A possible link between reindeer, daylight deficiency, and artifact delivery


I have a theory, which is mine, that there is an entity or intelligence (which I will not name, since that would be unscientific) which resides in the Arctic and makes midwinter use of reindeer in a complex specified task. This theory of mine guides my research, which may not be mine, but as long as it can be interpreted to support my theory of an Arctic Artificer, I can appropriate it as mine, which is just as good.

My theory predicts that there is a peak of artificer activity in late December. The hypothesis that reindeer activity generates a polar distribution force for the delivery of artifacts generated by the Arctic Artificer is consistent with a large body of evidence. It also makes testable predictions. For example:

  1. It predicts that reindeer ought to begin to spread out their levels of activity throughout the day and night in midwinter, to be better prepared to handle the complex specified task, which requires 24 hours or more of sustained activity. Reindeer activity could be monitored to test this prediction.
  2. It predicts that reindeer activity should be correlated with late December deliveries of artifacts to households around the world.
  3. It predicts that the polar distribution force is regulated, at least in part, by solar radiation. It might be possible to observe the incidence of solar radiation in the arctic, and to block the effects of reduced solar radiation with some really bright lights.

If the hypothesis is corroborated by these and other experimental tests, it might facilitate the delivery of artifacts, and/or the early detection of the appearance of the Arctic Artificer. Which would make my theory really important, and ha-ha-nanny-boo to those who deny the existence of an artifact production center somewhere near the North Pole.

I am pleased to report that there is a paper in the prestigious journal Nature which has evaluated my prediction A, and even though the authors had no idea that they were testing Arctic Artificer Theory, I can stretch this tenuous link to a tiny and irrelevant prediction which could also be interpreted to support many other alternatives as support for my grand theory, which is mine and reflects the glory of the Artificer, blessed be his unnamed name. (Oh, and if you can't guess what I'm talking about here, here's a clue.)

But seriously, there really are observations of circadian activity in arctic reindeer that suggest something interesting is going on in reindeer brains in midwinter and midsummer. It doesn't really support any claims of toyshops at the North Pole, but you knew that already.

Continue reading "A possible link between reindeer, daylight deficiency, and artifact delivery" (on Pharyngula)


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAH. Great theory. But who can tell you otherwise? Not me nor the IDiots. At least your “theory” have potentially a Null Hypothesis and Alternate Hypotheses, is testable and can make predictions of events not entirely apparent by the facts. Alas!, if the ID were capable to generate some of those assumptions at least the fight would be fun. The way their theory goes is not even a close contest. Just ask Judge Jones ;-)

This theory that is yours is NOT yours. It was stolen! I was told this by a reliable authority

Let me be the Dembski to PZ’s Behe, and give this the proper mathematical footing.

Human beings are entirely composed of atoms. Atoms are purely natural things at a nonzero temperature, which means they are in constant random motion. Therefore, any event caused by humans is caused by naturalistic, random processes. Yet, every year billions of present objects are arranged near millions of decorative trees around Dec 25.

As a conservative estimate, consider the likelihood that each of 200 million christmas trees worldwide contains the correct 5 gifts, taken from the pool of one billion gifts. Because we do not care about the order of the presents, we will use combinations as opposed to permutations, and we see that n choose k where n=10^9 and k=5 gives us 8.33 x 10^42. Just for the correct presents around a single tree! The second tree is calculated as a conditional probability problem where

P(tree1 and tree2) = P(tree1)*P(tree1 given tree2)

and so the odds of correct gifts around 2 trees is roughly 7*10^85.

Continuing in this fashion, we see that the probability of obtaining the correct gifts around only 4 trees, roughly 4.822*10^171, exceeds the Universal Probability Bound(1) and therefore could not have occurred via such perfectly natural phenomena as human beings.

Any resistance to my calculations by, say, the entire educated community, merely illustrates my similarity to Galileo.


(1) William A. Dembski (2005). ““Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence (382k PDF)

PZ & steve S:

Great stuff! But, what are you doing wasting your time here? You should publish! This is earth shattering. And don’t bother with that silly scientific journal stuff…go right for the popular media. That’s where the real money is. Hell, I’d buy it.

If I might suggest a working title: “Christmas for Dummies.”

(Or, if they don’t want it, KLUTZ Press would surely publish it.)

Christmas is for Dummies? You atheist son of a bitch!

Bill O’Reilly was right.

Posted by blipey on December 22, 2005 04:34 PM (e) (s)

PZ & steve S:

Great stuff! But, what are you doing wasting your time here? You should publish! This is earth shattering.

I’ve just gotten kind of blase about submitting things to journals where you often wait two years to get things into print. And I find I can actually get the turnaround faster by internet anklebiting.

A true classic. “polar ejection force” was the “give-away”

I think I will use this in my Christmas Eve sermon on Saturday. It will make a change from my usual line that at the first Christmas the creator of the universe became a little baby.

Now you will have to work it out whether I am serious or not.

No Seasons greetings but Happy Christmas

I fear that the rest of the laser-focused commentary from the KvD decision, the hilarious quotes from the lame “rebuttals” and the deliciously barbed comments thereon have left me less easily amused than usual.  I didn’t even chuckle at this.

But it was good nevertheless (and here’s my one comment of appreciation for everyone else’s hard and insightful work on the rest of PT these past three days, which I am still digging my way through).

Does your theory have anything to say about why the volume of artifacts delivered is correlated with the following 1. level of household affluence 2. whether the household is Christian 3. whether the household is in N. America as opposed to say Asia.

Any theory that addresses late December artifact delivery ought to explain these and other such phenomena. hehe… or it would be a theory full of reindeer hot air.

Regards, Smurfy

Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ:Read posts and much a lot of ridiculous has found in them.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on December 22, 2005 2:11 PM.

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