Nick Matzke posted Entry 2406 on June 24, 2006 12:12 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2401

The last known living acquaintance of Charles Darwin, Harriet the Galapagos Tortoise, died recently after a short illness. She was only 176. Some IDists are so desperate for good news – and evidently so superstitious – they are hopefully interpreting Harriet’s passing as an omen (see “A presage of another death?”). Others might note that the fact that Darwin’s pet tortoise was an international celebrity, whose death was widely mourned, is not exactly encouraging news for the evolution-deniers out there.

A not quite totally inappropriate poem from Mike Myer’s 1993 movie So I Married an Axe Murderer:

Harriet.
Sweet Harriet.
Hard-hearted harbinger of haggus.

Beautiful, bemused, belicose butcher.

So knowing, so trusting, so lov-ed.

He wants you back he screams into the night air,
like a fireman going to a window that has no fire,
‘cept the passion of his heart.

I am lonely,
It’s really hard.

This poem sucks.

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Comment #107746

Posted by Franklin on June 24, 2006 12:52 AM (e)

That ain’t no woman! It’s a man, man!
–Austin Powers

Comment #107747

Posted by Limulus on June 24, 2006 1:19 AM (e)

I decided to leave a little comment on the “Design Paradigm” website:


> It seems like Darwin’s tortoise has finally died. Could this be a good omen for IDers?

Sure… in the same way that dead soldiers are good for the Phelps clan.

Oh and if you’re not from North America and have no idea what I’m talking about, see http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/03/06/btsc.lavandrera.funerals/ for example.

Comment #107748

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 24, 2006 1:32 AM (e)

yeah, but Nick, did you see the ONE response in the comments to the idea of Harriet being an “Omen”?

here’s what Designpardigm said:

It seems like Darwin’s tortoise has finally died. Could this be a good omen for IDers?

and the lone response was:

Sure… in the same way that dead soldiers are good for the Phelps clan.

perfect.

Comment #107749

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 24, 2006 1:34 AM (e)

lol, sorry limulus; i caught your post right after you posted it!

Comment #107753

Posted by tacitus on June 24, 2006 1:40 AM (e)

What the heck is “haggus”. Surely you mean “haggis”? Any true Scottish meat lover would tell you that!

Comment #107763

Posted by Alan Bird on June 24, 2006 4:47 AM (e)

In 1978 I was working on a project in St Helena, a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic. It was where Napoeon was exiled to, and where he died in 1821. On the island was another of these giant Galapagos tortoises. The locals told me it had been there at the same time as Napoleon, which (if it was say 20 when taken to St Helena in the first place) would have meant it was at least 177. Within the bounds of possibility, then. I dearly hope it was true: if so I can claim to have gazed onto the eyes of a living creature which had in turn gazed at the eyes of the living Napoleon. A strange experience which gave me quite a frisson at the time.

Comment #107767

Posted by The Ridger on June 24, 2006 6:00 AM (e)

Aren’t omens un-Christian? Oops, I forgot. ID isn’t religious. The Giant Aliens did it.

Comment #107770

Posted by Marek 14 on June 24, 2006 6:47 AM (e)

When I watched the news segment on Harriet, they mentioned that it belonged to a subspecies that only lives on a single island in Galapagos - but that Darwin never visited that particular island. I just wonder if that’s true? Or is it possible that the subspecies used to live on the other islands but went extinct there?

Comment #107794

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 24, 2006 9:22 AM (e)

Alas, it should be pointed out that in “A Sheltered Life; The Unexpected History of the Giant Tortoise”, the author Paul Chambers gives an awfully convincing case that Harriett is NOT one of Darwin’s acquaintences, and that Darwin’s pet tortoises all died in England shortly after he returned.

It may or may not be a coincidence that Harriett lived at the Australia Zoo, which is operated by the TV showman Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter”.

As for the fundie whackos who take this as an “augury”, perhaps they should stick to reading goat entrails or something.

Or, at the very least, they should read what their Bible says about “divination”. (I do, of course, recognize that most fundies prefer to thump their Bible rather than actually read it.)

Comment #107819

Posted by A Trilobite on June 24, 2006 11:35 AM (e)

So a dead tortoise proves evolution is true?

Comment #107822

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 24, 2006 11:45 AM (e)

Of COURSE not, silly. The dead tortoise proves that DARWINISM is dying.

Don’t you read “Uncommon Descent”?

Comment #107831

Posted by Mark Studdock, FCD on June 24, 2006 12:38 PM (e)

A blog thread devoted to a dead turtle that is just another reason to bash and distort IDer’s as diviners who thump their bibles and identify as the most likely candidate for the designer of the molecular structure of life to be Giant Aliens proves that PandasThumb is still not worth trolling.

MS

Comment #107835

Posted by Bynocerus on June 24, 2006 1:13 PM (e)

…not exactly encouraging news for the evolution-deniers out there.

I like the term “Evolution Denier(s).” Instead of calling them creationist or IDers we should call them Evolution Deniers. It has a very, very similar ring to Holocaust Denier, with all the negative implications therein.

And, as a proud Scottish descendent, I can tell you that one’s patriotism and the eating of Haggis are not even remotely linked. It’d be kinda like saying one couldn’t be a proud American without owning 20 guns. Small subset of the population.

Comment #107838

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on June 24, 2006 1:40 PM (e)

Posted by Mark Studdock, FCD on June 24, 2006 12:38 PM (e)

A blog thread devoted to a dead turtle that is just another reason to bash and distort IDer’s as diviners who thump their bibles and identify as the most likely candidate for the designer of the molecular structure of life to be Giant Aliens proves that PandasThumb is still not worth trolling.

Harriet would have said:
“I knew Charles Darwin, and you, sir, are no FCD.”
;-)

Comment #107840

Posted by Corkscrew on June 24, 2006 2:00 PM (e)

I like the term “Evolution Denier(s).” Instead of calling them creationist or IDers we should call them Evolution Deniers. It has a very, very similar ring to Holocaust Denier, with all the negative implications therein.

Problem is, that implicitly compares evolution to the Holocaust. Which is broadly accurate (99% of all species are extinct etc) but probably isn’t the sort of image we’d want to convey.

Comment #107841

Posted by Bynocerus on June 24, 2006 2:13 PM (e)

Not an unfair criticism Corkscrew. I guess my point is that I’d be happy if evolution deniers were lumped in the looney-toon bin with Holocaust deniers, and given (nearly) the same amount of derision.

Comment #108017

Posted by Russell on June 24, 2006 8:21 PM (e)

Why do tortoises (and a few other animals like parrots) have such extraordinarily long life spans? I think there is some merit to the “grandmother” hypothesis for humans: that longevity is evolutionarily favored because parenting young humans optimally takes more than two parents.

But tortoises? Parrots? I don’t think they do any grandparenting to speak of. Are they fertile for a large fraction of that long lifespan?

Comment #108205

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 25, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

IIRC, turtles and tortoises can breed right up to the day they die.

Comment #108206

Posted by Lou FCD on June 25, 2006 12:04 PM (e)

Lenny wrote:

IIRC, turtles and tortoises can breed right up to the day they die.

We should all be so lucky.

;)

Comment #108211

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 25, 2006 12:23 PM (e)

As an utterly irrelevant aside, this is one of the gripes I have with all the medical talk about “prolonging our lives” and “we may be the first generation that can live virtually forever”.

Bah. All they do is prolong old age. What’s the good in THAT? Who the hell wants to spend eternity drooling in your oatmeal and pooping in your Depends?

If I’m gonna live lots longer, I want to be *19* the whole time, dammit. Not *190*.

;)

Comment #108256

Posted by Red Mann on June 25, 2006 2:25 PM (e)

Mark Studdock says:
A blog thread devoted to a dead turtle that is just another reason to bash and distort IDer’s as diviners who thump their bibles and identify as the most likely candidate for the designer of the molecular structure of life to be God Giant Aliens proves that PandasThumb is still not worth trolling.

You mean that IDers aren’t diviners who thump their bibles and identify as the most likely candidate for the designer of the molecular structure of life to be God Giant Aliens? Wow, who knew.

You mean that IDers aren’t diviners who thump their bibles and identify as the most likely candidate for the designer of the molecular structure of life to be God Giant Aliens? Wow, who knew.

Comment #108262

Posted by Red Mann on June 25, 2006 2:35 PM (e)

Oops
Oops

Comment #108417

Posted by Mark Studdock, FCD on June 25, 2006 11:08 PM (e)

GvlGeologist, FCD,

I have read all that Charles Darwin ever published and many scholarly and popular works concerning his scientific achievements, life-story, era, and etc. I admire him on many levels and understand and accept much of his theory of evolution by natural selection. Thus I call myself an FCD.

Your judgment that my statement concludes for you that I am no friend of Charles Darwin is empty. For one. Knowing a bit about Darwin, I know that he could have made the very same statement that I made. He was not intolerant or bigoted towards the creationists of his time. He did not ignore their critiques or questions by caricaturing their positions and mocking them repeatedly.

The facts are these:
1. Most IDer’s (those who publish materials espousing a so-called theory or paradigm of intelligent design in biology, cosmology, etc) are not Bible thumpers. If they are there is no evidence of the Bible thumping. They most likely are readers or students of the Bible however. But reading or studying something doesn’t necessarily imply “thumping.”(all intelligent people ought to understand this sort of thing)
2. There are no ID’ers who practice or commend divination.
3. Most ID’ers claim that they believe the IDer to be God. The point about the IDer possibly being “Giant Aliens” or well, more correctly stated, intelligent agent beings of extraterrestrial origin, is connected to the ID camps commitment to certain epistemological norms accepted by most everyone in the scientific community. That is, that God (a super-natural being) is outside the scope of scientific study. But, as any intelligent person can understand, (unless they choose not too), intelligent agent causation (what the IDers call CSI) can and is detectable by scientific methodology.
4.PandasThumb is still not worth trolling. But I can conceive of it being a worthwhile site. That is, if only some of it’s regular contributors were more like Charles Darwin, and less like R. Dawkins and D. Dennet.

MS

Comment #108419

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 25, 2006 11:15 PM (e)

[quote]1. Most IDer’s (those who publish materials espousing a so-called theory or paradigm of intelligent design in biology, cosmology, etc) are not Bible thumpers. [/quote]

name three.

Comment #108420

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 25, 2006 11:18 PM (e)

PandasThumb is still not worth trolling.

and yet here you are, trolling.

Comment #108445

Posted by Registered User on June 26, 2006 1:57 AM (e)

Someone wrote

I like the term “Evolution Denier(s).” Instead of calling them creationist or IDers we should call them Evolution Deniers. It has a very, very similar ring to Holocaust Denier, with all the negative implications therein.

then corkscrew wrote

Problem is, that implicitly compares evolution to the Holocaust.

That is ridiculous.

Evolution deniers is a perfectly fine term for precisely the reason that the initial commenter alluded to. Moreover, it captures the fact that evolution deniers don’t propose a viable alternative. They just deny, out of ignorance and incredulity.

Comment #108469

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 26, 2006 7:21 AM (e)

Evolution deniers is a perfectly fine term for precisely the reason that the initial commenter alluded to. Moreover, it captures the fact that evolution deniers don’t propose a viable alternative. They just deny, out of ignorance and incredulity.

I prefer to call them what they are —- theocrat wanna-be’s.

The Wedgies want to do far more than just deny evolution (or reality).

Comment #108514

Posted by Marek 14 on June 26, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

Intelligent Design - Opposition without position

Comment #108567

Posted by William E Emba on June 26, 2006 5:16 PM (e)

Some IDiots are … hopefully interpreting Harriet’s passing as an omen…

Well, of course it’s an omen. What’s slow, toothless, and hardly changed since before Darwin?

Intelligent Design!

Own goal, you IDiots, own goal.

Comment #109145

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on June 28, 2006 11:50 PM (e)

Slowly across time
Growing along with an idea
Carapace now empty

Comment #109760

Posted by HRH on July 2, 2006 5:17 AM (e)

The Phelps clan are very disgusting creatures in this earth. They are all suffering from the same mental illness as their founder.