Watch out… It’s the Creationist Patrol!

| 58 Comments

Ruben Bolling’s Tom the Dancing Bug has a funny (and only slightly exaggerated) cartoon out in today’s Salon.com here. Salon is a subscription site, but you can watch a short ad to get a day pass. Enjoy!

58 Comments

I wish we could make the mycobacteria we work with in our lab a little boat. They’d look adorable in it.

Brilliant!

BWAahahahaha. “Don’t bother looking in the index. It’s on *every* page.”

Oh man, that line is great!

Brings up another good point, though (again). Creationists of all varieties love to crow about evolution being useless. But what’s the use of ID, YECism, and other creationist explanations?

Don’t forget to scroll down and take a look at the strip “Why should we believe this theory that water freezes at 32 degrees?” for some more laughs.

This should be part of an entire series of “Tom the Dancing Bug”.

“Why should we believe this theory that water freezes at 32 degrees?”

Not if it’s Ice 9 - “Cat’s Cradle” by Vonnegut

The real question is:

How big an ark should one build to fit all of the “kinds” of bacteria?

Wait… Exactly what is the definition of a “kind” anyway?

very funny indeed. The Bible should be taken seriously but not literally, and in this sense shares a key feature with other religious texts. Making fun of Christians (or any devout person) is not a goal of PT. He does, however, have Ronald Reagan’s hair.

Salon makes me watch their ad, but then refuses to come through with the access they promised me.  Isn’t that fraud?

If someone would put the comic up somewhere or mail it to me (addy at the blog), I’d appreciate it.

E-P, check Pharyngula…

PZ has a copy of it posted here.

Enjoy!

We need to alert the Creationist Patrol to Stephen Quake’s new anti-evolution petri dish! As heard on NPR.] Evolution screws up biomedical experiments because bugs in traditional media evolve in the changing environment caused by their own waste products (a phenomenon also observed in cable news media). This new invention greatly reduces selective pressure during experiments.

Quake’s work is probably Creationist Patrol-approved because it eliminates evolution.

So what did somebody do, invent a pooper scooper for bacteria? ROFL

At last, the much vaunted, long-awaited ID research program is underway! Congratulations, Dr. Wells!

“Salon makes me watch their ad, but then refuses to come through with the access they promised me. Isn’t that fraud?”

When the ad finished there was a link at the bottom of the page that you clicked to go to the site.

KK: I didn’t get the link (though most of the times I do) and the ad kept looping. To be frank I hate Salon, and their bogus “day pass” that lasts a few hours at best. They’re the ones who posted R.F. Kennedy’s “vaccines cause autism” scare piece just a week or so ago, after all. But now and again they come up with good articles, like their current Scientology series.

If the add loops, look for a link to procede.

And how about a simple way to deal with the ad: turn of the volume, and do something in another window for a few minutes, and come back and view the content.

Actually I sort of wish that a better example was used the the Dancing Bug. There are no creationists that have problems with the evolution of antibiotic evolution. They dismiss it as “microevolution” and deny that any new “information” happened. So on and so forth. So the comic was a bit of a strawman.

– Anti-spam: Replace “user” with “harlequin2”

Actually I sort of wish that a better example was used…the comic was a bit of a strawman

Well, yes. But… while creationists concede things like antibiotic resistance evolution - because they really have no choice - they need to explain this supposed barrier between “micro-“ and “macro-“evolution. As far as I can tell, the real difference between them boils down to the presence or absence of “plausible deniability”.

Whether or not creationists concede antibiotic resistance is not clear. Most concede that it happens, but Philip Johnson, for example, has denied that it serves as an example of new “information” evolving. This based on his claim that the antibiotic resistence was preexisting somewhere in the population, presumably since the bacteria were “created”. This of course is wrong, because resistance will evolve de novo in a monoculture. But the point being, even something as obvious as antibiotic resistence gets distorted by creationists.

So Johnson believes that a created ur-bacteria came factory-equipped with the mechanism to defeat antibiotics, huh? And he WORSHIPS this creator? A plant covered in landmines, and Johnson just kneels and kisses the enthroned engineer’s tarnished diadem. A truly horrifying conceit.

Not “plant”–“planet.” That’s what I get for trying to wax poetic.

Ah, it’s a Philip Johnson thing.  That explains Doug’s behavior over on Corante.

Ah, it’s a Philip Johnson thing.  That explains Doug’s behavior over on Corante.

(You really have to do something about the bogus error boxes and repost requests in this blog software.  It’s getting very annoying.  It’s especially annoying when one re-opens the post in another tab and does not find the just-submitted comment, and still gets a double.)

Re double posting: somebody pointed out recently that you can see if a post was received by clicking the “preview” button on the same thread - that apparently shows newly submitted posts that haven’t yet evolved their way into the database used by the regular display.

You guys have to be kidding me that you think this is a brilliant cartoon. One, as noted above, it is a horribly simple strawman. Two, it really isn’t about evolution/creation, but about bible/science. Creation has to do with whether or not something was created, not with putting bacteria on an Ark or tower of Babel. Also, the point about creationist agreeing that bacteria can become resistant to anti-biotics should be understood as a refutation of the cartoon’s point. The cartoon is basically just some lame anti-christian propaganda probably created (note proper use of the word “created”) by somebody who knows next to nothing about biology and very very little about creationism, or ID or anything related. Media Trash intended to be consumed by a brainless and uncritical audience. Of course it would end up on Pandasthumb.

And concerning the advertisment they make you watch, it was a heck of a lot better than the cartoon I wasted my time reading. (the ad I watched was for Red Bicyclette, a very good Syrah)

Mosnar, your blithe dismissal of the cartoon is rather petulant. First of all, it is meant to be humorous. If you find it offensive, perhaps that’s why everyone else finds it funny.

Secondly, as I pointed out above, creationists say things which are plainly wrong about antibiotic resistance, so it’s not a straw-man to poke fun at them about it in general. The whole point of humor of this sort is to take some tendency that people have and poke fun at it by blowing it out of proportion. If the cartoonist used something normal and mundane, it wouldn’t be funny.

Third, what I see as the target of humor here isn’t the creationist attitude towards antibiotic resistance, it’s the strident and aggressive means by which creationists push themselves on others. While there’s obviously no such thing as the Creationist Patrol (again, exaggeration is what makes it funny), creationists in recent years have conducted a heavy-handed lobbying campaign aimed at using the political system to overcome their rejection by the scientific community. See for example William Dembski’s bizarre fantasy about forcing evolutionists to testify in front of McCarthy-style Congressional hearings. A real-life Creationist Patrol would probably be less bothersome than what Dembski proposes.

Fourth, there isn’t always (or even that often) a distinction between creation/evolution and bible/science. Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel are indispensible parts of the YEC worldview, which is by far the most popular form of creationism.

Fifth, the cartoon says nothing about ID, so I don’t know why you bring it up. Unless you believe that ID is the same thing as creationism, which would be a nice admission. Nor is there anything which could be construed as “anti-Christian” unless you assume, quite wrongly, that all Christians are YECs. Nor is there any reason to assume that the cartoonist knows nothing of biology. Perhaps he doesn’t, but since he makes no mistakes (other than using bacteria as a singular noun) I believe this is little more than your prejudice talking.

The cartoon is basically just some lame anti-christian propaganda

I see, so you are just another uneducated simpleton who is deluded enough to think that “evolution” equals “atheism”, right?

Oh, and also arrogant and self-righteous enough to assume that “creationsit” equals “Christian”.

No WONDER everyone thinks fundies are pig-ignorant holier-than-thou (literally) pricks.

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Gee, Mosnar. As a Christian, I didn’t find the comic insulting to Christians at all. “Anti-Christian” propaganda? I saw none.

What ARE you talking about ?

Anti-nutcase propaganda maybe, but I didn’t see anything that offended me and I’m Christian. Mind explaining what is anti-Christian about the cartoon, rather than simply having a shot at evangelical hypocrites?

Comment #36869: Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on July 1, 2005 05:45 PM

Oh, and if the creatiokook wants to yammer that “well, they appeared through mutations since then but that’s just microevolution”, I have a few further questions to ask…

Lenny Flank, could you elaborate on those few further questions or are they perhaps on your website somewhere? Paul

Paul -

It’s important to undertand the problem of infinite regress of designers in the context of what the IDist is proposing. They argue that certain features we observe within the universe are evidence that a being intentionally brought them about. Now, unless an intelligent agent must have those same properties that strongly indicate design, then the need for that entity to be designed isn’t there. So in the case of the most naive of naive design arguments, where a person incredulously asks “So you think all this order just poofed out of nothing” the “who designed the designer question” is entirely apt as a designer must be “ordered” to be coherant. However, this becomes more fuzzy when the issue is something like fine-tuning. The problem is we don’t know what sort of existence this designer has. Is it a disembodied mind on some mentalist plane of reality? Is it in some other physical universe with different physical laws? What’s going on here? We have no idea. That is where it becomes very difficult to say whether or not the IDist is pointing at a diety, depending on what we mean by the term. Certainly, even a terminal “designer of all designers” god, isn’t neccessarily God as typically meant. For example, there is no logical reason this being would be benevolent to humanity. Most IDists, despite occasionally saying otherwise for pragmatic reasons, think they are doing religious apologetics, but there is legitimate question over whether there arguments are taking them where they want them to go with there *wink* *wink* “the designer”. As far as organismic design is concerned, I think it is a given that designers of organisms don’t need to be gods or God.

Elliot Sober comments on this in his conclusion of a very good paper he wrote on the design argument:

It was obvious to Paley and to other purveyors of the organismic design argument that if an intelligent designer built organisms, that designer would have to be far more intelligent than any human being could ever be. This is why the organismic design argument was for them an argument for the existence of God. I predict that it will eventually become clear that the organismic design argument should never have been understood in this way. This is because I expect that human beings will eventually build organisms from nonliving materials. This achievement will not close down the question of whether the organisms we observe were created by intelligent design or by mindless natural processes; in fact, it will give that question a practical meaning, since the organisms we will see around us will be of both kinds.29stripped of its theological trappings. However, it will be abundantly clear that the fact of organismic adaptation has nothing to do with whether God exists. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the New World, several indigenous peoples thought these intruders were gods, so powerful was the technology that the intruders possessed. Alas, the locals were mistaken; they did not realize that these beings with guns and horses were merely human beings. The organismic design argument for the existence of God embodies the same mistake. Human beings in the future will be the conquistadors, and Paley will be our Montezuma.

http://philosophy.wisc.edu/sober/de[…]1%202004.pdf

It’s a lovely rhetorical flourish.

Chip -

If I misunderstood you then my apologies. But I take you to be saying two things:

1) There is no point in discussing a deity unless the deity fits the traditional Christian definition of Omnimax; 2) The Omnimax definitin of God is the position of most, if not all of modern Christian theology.

I’m not saying one at all. As to two, I am saying that omnimax theism or a very close approximate (I’m not concerned with minor technical variations on this point) is the standard position in Christian theology, and I don’t know how you can represent Tillich and Barth as the flagbearers of mainstream theological thought. Influential, sure, but the normative opinions? I’m not a theologian, and I’m only partially familiar with either, but this flies in the face of my familiarty with modern apologetics and theology.

As far as Ken Miller is concerned, omnimax theism doesn’t concern itself with whether God creates through *poof* or via natural mechanisms we have some understanding of. Both are compatible. Miller believes in a God who uses natural process behind the quantum curtain to accomplish his will. Simply pointing out that Miller doesn’t believe in a God that works via magical *poofs* to obtain features of reality we understand via science doesn’t pertain to whether or not he believes God can be defined and properly understood through criteria including being all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly moral, etc.

Moreover, this is really straining from my point that ID arguments don’get IDists to that God, which is a desired goal of at least some IDists and something certainly swallowed by a significant portion of its followers. In short, they probably want to draw more religious conclusions out of their arguments than their arguments, even if they were successful, will bear.

Bah. Wrong topic. Sorry about that.

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Lenny writes “Those 8 people could have had a maximum possible of 16 different alleles for each genetic locus (actually, since some of these 8 people were related to each other, they must have had fewer than 16, but hey, I’m willing to give the wackos every possibole benefit of the doubt).”

Not to mention all of the STD’s..

What a yucky bunch.

Not to mention all of the STD’s..

Not to mention all the parasites and disease organisms that can only survive on human hosts …

That’s cool info, “Rev”! Mind if I use that in Theology Web? I know a bunch of YEC’s hang out there!

That’s cool info, “Rev”! Mind if I use that in Theology Web? I know a bunch of YEC’s hang out there!

Please feel free. I like seeing creationuts squirm.

If any of our resident creationuts want to take a crack at this one, I’m all ears . … … Oh, and since FL doesn’t seem capable of explaining to me how, if nothing died before Eve ate the apple, Adam and Eve managed to avoid crapping themselves to death from all the immortal bacteria fruitfully multiplying in their intestines, I welcome an explanation from anyone else regarding that, too.

One of our dear departed anti-evolution friends (was it Heddle?) said that plants aren’t “alive” in the Biblical sense, because animals were eating and therefore killing them before the Fall. Maybe he would argue that bacteria aren’t “alive” either.

The argument wasn’t quite this simple-minded. He was defining “life” as involving some sort of consciousness, which plants and presumably bacteria don’t have. Any Christian knows that this is heresy, as the Bible teaches that only humans have consciousness ( = souls), but never mind.

Of course, this logic is unassailable. If you define your terms right, you can derive any conclusion you want.

That’s cool info, “Rev”! Mind if I use that in Theology Web? I know a bunch of YEC’s hang out there!

Please review the genetics of the MHC region before throwing numbers around. Immunogenetics is a messy topic and alleles are defined on the basis of serology. There are gene duplications in the HLA region that contribute to serologically defined allelic diversity. Even here on PT HLA B is quoted as having 108 alleles although the argument for generating diversity over time is similar. I think the other arguments have much greater merit and are much more colorful.

I haven’t been back to read up on the posts here in a while, but in defense of my comment…

I guess what I meant when I said the cartoon was anti-christian was that it picked on people who believe in the bible and try to tell others about it. I do not know anyone like the fundamentalist nut depicted in the cartoon and actually know very few people who call themselves christians. I do however know some people who like to say they are “christian” but by that label they mean they are good, moral people and so forth. When someone tells me they are a christian but that they don’t believe in the bible or that jesus was a diety of some kind, performed miracles, rose from the dead, etc, I dismiss them as liars or label hyjackers. I myself am an atheist and to be honest, don’t know much about christianity, but I do know that you either are a christian or you are not and you can’t just define what a christian is according to your own definition. I know what CS Lewis wrote about christianity, and I read some Martin Luther back in college.

I happened on to pandasthumb some time ago because a friend of mine worships your site. When I finally decided to post here it was to critique, or bring up the fact that the cartoon so many of you praised was pathetic misinformation which inadequately delt with creationism, or evolution, or ID or anything else people talk about on this site. I spoke up because I see alot off this go on here. To me, it often seems like this blog is just a place for anti-creationists to come and make fun of, over-exaggerate/caricature, and lie to each other about what design people are saying and thinking.

I’m an evolutionist, and I’m not a big fan of creationist ideas, but geeez, can i not express my opinion about a cartoon. You all assumed i was somehow offended by the cartoon. Hardly! I was actually just commenting on the way people were interpreting/praising it. Sorry.

I guess I won’t post here anymore.

Go to Answers in Genesis, or trueorigins.org, or some of the creationist nutjob sites, mosnar, and you’ll see that what is described here at PT isn’t an over-exaggeration or caricature. Turn on your local Christian broadcast radio station and listen for a few days – you’ll hear that evolution-bashing is a key element of modern fundamentalism.

Yes, emotions run high. There are a lot of individual reasons for that. Many people here are scientists, and they are (and should be) angry that morons are deliberately belittling and misrepresenting their life’s work. Others have different reasons, of course.

But trust me: these creationists really are out there. If anything, most of the people here are under-reacting.

Regarding Lenny’s flood mutations post:

Hahahaha, that’s great. I love the way Lenny phrases his questions so directly.

I’ve been lurking at Panda’s Thumb (and talk.origins up until a few months ago when my news service borked itself) for a while, but the Leonard Betts comment was too funny to resist commenting.

but I do know that you either are a christian or you are not and you can’t just define what a christian is according to your own definition.

Really? What’s to stop you?

You all assumed i was somehow offended by the cartoon. Hardly! I was actually just commenting on the way people were interpreting/praising it. Sorry.

I guess I won’t post here anymore.

You’re way too damn uptight. Go smoke a bowl and relax yourself.

Geez.

the Leonard Betts comment was too funny to resist commenting.

I was beginning to wonder if anyone had caught it. ;>

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Please review the genetics of the MHC region before throwing numbers around. Immunogenetics is a messy topic and alleles are defined on the basis of serology. There are gene duplications in the HLA region that contribute to serologically defined allelic diversity.

Not according to creationists, there aren’t. No increase in genetic information is possible, ya know.

Unless, of course, creationists are just full of cow cakes.

When someone tells me they are a christian but that they don’t believe in the bible or that jesus was a diety of some kind, performed miracles, rose from the dead, etc, I dismiss them as liars or label hyjackers. I myself am an atheist and to be honest, don’t know much about christianity

I wish I had a dollar for every fundie who’s ever fed this line to me. I could retire to the Bahamas by now.

mosnar said:

I do however know some people who like to say they are “christian” but by that label they mean they are good, moral people and so forth. When someone tells me they are a christian but that they don’t believe in the bible or that jesus was a diety of some kind, performed miracles, rose from the dead, etc, I dismiss them as liars or label hyjackers.

Interesting. That would include my theology teacher from University. He happened to be PhD in Catholic theology, and a priest too. He’d be amazed to hear that you’re willing to say he’s a liar. Christianity is extremelly divided - from Orthodox to Protestants passing by Roman Catholics there is almost as many distinct sets of beliefs of Christianity as there are people.

All you’ve demonstrated, mosnar, is that idiots who speak about what they don’t know and make fools of themselves are not restricted to the creationist side. Next time, try to give an opinion in something you have knowledge of.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf, who suggests mosnar looks up the beliefs of the pletora of Christian churches (he can start in wikipedia, and grow from there) before he dares utter again the phrase “I do know that you either are a christian or you are not”

Well, I’ve done it: I’ve posted that info at Theology Web and they’ve started the tearing process.

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/s[…].php?t=56749

HLA will be brought up eventually, though the central argument will stay the same, I figure. That, and some of the other arguments are being brought to bear as well.

I do however know some people who like to say they are “christian” but by that label they mean they are good, moral people and so forth. When someone tells me they are a christian but that they don’t believe in the bible or that jesus was a diety of some kind, performed miracles, rose from the dead,  etc, I dismiss them as liars or label hyjackers.

Fundies are interesting that way – if they want to bash rival sects of Christianity, they go on about how most groups of Christians are ‘not really’ Christians, and how only people of their own beliefs count as ‘real’ Christians. However, if they want to intimidate non-Christians, they’re happy to include everyone who calls themselves a Christian in the statistics they cite to show how numerically dominant Christians are in America. So they get to have it both ways!

mosar Wrote:

I guess what I meant when I said the cartoon was anti-christian was that it picked on people who believe in the bible and try to tell others about it.

Like I said, YECs do not merely “believe in the bible” and try to tell others about it. You really know nothing about creationism if that is what you think. YECs interpret the bible much differently than other Christians, holding that every passage must be literally true, not mere allegory or parable. Most mainline demoninations have long since made their peace with evolution, but that doesn’t mean they don’t “believe in the bible”. By framing things this way, and thus implying that there’s only one way to interpret the bible if you want to be “bible believing”, you are parroting a fundamentalist talking point, one that denigrates most Christians. As you may have noticed, this irritates people.

As for “telling people about it”, there’s two ways of doing that. One is the easy-going means employed by most Christians, and the other is the in-your-face fire and brimstone language preferred by fundamentalists. That was what the cartoon, which seems to have sailed over your head, was making fun of. Not their beliefs per se, or their mere desire to “tell people about it”, but rather their extreme pushiness. This weblog exists precisely because large and well-funded groups of fundamentalists want to make their patently false views concerning origins compulsory teaching in public schools. That’s going well beyond merely telling people about the bible.

“Christianity says to ‘witness’. It does not say to annoy possible converts to the point of making them your enemy.” MICHELLE MALKIN

To clear up a little ambiguity, bill, do you mean

“Christianity says to ‘witness’. It does not say to annoy possible converts to the point of making them your enemy.” Are you listening MICHELLE MALKIN

or

“Christianity says to ‘witness’. It does not say to annoy possible converts to the point of making them your enemy.” –MICHELLE MALKIN

Anybody seen this New Christian Science Textbook? I can’t decide whether this is funny or sad:

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/ib[…]ox050509.gif

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This page contains a single entry by Steve Reuland published on June 30, 2005 1:43 PM.

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