Dave Thomas posted Entry 2273 on May 13, 2006 04:38 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2268

On this Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons,

Lisa is arrested for defying the new law in Springfield against teaching evolution after Reverend Lovejoy is appointed by Mayor Quimby (at Ned Flanders’s request) to be the town’s new “morality czar” in charge of promoting creationism; can a comment made in the show’s first season come back to save her? Guest stars Larry Hagman and Melanie Griffith.

See you tomorrow!

UPDATE
Well, I’ve seen the episode, and have a prediction. The Discovery Institute will whine and moan that it should have been the Intelligent Design (ID) proponent on trial, not the evolution defender. They will cite Dehart/Sternberg et. al., and say this episode is stuck in the past (Scopes).

But the Simpsons episode got one basic fact right - not only was evolution under attack in 1925, it is under attack today. Despite all the rhetoric - “Teach all sides,” “Teach the Controversy,” etc. - the simple fact is that both creationism and its constitution-wary descendant ID have at their root the wish to denigrate biology, to poo-poo modern science, to cast a “reasonable doubt” on scientific findings they cannot reconcile with their personal religion.

In the end, ID is all about censorship - censoring the vast evidence of evolution (“Those aren’t really ‘transitional’ fossils,” etc.), and encouraging students to simply dismiss any findings of science their elders might disagree with.

And that’s why the Simpson’s got it exactly right. Expect the usual Whine and Cheese by tomorrow. - Dave

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Comment #100712

Posted by deadman_932 on May 13, 2006 7:08 PM (e)

Hah! That should be a hoot. One of my all-time favorite lines from that show is from the Stephen J. Gould/Lisa finds an “angel” episode:

“Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins a movie by telling you how it ends. There are some things we don’t want to know. Important things”…Ned Flanders.

So exquisitely evocative of IDiots and Cretinists

Comment #100714

Posted by Arden Chatfield on May 13, 2006 7:40 PM (e)

Another Ned Flanders quote:

“Well, some say being thoughtful is old fashioned. If so, then I guess I’m just a caveman. If they existed. Which they didn’t.”

Comment #100722

Posted by Doc Bill on May 13, 2006 9:10 PM (e)

What? Behe didn’t get a cameo?

I’m shocked!

Comment #100731

Posted by k.e. on May 13, 2006 11:01 PM (e)

Apu:”Shiva H. Krishna”

Comment #100734

Posted by JohnK on May 13, 2006 11:50 PM (e)

Mrs. Krabappel [shows list]:
“How do you expect us to teach with just these?…the only books we have are salvaged ones banned by other schools.”

  1. The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
  2. The Satanic Verses (Junior Illustrated Edition), Salman Rushdie
  3. 40 Years of Playboy, Hugh Hefner
  4. Steal This Book, Abbie Hoffman
  5. Tek War, William Shatner
  6. Hop On Pop, Dr. Seuss
  7. Sexus, Henry Miller

Principal Skinner: “Well, the kids have to learn about ‘Tek War’ sooner or later.”

Comment #100736

Posted by John on May 14, 2006 1:57 AM (e)

Using The Simpson’s is NOT a good way of teaching evolution to the masses. It’s way too smart for us.

Comment #100744

Posted by Peter Henderson on May 14, 2006 8:24 AM (e)

There is of course the episode where Homer gets his hand stuck in the toaster and travels back millions of years to the time of the dinosaurs subsequently wiping them all out with the common cold ! When he returns to the present everything is altered and he has to keep going back in order to correct things. Needless to say he never quite gets things absolutely correct.

I’m surprised the YECers haven’t been up in arms about this one (indoctrinating our children with millions of years etc. !)

All I can say is “Doh”

http://www.answers.com/topic/treehouse-of-horror-v

Comment #100745

Posted by Laser on May 14, 2006 8:26 AM (e)

My two favorite moments from the Lisa finds an angel episode:

Moe gets trampled by the rampaging mob, and he is paralyzed. He says, “My only hope is that medical science can save me.”

The rampaging mob burns the Christian Science Reading Room.

I can’t wait to see what’s on tonight!

Comment #100747

Posted by k.e. on May 14, 2006 8:58 AM (e)

The Satanic Verses (Junior Illustrated Edition), Salman Rushdie
?!!LSHMAFO Brilliant.

Comment #100749

Posted by Robert Nowell on May 14, 2006 9:53 AM (e)

I think the Simpsons are a little dated. It isn’t the evolutionist teacher that is being dragged into court and having their job threatened all to silence their position… its the teacher who treats Darwin’s theory as just a theory as opposed to a dogma. Take Roger DeHart, a high school teacher, who lost his job because he dared to bring into his classroom articles in The American Biology Teacher and by Stephan J. Gould that used current data to criticize aspects of Darwinism.

Darwin’s theory is 150 years old and dated. Genetics and biology and other disciplines have called it into serious question.

Scientists who are not religious with prestigious credentials and from prestigious schools have and are questioning Darwin’s theory. A theory that flies in the face of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

A one page ad using very small type was published in the National Book Review squeezing 100 scientists and their degrees and positions (Yale, Princeton, MIT, Lawrence Livermore Labs, etc.) onto to counter a denigrating claim that no “real” scientist is a detractor from Darwinism. Many of the greatest scientists of all history haven’t believed in evolution and naturalism both ideas of which predate Darwin’s works.

Newton, Kepler, Pasteur, Maxwell, Morse, and many many others in the past and thousands of contemporary scientists who a irreligious and religious have problems with Darwinism. Darwinism is no-longer pure as there are dissenting factions like the Neo-Darwinists.

Stop already with the denigrating those who are detractors. There are many legitimate arguments against Darwin’s theory. If the theory is correct why not let it stand the test of criticism instead of trying to silence all dissention. Only a flawed theory/proposition has to fear honest criticism.

I challenge those who are full of angst to watch Privileged Planet and Icons of Evolution and Unlocking the Mystery of Life. Read the dissenting works NOT just editorials critical of the works. I remember doing an independent study in college on The Bell Curve, a book, which, at that time, stirred up a maelstrom of controversy. I was chatting with some professors among which was a department head during some awards events or some such happening and they were disparaging the book and the authors (both prestigious and Herrnstein a Harvard professor). I finally asked whether they had read the book and their response was that they hadn’t, BUT they had read the reviews. I guess that qualified them to discount the authors. I hope you will take the time to at least watch a couple of videos like those mentioned or listen to a debate. Since I debated in high school, when my college Biology professor offered extra credit to those who went to a debate I jumped at the opportunity. I was stunned at what transpired. The detractor from evolution wiped the mat with the proponent. This sent me on a search which changed my mind. I encourage you to open your mind and search it out too. If Darwinism is accurate truth then you have nothing to fear and if you are afraid, doesn’t that speak volumes about your confidence in Darwinism and whether you should be so strident about it? I hope you will enjoy the search and the repartee as much as I have and do. Have a wonderful journey!

Comment #100750

Posted by Ron Zeno on May 14, 2006 10:03 AM (e)

Oh look, a troll!

Comment #100751

Posted by FastEddie on May 14, 2006 10:09 AM (e)

Robert’s irrefutable points have converted me. Praise Jesus!

Comment #100752

Posted by snaxalotl on May 14, 2006 10:12 AM (e)

whoa, robert … you should spend some time reading this site before you post. then you wouldn’t.

Comment #100753

Posted by steve s on May 14, 2006 10:18 AM (e)

Robert, I’m not going to address your laughable ideas like evolution violating the SLoT. Instead, I just want to know, where did you come from? How did you hear about us?

Comment #100754

Posted by sundaytrucker on May 14, 2006 10:28 AM (e)

so let me get this straight, newton and kepler, both of whom died long before origin of species was published, disagreed with it???

Comment #100755

Posted by steve s on May 14, 2006 10:33 AM (e)

LOL I didn’t even see that, Sundaytrucker.

Newton, Kepler, Pasteur, Maxwell, Morse, and many many others in the past and thousands of contemporary scientists who a irreligious and religious have problems with Darwinism. Darwinism is no-longer pure as there are dissenting factions like the Neo-Darwinists.

Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Comment #100757

Posted by steve s on May 14, 2006 10:38 AM (e)

Maybe Robert meant A. Richard Newton of Berkeley. LOL.

Comment #100758

Posted by AD on May 14, 2006 10:45 AM (e)

I like to call Robert’s posts the “No Fact Zone”, but I think S. Colbert already has a copyright on that one.

Comment #100759

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on May 14, 2006 10:50 AM (e)

I think that Robert is simply an elaborate sarcastic ruse, designed to put you off your game and confuse you for the real attack.

Isn’t that right Robert or should I call you…CONFUSATRON!!!!

Comment #100760

Posted by Peter Henderson on May 14, 2006 10:50 AM (e)

Robert, I’m not going to address your laughable ideas like evolution violating the SLoT. Instead, I just want to know, where did you come from? How did you hear about us?

I reckon he’s from Answers in Genesis !

Comment #100761

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on May 14, 2006 11:00 AM (e)

Scientists who are not religious with prestigious credentials and from prestigious schools have and are questioning Darwin’s theory.

Didja know that the Nazis published a booklet entitled “100 Scientists Against Einstein” ? They all had prestigious credentials from prestigious schools, too.

I liked Einstein’s reply – “If the theory were really wrong, just one would suffice”.

Why is it that these “scientists who question Darwin’s theory” spend all their time writing religious tracts for AiG, ICR and DI, instead of laying out their, uh, doubts, with supporting evidence, in peer-reviewed science journals?

Wait, let me guess ——– the big bad scientists are all atheists who are out to get you. Right?

Please start taking your lithium again.

Comment #100765

Posted by Arden Chatfield on May 14, 2006 11:13 AM (e)

Robert’s post is not bad as a who’s-who of dumb creationist claims, tho he failed to mention that Darwin recanted on his death bed.

Comment #100766

Posted by Ryan on May 14, 2006 11:43 AM (e)

Yeah yeah, Darwin recanted on his death bed. You hear that so many times from creationists. So what? How scared would you be on your death bed if in those so very religious times you had spent your later years hearing from everyone you knew that you would burn eternally in hell? Maybe if he had doubts on his theory he would have recanted far earlier, not as he lay dying with the fear of god directly in front of his eyes. Fear of death will get a lot of people to do a lot of things.

Comment #100767

Posted by k.e. on May 14, 2006 11:55 AM (e)

Darwin,recant,deathbed?
Sounds like a rather large propaganda fib to me.
From what I have heard he died at least an Agnostic and probably an Atheist. “Not that there is anything wrong with that” as the saying goes.
Which is why the Fundies are saying “Being an Xtian Fundamentalist is like being the new Gay” pathetic.

Comment #100768

Posted by Arden Chatfield on May 14, 2006 12:10 PM (e)

Darwin,recant,deathbed?
Sounds like a rather large propaganda fib to me.
From what I have heard he died at least an Agnostic and probably an Atheist. “Not that there is anything wrong with that” as the saying goes.

You never heard that Creationist Classic? The details are HERE:

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CG/CG001.html

It’s also a telling example of creationists’ inability to conceptualize religion and science as different things.

Which is why the Fundies are saying “Being an Xtian Fundamentalist is like being the new Gay” pathetic.

Um, I will believe that when openly being a Christian fundamentalist means that one inevitably loses elections for public office, or gets turned down for seats on the Supreme Court.

Comment #100769

Posted by Anton Mates on May 14, 2006 12:12 PM (e)

Robert Nowell wrote:

I think the Simpsons are a little dated. It isn’t the evolutionist teacher that is being dragged into court and having their job threatened all to silence their position… its the teacher who treats Darwin’s theory as just a theory as opposed to a dogma. Take Roger DeHart, a high school teacher, who lost his job because he dared to bring into his classroom articles in The American Biology Teacher and by Stephan J. Gould that used current data to criticize aspects of Darwinism.

Uh, no, DeHart got reassigned (and kept his job) because he spent two weeks a year having his students read “Pandas and People” excerpts and other creationist materials and hold “debates” on the matter, and when the curriculum committee told him to cut it out, he hired a high-powered lawyer and refused. A real martyr for free speech, there.

Ryan wrote:

Yeah yeah, Darwin recanted on his death bed. You hear that so many times from creationists. So what? How scared would you be on your death bed if in those so very religious times you had spent your later years hearing from everyone you knew that you would burn eternally in hell?

Apparently you wouldn’t be particularly scared if you were Darwin, since he didn’t recant.

Comment #100770

Posted by wamba on May 14, 2006 12:15 PM (e)

Newton, Kepler, Pasteur, Maxwell, Morse, and many many others in the past and thousands of contemporary scientists who a irreligious and religious have problems with Darwinism.

Uh huh. How many of those on your list accepted quantum mechanics and relativity? To express your solidarity with them, I think you should stop using all technology that uses those theories, like lasers and semiconductors and GPS.

Darwinism is no-longer pure as there are dissenting factions like the Neo-Darwinists.

I hear that it’s merged with other isms, such as Mendelism and Crick-and-Watsonism. So much for Purity Of Essence.

Comment #100771

Posted by Anton Mates on May 14, 2006 12:16 PM (e)

k.e. wrote:

Which is why the Fundies are saying “Being an Xtian Fundamentalist is like being the new Gay” pathetic.

Fundamentalists are prevented from marrying each other and occasionally beaten to death? Poor things, I had no idea.

Comment #100772

Posted by Moses on May 14, 2006 12:21 PM (e)

Comment #100749

Posted by Robert Nowell on May 14, 2006 09:53 AM (e)

I think the Simpsons are a little dated. It isn’t the evolutionist teacher that is being dragged into court and having their job threatened all to silence their position… its the teacher who treats Darwin’s theory as just a theory as opposed to a dogma. Take Roger DeHart, a high school teacher, who lost his job because he dared to bring into his classroom articles in The American Biology Teacher and by Stephan J. Gould that used current data to criticize aspects of Darwinism.

DeHart’s troubles began in 1998, when parents became aware that for 12 years, DeHart had been omitting certain chapters in the assigned biology text and substituting creationist, etc., materials into the lesson plan. DeHart resigned his post and took up a position teaching “earth science” in nearby Marysville. He was not fired, though he should have been.

Darwin’s theory is 150 years old and dated. Genetics and biology and other disciplines have called it into serious question.

150 years is an outstanding track record for a complex theory such as evolution. Genetics and biology and other disciplines have, in contrary to the lie you just told for Jesus, have only made the theory of evolution more complex and stronger, with greater predictive and explanatory power, not less.

Scientists who are not religious with prestigious credentials and from prestigious schools have and are questioning Darwin’s theory. A theory that flies in the face of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Ha, ha, ha. The Engineers & the SLoT argument right next to each other in one paragraph. That’s just too funny. Except for a few fringe cranks, the scientific equivalent of Holocaust deniers, there is no dissent of those who are qualified to hold expert opinions. And the SLot argument is laughable tripe. Even creationists say that you shouldn’t use the SLoT argument anymore.

A one page ad using very small type was published in the National Book Review squeezing 100 scientists and their degrees and positions (Yale, Princeton, MIT, Lawrence Livermore Labs, etc.) onto to counter a denigrating claim that no “real” scientist is a detractor from Darwinism. Many of the greatest scientists of all history haven’t believed in evolution and naturalism both ideas of which predate Darwin’s works.

Ah, you know 100 Nazi scientists signed a statement that Einstein’s theory was wrong. Einstein responded: If they were correct, only one would be enough. In other words, fringe minorities circulating statements in opposition to a well established, tested, and continuously verified theory are meaningless. May as well send a petition around about the Theory of Gravity is wrong for all that’ll keep you from going “splat” if you jump off a skyscraper.

Newton, Kepler, Pasteur, Maxwell, Morse, and many many others in the past and thousands of contemporary scientists who a irreligious and religious have problems with Darwinism. Darwinism is no-longer pure as there are dissenting factions like the Neo-Darwinists.

Newton was dead and not a biologist. Kepler was dead and a mathematician, not a scientist. Pasteur was a chemist who conducted experiments to prove germ theory of disease (which he didn’t invent); he also did a lot of work on inoculation. Maxwell a physicist/mathematician who did work on electricity, gases and magnetism. Morse was a painter and photographer who invented the Morse-code for the telegraph and not a biologist.

As an aside why don’t you attack physicists. They have dissenting factions, too. Same with geologists. Paleontologists. Archaeologists. Medical doctors. And, as far as I know, pretty much every complex area in many scientific discipline has some dissent and competing tweaks to it’s broad-based theory. It’s normal and healthy in science.

So why is this a problem for evolutionary biology? Why must biologists forgo their pet-tweaks to the Theory of Evolution to make you happy?

Stop already with the denigrating those who are detractors. There are many legitimate arguments against Darwin’s theory. If the theory is correct why not let it stand the test of criticism instead of trying to silence all dissension. Only a flawed theory/proposition has to fear honest criticism.

Excuse me, but you and your little friends come here and talk down to people who actually have a clue and then after all the pejoratives, call on us to stop “denigrating?” The term Darwinist is as loaded a term as you can drop in the debate. Add in the rest of the godless, evil, atheist crap and some people are tired of it. In other words, clean up your hypocritical act before you lecture.

Then you come into a pro-evolution website with these stupid arguments that have been discredited for decades. Just for the arguments, never mind the obvious holier-than-thou attitude and underlying bigotry, you deserve denigration. You are humorously ignorant and completely unaware of your vast ignorance and yet lecture people from on high like you have clue.

blah, blah, blah… I encourage you to open your mind and search it out too.

Coming from a closed mind, that’s just too funny. To accept evolution generally requires, and demonstrates, an OPEN MIND as most of us had our heads filled with religion a DECADE before we heard of evolution and had to over-come our religious programing to accept evolution. I mean, duh!

Comment #100773

Posted by mplavcan on May 14, 2006 12:22 PM (e)

Why Robert, thank you! That was a very concise, well written summary of recent (and ancient) creationist propaganda, neatly copied from several creationist sources. I couldn’t have done better myself. I do find it useful for underscoring that no matter how many times these, tired, old, lame arguments have been refuted, there will always be large numbers of folks who are willing to swallow their dose of propaganda to cure the malignant assault of ruthless facts against their particular faith.

And yes, Robert, I have read and seen those things (as have most people on this blog). They are utter dreck. If you want to troll, why don’t you try to come up with something twisted and distorted in a NEW way.

Comment #100774

Posted by Arden Chatfield on May 14, 2006 12:29 PM (e)

DeHart’s troubles began in 1998, when parents became aware that for 12 years, DeHart had been omitting certain chapters in the assigned biology text and substituting creationist, etc., materials into the lesson plan. DeHart resigned his post and took up a position teaching “earth science” in nearby Marysville.

I bet when he started teaching ‘earth science’, I bet he omitted all mention of plate tectonics. And I bet we don’t even want to know how he ‘explained’ the Grand Canyon.

Comment #100775

Posted by Corkscrew on May 14, 2006 12:44 PM (e)

Robert: Your claim about the 2LOT and evolution is factually inaccurate. The 2LOTt just says that the amount of work you can squeeze out of a given system never increases without outside intervention. This is not a problem for evolution, as we have the Sun to intervene. If your argument were true, the 2LOT would stop trees from growing long before it caused any problems for evolution.

If you don’t believe me, go take a course in Statistical Physics.

Stop already with the denigrating those who are detractors. There are many legitimate arguments against Darwin’s theory. If the theory is correct why not let it stand the test of criticism instead of trying to silence all dissention. Only a flawed theory/proposition has to fear honest criticism.

The vast majority of those who detract from evolution do so on the basis of strong religious beliefs rather than from any actual problems with the concept. From a scientific perspective, this is horribly dishonest - thoroughly worthy of denigration. This is compounded by the fact that they persist in feeding innocent people a bunch of crappy refuted-a-thousand-times arguments and sending them over to bother us (this explains the negative comments you’ve received).

I am not aware of any current criticisms of evolution that are actually remotely valid. I’m happy to discuss any specific examples with you, but you might want to check TalkOrigins first (a very good resource endorsed by large numbers of actual scientists with qualifications in the relevant fields), specifically the “index of creationist claims”.

Regards criticism: scientists, including evolutionary biologists, aren’t remotely afraid of criticism - as you correctly point out, it’s the lifeblood of science. What scientists are afraid of, though, is religiously-motivated cranks gaining power through their courting of politicians and mindshare through their indoctrination of kids, without first demonstrating that they have a case to the people who are best equipped to examine their arguments. That directly undermines the ability of scientists to continue doing science.

Regards your comment about debate: it’s true that, in a spoken debate, evolution will lose. That’s because the proponent of evolution has to describe a large amount of background material and nonintuitive theory to support their points. The opponent of evolution, on the other hand, merely has to make a bunch of spurious counterarguments that will take time to rebut*. The proponent will then be forced to spend all of his time explaining why precisely the 2LOT has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution (for example). The same techniques could be used to win a debate against the existence of Quantum Mechanics or General Relativity.

The spoken debating format is very very bad at figuring out what the truth of the matter is; that’s why scientists (of all stripes) use peer-reviewed journals instead.

* This technique is known as the Gish Gallop. It’s impossible to counteract in debate if you have any interest in staying honest, rather than descending into rhetoric. Scientists generally have a strong interest in staying honest, and don’t tend to be good at rhetoric.

Comment #100779

Posted by David B. Benson on May 14, 2006 2:42 PM (e)

SLoT and biological evolution: I encourage reading “Into the Cool”.

Comment #100780

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on May 14, 2006 2:43 PM (e)

Take Roger DeHart, a high school teacher, who lost his job because he dared to bring into his classroom articles in The American Biology Teacher and by Stephan J. Gould that used current data to criticize aspects of Darwinism.

Speaking of DeHart, no one should consider themselves well-versed on the particulars until they have read the materials at the chronology page of the “Science or Myth?” website. Notice in particular the entry for January 21, 2000:

Jan 21, 2000 It is learned that in 1999 DeHart did not present an evolutionary response to “Irreducible Complexity” in 1999 class as he was directed to do by VanderVeen.

That’s right, “Mr. Teach The Controversy” only presented on “irreducible complexity” without bothering to note any criticism of it.

And he also added a comment to a student’s test, where the student dared disagree with him:

The following graphic is a scan of a test given by Roger DeHart to a student in his biology class. The topic is on the showing of the film, “Inherit The Wind”. The student’s name has been blacked out. Notice DeHart’s comment on the student’s answer to question number 11: “Interesting. Your belief sounds biggoted [sic].” “

I’m thinking that’s cause for dismissal right there in that incident. Instead, DeHart AFAIK never even got a reprimand over that particular incident. As others have noted, he did not suffer any change in his employment status as an administrative response to the evolution/creation issue.

Roger DeHart is certainly worthy of being the poster-boy for the Discovery Institute, as virtually any bully habitually donning a victim disguise would be.

Comment #100781

Posted by Moses on May 14, 2006 2:58 PM (e)

Comment #100774

Posted by Arden Chatfield on May 14, 2006 12:29 PM (e)

I bet when he started teaching ‘earth science’, I bet he omitted all mention of plate tectonics. And I bet we don’t even want to know how he ‘explained’ the Grand Canyon.

In 6th grade I heard it was a flood. When I was in college it was explained quite adequately and it didn’t involve any supernatural causation whatsoever. Nor did it, oddly enough, rely on the Colorado river or any catastrophic flooding. Just the natural forces of cataclysmic erosion that occur in desert area thunderstorms all over the world.

Comment #100783

Posted by mark duigon on May 14, 2006 3:37 PM (e)

Well, Robert, I did watch “Privileged Planet” and it was a load of crap–factually challenged and neglecting to present the prevailing information that counters much of what it presented. It was slick, with swell special effects, but empty of insight. The Simpsons generally evinces a far greater understanding of the natural world than did PP.

Comment #100785

Posted by Chris Hyland on May 14, 2006 4:18 PM (e)

Darwinism is no-longer pure as there are dissenting factions like the Neo-Darwinists

If you’re going to make the distinction neither has been the prevailing theory for many decades, do you even know what the modern theory of evolution is?

If Darwinism is accurate truth then you have nothing to fear and if you are afraid, doesn’t that speak volumes about your confidence in Darwinism and whether you should be so strident about it?

I watched unlocking the mystery of life and read No Free Lunch and Darwins Black Box and they were utter nonsense, so if you have any other suggestions I would be very grateful.

Comment #100787

Posted by Faidhon on May 14, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

Robert Nowell wrote:

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Blah blah blah blah blah Bell Curve

…Sorry Robert, you kinda lost me after that.

Comment #100788

Posted by Anton Mates on May 14, 2006 4:41 PM (e)

The following graphic is a scan of a test given by Roger DeHart to a student in his biology class. The topic is on the showing of the film, “Inherit The Wind”. The student’s name has been blacked out. Notice DeHart’s comment on the student’s answer to question number 11: “Interesting. Your belief sounds biggoted [sic].”

My god, I didn’t realize he was that bad. And creationists want to use this guy as a role model for freedom of inquiry?

Comment #100806

Posted by Adam on May 14, 2006 7:03 PM (e)

Our troll has a point. Creationists aren’t trying to ban evolution from the classroom anymore, though I have no doubt they’d do it if they could. Instead they’re trying to introduce pseudoscience alongside it. The Simpsons, however, are only satirizing the former, which is a bit dated, I must admit.

I wonder what South Park will do with ID? They’re usually much better at keeping up with current events.

Comment #100807

Posted by CJ O'Brien on May 14, 2006 7:07 PM (e)

so let me get this straight, newton and kepler, both of whom died long before origin of species was published, disagreed with it???

Right. But, see, they uh, read the reviews.

Comment #100808

Posted by MYOB on May 14, 2006 7:28 PM (e)

I gotta give Robert credit for his post.
It’s hard getting internet access for a shack up on the mountains. I’d invite him over for dinner but I doubt my tin cans can communicate that far over the string to give him the message. But should he get the word from this post, Robert, please make sure you pass by the cabbage patch down the road. I hear my son was created there yesterday and I haven’t been by to pick him up yet. If you can’t find the house, look for the ravine created by the great flood. You can’t miss it. We’re right next door to the end of the planet. Try not to drive too far or you’ll fall off the end.

MYOB’
.

Comment #100809

Posted by Markus on May 14, 2006 7:56 PM (e)

Best … Episode … Ever!

Comment #100811

Posted by Shaffer on May 14, 2006 8:35 PM (e)

Funny episode, but I was disappointed that they only brought Creationism into the picture and weren’t quite topical enough to mention Intelligent Design. Granted it’s only a 30 minute show, minus commercials, but it’s still disappointing to leave the ID crowd with the obvious out of “b…b…but we’re not Creationism! We’re not! Really!”

Still got a great crack out of [paraphrasing from memory]:

“We want to teach alternatives to Darwinian evolution!”
“You mean like Lamarckian evolution?”

As an electrical engineer that hasn’t taken a Biology course since the 8th grade, I would have just furrowed my brow at that one were it not for my hours spent lurking here. I owe someone here a beer for that chortle.

Comment #100814

Posted by tomsuly on May 14, 2006 9:14 PM (e)

Great episode!

Using the song “What a Fool Believes” by The Doobie Brothers as background music for the creationism exhibit in the museum was absolutely Priceless!

Comment #100815

Posted by wamba on May 14, 2006 9:16 PM (e)

Robert Nowell wrote:

Scientists who are not religious with prestigious credentials and from prestigious schools have and are questioning Darwin’s theory. A theory that flies in the face of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Says you. Here’s some folks who think the laws of thermodynamics contributed to the origin of life

Comment #100816

Posted by Dave Thomas on May 14, 2006 9:36 PM (e)

There’s an Update with some post-show comments. - Dave

Comment #100820

Posted by deadman_932 on May 14, 2006 10:32 PM (e)

“I have a PhD in Truthology from Christian Tech” mmmmmm…Damn, that’s good parody.

Comment #100825

Posted by FL on May 15, 2006 12:08 AM (e)

First, thanks to Robert Nowell for placing a small but significant reality check on this Simpson thing.

(The PT reaction to his post was entirely predictable, but c’est la vie.)

Fact is, in America today, there are no Lisa Simpsons getting arrested for teaching evolution in school. There are no laws outlawing the teaching of evolution in public school. None, nada.

Robert’s right: the Simpsons are a little dated there. (A good 81 years’ worth, it would seem).

Hence, the episode’s basic premise is clearly shown to be a flat-out strawman with no basis in current reality. (Again, entirely predictable, mmm.)

But, no worries mate; nor any whine and cheese. Strictly hakuna matata on this one.

After all, despite the strawman factor and the obvious biases, the fact remains that Matt Groening and Company have done their part to keep the origins debate on the front burner of public discussion.

Which is kinda neat, because such TV exposure will help continue to generate public interest in the origins debate; and thus it will encourage further opportunities for Non-Darwinists to discuss the way things ~really~ are with Joe and Jane Public.

Planting seeds one person at a time: one mind, one heart, one life at a time, as Robert’s post so well demonstrated. Of such are Paradigm Shifts birthed.
With that in mind…

Thanks Matt!

FL

Comment #100826

Posted by fnxtr on May 15, 2006 12:19 AM (e)

FL Completely misses the point:

Fact is, in America today, there are no Lisa Simpsons getting arrested for teaching evolution in school. There are no laws outlawing the teaching of evolution in public school. None, nada.

This wasn’t Inherit the Wind, bonehead, it was The Handmaid’s Tale.

Sheesh.

Comment #100827

Posted by wamba on May 15, 2006 12:28 AM (e)

Planting seeds one person at a time: one mind, one heart, one life at a time, as Robert’s post so well demonstrated.

Well it’s good to know Robert’s mind is good for something. That also explains the load of fertilizer he dumped on this thread.

Comment #100828

Posted by Registered User on May 15, 2006 12:28 AM (e)

FL, an unrepentant liar and certified idiot (why is he still allowed to post here? are all liars welcome or just the self-identifying Christian kind?)

After all, despite the strawman factor and the obvious biases, the fact remains that Matt Groening and Company have done their part to keep the origins debate on the front burner of public discussion.

Ahahahahahha!!! I sometimes forgot the lengths to which religious cultists will go to delude themselves.

What’s on the front burner, FL, is not the “origins debate.” It’s the debate over just how stupid and how dishonest are those creationist peddlers and those willfully ignorant Christian liars??

My own answer to those “burning” questions, which I’m happy to support with reams of facts: incredibley stupid and fetid sack-of-shxt dishonest, respectively. For a quick taste of the sort of facts available to support my conclusion, please see every comment thread here in which FL has posted.

Here’s a question that I’d like the liars and the Distoogery Institute to answer: Why doesn’t the Distoogery Institute encourage the rubes to whom they preach to boycott all the businesses who advertise on FOX TV on Sundays?

I can assure that if there was an equivalent series of TV shows which mocked rational thought to the degree which FOX TV programs mock Christian Pseudoscientic Garbage™, there’d be a massive outcry.

So what’s the problem, Distoogery Institute?? Cat got your tongue? Chicken shxt? Afraid to test the waters? Or are y’all still busy cleaning up the mess after Dover???

BWHAHAHAAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!

Comment #100831

Posted by Registered User on May 15, 2006 12:50 AM (e)

I wrote: “incredibley stupid.”

A mistake.

I meant to say: “insanely stupid.”

Comment #100834

Posted by egbooth on May 15, 2006 1:04 AM (e)

Hey, did anyone else think that character who was the PhD in Truthology from Christian Tech looked sort of like Dembski? Maybe I was just hoping for an ID connection somewhere.

I thought that the Family Guy was better tonight.

Comment #100835

Posted by DJ on May 15, 2006 1:05 AM (e)

“Robert, … I just want to know, where did you come from?”

I imagine Robert’s first answer is, “Not from no monkey!”

Comment #100837

Posted by stevaroni on May 15, 2006 1:31 AM (e)

A theory that flies in the face of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

No… “I have a magic coffee mug and when I put water in it the left half always freezes while the right half always boils” is a theory that flies in the face of Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Actually, now that I think of it face-flying seems like it would really tend to go with the laws of aerodynamics more than thermodynamics anyway…

If the theory is correct why not let it stand the test of criticism instead of trying to silence all dissention…

Yes, luckily our evo-materialist cabal spy program has successfully hidden those 150 years of failed experiments in thousands of labs in dozens of countries doing billions of dollars in bioscience research. It’s been a real bitch to keep all those neanderthal caves full of dinosaur saddles under wraps, let me tell you! But mercifully, the flood wiped a lot of the other stuff out, so there’s only the occasional belly-button-less frozen caveman that turns up that we have spirit away into our secret warehouses.

Comment #100838

Posted by John on May 15, 2006 1:37 AM (e)

Peter Henderson said: “I reckon he’s from Answers in Genesis!”

Actually not, if he bothers to read their site. He is using arguments that even THEY know to discourage their disciples from using. (“Second Law” and “Darwin recanted”, for example).

Comment #100849

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on May 15, 2006 7:09 AM (e)

Hey FL, if ID isn’t creationism, then why does DI’s Wedge Document list, as one of its “Five Year Objectives”, having “mainstream Christian churches” “defend” “traditional doctrine of creation”?

It’s a simple question, FL. Why do you keep avoiding it?

Comment #100850

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on May 15, 2006 7:12 AM (e)

Has DI’s Ministry of Propaganda started whining yet, now that they’ve been made fun of in a, uh, cartoon show?

Comment #100853

Posted by mark on May 15, 2006 8:12 AM (e)

I particularly liked how Marge read Lisa’s copy of “Origin of Species” and said “Thank you for opening my mind!” I suspect this was done on purpose–a parody of the many instances in Chick tracts where a character who is some awful sinner reads a tract or is told “God loves you” and undergoes an immediate religious experience.

Comment #100859

Posted by JohnK on May 15, 2006 9:41 AM (e)

FL wrote:

such TV exposure will help continue to generate public interest in the origins debate; and thus it will encourage further opportunities for Non-Darwinists to discuss the way things ~really~ are with Joe and Jane Public.

Wallace Brady: Bambi, now who started that forest fire that killed your mother? It was evolution? For shame!

Planting seeds one person at a time: one mind, one heart, one life at a time, as Robert’s post so well demonstrated. Of such are Paradigm Shifts birthed.

Reverend Lovejoy: I’ll be a white Al Sharpton!

the Simpson’s episode’s basic premise is clearly shown to be a flat-out strawman with no basis in current reality. (Again, entirely predictable, mmm.)

Flanders: Stop praying to that stork!

Fact is, in America today, there are no Lisa Simpsons getting arrested for teaching evolution in school.

Fact is, in the First Church of Springfield today, Sideshow Mel is an elder. And an atheist.

Comment #100862

Posted by PAT SULLIVAN on May 15, 2006 10:12 AM (e)

I think the business about the creationism/evolution “debate” is pretty half baked. It is self interested, media-hyped, a smoke screen and a lame apologia for the right wing robbers who get tax cuts and double oil prices when their man gets elected by chicanery and by appealing to the left hand side of the bell curve in this country. People are right when they say that issue should have gone in the annals as a footnote to a silly idea taken somewhat seriously after the Scopes trial showed that stupid people and ideas sometimes win too, taken to new heights by our new version of Boss Tweed, which the idiot electorate of the USA elected X 2 to the presidencey. Beam me up Scotty!

Comment #100865

Posted by PAT SULLIVAN on May 15, 2006 10:17 AM (e)

I think the business about the creationism/evolution “debate” is pretty half baked. It is self interested, media-hyped, a smoke screen and a lame apologia for the right wing robbers who get tax cuts and double oil prices when their man gets elected by chicanery and by appealing to the left hand side of the bell curve in this benighted country. People are right when they say that issue should have gone in the annals as a footnote to a silly idea taken somewhat seriously after the Scopes trial showed that stupid people and ideas sometimes win too, taken to new heights by our new version of Boss Tweed, which the idiot electorate of the USA elected X 2 to the presidencey. Beam me up Scotty!

Comment #100866

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on May 15, 2006 10:36 AM (e)

Buffoon Robert Nowell on May 14, 2006 09:53 AM (e) Posted;
I think the Simpsons are a little dated. It isn’t the evolutionist teacher that is being dragged into court and having their job threatened all to silence their position… its the teacher who treats Darwin’s theory as just a theory as opposed to a dogma. Take Roger DeHart, a high school teacher, who lost his job because he dared to bring into his classroom articles in The American Biology Teacher and by Stephan J. Gould that used current data to criticize aspects of Darwinism.

Darwin’s theory is 150 years old and dated. Genetics and biology and other disciplines have called it into serious question…Blah Blah Blah…..
Rehashing old Creatist garbage. Man at least try to find something new and different. Troll, find a hole and crawl back to it.

Comment #100867

Posted by Mike Z on May 15, 2006 10:47 AM (e)

FL wrote:
“the episode’s basic premise is clearly shown to be a flat-out straw man with no basis in current reality.”

The Simpsons is in the business of taking an overly-general, stereotypical character or situation and making a bunch of jokes about it. So, in this case, the “basic premise” of the show was that there are some well funded, anti-evolution cranks in America trying to get laws passed and curricula changed while ignoring rational thought and scientific facts. That certainly is not a straw man.

The Simpsons is not in the business of building a full legal or philosophical argument for or against specific positions, so you completely miss the point when you imply that they somehow failed to do so.

Comment #100868

Posted by Mike Z on May 15, 2006 10:55 AM (e)

As for trolls such as Robert Nowell, FL, et al.
It is certainly annoying that they keep posting the same tired nonsense, but it is at least encouraging that the nonsense is exactly the same over and over. That way, we can take the Lenny strategy and use our “cuts and pastes” to quickly and easily counter their “cuts and pastes”. That’s a lot easier than doing research.

This all just confirms that the whole ID phenomenon has finally played itself out as far as it can. The are no further intellectual cul de sacs to explore or legal strategies to exploit. It’s over.

Comment #100869

Posted by steve s on May 15, 2006 11:11 AM (e)

The are no further intellectual cul de sacs to explore or legal strategies to exploit. It’s over.

I’m waiting to see what they do. What’s the next move? can “teach the controversy” inspire anyone? No? What else are they going to do?

Comment #100870

Posted by Glen Davidson on May 15, 2006 11:16 AM (e)

Fact is, in America today, there are no Lisa Simpsons getting arrested for teaching evolution in school. There are no laws outlawing the teaching of evolution in public school. None, nada.

Wow, you figured that out. That’s probably pretty good thinking for a creationist.

Now for the real issue: How come so little evolution is taught in so many American districts?

And why do you suppose the show went for a trial? Guess what, there had to be a trial recently to prevent children from being warned by the state about the science that was going to be taught at Dover. Plus there’s hardly any reason to avoid referring to the Scope’s trial which, if rather “staged”, nonetheless involved a real law having real penalties for teaching evolution–and which continued to prevent the teaching of proper biology for decades to come. The simple fact that creationists/IDists are in no position to re-enact laws preventing the teaching of evolution is no reason to lay off of references to the censorship forced onto science teaching in the past.

Hence, the episode’s basic premise is clearly shown to be a flat-out strawman with no basis in current reality. (Again, entirely predictable, mmm.)

But, no worries mate; nor any whine and cheese. Strictly hakuna matata on this one.

So there haven’t been laws passed recently to include IDC in the curriculum? Of course the arrest was taking the license that cartoons take (when have the Simpson’s not exaggerated matters?), but I’m afraid that the episode is in reaction to recent events, not to long dead stupidity.

After all, despite the strawman factor and the obvious biases, the fact remains that Matt Groening and Company have done their part to keep the origins debate on the front burner of public discussion.

Which is kinda neat, because such TV exposure will help continue to generate public interest in the origins debate; and thus it will encourage further opportunities for Non-Darwinists to discuss the way things ~really~ are with Joe and Jane Public.

Spin it all you want, fundie, but the Simpson’s episode is hardly proactive, and it exposes the sham of “teach both sides” in a manner understandable to most of the public. As such, too bad for you.

Planting seeds one person at a time: one mind, one heart, one life at a time, as Robert’s post so well demonstrated. Of such are Paradigm Shifts birthed.
With that in mind…

Thanks Matt!

Why yes, I recognize the evangelistic language you’re using. The whole issue is religion, as the Simpson’s episode intimated. Where Ned came around to a grudging acceptance of the idea that religion should not be taught in school, you continue to wish to use schools to indoctrinate religion. Thanks for this revealing fact, FL.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #100872

Posted by Peter Henderson on May 15, 2006 11:42 AM (e)

This from AIG:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0515simpsons.asp

I don’t think they’re too happy ! Has anyone any idea when this episode will be shown in the UK ?

Comment #100873

Posted by Raging Bee on May 15, 2006 11:45 AM (e)

There are no laws outlawing the teaching of evolution in public school. None, nada.

No, just a lot of inbred wingnuts circling our public schools, ready to stamp out any idea they don’t like, regardless of what the law says; and a lot of spineless school officials eager to bend over every which way at once at the wingnuts’ behest, regardless of what the law says.

Comment #100875

Posted by Glen Davidson on May 15, 2006 11:48 AM (e)

I think the Simpsons are a little dated. It isn’t the evolutionist teacher that is being dragged into court and having their job threatened all to silence their position… its the teacher who treats Darwin’s theory as just a theory as opposed to a dogma. Take Roger DeHart, a high school teacher, who lost his job because he dared to bring into his classroom articles in The American Biology Teacher and by Stephan J. Gould that used current data to criticize aspects of Darwinism.

Who is treating “Darwin’s theory” like dogma? I mean, other than fundies who try to smear theory as dogma.

I realize that quote-mining is about all you guys have, so you don’t want to be faulted for your poor scholarship, but it still is inappropriate–and illegal when used to support religion and/or trash science for religious reasons. Plus, I seriously doubt DeHart lost his job only for quote-mining.

Darwin’s theory is 150 years old and dated.

Yes, that’s why we don’t call evolution “Darwin’s theory”. It’s the fundies who have to smear ongoing up-to-date science as “150 year-old Darwinism”. Learn something for once.

Genetics and biology and other disciplines have called it into serious question.

Back up that claim with evidence. Oh that’s right, you guys don’t use, or think well of, evidence.

Fact is that genetics is what saved “Darwin’s theory”, since the views of inheritance in Darwin’s day implied that traits would be hopelessly diluted through successive generations. But you can parrot the mindless tripe of the IDists/creationists.

Scientists who are not religious with prestigious credentials and from prestigious schools have and are questioning Darwin’s theory.

And if this were true, what of it?

You might at best have one mathematician (not a scientist) who claims not to be religious who questions “Darwin’s theory”. And he’s a Platonist, which certainly puts his non-religious claims in question.

A theory that flies in the face of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

You mean ID and creationism? From the construction of your paragraph it would look as if you meant that evolution flies against 2LoT, but famously, it does not. However if you are simply poor at phrasing your writing, and really did mean that “God did it” violates 2LoT, you would indeed be correct. So be principled for once, and eschew concepts that are contrarty to established “laws”, and give up ID/creationism.

Newton, Kepler, Pasteur, Maxwell, Morse, and many many others in the past and thousands of contemporary scientists who a irreligious and religious have problems with Darwinism.

Perhaps you could list the problems that Kepler and Newton have with “Darwinism”.

Darwinism is no-longer pure as there are dissenting factions like the Neo-Darwinists.

Nothing is ever pure, except in the fantastic tales of the beyond.

And if you think “neo-Darwinists” were dissenters, you obviously have essentially no knowledge of evolutionary theory.

Stop already with the denigrating those who are detractors. There are many legitimate arguments against Darwin’s theory.

I see, you can’t produce any.

If the theory is correct why not let it stand the test of criticism instead of trying to silence all dissention. Only a flawed theory/proposition has to fear honest criticism.

It has stood the test of criticism, and continues to do so. I could understand your point if you were faulting IDists for not responding properly to the devastating criticisms that it received, even though it really had no legitimate claim to deserve reasoned discussion.

I challenge those who are full of angst to watch Privileged Planet and Icons of Evolution and Unlocking the Mystery of Life.

Who is full of angst? Bit of projection, no doubt.

For curiosity and amusement I did watch Privileged Planet. It never once reached the level of science, but simply used glib analogies and facile argumentation (of the kind seen in much religion) to imply what it could not demonstrate.

Since I debated in high school, when my college Biology professor offered extra credit to those who went to a debate I jumped at the opportunity. I was stunned at what transpired. The detractor from evolution wiped the mat with the proponent. This sent me on a search which changed my mind. I encourage you to open your mind and search it out too. If Darwinism is accurate truth then you have nothing to fear and if you are afraid, doesn’t that speak volumes about your confidence in Darwinism and whether you should be so strident about it? I hope you will enjoy the search and the repartee as much as I have and do. Have a wonderful journey.

Wow, a high school debater won over another high school debater. My eyes are open now.

Quite seriously, I am not at all surprised that the anti-evolution position won. Anti-evolutionists rarely if ever rise above the level of high school debate teams, and are accomplished at producing PR. I could go to any number of websites to find “challenges to evolution” that could very well win in a debate, but hardly in the venue where it matters, scientific discussion, literature, and analysis.

I suppose where you show yourself to be the most naive is in supposing that we haven’t read or listened to IDC and creationism. Many of us were brought up learning the faulty claims of creationists, and are here partly because we were insulted by the nonsense that we were taught, once we got our teeth into actual science.

So I would cousel you to take a journey of learning that goes beyond the level of high school debates. It is precisely because we do not wish for minds to be precluded from the wonders of science, and of intelligent scientific debate, that we fight against the destruction of science that equating religious ideas with grounded theory will produce, at least in many minds.

At least learn a smattering about us and what we know, before coming in with your false implications again.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #100884

Posted by Mike Z on May 15, 2006 1:32 PM (e)

From Peter’s AiG link:
“The popular, long-running TV program ‘The Simpsons’…continued its satirical look at the institution of the family with an episode that aired, ironically enough, on Mother’s Day.”

I like how they brought “the institution of the family” in to the mix. That always wins rhetoric points with their fans. Plus, as they point out, the show was on Mother’s Day, no less! The producers were really rubbing salt in the wound with that choice! How ironic! Oh wait…Isn’t Mother’s Day always on a Sunday? And don’t The Simpsons always air on Sundays? Hhmmm, I guess it was inevitable that the two would overlap at some point.

Homer (in uppity, Sherlock Holmesian tone) “So, Mr. Malloy, it seems that the cat has been caught by the very person who was trying to catch him!”

Skinner: “How ironic.”

Comment #100891

Posted by Billy S on May 15, 2006 4:06 PM (e)

I believe Aristotle, Arrhenius and King Tut were also opponents of Darwin’s theory. Praise Jeezus!

Comment #100892

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 15, 2006 4:09 PM (e)

Praise Jeezus!

speaking of the big J, didn’t he also come out against Darwin? Loaves…fishes…moneylenders…meek… hmm, can’t quite recall now, but I’m sure it’s there somewhere.

Comment #100893

Posted by caerbannog on May 15, 2006 4:32 PM (e)

Heh heh,,,,

A little googling turned up this gem of a review written by a Robert Nowell (presumably the same Nowell as our hit-n-run troll) over at amazon.com (emphasis added):

While completing my BA in Psychology at Cal State Fullerton I had an independent study the focus of which was the newly released book, The Bell Curve. I was amazed at the anger stirred up by the book. Even more amazing was the fact that when I talked to individuals (including a department head) about it and asked them if they had read it, they usually replied no but asured me they had read the reviews which they deemed sufficed to condemn it……

The whole idea of valuing people on the basis of intelligence and Darwin’s debunked theory of evolution with its corollary of the survival of the fittest and the filter or strainer of natural selection is flawed. Instead… we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…. jesus is greater and kinder and more inclusive than Natural Selection an unscientific theory that has always promoted racism and discrimmination(sic)… Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t quote Darwin but he did quote the Declaration and the Bible, Jesus Christ. You decide which system is more beneficial to mankind… hard unforgiving debunked Darwinism or merciful, kind, loving Christianity.

Comment #100899

Posted by Arden Chatfield on May 15, 2006 7:04 PM (e)

speaking of the big J, didn’t he also come out against Darwin? Loaves…fishes…moneylenders…meek… hmm, can’t quite recall now, but I’m sure it’s there somewhere.

No doubt it’s ‘somewhere in the back’, as Timothy Lovejoy once said.

Comment #100900

Posted by fnxtr on May 15, 2006 7:05 PM (e)

Mr. Nowell said:

While completing my BA in Psychology at Cal State Fullerton

Sounds like a qualification to challenge thousands of real biological scientists to me.

Comment #100901

Posted by Arden Chatfield on May 15, 2006 7:07 PM (e)

The whole idea of valuing people on the basis of intelligence and Darwin’s debunked theory of evolution with its corollary of the survival of the fittest and the filter or strainer of natural selection is flawed.

If valuing people on the basis of intelligence is flawed, then I think we must all agree that Robert is one of the most wonderful people ever to walk the earth.

Comment #100903

Posted by Anton Mates on May 15, 2006 7:48 PM (e)

While completing my BA in Psychology at Cal State Fullerton I had an independent study the focus of which was the newly released book, The Bell Curve. I was amazed at the anger stirred up by the book….The whole idea of valuing people on the basis of intelligence and Darwin’s debunked theory of evolution with its corollary of the survival of the fittest and the filter or strainer of natural selection is flawed.

Wait, so The Bell Curve is worthwhile and people shouldn’t condemn it, but valuing people on the basis of intelligence is bad? Don’t those conflict with each other a bit? Or is Mr. Nowell saying that it’s a proven fact that white people and Asians are naturally smarter than black people, therefore we need to value people in a way that doesn’t take into account how smart you are? A sort of racism-driven political correctness? Very confusing.


…okay, I went and looked at that review, and it didn’t really help matters. He seems to be saying that we need a Christian nation so that the smart people won’t take over:

The thrust of H&M’s argument has no racial intent. They are focused upon the evidence that genetics is anywhere from 40%-60% the determinate of intelligence. That intelligence is a filter of the university system which collects all the most intelligent at the best universities. These intellectual elite end up being the controllers of our society through their positions in business and education and government. They in turn inter-marry and have above average intelligent babies which follow their same path and become the rulers of their generation. All of these elite live in a diff world from Joe & Jane avg thus the gulf btwn the have and have nots widens. Society is stratified and “classed” on the basis of intelligence (the genetic 40-60% continually refined. They feel a return to the principles of the Declaration and our founding fathers is critical to the preservation of our nation and free and independent.

Is this some sort of sophisticated atheistic meta-irony? He can’t actually be serious.

Comment #100904

Posted by stevaroni on May 15, 2006 8:02 PM (e)

Troll, find a hole and crawl back to it.

Actually, I think trolls live under bridges. Apparently, these days even bridges have broadband access.

Comment #100905

Posted by stevaroni on May 15, 2006 8:12 PM (e)

From A.I.G. today

“it does show that the popular culture is acknowledging the creation/evolution debate to be a major part of today’s culture wars….

….then this popular TV show can be considered a useful sociological barometer of what the culture is considering during a particular period of time.”

Well, if the barometer has markings for “stormy”, “settled” and “over”.

There is apparently no sense of irony over there at A.I.G.

Comment #100907

Posted by steve s on May 15, 2006 8:20 PM (e)

No doubt it’s ‘somewhere in the back’, as Timothy Lovejoy once said.

I think homer said that. Lovejoy is typically pretty ambivalent about the bible.

Marge: But Reverend, doesn’t the bible say that’s wrong?
Lovejoy: Marge, the bible says a lot of things.

Comment #100909

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on May 15, 2006 8:24 PM (e)

He seems to be saying that we need a Christian nation so that the smart people won’t take over

That, of course, is the fundie motto:

“We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.”

Comment #100910

Posted by Arden Chatfield on May 15, 2006 8:43 PM (e)

Marge: But Reverend, doesn’t the bible say that’s wrong?
Lovejoy: Marge, the bible says a lot of things.

the rest of the quote:

Marge, have you ever actually read this thing? Technically, we’re not allowed to go to the bathroom.

Comment #100916

Posted by Ike Wagner on May 16, 2006 12:38 AM (e)

I don’t know about the rest of you, (and I haven’t gotten to read all of the comments yet) but it seemed to me like there was a lot of tongue-in-cheek stuff in that episode. Lisa referred to evolution as “the one truth” and constantly cited Darwin and The Origin of Species in a manner quite similar to how people reference the Bible; Marge was “converted” to evolutionism after picking up the Origin of Species and reading it; and there was the part where Lisa read selections from the Origin of Species to a classroom of onlookers, much like a preacher. I didn’t care for that. It seemed a lot like the show was almost trying to establish evolutionism as a kind of faith. It’s not, and it shouldn’t be treated like one.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I do believe very whole-heartedly in evolution and I am opposed to creationism, but the way this episode portrayed the debate was extremely shallow. I realize there’s only so much you can do with a 30 minute timespan, but it sure looked like the premise of the episode was just to capitalize on a hot-button issue.

Comment #100925

Posted by John H on May 16, 2006 5:39 AM (e)

No doubt it’s ‘somewhere in the back’, as Timothy Lovejoy once said.

I think Homer said that.

No, it was indeed Rev Lovejoy, when attempting to persuade Lisa that snake-whacking was mandated by Scripture.

But anyway, good to see a healthy debate of the issues that matter. Perhaps if we still can’t agree on whether it was Rev Lovejoy or Homer who said it, then we can at least agree to “teach the controversy”? :-)

Comment #100928

Posted by Dean Morrison on May 16, 2006 6:46 AM (e)

Peter wrote:

Has anyone any idea when this episode will be shown in the UK ?

nope but you might find it here: http://tinyurl.com/qqr9e

Comment #100929

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on May 16, 2006 6:58 AM (e)

but the way this episode portrayed the debate was extremely shallow. I realize there’s only so much you can do with a 30 minute timespan, but it sure looked like the premise of the episode was just to capitalize on a hot-button issue.

It’s just a cartoon, folks. It’s not a science lecture or a socio-political symposium.

Comment #100931

Posted by Faidhon on May 16, 2006 7:52 AM (e)

Anton Mates wrote:

Wait, so The Bell Curve is worthwhile and people shouldn’t condemn it, but valuing people on the basis of intelligence is bad? Don’t those conflict with each other a bit? Or is Mr. Nowell saying that it’s a proven fact that white people and Asians are naturally smarter than black people, therefore we need to value people in a way that doesn’t take into account how smart you are? A sort of racism-driven political correctness? Very confusing.

Oh man, that’s just another, more “civil” version of that old “Darwinists are racists” accusation, which is quite telling of the way some of these people really think- and makes me nauseous every time I hear it:

“…Darwinism promotes racism because it implies that, since black people look more like apes, they must be less evolved”

…Yecch.

Comment #100934

Posted by Raging Bee on May 16, 2006 8:40 AM (e)

Society is stratified and “classed” on the basis of intelligence (the genetic 40-60% continually refined. They feel a return to the principles of the Declaration and our founding fathers is critical to the preservation of our nation and free and independent.

Wow. Just wow. Does anyone remember the name “Diana Moon Glampers?” This guy is repeating, in all seriousness, Kurt Vonnegut’s old joke about “equality” being enforced by putting masks on the most beautiful people, weights on the strongest and most athletic, gags on the smartest and most articulate, and, in general, punishing anyone who makes anyone else feel the least bit inadequate. There was even a hotline for people to report smart-asses to the “equality police.”

It was SATIRE, you fool!

Comment #100938

Posted by Ike Wagner on May 16, 2006 9:34 AM (e)

but the way this episode portrayed the debate was extremely shallow. I realize there’s only so much you can do with a 30 minute timespan, but it sure looked like the premise of the episode was just to capitalize on a hot-button issue.

It’s just a cartoon, folks. It’s not a science lecture or a socio-political symposium.

Maybe, but you’d be surprised how many people base their moral judgments on what they see on the Simpsons…

Comment #100941

Posted by Arden Chatfield on May 16, 2006 10:03 AM (e)

Maybe, but you’d be surprised how many people base their moral judgments on what they see on the Simpsons…

This inevitably reminded me of:

Homer: Bart, you know that guy on your lunchbox?

Bart: Oh, you mean Krusty the Clown?

Homer: He’s sort of a hero of yours, isn’t he?

Bart: Are you kidding? He’s my idol! I’ve based my life on Krusty’s teachings!

And also:

No doubt it’s ‘somewhere in the back’, as Timothy Lovejoy once said.

No, it was indeed Rev Lovejoy, when attempting to persuade Lisa that snake-whacking was mandated by Scripture.

Didn’t Homer also say it when he claimed one of the 10 Commandments was “Thou Shalt Not Take Moochers Into Thy Hut?

Comment #100946

Posted by AC on May 16, 2006 11:51 AM (e)

Robert Nowell via Amazon.com wrote:

The whole idea of valuing people on the basis of intelligence and Darwin’s debunked theory of evolution with its corollary of the survival of the fittest and the filter or strainer of natural selection is flawed. Instead… we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights….

Three words, Mr. Nowell: equality under law. Also note that the only thing the DoI claims all men are endowed with by their Creator is rights, not aptitudes or characteristics.

Comment #100960

Posted by Alan Smithee on May 16, 2006 2:28 PM (e)

> Darwin’s theory is 150 years old and dated.

That’s because it’s a real scientific theory. If it was simply dogma presented as science, like “Intelligent Design”, it would have remained unchanged by a century and a half of discoveries in genetics, radiochemistry, geology, paleontology, microbiogy, space physics, and so on.

Comment #100962

Posted by Rieux on May 16, 2006 3:01 PM (e)

caerbannog wrote:

A little googling turned up this gem of a review written by a Robert Nowell (presumably the same Nowell as our hit-n-run troll)….

Yeah. It’d be a little surprising if the troll attempt here were the first Nowell.

Comment #101017

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 16, 2006 11:20 PM (e)

the first Nowell

Isn’t a bit early for xmas songs?

Comment #101257

Posted by Johan Richter on May 18, 2006 1:43 PM (e)

I think the Lovejoy quote is from the episode where Bart is suspected of stealing from the church. Lisa holds a speak in the church where she asks if the Bible does not say “Judge not, lest you be judged” and Lovejoy concedes that it might be “somewhere in the back”.