it is similar to theism, polytheism and deism (though I am not one of those who says that atheism is a religion).

The scaling of animals is irrelevant because on Skull Island… things are just different OK! Insects have lungs and apes have bones made out of carbon composites. Hey! Maybe the Discovery Institute will fund a trip to Skull Island to bring back proof of irreducible complexity.

Wait a second, don’t animal species get smaller on islands? Maybe Skull Island is really a peninsula. Part of Australia I reckon. All the weird animals come from there. (Cue Ken Ham)

Comment #62952

Posted by Tice with a J on December 15, 2005 1:45 AM (e)

Skull Island is charged with radiation from a magical volcano. I’m confident that’s why there are so many big creatures there.

You know, before now, it never occurred to me that C.S. Lewis’s formulation of Christian theology as myth might have exactly the opposite effect of what he intended. Oh well, The Screwtape Letters still rocks.

Comment #62954

Posted by Jim Harrison on December 15, 2005 2:49 AM (e)

I’m always puzzled by creationists who are upset that we are closely related to apes. It seems to me that we aren’t in a bad family at all. Apes are pretty cool. Granted that angels and demigods seem to be out of the picture, what would you rather be related to? Aardvarks? Rotifers? Palm trees? mushrooms? Pond scum? Yersenia pestis?

Comment #62956

Posted by Norman Doering on December 15, 2005 4:17 AM (e)

Jim Harrison asked:

… what would you rather be related to?

Lions, T-rex, dolphins, whales, sharks, tigers, wolves, octopi…

Apes aren’t really that impressive until you get to know them. You don’t see apes doing neat tricks like dolphins at sea world.

Comment #62957

Posted by Susan on December 15, 2005 5:09 AM (e)

Peter Jackson is a genius! It’s very comlicated to shoot such movies. I think it will be great!

Comment #62960

Posted by sir_toejam on December 15, 2005 5:18 AM (e)

don’t see apes doing neat tricks?? seems i’ve seen plenty of neat tricks done by orangs and gorillas and chimps over the years.

they just can’t do double backflips out of the water (though i have seen some pretty incredible acrobatics from tree limbs).

plus they can use those neat opposable thumb thingies to make and use tools.

let’s see your air breathin’ fish do that, eh!

besides, when the world is gonna come to an end, the dolphins will be the first to bug out, and all they’ll say is, “…thanks for all the fish!”

Comment #62961

Posted by admin on December 15, 2005 5:48 AM (e)

Is is possible to delete those posts with a place-keeping post stating that that has been done, so that we don’t seem to see censorship at work?

See this comment for notice of the banning of the relevant IP address.

Comment #62962

Posted by k.e. on December 15, 2005 6:55 AM (e)

BWE
hur hur hur

I once met a girl (true story)
Named Violet Klironamou she was a Greek geek….….
:)

Comment #62964

Posted by Julie on December 15, 2005 8:14 AM (e)

Apesnake wrote:

The difference is that Narnia tries too hard and ends up making the New Testament tale and the whole thing about being sons and daughters of Adam and Eve seem like it might just be a fairy tale. I think that this possibility is much more important than the religious symbolism and I think Christians might be somewhat mistaken that the movie will soften kids up for the Bible.

I’d agree that the response of individual readers or viewers wouldn’t be reliable, any more than it would for any other book or film. Conflict and self-sacrifice are common enough themes in even the most secular fiction. They make for a good story because they engage our emotions so well.

I’m recalling some of the interviews with filmgoers who had just seen “The Passion of the Christ” and reacted to it in a way that can be summarized, “If someone submitted to all that torture, everything he stood for must be true.” Most likely, most of these people were already Christians who either already held literal supernatural beliefs or were hoping to have them strengthened. I had no desire to see the film, so I don’t know how I would have reacted. I do believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person who was really tortured and executed. I also see evidence that people in many parts of the world are still being imprisoned, tortured, and executed for expressing political and religious dissent, and consider them all to have been victims of human cruelty, not gods mediating human redemption.

Jim wrote:

…what would you rather be related to? Aardvarks? Rotifers? Palm trees? mushrooms? Pond scum? Yersenia pestis?

Giant weta. Or, when I’m in a more social mood, maybe Allegheny mound ants.

Comment #62965

Posted by k.e. on December 15, 2005 8:20 AM (e)

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on December 14, 2005 10:10 PM (e) (s)

k.e.: Look up “Anaclitic” it pretty much summarizes the ID movement.

In following your suggestion, I stumbled across “anacoluthon”, which may be an even better summary…

Point taken Pierce, Joyce and Samuel Beckett himself
were ge·ni·i* in that art. One, I plainly have yet to perfect.
An Etymologist’s fly(ing) trap, however I would say in the DI case just plain old conflation and obscurantism, a time honored pathological, psychotic, sociopathic attack on the enlightenment, a robotic flailing at the other, in a barren Arthurian or Marquezian Magical Reality.

Take the MP “Holy Grail” scene on the windswept gorge with the shaky rope bridge to the “other-side” and Lenny standing on the Bridge asking very (very, very[I’ll spare you a page full of ‘what’ from Watt**]) simple questions and the lost Knights either “get it” or are flung into the further reaches of despair

Confessions of an Anacoluthon.

* Roman MythologyTutelary deity or guardian spirit of a person or place.

**
http://samuel-beckett.net

Comment #62966

Posted by steve s on December 15, 2005 8:47 AM (e)

Syntax Error: typo detected->all work destroyed

Comment #62968

Posted by k.e. on December 15, 2005 9:10 AM (e)

Typo Error:Syntax detected->all work destroyed

Comment #62969

Posted by David Harmon on December 15, 2005 9:28 AM (e)

Maybe Kong will inspire more interest in the Gorilla Foundation, starring the real and much more interesting gorilla Koko! (http://www.koko.org)

And yes, it would be good to leave a placeholder message for auto-deleted comments. It’s one thing to support free dialogue; it’s quite another
to let trolls abuse the forum.

Comment #62970

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 15, 2005 9:30 AM (e)

I saw the movie. Boy, that last line is bad, and poorly delivered.

Comment #62971

Posted by outeast on December 15, 2005 10:26 AM (e)

Quoth JONBOY:

“The fundamental core belief of Xtians is that adam and eve sinned ,no adam and eve, no sin, no sin, no need for redemption, no need for a redeemer,no need for Jesus Christ,there is just no way around that.”

Is that serious? No way round it? There are many ways to look at it - here’s one (evolution-compatible, too!):

‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ are ciphers for early humans. Recall, it’s not that ‘Adam and Even sinned’ so much as that they ate of the tree of knowledge, thus becoming aware of the difference between good and evil, and thus becoming capable of sinning (their nakedness, for example, was no sin until they knew it to be wrong, something dependent on them becoming beings to whom ‘good’ and ‘evil’ applied). So we have the fruit of the tree as a metaphor for self-awareness or for the capacity for abstract thought - for becoming ‘human’ in the metaphysical sense (if you like). As brute beasts that had no understanding we were free from sin; as aware humans we are not. That seems to resolve your dilemma quite nicely…

PS Why do my attempts to use this shitty KwikXML NEVER EVER work? I always get some bloody syntax error message…

Comment #62972

Posted by k.e. on December 15, 2005 10:31 AM (e)

ON Adam had ‘em and even evem.

Guys you are completely extraneous to the the story it’s all about eve….….and the snake.

An early form of erotic snake wrestling incorrectly translated from the primordial soup of Myth.

Comment #62974

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 15, 2005 10:47 AM (e)

outeast wrote:

PS Why do my attempts to use this shitty KwikXML NEVER EVER work? I always get some bloody syntax error message…

It’s a metaphor for original sin.

Plus, it is a reminder to use the ‘Preview’ button.

Comment #62980

Posted by BWE on December 15, 2005 11:34 AM (e)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/12/15/ncromer15.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/12/15/ixhome.html

(that link is a little off topic but I liked it)

I understand the metaphor of the fruit of knowledge and us becoming human, as in that is what separates us from animanls. That’s all good but for a Xtian that means christ died for an allegorical truth that didn’t change. Kinda takes the meaning out the whole cross thing. Y’know what I mean?

Comment #62991

Posted by vandalhooch on December 15, 2005 1:30 PM (e)

I’m no primatologist, but I believe anthropoid is the term you’re looking for.

Argy stokes, you’re right. That is the word I’m looking for. However, I don’t think ‘monkey’ would be the correct layman’s term for anthropoid simply because the layman would not consider a gorilla to be a monkey… Now that I reflect on past student comments, maybe they would.

Comment #63007

Posted by Ubernatural on December 15, 2005 3:30 PM (e)

By the way Mr Chatfield, I see that Mr. Thomas posted an excellent explanation while I had been composing my comment. I’m happy to be wrong in this case. Thanks for the explanation, mods.

Comment #63012

Posted by Apesnake on December 15, 2005 3:42 PM (e)

Julie wrote:

I’m recalling some of the interviews with filmgoers who had just seen “The Passion of the Christ” and reacted to it in a way that can be summarized, “If someone submitted to all that torture, everything he stood for must be true.”

That is an interesting reaction though one I would expect in a civilization that does not teach basic logic in schools (I am not singling out the US in that because Canada is equally negligent). Even if you ignore the poor logic you have to wonder if they were following the story of the Gospel all that closely. He was in Roman custody after all. It is not like he could have thrown down the cross halfway and said: “You know what? This is really painful and I don’t think I want to go through with it. I am not really the Messiah and I’d like to go home now.”

I am agnostic as to whether there was a real Jesus behind the whole thing or if it was all fiction. While a case could be made that there is insufficient evidence of his existence, the whole after Crucifixion story really sounds like it was made up to put a happier end on a real story. Sort of like if Kong came back from the dead with superpowers and flew back to Skull Island. Man! I thought seagulls were tough on cars and statues.

Comment #63013

Posted by Apesnake on December 15, 2005 3:46 PM (e)

k.e. wrote:

Guys you are completely extraneous to the the story it’s all about eve……..and the snake.

An early form of erotic snake wrestling incorrectly translated from the primordial soup of Myth.

OK, now I absolutely must learn Hebrew!!!

Comment #63017

Posted by Jim Harrison on December 15, 2005 4:13 PM (e)

When I read arguments about the reality of the Jesus story, I’m reminded of the old joke about the English prof who decided that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare. It was a different man with the same name. In the First Century, Palestine had as many Jesuses as the Dominican Republic does today so opportunites for misidentifications abound.

One thing is clear. Whether or not somebody named Jesus got crucified, the gospel version of what occurred is loaded with elaborations, many of them historically impossible. Drawing factual conclusions from such sacred histories is a chump’s game. Meanwhile, the oldest references to the crucifixion are in Paul’s epistles and have almost no biographical detail. Indeed, Paul’s Christ sounds more like a mythic than a legendary figure–Paul was pretty gnostic.

Meanwhile, no matter how you slice it, it doesn’t make sense that anybody’s death would have a remote-control good effect on anybody else. You have to be extremely superstitious to take that notion literally.

Comment #63022

Posted by HP on December 15, 2005 4:53 PM (e)

I saw the movie. Boy, that last line is bad, and poorly delivered.

Ah, now you’re talking real spoiler territory! It sounds like maybe they used the same last line as the 1933 version. A(n) (in)famous piece of movie dialogue, but barely excusable even in 1933, and Robert Armstrong reportedly didn’t want to say it, because he thought it was stupid.

Still, if you’re a fan of the original Kong, it’s hard to imagine a tribute/remake without it, anymore than you could imagine a film version of Hamlet without “To be or not to be…”

Comment #63026

Posted by ACW on December 15, 2005 5:22 PM (e)

“Anthropoid” is not the right word, I’m afraid.

The Primates have three major subgroups: the tarsiers, the prosimians (including lemurs) and a third large group that must be what you are looking for, the simiiformes (sim-ee-if-FORM-eez). As far as I can tell, this group does not have a common name, but I don’t think it would be too far out to call the whole group “monkeys”. That naming strategy would force us to consider apes to be a derived kind of monkey.

If we want to exclude apes from monkey-dom, we face a different problem: the remaining simiiform primates no longer form a proper clade. The way it works is:

Simiiformes
Catarrhini (“down-noses”)
Cercopithecoidia (“Old World monkeys”)
Hominoidea (apes, essentially, including us)
Platyrrhini (“flat-noses” or New World monkeys)

You can see that the common ancestor of the group of animals we are used to calling “monkeys” is also our ancestor.

Perhaps a compromise solution would be to call the whole clade “simians”, split them into Old World simians and New World simians, and leave monkeys as a paraphyletic group. (In older usage, all simians were called “apes”, and the Hominoidea were distinguished as “great apes”.)

Comment #63027

Posted by ACW on December 15, 2005 5:31 PM (e)

Darn, my beautiful tree didn’t come out well. Trying again:

 
Simiiformes 
     Catarrhini 
          Cercopithecoidea 
          Hominoidea 
     Platyrrhini 

Comment #63030

Posted by vandalhooch on December 15, 2005 5:45 PM (e)

So what happened to the term Anthropoidea? In my textbook, (Primate Adaptation and Evolution by John G. Fleagle) the platyrhines and catarhines are both within the suborder Anthropoidea (pg. 7). Has the suborder been renamed?

Comment #63031

Posted by vandalhooch on December 15, 2005 5:47 PM (e)

And yes, I’m well aware that this situation highlights the difficulty in categorizing organisms that are more truly a continum. I’m just curious to see if the term anthropoid is gone.

Comment #63033

Posted by vandalhooch on December 15, 2005 5:49 PM (e)

Continum read continuum.

Comment #63034

Posted by KiwiInOz on December 15, 2005 6:01 PM (e)

Forget about the relevance of King Kong to evolution, giant carnivorous weta, humans and dinosaurs etc - my wife had the most to say about Ann Darrow wearing a skimpy dress and those shoes in the snow and climbing the ladder to the top of the Empire State Building!

Comment #63037

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 15, 2005 6:40 PM (e)

Take the MP “Holy Grail” scene on the windswept gorge with the shaky rope bridge to the “other-side” and Lenny standing on the Bridge asking very (very, very[I’ll spare you a page full of ‘what’ from Watt**]) simple questions and the lost Knights either “get it” or are flung into the further reaches of despair

“What is your favorite color?”

“Blue. No … yelaaaaaAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!”

:>

Comment #63040

Posted by k.e. on December 15, 2005 6:52 PM (e)

arrrrrgggghhhhhhhhh hhuurrrrrrrr
KiwiInOz …..Ladders AND skimpy dresses NOW that brings out the BEAST in ME

Comment #63045

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on December 15, 2005 8:29 PM (e)

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD: It’s a metaphor for original sin.

Plus, it is a reminder to use the ‘Preview’ button.

Hey, then why didn’t that apple come with a “Preview” button?

Comment #63046

Posted by argy stokes on December 15, 2005 8:36 PM (e)

“Anthropoid” is not the right word, I’m afraid.

Well, crap. Of course, I did learn that in the same class that taught that the difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is that prokaryotes are unicellular and eukaryotes are multicellular, and repeatedly used lactose as an example of a protein.

Comment #63049

Posted by CJ O'Brien on December 15, 2005 8:54 PM (e)

Creationism 101?

Comment #63060

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on December 15, 2005 10:42 PM (e)

Lenny wrote

The king-kong-sized weta would be impossible too —- not only because insufficient air would be able to diffuse into its spiracles. ;>

Let us not forget an even more basic fact: For all it’s evil look, Weta are actually vegetarians and wouldn’t have much of an interest in attacking people. :)

Comment #63077

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 16, 2005 8:12 AM (e)

Let us not forget an even more basic fact: For all it’s evil look, Weta are actually vegetarians and wouldn’t have much of an interest in attacking people. :)

Same with gorillas, of course. ;>

Comment #63097

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 16, 2005 10:52 AM (e)

Pierce R. Butler wrote:

Hey, then why didn’t that apple come with a “Preview” button?

The Preview button should show up no matter which brand of computer you run your browser on.

Comment #63099

Posted by AC on December 16, 2005 10:58 AM (e)

Hey, then why didn’t that apple come with a “Preview” button?

Satan: Prince of Hacking.

Comment #63108

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on December 16, 2005 11:25 AM (e)

Even with a 1.0 release, you’d think an OID (Omni-Intelligent Designer) would at least be capable of matching the feature set and fault-tolerance of KwickXML…

Comment #63125

Posted by Steviepinhead on December 16, 2005 12:40 PM (e)

In the recent “intuition” neurons article, what ACW is calling Simiiformes and what Vandalhooch had thought was called Anthropoidea (an overarching label for the clade that includes all monkeys, apes, and humans) is apparently called Haplorrhini.

Can someone in the know explain the plethora and/or progression of these labels? Is there some underlying rationale–new science? newly included or excluded species? a new list of distinguishing features?–which explains the different usages? Thanks!

Comment #63162

Posted by Dave Thomas on December 16, 2005 3:09 PM (e)

There’s an interesting article titled “The Biology Of King Kong” by David M. Ewalt at Forbes:

In the movie, Kong appears to be about 25 feet tall in a crouch–about seven times the height of an actual silverback gorilla. At that size, a very rough estimate tells us Kong would weigh anywhere from 20 to 60 tons. That would make it quite difficult for him to get around. “Given that Kong would be supporting his mass on two legs, I strongly doubt he’d be athletic at all. He might even have a hard time moving faster than a slow shuffle,” says Hutchinson. “In a worst case scenario, which is still quite likely, he couldn’t even stand…. The good news is that as long as he didn’t move around much, Kong could probably survive just fine. Giraffes are almost as tall and are more than able to keep their bodies running…. Of course, keeping a big body like that powered would require huge amounts of food. Since Kong is a mammal, his dietary requirements would be quite demanding. Larger animals tend to have lower metabolic rates, but it’s reasonable to expect that Kong would consume truckloads of food every day. Since an average adult male gorilla eats approximately 50 pounds of food daily–about one-eighth of its body weight–we can guess that Kong would need at least 7,500 pounds of food per day….

Here’s another fun site, about the 1933 Kong movie.

Dave

Comment #63211

Posted by Baka on December 16, 2005 10:04 PM (e)

I recently started working towards a PhD in evolutionary biology. Our department had our Xmas party today, and I took the opportunity to ask an expert. The prof I was talking to studies the evolution of primates from a genomic approach, mostly. In any event, he didn’t like the term “Simian” and preferred “Anthropoidea” to describe a clade inclusive of Old World Monkeys, New World Monkeys, Apes, and Hominids, but exclusive of Tarsiers and Lemurs. There was enough uncertainty in the conversation, though, that I got the impression he would like to consult some sources before putting that down as his answer officially. Also, it was a party and there was beer. So, I wouldn’t stand on this as unassailable truth.

PS: My first PT post! Yay!

Comment #63674

Posted by Derek Potter on December 20, 2005 8:53 PM (e)

The purpose of the Narnia books and movie is entirely different. They are meant to introduce readers and viewers to sophisticated theological concepts, such as talking animals.

Har har. Only the fact is, animals do talk. And post to BBS’s. In Narnia there are more talking species, that’s all. However, it must be pointed out they did not evolve by natural selection, they were genetically engineered by Aslan from the natural stock. CSL obviously wished to pre-empt any objections from biologists.

Comment #67377

Posted by H. Humbert on January 3, 2006 7:35 PM (e)

This post has spawned quite a large thread on the IMDB’s King Kong message board.

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0360717/board/thread/32529098?d=32529098#32529098

Anyone who would like to pitch in and set the creationists straight on a few issues are welcome.

Comment #67883

Posted by Cody Offerman on January 5, 2006 10:38 AM (e)

They shuld make another KING KONG because this one was great.

Comment #67884

Posted by Cody Offerman on January 5, 2006 10:38 AM (e)

They shuld make another KING KONG because this one was great.

Comment #67885

Posted by Cody Offerman on January 5, 2006 10:38 AM (e)

They shuld make another KING KONG because this one was great.

Comment #68788

Posted by Macklet Beckerton on January 8, 2006 5:37 PM (e)

Did anyone else see Darwin’s face in Kong’s sac? That is providence, people.